We had a chance four years ago to ask Kristoffer Gildenlöw a few questions about his experience as a musician and, at the time, about the unpublished album “Rust”(Interview 2012). Now again we are lucky to have our curiosity served concerning the second album “The Rain”. The new album will escape to our ears on March 25th 2016.
Kristoffer Gildenlöw is best known as an independent artist who has released solo music and recorded with many big bands, which are frequently mentioned on lebmetal.com: Pain Of Salvation and Dark Suns among others.
How would you describe the album?
The Rain is a dark theme about memories, love, despair, regrets, reconciliation and death. It’s written in first person by a man in a late stage of Alzheimer’s decease. He struggles with remembering and realizing what’s happening and the unavoidable end to it all.
Why have you chosen “The Rain” as the album title?
I use Rain as a metaphor for the dementia. On a clear day memories come back and he can see clear. But then the Rain returns and covers his world, makes it small. He can’t see, hear or think through the clouds, rain and thunder.
Does it share themes with Rust?
In a way, yes. It touches base with the elements of growing older.
Memories, love, frustration, regrets and finding peace.
What message(s) did you want convey in this album?
While RUST might have more of a moral touch to it, The Rain is more of a story I want to tell and I think that each listener will extract the meaning and message that touches them the most.
Anyone who’s had contact with dementia in any way might feel connected differently than others but the story is clear to follow for anyone.
Which instruments did you focus on to deliver the emotions and thoughts?
The Rain has more strings (quintet) than RUST and is probably the most prominent feature for the album. I also changed from nylon stringed acoustic guitar to steel stringed for this album as I wanted a different sound.
Why have you decided to run a crowd funding campaign for it and did it go the way you expected?
Recording and producing an album and cost a lot of money, even with modern technology. Back in the days you’d get an advance from the record label to cover these costs. Those days are simply gone unless you’re a big act under a big label.
So I needed funding to get things moving. I reached the minimum target for the crowd funding and will now be able to produce the album and even get the special collectables for the backers. I’m most grateful.
Which released 2015 albums you found interesting (maybe a top 10 list)?
There were lots of releases last year, most of them passed me by actually. I’ve been so busy making my own music that I’ve kind of let the world pass me by 2015.
Which bands and artist are you currently working with?
Some local acts to keep things moving but no bands or bigger artists. I’ve been asked to join quite a few bands of the past years but nothing that has caught my heart and soul yet. Who knows… maybe one day there’s a good match.
Who are the bands today, that for you appear to be leading the progressive metal scene?
HAKEN would be one of the best modern bands. They have a fresh sound and twist to their music and don’t fall into the “traditional prog-metal” paths where we see so many bands already.
Who are the modern bands of any genre that you would consider inspiring to your music?
There are some great modern bands out there but I’m not sure they inspire me in a direct musical way for the music of RUST and The Rain. For inspiration I’m not much further than early 2000.
Do you find it harder to reach listeners recently?
It’s very hard actually. There’s so much great music and bands/artist out there fighting for your attention and even though there are more music media than ever, they are easy and mainstream and in some way “corrupt” in playing the same play list over and over again. No one’s really interested in new music anymore unless the pluggers and promoters with the right contacts and budget get a foot in the door.
Has the digital world evolved to make some things easier for the musician and other things harder?
Sure has. There’s good and bad with everything.
The good thing being that there’s a possibility for small artists and bands to make an album with a lower budget and get it out to the audience either physical or digital.
The negative thing is that the overall quality dilutes and quantity makes it hard to find the right music and to stand out as an artist.
1. After The Rain pt. II
2. Holding On pt. I
3. Seeking The Sun pt. I
4. Seeking The Sun pt. II
6. Holding On pt. II
7. See it All
8. Peripheral Memory
9. Breathe In, Breathe Out
10. In the Evening
11. It Was Me
14. All For You
15. The Funeral pt. I
16. The Funeral pt. II
What would bring you a sense of accomplishment as a veteran musician now and as an experienced composer?
I would just love to reach a lever where I can bring my music to the audience in a way that brings justice to the music and the audience.
I don’t like to compromise to reach a wide audience and be recognized as a musician and song writer.