Q: “Tarras” has gorgeous musical and lyrical qualities. Do you have a specific songwriting process?
TARRAS: Thanks, that means a lot! I actually tend to try different ways. One thing I’ve learned quite quickly though, is, do not try to find a song and don’t rush it, it will leave you frustrated. I guess out of inspiration, a song comes to me. Sometimes the lyrics come first, then a melody, sometimes the opposite. Lately, and on this project, a few songs are old ones that I rewrote and rearranged. Whatever comes to me I try to shape into a song.
Q: The production on “Tarras” is fantastic. Can you explain the album’s evolution during the production process?
TARRAS: The idea of the album came from the realization that I had too many songs and needed help to get it sorted into a product. I’ve been playing in a band since I was knee-high, always been writing songs, but never made a solo project before. I met one of the producers, Eric Sundning, at a supermarket and I said “Hey, you want to record an album, I have a few songs?” So it began. He helped me sort out the better songs and found a foundation for the album. We recorded live takes with a guitar and vocals.
A few months later, I bumped into another producer I’ve worked with before, Wallentin Richardsson. At that point I had the sound clear in my head. He knew straight away what I meant, we spoke the same language. “The sound of the earthly and acoustic, accompanied by a dreamy sound from somewhere above?”, he said. The sound I was aiming for came to reality. With a little help from my fellow musicians in the band ,Dennis Hollström & the Ponies, where I play guitar, the album took shape. So it was kinda recorded backwards in a way, out of live takes we put on drums, bass, piano, keyboards etc. So after about ten days in the studio, in about a seven months period, it was wrapped.
Q: You have a number of musical experiences. How has your relationship with music changed over time?
TARRAS: Growing up with two older brothers made me get into the world of music early on in my life. On my sixth birthday, I got my first ever record. I went from listening to Yabba Dabba Dance (Flintstones) to “Eight Days a Week,” by The Beatles, overnight. Once that step was made, I constantly was sneaking into my brothers’ rooms to borrow their records, as my father, who is a blues guitarist, endorsed our interest in music and put different instruments into our hands. Through school, I was stuck on Britpop with Oasis and The Verve etc. Since then, I have gone through different periods of exploring music, especially from the 60s and the 70s. My biggest influences are the likes of Neil Young, Springsteen, The Who, Bowie and many more. In my early twenties I discovered the world of the blues and country scene. Now in my 30s, I still find it giving and exciting to discover new music and getting inspired. Lately, I’ve been listening to a great deal of instrumental music. Other bands that’ve been spinning on my stereo lately are Lukas Nelson, Meg Baird and Beachwood sparks.
Q: Much of your artistic inspiration comes from nature. How did this inspiration manifest while creating “Tarras?”
TARRAS: I grew up in the countryside, in a small town by the ocean. At age nineteen, I moved to a bigger city. Quite soon after I moved, I realized what a big impact nature and being surrounded by it had on my life. For a long time, I wanted to exchange the concrete for grass, street lamps for trees. During this period, many songs came from the feeling of how much I wanted to get out of the city. Also, the feeling of getting out from daily clutter and escaping by watching the ocean or walking in the woods. Nature gives me a sense of belonging and strength to go on. The longing I have had to move out the countryside did grow on me year by year and it came out in my songwriting. The simple life had never seen so far away and so tempting before. Luckily, I recently found my way back to the countryside.
Q: “Tarras” is a great debut and obviously a labor of love. What can fans expect next from you?
TARRAS: Thanks! I’m currently working on an EP. The EP is based on songs with a ukulele. I hope to find the time to finish it during summer. Otherwise, I occasionally do some live recordings that can be found on youtube or on my instagram. Album number two is also in early working progress.
Interviewed by Sarah Scott