Tomas Amneskog"There was a special atmosphere in that house that created a dark and a sort of lonely mood..."

Read an interview with Tomas
Amneskog written by J Andersson
in August 2005. 

#Can you tell us about the recordings of the new forthcoming album?

-“Well, we’ve just finished off the basic recording sessions and are right now taking a few weeks off. We’ve spent the summer in a lonely house on the west coast of Sweden, just outside a town called Halmstad. The house was totally separated from the civilisation; at least it felt like that. We brought the studio equipment to the old house deep into the forest, just beside an empty road leading to nowhere. The first two or three days we just installed the equipment, tested the levels and the sound, adjusted and fine-tuned microphones, compressors, limiters and instruments. Martin Holmström (Peekaboo Studio) helped us out configuring the recording equipment. When those days had passed the rest was just hard work.”

#How many songs did you record, and how did they end up?
-“Before the recording sessions we picked the thirteen best songs from all of the material we had worked with during the last couple of years. Thirteen really great songs were recorded during those weeks in the old house. We discovered that some of them turned out even better than we expected. There was a special atmosphere in that house that created a dark and a sort of lonely mood – we think that affected the songs, especially the vocal sessions, and gave the expression more intensity.”

#Can you describe the working process during those weeks?
-“All the members came together for the first time in months. We lived together under the same roof during the summer, and we really didn’t do anything else than working with the new album. The process was really simple; we work as our own producers – a close teamwork within the band. We just needed help to configure the equipment during the first days. Our friend Fredrik Johansson joined us for a few days to add some acoustic guitar to some of the songs. The rest was up to our selves, and we really tried to bring out the best of the weeks in that old house – even if there were times when we felt like just giving up. We usually started the day at lunchtime listening and editing the recordings from the day before. After a break in the afternoon we worked until the early morning before we needed to sleep for a few hours. We tried to alternate recording vocals and other instruments to get some variation because the days were really alike; some days we didn’t know if it was Monday or Wednesday, Tuesday or Thursday.”

#You mentioned that you were close to giving up. What happened?
“When you live close together in a house, where you can’t do anything but working with the album – you sometimes fall into a negative mood, and you just feel like you don’t perform the best you can, even if you know that you do. A session like this is always a struggle; you fight with your daemons all the time. We also had huge problems with the computer. One day it just crashed without any reason and we lost a lot of files on the hard discs. We changed to another computer but after a few days it crashed as well. At this point we just felt like cracking up. We lost focus on the creative work and it took a few days to get back on track again. The problems we had during those weeks with the computers will delay the release of the new album, maybe for six months. Some of the production was not finished as we planned, so we hope the new album will be released in the spring of 2006. These computer problems are really hard to cope with because you can’t rely on the machines as you are used to. If you don’t know if they will do the job you need them to do, you end up with that insecure feeling that affects everything you do – especially the creative work. But in the end we managed to record most of the vocals and the acoustic instruments for the chosen songs despite all the technical challenges we were thrown into. But as I said before, some of the work is still to be finished before we will mix the new album at Peekaboo Studios in Gothenburg.“

#What’s up next?
-“I think we will have to work both with editing and production for a few months. Some new recording sessions are planned later this autumn to complement the material we’ve got. Then we need a few weeks to prepare for the final mix, mostly working with the final arrangements and “cleaning up” among all the tracks. The final mix will take place at Peekabo Studios in Gothenburg, and we think we’ll spend a few weeks, maybe months as well, to put all the pieces together. Most of the job is done and that feels really great – now it’s just hard work to finish it all up. So far we’re very proud and satisfied with what we have accomplished together. We’re really looking forward to put the last pieces together…”

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Interview by J Andersson for