Who the heck is Robin Vagh?
He´s a 37 year old hardrocking veteran from Norrköping in Sweden. His real name is Tommy Silfvenius but he took the alias Robin Vagh a few years ago when he started to record demos and uploaded them on internet. He´s a real blue collar man, working in a factory producing wrappings, mainly for food. He has been playing in different bands since 1979, when he co-formed Future Zone, a band that peaked with some local airtime and shorter tours in the mid 80´s. - Why did you pick up guitarplaying in the first place? Because the sound of a distorted guitar really spoke to me. I´ve got an older uncle who showed me Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and of course Deep Purple. When I heard “Machine head “ I was definitely hooked. Ironically with purple it was John Lord who made the biggest impression on me, but guitar was already the issue for young Tommy. I started to write songs early and my songwriting really improved since I learned how to play the guitar…. - You sang all the vocal parts yourself on the first "Vagh" demo, and I believe I said something nasty like "get a real singer dude" No hard feelings I hope? Singing is not really your first instrument now is it? :-) No, that´s right. I only sang on my demos to make the songs complete. I did everything on them on my own. I was working down my basement and really had no idea what to do with the songs. Later on when I got access to internet I decided to put the lot up. Mainly to let people know what I was up to. With friends scattered all over the world it was an easy way to show them my work. - You came up with a excellent singer indeed. Jonas Blum (ex. Pole Position, Majestic) handle all the vocals (except one track) on your CD "Sands Of Time". How did all this happen anyway? I´ve always admired Jonas singing since he was based in Norrköping singing with Pole Position. I also think he did a great job in Majestic. These last years he has been doing some gigs with Pole Position again and I asked if he was interested in helping me out. Fortunately he thought it would be a cool thing to do and said yes. Since it´s only a project it didn´t interfere with his other bands. - Who is the female vocalist from one of the tracks (Alison) ? Her name is Noomi Strågefors and she is from the south of Sweden. She did a great job on “Alison “ considering she came in late and the song was already recorded. Unfortunately in a bad key for her. She´s got a great voice and I really hope I´ll get the chance to work with her again some time in the future. - What's the story behind the title "Sands Of Time" Does it have anything to do with "our" kind of music or life itself? I love the artwork by the way, who's responsible for it? The artwork is done by Mattias Norén at www.progart.com. He has done a great job creating a feeling as well as just some good pictures. I think a good artwork helps selling a CD. It really gives a professional touch to it. Time has got a central part in this project, since I´m not getting any younger, though I´m still rocking ! It has been a lot of water under the bridges since “Machine head”, but that´s only experiences. I really think you have to use your experiences to create something new. Everything will die but hardrock will probably live forever. - I noticed that you're yet another frustrated Hardrock fan/musician. What do you think about the whole music industry today? And how often do you really watch MTV anymore? Yes, I was really frustrated for a long time when I thought Swedish media totally neglected hardrock. Later on with the entry of internet with all the dedicated websites I have understand that hardrock is growing bigger and bigger every day. I discover new great bands every week. I hope that hardrock will be more exposed in Swedish media. I really enjoyed it last year, when Hammerfall and Ironmaiden was heading the Voxpop chart for 5 or 6 weeks. That really shows that this music is very popular when a break is given. In general I have no opinions on the music industry of today. Not the creative part anyway. I think it´s ok producing any kind of music in any ways. What really bugs me is the total lack of courage in the media that makes them go for that easylistening music all the time. - So, How would you (with your own words) describe your CD/music to a 15 year old rap fan? :-) Compared to RAP it´s fairly variated and the songs means as much as the lyrics, more I´d say. There´s a lot of great melodies, there´s in fact bridges and there´s real catchy hooks to sing along with. And it has got that great heavy guitar sound. Try it you´ll like it ! RAP music just can´t compete with the power. - Are you pleased with the result of the album and any favorite tracks you could name? I´m very pleased with the result considering the budget and preparations we had. Since the CD is all self financed we had to cut the expenses and we decided to try to create a kind of livefeeling. The sound became harder and heavier than on the demo and that´s mainly thanks to Magnus Hedin at the STEAM ENGINE STUDIOS in Norrköping. It was really a pleasure working with him. I´ve been living with some of these songs for almost ten years and I´ve heard them about a thousand times , but “Blue collar proud” and “Born Yesterday” are two personal favourites I think. We also had our share of problems since we had all songs preproduced on computer and planned to use the keyboardparts from that. But the computer and the analogue taperecorder was not always in sync with each other, creating a big frustration. Damned machines. A fun part is that some of the guys had never met before the recordings. A real project that turned out very well due to talented musicians. I am proud to have work with them all ! I really hope this record could give us a chance to make another record with a company budget.

Interview by Urban Wallström, pix borrowed from: www.vagh.net