Interview with Tonewielder
Earlier this spring / summer, Rob Mules Records received an inquiry from Tonewielder to assist in the promotion of the recently released album. Although it is not published on our label, we thought the music was so talented that we chose to go for it. Below is an interview with Christian Magnus Fladeby aka Tonewielder. Enjoy!
Who is Tonewielder?
Tonewielder is my way, myself and only myself. It was important to have something that I could stand for, regardless of what type of music I was writing. Therefore, it’s hard to be very spesific.
On the debut album you have extracted all the instruments yourself and done all the mixing. Why did that happen?
I started out writing my own songs while playing in other bands, but it was always clear to me that the most interesting aspect was to start my own band from scratch. Playing with other musicians didn’t not work out well. Either way we were a mismatch at music stand or chemistry, or band practices were just not prioritized enough. Eventually I went my own way and arranged the songs myself.
When it came to mixing, it was a bit the same: I eventually got some pretty clear ideas about how things would sound. Therefore, it was more appealing for me this time around to mix it myself.
How do you plan to do it in a live setting?
Hmm. Playback CD? Nope 🙂 To play live, I’m naturally dependent on band members. I am in no way against unplugged solo performance, but my songs are pretty rhythmic so it would be difficult. My next priority is definitely to get some regular musicians onboard.
This is in many ways a promising debut, and hopefully it will come more from you. Will the next release be full a band thing, or will you drive solo again?
I aim to record with full band next time. It works best with a steady device that together casting a sound that can be properly interacted and where ideas can be exchanged. Several minds think better than one.
How far have you come with the process of making your follow-up album?
I have not yet written any new songs. For now, I have begun to form some conceptual ideas and played around with some guitar riffs. I have also written some lyrics, but nothing concrete. Naturally, there are some thoughts circulating of what I will do differently the next time around.
What are your plans next year?
Play live! And record new music.
What objectives have you put?
The goals are to play great concerts, which are really a good alternative to Netflix one Friday night after work. But also writing material that matter to anyone who is not just into rock’n’roll with distorted lyrics.
What can you say about inspirational sources and influences to Tonewielder?
Experiences, nature, of course other bands. Heavy bands like Opeth, Immortal, Enslaved, Seigmen and Type O Negative. But also quite different kind of genres. For example, I am very fond of electronic music such as Highasakite and Massive Attack. I also love classical music. Particularly the way one thinks composition in classical music, with a theme, a recognizable melody that builds the music around. I know it’s a cliché, but you hear the first set of Beethoven’s fifth symphony, with the famous intro, the whole piece is composed of this same melody all the way through. If you start the song half way out, you’ll still know it again since it’s done consistently! This way I think is great fun.
Finally – can we get a little review of the songs, how they came to you, and what the lyrics are about? (Spotify-list at the bottom)
Sure. All of these songs are quite natural-romantic, but they may be interpreted differently depending on the listener.
Peaks – a song about how it is to climb a high mountain. Worn, sweat, the adrenaline and the view. I tried to capture the feeling of adventures and curiosity.
Only the Mountain Knows – a bit the same thing, just that it’s more the feeling of running fast downhill on the slalom. I love the slalom!
Cold Careless Caress – revolves around being close to nature. But in a slightly different way – it’s not so much the excitement or adrenaline, but more in a relaxed contemplative way. A form of escapism. Actually, the title of the album could have been “Winter”, given that these songs are very inspired by Norwegian nature in winter. If you go to the forest, where things have stood a little untouched, it can be fascinating when the snow covers the surroundings. Almost a bit like being in a nature-romantic painting.
Drift Away – a song about how boring it may be in the opposite case – if you’re locked to a gray, boring everyday for too long, nothing special that draws your mood noticeably.
Cloudbound – a bit in the same style as the songs above. I have a thing for clouds – they can be incredibly fascinating to watch if the weather is right. I have always been curious about how it would be to walk on the clouds if they were solid enough. Would it be like wearing foam rubber? Or maybe sugar stew! The song describes such a journey by foot, upon the clouds.
Spewing Smokestacks and Hiber Nation are more socially critical songs. They focus on how we are constantly being flushed with many kinds of threatening world problems, and how we, as humans, very easily find excuses for not doing anything to fix it. Something has to go completely wrong before we try to change direction. That way, these lyrics are a bit political. In a vague way.