Thursday, 30 July 2020

An Interview With Thomas V Jäger

Thomas V Jäger is mostly known as the lead guitarist and lead singer of Doom Metal Heavyweights - MONOLORD. Thomas has just released his excellent debut solo record - A Solitary Plan. This is a Folk Rock Record which is vastly different to what MONOLORD are known for.

I caught up with Thomas recently to discuss the making of his new album.

Hi Thomas. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today. Congrats on your new album. It's a great album. When did you get the idea to record a solo album. Was this something you wanted to do for some time. 

The first song ideas came a bunch of years ago. I wanted to do something by myself and started recording ideas. I bought an old acoustic guitar and all of a sudden I had three songs that I liked. So I just continued. 

I'm surprised you found the time to record a debut album. As you've been quite busy with Monolord the past few years. Was this a challenging album to write and record for. 

Both yes and no. The music was pretty easy, it almost wrote itself but the lyrical theme was a bit harder. I recorded between tours and I haven't worked my day job as much these days so I have had "plenty" of time. It is of course a matter of where your priorities are. I wanted to do this so I did it. 

What is the album about and what inspired you when writing this album. 

​I just wanted to do something mellow, something smooth and also something sad. Black Mountain - Stay Free is a fantastic song and that inspired me loads. Torgeir Waldemar - No Offending Borders too. A Solitary Plan is more or less lyrics about stuff that I normally wouldn't be so open about. That is maybe why I haven't released the lyrics. The first two songs on the album was recorded around three years ago or so but I am always writing. 

Sometimes I have three new Monolord riffs when I am trying to write something mellow. Some other day I made a new acoustic song when I tried to record metal riffs. This is how I work and a lot of stuff is inspiring. The woods. The sea. Animals. Mind altering things. I have my own studio setup here at home and that is a must for me, to have my stuff close and ready to record. 

It's quite an uplifting album to listen to and really soothing in places. Was that the plan to release an uplifting album and something different to Monolord. 

It was more something I just needed to do. I can't write music that only sounds a certain way. I need to do a lot of different music. Right now I have recorded three hours of ambient stuff and I have half a rock album rattling in the back of my head. For me this album isn't really uplifting. It reminds me of how sad I was about things that were happening in my life just then. 

What do your Monolord bandmates think of this album. Did they give you any constructive feedback on the album which you acted upon. 

​They heard it when It was done more or less. I haven't gotten any feedback from anyone that made me want to change something 

Did you have any extra help with album or is everything by you. 

​Kalle Lilja is a buddy of mine that work in a studio called Welfare Sounds. He got all the tracks and my mixes and he did his version out of that. He put down some piano on one song. Another guy I know, Emil (Rolof) bought a mellotron so he is the one handling that duty on the title track. 

RidingEasy Records are releasing this album. Were they your only choice. As I thought with Monolord signing to Relapse Records you would go with another label. 

​I sent the songs to Daniel at RidingEasy and he said "yeah lets release it" and so it was.There hasn't been any bad blood between us and Ridingeasy. The decision for us (Monolord) to move on to a bigger label was mutual. 

How are things with Monolord after signing to Relapse Records. Has anything major changed and how did that come about. 

​There is no bigger changes. Of course Relapse is a bigger label and it shows but we're working (hard) as usual. 

Monolord recently released instrumental versions of the first two albums to an amazing response. How did that idea come about. And did the fans response surprise you all with their reaction to these versions. 

​In these weird times you gotta explore options that you wouldn't normally think about. As a touring band we have not been able to keep day jobs for very long and we need some kind of income. This was an idea to help us pay our rent more or less but the reaction has always been good with every release. Our fans are sick (in a good way). 

Will you be releasing other instrumental versions of your other albums in the future. 

​Not sure about that. We´ll see. 

Before you go. Do you have any words of encouragement you want to say to your fans. 

​Stay home & please don't be racist. Thanks. 

Words by Steve Howe and Thomas V Jäger 

You can now buy A Solitary Plan on CD/DD/Vinyl via RidingEasy Records now.


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