Originally 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), Swedish super-group TONBRUKET (‘tone workshop’) have created another masterpiece with their second outing “Dig it to the end”.
Although their eponymous debut album 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, who with six songs to his name was again the most active composer. “But then you are also free to interpret it 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 a territory in France located around the perfume town of Grasse. Read backwards it becomes ‘Ravel’, and 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”, and “Le Var” becomes the band’s ‘Bolero’. To break with the classical rhythm of the ‘Bolero’ Tonbruket lay a Mambo-style rhythm underneath the tune. “This twist to the music was very much inspired by my appreciation of Perez Prado – Cuba ́s Mambo King”, says Lindström.
Johan Lindström, who 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 at 13, forming his first band 14. “It was something like a ‘Beatles Revival Band’. For roughly two years we did nothing but play Beatles ́ songs all the time. Then at 16 I started to compose my own songs.” says Lindström. By the age of 19 he had become a first-call session musician and string arranger on the Swedish studio scene. Ten years on he opened his own studio ‘Hammarby Studios’ where he has produced over 30 albums to date, simultaneously arranging, composing and creating sounds for artists such as Nina Kinert, Freddy Wadling and Anna Ternheim.
Lindström has played with Per Texas Johansson ́s band, and has recorded with Elvis Costello (producer) for an album with Anne Sofie von 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’s distinctive sound - David Gilmore from Pink Floyd, or Paul Franklin from Dire Straits are probably among the best known – but for Tonbruket it has also become part of their signature sound.
Johan Lindström and Dan Berglund met for the first time 11 years ago when they both played for a short time in Per Texas Johansson ́s band. Dan remembers that they always had a lot of fun together and throughout his e.s.t. years they never lost contact, with Dan even performing on one of the albums that Johan produced. It was only after the end of e.s.t. that Johan and Dan hooked up and seriously considered making music together. This was the birth of Tonbruket, and with Martin Hederos and Andreas Werliin on board, the band recorded their debut album - which was recently awarded with a Swedish Grammy – and toured the world.