Ok, it is that time of year again when everybody's doing their best of the year - lists.I' ve never done one before, but here are some highlights of 2005;
I'll have to start with the release of Amaterasu
, my first solo album.
Amaterasu was released on the 22nd of December 2004 in Sweden and it contains the best collection of songs ever to come from yours truly. I had a great time recording it with my brother Joel and my love Sara and I am very proud of it. It is also released in Japan and USA,soon to be released in more territories.
I put a band together to tour with these songs and it was exiting - almost like being in a band for the first time and it has been a challenge to me since the other guys are such good musicians. It has forced me to play at the top of my ability, which has been very useful.
My band; Rickard Flygel, John Bjerkert, Tomas Ebrelius, Sara Culler, David Fridlund
Gigs of the Year:
Debaser, Stockholm - because this was the first gig that I did with my solo band. It was a good gig and a great after party. Sara and I went to the hotel when my drummer John, started crawling on the floor because there were no chairs available and a friend of mine kept singing the phrase "…over the mountains and over the hills…". It was -17 degrees Celsius as we walked to the hotel.
There is something about the audience in this city that makes every gig seem like the best one ever and this night was no exception. We did a gig with such intensity it almost felt like we were Sonic Youth or something. Sara and I went to bed late that night, or early in the morning… after having the compulsory French fries and sausage at the grill outside of the hotel. Gothenburg
Garage, Bergen, (Norway)
Maybe I shouldn't tell you this, but what the hell… there was not one paying guest at this show. The venue had to let people get in for free. Anyway - we started playing and there were more and more people getting in and in the end the venue was at least half full and they all seemed to like it a lot. And we sold a bunch of records.
After all - these kind of gigs often turn out to be the best ones, since there is no way you can do a half hearted gig and get away with it. If nobody knows your songs, nobody will sing along and save the show for you. You have to work. And we worked, we worked hard and we won!
The Garage in Bergen is one of the best venues I've ever played (3 times now), the band host Dennis (or Mac Dennis…) is the nicest guy and he is actually a walking encyclopedia - if you have any questions, whatever the subject - Dennis is your man! They're always very generous and friendly at this venue and they bought us dinner at this really good restaurant that serves seafood. I tried the whale steak. It was delicious.
Ok, sadly there weren't that many people here either and unfortunately it wasn't that good of a gig either. But I met one of my cousins here for the first time in, like 15 years or something and we had a great time hanging out backstage just talking, drinking beer. And earlier that day Sara and I had some good sushi at a place we ate at in 2004 as well. The salmon was really good and the breakfast at Skagen Brygge hotel is one of the best ones!
Stavanger - Malmö
One might think a 14 hour drive might kill the fun of being on tour, but then you're wrong. On the way back to Malmö, we passed through some of the most beautiful landscapes I've ever seen and the drive really didn't feel that long. We got lost somewhere in the middle of nowhere and had to ask a man and his wife that were out Sunday walking with their kids if .."this is the way to Sweden…?" They looked at us and laughed. But then they gave us directions, so they were nice after all…Hardangervidda!Norway. It looks like this all over the place
Sara and I did a gig on our own at this festival up north. It was a really good and beautiful gig and we had a big audience that was so quiet I almost thought they weren't there. I borrowed a grand piano, which is always nice to play. It makes the songs sound so much better than with an electric piano. We had an after party at our hotel room together with an old friend of mine, Daniel, who plays the guitar with Swedish Anna Ternheim. Daniel is a great drinker and along with the drummer Pelle from the same band, Sara and I had to really work it to keep up with them…Next time I'm buying, Danne!
This was a nice evening as well, not our best gig, but a good one. Last gig with Marcus Cato in the band and he put on a good show!
Another great after party that night, involving beer and a big bottle of whiskey that was shared between Sara, Tomas and me. Copenhagen is a beautiful city!
