Interview with I'm Kingfisher - Thomas Denver Jonssan
Q. How have you been?
A. Very fine, thanks. I'm Kingfisher is my solo alias, I'm collaborating with the producer Carl Edlom and a cloud of guesting musicians. I've been lying low during 2012, for different reasons. It's been relieving on some levels, but the abstinence of touring has been harder than I could have imagined. I have done a handful of shows this year too but most time and energy has been spent on finishing my next album.
Q. What are your best gigs to date seeing that there have only been a handful of shows this year and why?
A. For me, Stockholm's Södra Teatern's big stage, opening for Damien Jurado2011 was lovely. The theatre was sold out and the atmosphere vibrant. It felt like discovering the North Pole! Generally, I'm at my best when I'm really loud.
Q. When are you going to release another album?
A. My fifth solo album will be released next year, it's the middle part of an album trilogy that started with Arctic in 2010. Apart from some last minute contributions and endless tweaking, we're finished. The tricky part now will be to narrow down the track number from twenty to ten tracks!
Q. What methods do you use when you’re writing songs?
A. I don’t really sit down with paper, no!! Making songs for me is more a process with flying thoughts over a long period of time. It's a lot about contemplating over coffee or in the shower! Or of course, coffee in the shower! Occasionally, I do lo-fi work demos and then listen to and try to figure out stuff from it but I don't keep nearly as many recordings of the lyrics and chords as I should. I trust that the natural process of the brain will forget almost everything, but that will remember the essentials. Maybe that's a method, but I'm not sure if it's suited for everyone.
Q. Are there any singer songwriters that you particularly like?
A. Although I consider his latest album a bit unfocused, M. Ward has always been very influential for me. So is Cat Power, John Fahey and Jason Molina.
On other subjects:
Q. What other forms of entertainment do you have when you’re not making music?
A. I'm listening to a lot of records of course, but radio and books are close to my heart too. Planning to read all of Herta Mueller's stuff soon after reading The Hunger Angel. Must be the best novel ever.
Q. What genre of films do you watch?
A. Slow films where people are just talking and eating. Like John Cassavetes’s Opening Night or Woman Under The Influence. High quality horror is a favourite too. There's something about movies capturing broad daylight fright that appeals to me.
Q. Who do you admire most and why?
A. Just about everyone taking steps to make their daily life a bit more animal-friendly.
Q. When will you come to England and play (please say soon)?
A. Soon! Next year for sure.
Q. Have you signed any new deals?
A. This autumn I've signed with two new booking agencies, one based in the UK and one with an office in Sweden, so together this covers most of Europe.
Q. Where do you get your fashion ideas?
A. l'm thrilled to get that question, given the 100 or so episodes of Project Runway that have stood in the way between me and songwriting the whole year. Well, on stage I go about with the same shoes and jeans all the time, in order to feel comfortable. Most of my ammunition is used on t-shirts. I check out a lot of indie designers doing stuff with limited supplies. I have a beard now, but that's more of a sporting hobby than a fashion.
Q. Do you all live near to each other?
A. Carl, who has been producing my music for over 10 years, lives quite a distance away now. We used to live very close and hang out all the time, but now we do important recordings together, and some minor stuff on our own. We've learnt to be very efficient. We're going to have the last recording session, I hope, for the next album to be ready in the next few weeks. Most of the people who are contributing stuff to my albums live in Sweden, but do also work with UK and US guests.
Q. What do your family and friends think about your band and music?
A. During the past 14 years or so I've been doing music on a serious level and my family have been very supportive. I think my friends really 'dig' what I do too. Having said that, it's hard to get someone outside of the music circuit to realize why you're striving to spend a lifetime in trains and hotels.
Interview by Lisa Kalloo