The Tor Guides

The Tor Guides

So this is where the Tor Guides come from?

Born 1961, just a couple of weeks after Hemingway hung up his hat, I was raised in northern Sweden, mainly on the swedish then pop scene and always in front of the radio.

My first non-Swedish EP was Silver threads and golden needles by The Springfields but somehow I lost it from there and didn´t really get back on track until the early 70s with 10cc and Dr Feelgood. Nowadays I tend to listen to everything with a melody, most often in my iPhone.

I started to play guitar when I was in the 8th grade and have been an aspiring song writer ever since. I now have a small project studio in my garage where I spend more than the odd hour composing and recording the music I´d like listen to myself.

The Tor Guides project started some 10 years ago. After an intense file sharing time at the Audio Galaxy site, I kept in contact with powerpop wiz Fil Denton who I got to know there. He eventually suggested the Tor Guides as the name for my “band”. I believe it referred to a post I wrote, regarding the importance of guidance – through the powerpop jungle. Anyway, the name stuck and eventually I assembled a bunch of songs for the recordings that eventually made up Honeybees And Tangerines, released in 2007.

On that album, I played all instruments save for the drums, accordion and a soft jazz guitar on a hidden track, as well as provided the vocals. The recordings took place a Tommys Musiklab in Östersund, under the supervision of Tommy Andersson. besides providing the band name, Denton also designed the CD cover, mainly composed by some great photos of his. The drums were played by long collaborator Björn Höglund  and the accordion by equally long collaborator Bosse Lindberg, both of Hoven Droven fame.

In hindsight it´s easy to be critical but all in all, the album turned out to be a solid powerpop album.

After years of working in my project studio, I eventually started to record the second album during the summer of 2011.

On these recordings the drums were impressively played by Thomas Boström, who brought a jazzier element to the maybe softer pop music. And, if that wasn´t all, the bass was played by notorious jazz bassman Lasse Ericsson, who almost had to delearn how to play the bass for the TG sessions. Both these two magnificent musicians brought a new freshness to the TGs. The recordings, conducted both at my project studio Odensala Popfabrik and at Happy  Minds Studio, were eventually carefully mixed by Stefan Hallgren. The 11 best songs were assembled for a new album, Strawberries & Chocolates, that is to be released in april 2012.

Some say I spend too much of my time in my project studio. I suppose it could be true. However I will spend some time here as well, writing about interesting music and maybe publish some works in progress. Maybe the time is even ripe for The Tor Guides to make their debut on stage?

/ torbjorn





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