Rockeyez: This is the first time hearing Winterlong. What a pleasure it is to speak with an amazing Guitarist named Thorbjorn Englund.
Thorbjorn: Hey Brian! Thanks a lot for your kind words!!
Thorbjorn can you give the readers of Rockeyez some knowledge about how you started playing guitar?
Well, it all started when I got my first guitar at age 10. First, I started off by playing the piano, but after hearing all those cool riffs from Deep Purple and other bands like Bon Jovi and Kiss I just wanted to shred instead. I asked my parents if I could get a guitar, and later on, we went out to buy one. I loved that guitar so darn much. It was a Yamaha, X- blablabla -Something... and the funny thing was that it had a scalloped fret board. Go figure... I mean, since I later on at age 16 watched a video with Yngwie Malmsteen I was so amazed by his playing and style so I went back to the scalloped fret board again, and knowing how to play on one, as I really learned my first riffs on one, it was all natural for me .
What was the first band you were in?
Hmmmm...... Funny, I believe we were called " Irock ” and it was back in ´87 I think. Just me with the keyboard and a bass player. We never hit the charts though... hahaha ...
When you first picked up the guitar what was your dream?
To become a rock star. Definitely.
What other guitarists do you admire?
Joe Satriani. He is just an amazing player. I'm also a sucker for dead-on-shred music like Chris Impelitteri for example, and others. But my all time favorite is of course, with no doubt in mind - Yngwie J. Malmsteen.
What equipment do you use?
I use a stock Strat for the rhythm parts when I record. This guitar is absolutely a 100% stock, and not even the pickups are replaced. A lot of people of today in modern metal music would probably just roll their eyes if they'd see a Strat enter into a studio set out to record a really heavy bone-crushing metal album, but then I'd have to say that this guitar is absolutely timeless, and you can't ever find a finer tool to use. There is simply no other guitar like the Stratocaster. You can get it to scream the most evil down-pitched riffs just by playing it right, and on the other hand, with the same guitar you can play a lullaby to a 2-yearold. I figure you don't need a 7-string monster hybrid to sound evil, just play the Strat right .
Do you have a signature guitar pick?
Winterlong has a new release and there are so many great songs on it. Your playing is killer. Since this is my first time ever hearing, you play. Do you think this release will bring on success in America?
I really hope so! However, for smaller bands it's not that easy to get out to the wide mass. It's all about the money, you know. But the true metal-heads and shredders are often loyal people, so I hope with this third release I can reach out just a little bit more. The sad thing though is this download-trend we've been seeing for a few years now. I mean, I am not saying that people shouldn't download music anymore, but for a small artist it can actually cause a disaster. That's a downside with the technology I think. However, I think that in a few years it will come to a halt more or less, and as we move along more and more from physical CD's to internet-based selling's we'll soon see a new era, the same as from the cassette to the LP, and the LP to the CD... you know what I mean...
If you had a chance to play side by side with another musician who would that be?
I have already had the wonderful experience to play with Manowar at a concert here in Sweden, so that was a bit of a dream coming true, but other than that I'd have to say Yngwie .
Do you have any other projects in the works?
As a matter of fact, I have. I am currently working on some cool material a'la Rammstein with another guitar player, and aside from that, I am recording a solo album with myself and my girlfriend Stella behind the microphone... Very heavy stuff, nothing to do with conventional neoclassical metal.
Do you plan on touring in the USA ?
Actually not for the moment. The plans as of now aren't reaching that far, but one day I will bring the band to the U.S. Right now however I'm not to keen on having my skull being measured and fingerprints being taken, so I will probably wait until Dubya ( George W. Bush) is gone before we come...., you know -the security at the airports. Just kidding. :-) I really love the USA and to tour over there is a dream I've had ever since my childhood, but we need a strong budget to take a project like that into shore.
How can fans buy your merchandise?
At www.lionmusic.com, you can find my whole back catalogue, with both Winterlong and Starqueen (which is my other band). I believe they're shipping all over the world. Otherwise, check the distribution list at that same web page and see which distributor goes for America and you should be able to buy directly from there via mail order.
I am going to say a few names tell me what comes to mind
Not good. Never good. If everyone, who were having problems could just sit down and talk it through instead of shooting bullets on each other the planet would be so much nicer to live on.
I am not religious at all, but still it's a sanctuary for the soul in a strange way .
Pizza, burgers, and my girlfriend's dishes. Top notch!
Creative for your soul.
Kicks buttocks! Still today.