If you tune in norwegian TV or shows like IDOL or “The Stream” on youtube in the last years the chance that you see Tommy Kristiansen performing solo or with other artists is very high:
Besides releasing his own debut album “Divided” in January this year he has been busy with touring as guitarist and singer with Madcon, Kurt Nilsen, Maria Mena and many more. At this time he is member of the studio band of the casting show “The Stream” – a huge success in Norway. If you are a little deeper into music like we are, you are able to recognize a special individual style of playing instruments; the drum playing of Frode Unneland (Evig Din For Alltid, Savoy,…) is one example, the unique guitar playing style of Tommy Kristiansen is another example. So.. – many reasons to have a talk with Tommy!
How did you start making music and playing the guitar?
I was around 17 and sitting with my parents around the tv when IDOL was on- the year whenKurt Nilsen won. And I said to my parents “Some day I will be there on such a stage too playing guitar”.
Then I particed and praticed and when I was good enough, I played in various bands and with Kurt and have been writing songs for other people.
How does it come to the idea of making an own album?
The album has a “breakup vibe” in it, it is about the feeling of the ending of a relationship.
I had to write the songs, I had the feeling the songs have to be written.
Initially I went to Stockholm to record songs for other artists, but the studio guy said that it makes to record this own songs for my own album – “Happy” was the first one of it.
Why is the album in that more acoustic and party country-esque style?
I am listening to music from Ryan Adams or Bon Iver and more singer-/songwriter music and it fits the songs.
Are there any plans to release the album officially outside of Norway, especially in Germany?
Definitely. I am searching for the right record company now. And I would like to play it in Germany – the audience is nice and the people really listening to the music.
Since the album is out some time now – what about a second album?
The work on the new album has actually already begun, the process of recordings has to fit in the plans playing with other artists this year as well, so it is a challenge.
Will it sound again more acoustic?
The sound will differ from the first album, more “icelandic style”, more athmosphere.
Do you have a favourite – recording songs in the studio or playing them live?
Both – I like playing in the studio and performing them live.
What gear do you use? Do you have a most loved amp or effect gear?
I have various Fender Gibson’s and I have a Deal with the manufacturer Düsenberg.
Regarding your work on TV-shows – how did you get the contacts to play there?
In Norway everyone knows everyone – so one leads to another.
How fast do you get to play the stuff of other musicians?
Now I have some routine in learning new songs, this works relatevy fast.
Since you have played with many of the IDOL-contestants like Astrid S, etc. – With what artists do you wanna collaborate with?
I have played with many musicians of the norwegian scene and am really happy with it.
You are on the road very much – to what music do you listen while travelling?
It depends – there are two directions: Classic stuff like B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Blues-music. More recent music from Bon Iver. And the Top 50 popmusic from the charts.
Is there a guilty pleasure you we’re listening to – like for instance Aqua? ;)
I actually listended to the Kelly Family in the old days.
Thank you very much for taking so much time for this really nice speaking with us.
Tommy will be on tour around christmas with Kurt Nilsen to play the annual Julekonsert series in Stavanger, Oslo, Trondheim and Bergen in Norway – although they are almost sold out, if you are able – grab a ticket for this special events.