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Dan Berglund: Back from the Dark

By Published: March 3, 2010
AAJ: Could you explain how you produce your sound, because it's very unique. It's clear that you're sending it through some sort of sound processor.

Dan Berglund's Tonbruket Tonbruket, from left: Martin Hederos, Dan Berglund Andreas Werliin, Johan Lindström

DB: Well, it's really very easy. It's the same effects that guitar players use, that's why; sending it through a time delay distortion set-up. You have to dare, you have to like it, of course, but you have to take chances. I don't think everybody likes it; I don't know if every bassist likes the sound, but it doesn't bother me.

AAJ: It's your unique voice—everyone needs to express this. Tell me a little bit about your new album and how it came about. Clearly you had spent a lot of time with Esbjörn and Magnus. How did Tonbruket evolve from e.s.t.?

DB: It started with me and the guitarist, Johan Lindström. We used to play together about 10 years ago in another band. Actually, it was my wife and she tried to help me to get back into the music. She asked me "Who do you want to play with? If you could choose from everybody, who would you play with?" And I said, Johan. And then about two days later, I think my wife called him because he called, asking how I was doing after everything that had happened. So we hung out, and then he called me again and said, "Maybe we can play sometime." And I said, "Oh yes, yes, that's what I want to do."

I was really glad. Then we met and immediately started to write songs together. It was easy and really fun, and so we decided to get a band together. We talked about other musicians and other instruments, the kind of instruments we want to have in the band, things like that. I met the pianist, Martin Hederos; I didn't know him, actually. He was playing in a rock band, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives. I did know that I didn't want to go back and play jazz, old songs; I wanted to do something else, I was looking for other musicians that played other music. He [Hederos] had some songs that we liked—we liked everything, it was really easy.

AAJ: There are a lot of different textures in the music. Is "Song For E" for Esbjörn?

DB: Yes...yes, it is. We didn't decide it when we wrote the song, just in the end, when we recorded it, when we had to make up titles, it became clear whose it was—and just for your information, the CD lists the wrong composer for many of the songs: "Stethoscope," "GI Hop," "The Wind And The Leaves," "Monstrous Colossus" and "Waltz For Matilda" are by Johan; "Sailor Waltz" is by Martin; "Cold Blooded Music" is mine; "Wolverine Hoods" is by Martin and me; and "Song For E" is by me and Johan. We were in a hurry—everything was really very last minute.

AAJ: Are you going to be touring this record in the US?

DB: I hope so. Our manager is trying to get us some shows in Canada and the US.

AAJ: It's kind of interesting that regional sounds differ from area to area. How is the scene in Stockholm right now? What is the sound?

DB: The trio [e.s.t.] had been away from Sweden a lot, so I actually don't know much about the scene right now, I think it's more adventurous; I listened to a band last week, they're actually called ASS [laughs]. I don't know why they call themselves that, it was more experimental, it was a synthesizer, a saxophonist, a drummer and a bassist. Kind of free-form pop music, it was really interesting.

There's a big difference if you compare Norway with Sweden. They [Norwegians] are more into groove music. I think that jazz in Sweden is more traditional, and Denmark is even more traditional. So what we've done is a step out.

Selected Discography

Dan Berglund's Tonbruket, Dan Berglund's Tonbruket (ACT, 2010)

e.s.t., Leucocyte (ACT, 2008)

e.s.t., Live In Hamburg (ACT, 2007)

e.s.t., Tuesday Wonderland (ACT, 2006)

e.s.t., Viaticum (ACT, 2005)

e.s.t., Seven Days Of Falling (ACT, 2003)

e.s.t., Strange Place For Snow (ACT, 2002)

e.s.t., Good Morning Susie Soho (ACT, 2000)

e.s.t., From Gagarin's Point Of View (ACT, 1999)

e.s.t., Winter In Venice (ACT, 1997)

e.s.t., e.s.t, Plays Monk (ACT, 1996)

e.s.t., e.s.t. Live '95 (ACT, 1995)

e.s.t., When Everyone Has Gone (Dragon, 1993)

Photo Credits

Page 1: Brian O'Connor

Page 2: Joerg Grosse Geldermann/NEXT

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