This week I speak with Bjorn Egelius from the Swedish instrumental prog trio – therhythmisodd.
A couple things that set the band apart:
- They record live – together – in the studio (why is this such a rare thing now?)
- They’re….Big, bald and scary!
All jokes aside, the band is putting out fantastic instrumental prog rock, with the heaviness & virtuosity of a great prog band like Rush, and the spontaneity of a great fusion band like Mahavishnu Orchestra. Enjoy.
Ben Sommer: Hi, this is Ben Sommer with BandsLikeRush.com. I’m here with Bjorn Egelius from band Trio, which is an abbreviation for The Rhythm Is Odd. It’s kind of a cool name. It’s a cute name. Bjorn, just say hi and just tell the audience a little bit about the band, where are you from, and what you’ve been up to lately.
Bjorn Egelius: Well, as you said, my name is Bjorn and I’m from therhythmisodd. We are kind of a progressive fusion/rock from Sweden and Scandinavia, Europe. Lately we have released our second album. It’s called the Raw Material and it will probably hit the market soon. We have it out for sale on iTunes and other online stores at the moment, but they say it’s on the way to a couple of Web stores in the US
Ben: I had it on my shortlist to interview you guys and I noticed you started publishing a video or two on the Web. Are these for your upcoming album?
Bjorn: Some of them. That’s our second album, which is out now. The first one was released under TRIO, it’s called From Nowhere To Eternity. When we released that album, it was on the fall of 2008.
Ben: Right. Now, you are power trio like a lot of great progressive rock bands with Rush being the primary one. You have a very heavy sound, a very kind of a raw sound, which I like. It sounds like you play and record live as a group and you don’t do much over-dubbing. Is that correct?
Bjorn: Exactly. We don’t do that at all except the voice prompts.
Ben: Right. Now, you managed to fill out the sound very well, but what’s great is to hear just like Rush. With the great Rush songs, even when it involved the guitar solo, even on the recorded albums or the studio albums, its sparing on the rhythm guitars, backing guitars. It’s just a real power trio and the bass sound in your band is very strong and very thick and it kind of fills up the texture. I really like that.
Bjorn: Thank you.
Ben: Are you the bassist?
Bjorn: Yes, that’s right. Actually, we try to capture a certain kind of feeling when we do this live also because for bass and drums, it’s more than one instrument. You can’t separate them too much and the guitar needs to be around those so you get this special feeling of music. I think live is the way to do this.
Ben: Live in the studio, you mean…
Bjorn: Yeah, yeah, live in the studio, of course.
Ben: Agreed, agreed. So you are not the first non-American band I’ve interviewed, but I haven’t interviewed too many. I have interviewed a few. What’s the scene like for progressive rock in Sweden?
Bjorn: It’s evolved. We seemed to be getting popular, especially in the US and so on, but since Sweden, it’s population is not so big. There is not so big audience for this kind of music.
Ben: Oh, really? Where are your fans come from for the most part if not Sweden?
Bjorn: They are located according to the sales figures usually in the US.
Ben: Now, I heard the opposite from some of the American bands I’ve interviewed. They say, “Oh, you know, we don’t have much of an audience in the US, but whenever we go to Europe to tour or to play, people go nuts.” That’s so funny.
Bjorn: Yeah, imagine that. Because you will be more exotic if you are some kind of band from America or at the same time, in this case, where American audience if the band comes from abroad. It gives it a certain kind of attention out there.
Ben: Oh, that’s a good point. That’s probably true. Cool. So your new album comes out soon. Do you have any events coming up, well, not that it makes any difference to my audience unless you are coming into the US, but anything special aside from the album release you want to talk about?
Bjorn: No, we haven’t got any performance or tours at the moment because we are going to focus on the album.
Bjorn: And if the album is actually released you can order the CD right now from downtown. In a week or so we can already come at Logic Store or CD Baby.
Ben: Oh, excellent, great.
Ben: Well, cool. I’ll plug the site and shoot everyone over to your Bandcamp page as soon as it’s released and the best of luck and contact us when your next album is released as well. We’ll talk again.
Bjorn: Yeah, we’ll do. Thank you for your interest around that. I really enjoyed talking with you.