HIT CHANNEL INTERVIEW: February 2012.We talked to Thomas Frank, guitarist/singer of Swedish band Den Stora Vilan. Den Stora Vilan is great new band, which is heavily influenced by ‘60s/’70s psychedelic/jam/blues/folk rock scene. They just released their debut album, which you should check it out! Read below our conversation with Thomas:
We are very pleased to see that so many fans have found the album interesting. The reviews were lukewarm but we were kind of expecting that since it’s our debut album and it’s released on a minor label.
Was it an easy effort to achieve the sound of ‘Den Stora Vilan’ album?
It came quite naturally, it’s very much a ‘live’ album recorded at our rehearsal space. Even most of the vocals were live cuts. The mixing which is a big part of the sound was made by Dieter Schöön who made gold. He can be seen soon in our next video, for our new single, ‘För Långt Ut’ (Too Far Gone)
How possible is to do any tour dates outside Sweden during 2012?
We have always been interested in performing abroad and have done so in our neighbouring countries. Of course we would love to come and play in Greece and southern Europe as well but the opportunity hasn’t appeared yet. In time we’ll come I’m sure. One way or another.
I think it’s a compliment to our live shows which have been the main focus for us since the beginning of Den Stora Vilan. However I think we’re growing in the studio as well, our upcoming album will be heavier.
How important part of your music is improvisation ? Are you performing onstage any rehearsed jams?
For me personally it’s Alpha and Omega. The free stretching and colouring of the music. Live sets would be meaningless if they were just repititions of past recordings. How free an improvised part is can be discussed, there is a possibility to take the music anywhere. If we’re able to do it, that is up to our fans to decide. So far they’ve seemed to enjoy the ride. I hope we find that sacred place at some time every night.
I think Grateful Dead’s ‘Live/Dead’ album is a major influence to your sound. Am I right?
Your right on. Jerry’s searching playing style and his penetrating sound, is a huge influence to me, as well as the Grateful Dead group as a whole. It is an important musical legacy to us all.
We have discussed it and now that you mention it we have to do an update. Coming soon…
Are you happy with the triumphant return of LP format?
Den Stora Vilan is built around people searching for recordings, digging through musical history. Together we have a broad collection of LPs. So we like the format a lot and will keep pressing LP’s of our coming releases.
Do you have an explanation why fantastic bands like Phish and Ween are unknown in Europe?
Their live music scene is still linked to their jazz/blues/folk traditions. I have read about groups going abroad and having to change setlists and lengths of concerts to adjust to the American crowds. The bands you ask about took over an already established scene after Grateful Dead and others. That scene never grew big Europe, and why tour where you don’t have an audience in the same scale? The language is also a big factor and the imperialistic foreign politics U.S.A. stands for.
What kind of music are you listening right now?
Peter Green’s 70’s records. The Apostle of blues.
Send a message to your Greek fans.
(ed: answer by Stefan, keyboards) I’m glad that in my homeland you discovered our band. We hope that soon we will come and play in Greece. Some of our songs, are influenced by the Greek music.
A huge “THANK YOU” to Thomas Frank and Den Stora Vilan.
Please check www.denstoravilan.se