The Germany Tour
The whole tour was so much fun, but some things were even more fun than other;
The Römer, Bremen
We got to the venue with hours to spare, but then the main act was sound checking a floor tom for two hours so in the end everything got really stressful. John discovered that their damn floor tom was upside down, which kind of explained why they had such problems with it…amateurs...;-). Like I said - everything was so stressful when we had to go on stage, but as we started playing everything fell into place and we did a really good gig. Then we had beer.
The morning after, Sara and I had breakfast at this really nice café. A Big breakfast with lots of goodies! The sun was shining and the coffee was so good. This was actually one of the best moments on the tour.
We didn't think much of the evening when we got to this venue; it looked so worn down and dark and moist that we wondered who would actually come to such a place. But as always, we surprised ourselves and did a great show. The audience was really good and interested and we played for an hour and a half or more! Afterwards we went to some squat house where Knarf Rellum was playing .A drunk German heard that we were Swedes and kept screaming / spitting: "VOLVO! SAAB!"
At Schilleroper, Hamburg
Salon Elitaer, Kassel
A laid back, almost acoustic gig this night, with a sitting audience. It was just such a nice, calm evening and we slept in a clean apartment with a shower and it may not sound like a lot, but it was!
Chelsea, Vienna, Austria
I played at this venue in 2004 with David & the Citizens. We had a good time then and we had an even better night this time. A really good show and a really good audience. Once again
(and it's starting to sound like we might be drinking too much while on tour, I don' t know…) we had a great party after the gig. We all sat backstage and sang. And I recall a loaf of bread that we threw out the window that all the sudden came flying back…
We had a day off in Vienna and I have to say it is a very beautiful city! Sara, Anette (driver, merchandiser, friend) and me walked around for hours and stumbled upon a sushi place that had sushi for half the price that week only! Cheap Sushi !
Premysl, Vöcklamarkt, Austria
If you've seen the Sound Of Music musical, then you know what the landscape looks like. We did a gig at this café/ bar that was right at the railway station in this small town. The guy running the place was so nice and the beer was soo good, even though we all just had one or two. The gig was good as usual and we played lots of songs, including "Satellite" that we hardly ever do. But I had promised a girl in Vienna that if she came to this gig as well, we would play it just for her. So we did and it actually went pretty well!
We were accommodated at this really beautiful hostel in a village that only had 6 houses.
The morning after the show we walked up the hills and I was expecting to see Julie Andrews any second!
The hills are alive with the sound of David Fridlund + band
Ok, these were the top gigs of the year, but touring is so much more than being on stage and to me being on tour with a new band was an experience that did me good! We had a lot of fun together and hopefully we'll tour Germany again this spring as Amaterasu is being released there in March. Hopefully.
Other good stuff:
Mew- released a new album, a great one! I woke up several nights with "the Zookeeper's boy" on my mind .
Death Cab For Cutie -released an album and it is growing every time I listen to it. I didn't like it at first, but Sara's been playing it a lot and now I am hooked as well.Bloc Party - Silent Alarm. I like this album a lot, don't know why really, cause it's not really my cup of tea, but there is something with his voice that gets to me. And it's so much better than Franz Ferdinand or those other bands they are compared to.
Open-air bath- I finally got myself down to the ocean and tried it and now I'm hooked! It's a natural high!
Antistars- They put the Germany tour together. Thanx guys!
This Blog - For a guy who hates computers, starting a blog is not a natural thing to do, but thanks to Sara I am now officially a blogger.
A bunch of new songs - I've written a lot of new songs during the year that I think are really good. Hopefully there will be a second album one day. Don't know when yet.
American Splendor - a cool movie
Good Will Hunting - I watched it yesterday for the third time and it's still good.
Lord Of the Ring - All three movies are so amazingly good! I've watched them at least 10 times and I'm still exited.
Moi Albino - Don't know if I saw it this year, but it's on the list anyway. An Icelandic movie.
Not so good stuff - having no money what so ever except for paying the rent, bills and food for the past 7 months. But this is of lesser importance compared to the above. Sara
- I love you always