Interview with Tommy Arngren of Trumbiten (Sweden)

By Mick Michaels

COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Tommy! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it's greatly appreciated.

CV: Do you feel that it's still possible for an unknown band today to be plucked out of obscurity and make it to stardom? Can a dedicated core of fans sharing their music make that possible or has the internet and social media changed the game?

Tommy Arngren:
 Well, we are newcomers and are well aware of the plethora of great Metal bands out there. I think it is really difficult to reach out to new fans both locally (Sweden) and globally, but at the same time there is a great opportunity to find, connect and collaborate with musicians globally, thanks to advances to new technology, gig-platforms and social media.

CV: Do you feel that given the accessibility and social awareness of modern times that a music underground still even exists today as it once did?
TA: I think underground music and DIY bands have access to different channels to start building a fan base thanks to online distributors, social media, YouTube and streaming services. At the same time, it is not easy for unlisted bands to get heard as there is a fierce competition about air time and visibility in the media.

CV: What do you see as the biggest difference in music and how it is perceived from back say 35 years ago compared to music today? Has both the music and the artist evolved from your point of view?

TA: 35 years ago, say 1986, the year of Europe and “Final Countdown” and Metallica, “Master of Puppets” and a few years after the CD boom. Since then a lot of disruptive things have happened, like Spotify going live in 2006, the introduction of the IPhone in 2007 and then the boom of social media.  

However, lots of the music from 35 years ago is still very relevant and feels fresh as many bands (AC/DC, Metallica, etc.) are still going strong, producing music and have a solid fan base.  

I don’t think Trumbiten would have been able to do what we have done in this short time range back then. Going from idea to a final product using advances in DAWs, digital instruments, plug-ins, gig-platforms, social media etc., opens a completely new world for newcomers, which is great!

CV: Do you believe bands and artists who have the biggest impact on fans and other artists are aware that they are or is there more of a tunnel vision sort of process for them keeping them somewhat in the dark? Can influential artists see past their own work to be aware of the ripples they make?
TA: Another perspective is if cross-fertilization of ideas, genres, people can boost musical innovation?

I’m very interested in the innovation process, part of my day-to-day work, and I think some of the innovation processes can be applied in early phases of music innovation.

CV: Does music need to be influential to be considered worth listening to in your opinion? Or can music simply be just an enjoyable auditory experience devoid of substance?
TA: I think music serves many purposes in life. Trumbiten aims to boost energy and power, and at the same time bring up aspects of inner emotions and its consequences. We think Metal genre fits to both bring up difficult subjects and at the same time convey hope, belief in oneself and to find the power within.

CV: The world has been rocked by the COVID pandemic.  The economy has been sent into a tailspin in its wake, unfortunately.  Bands worldwide have been restricted from performing live and for some it seems, restricted from earning a living.  How has the pandemic affected your band? Are you hopeful that 2021 will see many of the restrictions lifted?
TA: I think the last 1.5 years have been really tough and fully understand the hardships that many bands have encountered due to restrictions. To avoid being disappointed, we see 2021 as another lost year when it comes to concerts etc.

However, at the same time, the Corona situation and the restrictions locally with minimizing social interactions, avoiding bars and caf├ęs, concerts, etc., freed time for playing and writing lyrics instead.  I’m not sure if we would have been as productive as we have been the last 1.5 years if we hadn’t been isolated at home…I have my own studio in the basement. Despite the restrictions, we could collaborate, exchange music etc thanks to advances in tech and gig-platforms made it pretty smooth to find musicians, a producer, etc., that were interested in contributing to the project.

CV: What do you feel artists and bands can do right now to stay relevant, especially in an environment, such as the present, where performing in front of a live audience is being restricted? What immediate options do you see available?
TA: We will continue to be creative, try new technologies and seek new global collaborations and spend time in our studio recording new material.

CV: As an artist, what have you learned from the events of 2020? Are those lessons learned different for you as a person than as an artist or are they one in the same in your opinion?

TA: I think it's pretty much the same, the situation of 2020 and ongoing has influenced me as a person but also me as a songwriter. The EP “Emotions” is very much influenced by the situation from now and 1.5 years back. We wanted to put words and music to different aspects of struggling with inner emotions and we wanted each song to convey hope, belief in oneself and to find the power within.

CV: What's next? What can fans expect to see coming in 2021?
TA: Work is ongoing with a new album that we plan to release during the fall.

CV: Thank you again Tommy for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. It was such a pleasure. I wish you all the best.

TA: Thanks a lot! Take care!

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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, show host, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.

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