“Dig it to the end” – Album info
With their second outing “Dig it to the End” (ACT) Sweden´s super-group TONBRUKET (engl.: tone workshop), formed in 2009 by bassist Dan Berglund (formerly e.s.t.), guitarist Johan Lindström (“Per Texas Johansson”), pianist Martin Hederos (“Soundtrack of our Lives”) and drummer Andreas Werliin (“Wildbirds & Peacedrums”), have created another masterpiece.
Although their debut album “Tonbruket” was a concept album as well, with “Dig it to the End” they define their unique band sound and style even further and carve out their musical niche combining instrumental Prog-Rock with improvisational elements.
The album title “Dig it to the End” refers to the compositional and the recording process. “We went the extra mile to really carve out the songs and compositions. It was like shuffling earth to excavate the true heart, meaning and soul of each song”, explains Johan Lindström, with six songs again the most active composer, “but then you are free to interpret it also as an invitation to really listen carefully to all songs. It is worth it”, he adds with a twinkle.
The basic tracks were laid down in Stockholm´s Atlantis Studio. From there they took the tapes to Johan Lindström´s Hammarby Studios and over a few weeks refined, edited, mixed and added to reach the ultimate result.
There are some stories hidden behind the titles of the songs. ‘Vinegar Heart’ was inspired by Indian writer Arundhati Roy´s novel ‘The God of Small Things’. Kochu Maria is described in the book as the vinegar-hearted, short-tempered, midget cook, who does not speak English and eventually becomes a television addict.
‘Le Var’, one of the key songs on the album, is obviously a territory in France, located around the perfume town of Grasse. Read backwards it becomes ‘Ravel’. For TONBRUKET Debussy and Ravel have both been inspirations as both of them are “the first jazz composers, judged by the chords they are using”. ‘Le Var’ herewith becomes TONBRUKET´s ‘Bolero’. To break with the classical rhythm of the ‘Bolero’ TONBRUKET lay a Mambo-style rhythm underneath ‘Le Var’. “This twist to the music was very much inspired by my appreciation of Perez Prado – Cuba´s Mambo King”, says Lindström.
Johan Lindström, who already contributed the majority of songs to TONBRUKET´s debut album, is a self-taught musician. He started playing the piano at the age of 12 and picked up the guitar with 13. He founded his first band with 14. “It was something like a ‘Beatles Revival Band’. For roughly two years we did nothing but play Beatles´ songs all the time”, says Lindström, “then with 16 I started to compose my own songs”. By the age of 19 he had become first call session musician and string arranger in the Swedish studio scene. Ten years on he opened his own studio ‘Hammarby Studios’ where he produced over 30 albums up to now, simultaneously arranging, composing and creating sounds for artists such a Nina Kinert, Freddy Wadling and Anna Ternheim.
Johan has played with Per Texas Johansson´s band, and has recorded with Elvis Costello (producer) for an album with Ann Sophie Otter.
He is best known for his unique use of guitars and pedal steel. There are not many musicians outside of country music that use the pedal steel sound - David Gilmore from Pink Floyd, or Paul Franklin from Dire Straits are probably the best known – for TONBRUKET it has also become part of their signature sound.
Johan and Dan Berglund met for the first time 11 years ago when they both played for a short time together in above mentioned Per Texas Johansson´s band and Dan remembers that they always had a lot of fun together. Also during Dan´s ‘e.s.t. years’ they never lost contact. Once Dan even performed double bass on one of the albums that Johan produced. It was only after the end of e.s.t. though, that Johan and Dan hooked up and seriously considered making music together. This was the birth of TONBRUKET. Martin Hederos and Andreas Werliin joined, the band recorded their debut album - which was recently awarded with a Swedish Grammy – and toured the world.