Unmistakably Nordic in flavor, Sofia Talvik somehow still conforms to American interpretations of her own original music, a North Sea siren blending sparkle and melancholy, creating a special niche of folk music.
In the fall of 2012 (gosh it already sounds long ago doesn’t it?!) I did a Salem Songwriter Session when I visited Oregon on my tour. It’s now airing on CCTV all month, but you can also check it out on youtube!
Salem Songwriter Sessions is a new program on CCTV (Salem, OR.). Songwriters have the opportunity to talk about their music and to play several of their songs in a relaxed atmosphere. Host Tom Phillips interviews songwriters about their interests, influences an inspirations.
You can check out the Salem Songwriter Session Facebook page here!
I played a concert at the Historic Grand Theatre in Salem, OR earlier this fall and it’s now airing on CCTV all month along with a Salem Songwriter session of my new Christmas single “One Last Wish For Christmas“.
The 30 minute Salem songwriter session with me will be aired in January. Salem Songwriter Sessions is a new program on CCTV (Salem, OR.). Songwriters have the opportunity to talk about their music and to play several of their songs in a relaxed atmosphere. Host Tom Phillips interviews songwriters about their interests, influences an inspirations.
You can check out the Salem Songwriter Session Facebook page here!
Soon the last part of H.A.T.E will be released by Swedish metal band Akribi. We managed to keep them still for a few minutes to ask them some questions about the meaning of life and metal…
Hi Akribi! You guys are doing “E – Part Four of H.A.T.E”. How has the experience been so far? Definitely different. We’re not at all used to interpreting other musician’s materials, nor working with such tight deadlines, but it’s been a very fun and rewarding experience so far.
Great! Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves? We’re a female-fronted progressive metal band based in Gothenburg, Sweden. The band started out back in 2003, based on the idea of playing ambitious metal with strong songwriting. It’s an ideal that has remained intact through countless lineup changes over the years. As a consequence of this, we like to work with a slightly expanded palette of scales, chords and time signatures in our music. Oh, and let’s just get one very common misconception out of the way… “female-fronted” in this case does not mean “gothic” or “operatic”.
Just like Badmouth you’re releasing this EP only a few months after your album release. Are you always this productive? Given the right circumstances, sure. As hinted above, the band has had a bit of a rough history with lineup changes and whatnot. We have begun writing the next album and it’s going surprisingly fast so maybe we’ve learnt a thing or two about efficiency.
Did you think it was hard to interpret Sofia’s songs into your own style or did you get ideas straight away? We decided to transcribe the chords and scales that Sofia used. After we had done that we stopped listening to Sofia’s versions and began working. We sent note sheets with ideas to each other; “Could this be something?”, “Would this passage sound better if we changed scales to Lydian?”, “What happens if we add this chord there?” and so on and then we tried playing the ideas. We changed a lot, added riffs and details to make it more Akribi. It took us about a month and then we recorded it, sent it to our mixing guys in Brazil and voilà.
Which of the songs are you most pleased with and why? It’s difficult to pick a song. It sounds weird but when you live with a song in the intense way that’s required for writing and recording it it sort of becomes your baby. The song we play the most often nowadays is The Garden. The guitar solos are great and Alexander gets to play his Chapman Stick and that always makes him happy. Our songs are usually pretty long and that makes set lists tricky to do so it’s good to have a shorter-than-four-minutes-song up our sleeve.
What’s your favorite gig memory? That must be the first time we were on stage and the audience sang along with our song Carry the Rain. It’s an incredible feeling. But if you’re looking for an awkward anecdote it must be when the guards didn’t let our drummer back into the building after a sound check. He tried to convince them that he was in the band but the guards told him “yeah right, that’s what everybody says”. The rest of us were backstage ready to go on stage not knowing where he was.
Can you tell us a little bit about the recording sessions and what was most fun with being a part of this project? Well, the recording workflow was the same that we always follow. When we’ve written the chord progressions, melodies and overall structure of a song, we record (or in this particular case, program) a drum track and have everyone record their parts individually to that. All recordings are then assembled in a sequencer and a rough pre-mix is done. Feedback is sent out, obscene words are exchanged, and adjustments are made. When everyone is sufficiently satisfied, the tracks are sent away for mixing. The most interesting and fun part of this project was that is was far out of the realm of what we usually do. Apart from on a few auditions, we don’t play or record external material. Oh, and we finally got to put a growling part in a song, courtesy of Rafael Basso of “Unlit Face”.
What’s next on the agenda for Akribi this winter? In October we got a new drummer and we’re in the process of getting to know each other musically and he’s learning all our songs. Parallel to this we’re in contact with booking agents and promoters around Europe. Music is always better live and life on stage is great so we’ll play live as much as possible.
If you would record a Christmas metal album, which three songs would be on your list? Hey, we’re a metal band! We don’t do Christian things 😉
Thanks for hanging out! We look forward to hearing the songs 🙂
I know what you think – but it’s only the beginning of November. But December 1st my Advent Calendar or Christmas Calendar as it is also called will start airing on my website. An Advent calendar is a special calendar which is used to count or celebrate the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. If you never heard of an Advent calendar before, check it out here.
A lot of crazy stuff is gonna happen, and I want YOU to be a part of it. Check out the different ways you can participate below:
Get a rhyme for your Christmas gift
One of the windows in my calendar will be a what we in Sweden call a “rimstuga”. Litterally it means rhyme cottage, but it really means that people get together to make up rhymes for their Christmas gifts. If you are planning on giving a Christmas gift to someone special and need help with the rhyme, me and my band will help you do it live in one of the calendar shows. Just email your name, who the gift is for and what it is to and we hope to come up with something good for you. We’ll write the rhymes in either English or Swedish and they will also be published on my website. You can submit until December 1st, mark your email RHYME.
Get Sofia as a Christmas caroler!
Would you like to have Sofia turn up on your doorstep singing a couple of Christmas songs for you, or do you want to send her as a caroler-ogram to someone you love? It will be filmed and aired as a window in the calendar. Send an email to with your name, who you would like Sofia to sing for, your phone number and address and we’ll get in touch with you. Mark the email CAROL. Due to logistics this offer will only be available in Stockholm, Sweden.
What’s the Christmas gift of the year?
Every year people speculate about what will become the Christmas gift of the year. I’m not asking you to do that … BUT! I am asking you what you think should be the Christmas gift of the year. It could be anything from world peace to some crazy thingie you found online. The best/funniest/most special ideas will be presented as a window in the calendar and will be awarded a Sofia Talvik Christmas gift with 3 signed CDs. Send an email to with your name and adress, what you think should be the Christmas gift of the year and most importantly why. Feel free to include links to pictures if it’s a thing you can buy. Mark the email GIFT.