'Saving The Last Dance'
Thomas Dybdahl went out to become something what they call a shooting-star in Norway. As a solo artist, the former guitarist of the band Quadraphonics released his first single EP "Bird" in 2000. His first release did not have much success, and his second EP from 2001, "John Wayne", was also unsuccessful.
Beginning with the release of his first album "... That great October sound", the first part of his gold and platinum selling October series, in 2002, Thomas Dybdahl received national and even international appreciation for his unique work. Since then, and especially after the European release in 2004, Thomas Dybdahl's notability has increased significantly. The mostly positive reviews tout Dybdahl as a new pop wonder comparable to Nick Cave, Jeff Buckley and other important solo artists. He received the Spellemannprisen and the Alarm Award for his outstanding work.
The release of his next two albums "Stray dogs" (European release in 2005) and "One day you'll dance for me, New York City" further increased his standing as an respected artist.
Chatting recently with guitarist Thomas, I first noted that as his own press states that he is one of Europe's "best kept secrets," I first wodnered why it had been so for the past few years and why choose now to reveal yourself?! "THE REASON IS PRETTY SIMPLE I GUESS: WE HAVENīT DONE ANYTHING ACTIVELY YET IN THE US. IīVE BEEN SIGNED TO A REALLY SMALL LABEL IN NORWAY TILL NOW AND WEīVE HAD MORE THAN ENOUGH TO DO JUST TRYING TO GET A FOOTHOLD IN EUROPE. NOW WEīVE FINALLY GOT A GREAT LABEL WITH DEDICATED PEOPLE IN THE US. IīM VERY THRILLED ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF PLAYING THERE AND SEEING THE REACTIONS OF PEOPLE. A BIT SACRED AS WELL I MUST ADMIT."
Your album title 'One Day You'll Dance For Me, New York City' is very poignant title for sure, but I'm wondering if it originates from a more personal standpoint? "IT SOUNDS VERY AMBITIOUS DOESNīT IT? BUT ITīS ACTUALLY MEANT THE OTHER WAY. I CONSTANTLY TRY TO REMIND MYSELF TO ENJOY THE JOURNEY THAT LIFE IS (SOUNDS LIKE A REALLY BAD CREDITCARD COMMERCIAL) BUT ITīS TRUE THOUGH, I THINK. AMBITION CAN MAKE YOU PRETTY UGLY AND IN SOME WAYS ITīS A FORM OF NONEXISTENCE WHERE YOU CANīT REALLY ENJOY ANYTHING BECAUSE ITīS ONLY A PLATFORM TO ANOTHER LEVEL. THE TITLE IS MEANT TO BE LIKE A REMINDER THAT THEREīS SOME SOLICE TO BE FOUND IN NOT HAVING ACHIEVED ALL YOUR GOALS. THEREīS ALSO A MUSICAL REFERENCE, BECAUSE ALMOST ALL THE SONGS ON THE RECORD HAVE A 3/4 WALTS RHYTHM."
If there was one track on this new album that truly encapsulated Thomas Dybdahl at his musical and lyrical finest, which one would it be? "OH SHIT, TOUGH QUESTION. I DONīT REALLY THINK IīM THE BEST JUDGE FOR THAT BUT ONE OF MY FAVOURITES IS "IF WE WANT IT, ITīS RIGHT" HAS A NICE CHILLED OUT FLOW TO IT AND ONE OF MY FAVOURITE PHILOSOPHERS (ARNE NÆSS) TALKS ON THE SONG. HE DELIVERS A SIMPLE MESSAGE THAT SOUNDS BELIEVABLE COMING FROM A GUY HIS AGE AND POSITION, BUT WOULD HAVE CRUMBLED COMING FROM A YOUNG GUY WITH A GUITAR AND A MINIMAL OF LIFE EXPERIENCE."
And whilst we're revealing things, just where did your love for music first originate back home in Norway as a child? "MY OLDER BROTHERS WERE ALL POSTERCHILDREN OF THE 80īS AND REALLY INTO SAMANTHA FOX AND OTHER VARIATIONS OF THAT SAME THEME SO I GUESS THATīS WHY IT ACTUALLY TOOK ME A WHILE TO GET INTERRESTED IN MUSIC. I THINK IT FIRST STARTED WHEN METALLICAīS BLACK ALBUM CAME OUT AND MY BEST FRIEND BOUGHT AN ELECTRIC GUITAR. I SHOWED SOME PROMISE ON THE GUITAR AND I SOON GOT MY OWN SO I COULD JAM ALONG TO KIRK HAMMETīS GUITAR SOLOS. IT WAS VERY COOL WHEN YOU WERE 12, BUT THEN TASTE AND FASHION CHANGED, OF COURSE. I EVENTUALLY STARTED MAKING MY OWN SONGS AT AROUND AGE 14 AND FROM THEN ITīS PRETTY MUCH BEEN WHAT IīVE SPENT MY TIME DOING."
As this, your third album in three years was actually recorded and released in 2004, is there anything about it that you would now change if you could? "YES, THE ACOUSTIC GUITAR SOUND ON THE TITLE TRACK HAS ALWAYS BUGGED ME A BIT. IT SOUNDS TOO NEW. I WISH IīD USED A DIFFERENT GUITAR. OTHER THAN THAT IīM VERY HAPPY WITH IT. I LOVE THE FACT THAT ITīS SUCH A SHORT RECORD. I THINK THE CD FORMAT HAS DONE SOME BAD THINGS TO ALBUMS, BECAUSE THEYīRE TOO LONG. ITīS EVEN IN MOST CONTRACTS THAT AN ALBUM HAS TO BE 45 MINUTES TO BE CONSIDERED AN ALBUM. EVEN THATīS TOO LONG. MY FAVOURITE ALBUM IS 29 MINUTES. HISTOIRE DE MELODY NELSON BY SERGE GAINSBOURGH."
And, does this mean that a brand new album has been recorded and is ready for distribution sometime soon? "YEP, I THINK ITīS COMING OUT SOMETIME EARLY NEXT YEAR."
You also write songs for other people. Which is the biggest-selling / known song that you have written for another musician that we might have heard of? "PROBABLY NONE, I WROTE A SONG FOR A VERY TALENTED GIRL CALLED MARIA MENA. SHE HAD A PRETTY GOOD THING GOING ON THE RADIO IN THE US I THINK. RIGHT NOW IīM WRITING WITH THE GUYS FROM MORCHEEBA AND HOPEFULLY IīLL GET A SONG OR TWO ON THEIR NEXT ALBUM. BUT WRITING WITH OTHER PEOPLE IS SOMETHING I DONīT DO VERY OFTEN."
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "I WANNA BE YOUR LOVER, BY PRINCE. IīVE BEEN IN LOVE WITH SONG FOR 15 YEARS. FANTASTIC!'
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! "YES, I DO AND I ADVISE EVERYONE WHO LIKES PENGUINES TO SEE DAVID ATTENBOROUGHS "LIFE IN THE FREEZER". THE ORIGINAL MARCH OF THE PENGUINS."
Thanx again for doing this for us today, and we wish you all the best for the future "THANKS A LOT, MAYBE WEīLL SPEAK AGAIN. TAKE CARE!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Thomas' new CD, just answer this easy question: In 2004, Thomas teamed up with artists from the Jaga Jazzist and Bigbang on which named project?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before October 15th with your answer and the subject title 'CONTEST: THOMAS DYBDAHL SIGNED CDs' to: email@example.com
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