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