04/20/2024

Kristoffer Gildenlöw, the music industry is slowly dying

Born July 27, 1978 in Eskilstuna – Sweden, Kristoffer started playing the piano at the age of 8.
At the age of 13, his interest became more rock oriented and he switched to bass guitar and drums while playing in different hard rock bands in school.
In 1994 he went on to study bass guitar at the Aesthetic College of Music in Eskilstuna – Sweden.

In November of 1994, at the age of 16, Kristoffer was asked to fill in at a gig of his brothers band – Pain of Salvation.
Things went well and he was asked to join the band and a full member early 1995.
1997 Pain of Salvation recorded and released their debut album: ‘Entropia’, followed by their second studio album ‘One Hour By The Concrete Lake’ only one year after.
In 2000 they released the acclaimed album ‘The Perfect Element’ and in 2001 they got the opportunity to open up for Dream Theater during their ‘Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence’-tour.
2002 saw the birth of their most praised album to date: ‘Remedy Lane’ and their place as one of the most renowned bands in the progressive rock/metal-scene was secured.
Kristoffer played in Pain of Salvation up until 2005, recording the acoustic live album ’12:5′ and the pretentious ‘BE’ (studio version, live version, live theatre DVD) and touring the music all over the world infant of thousands of fans.
Early 2006 things didn’t work out to well logistically, as Kristoffer had moved down to The Netherlands, and was asked to leave the band.

Kristoffer then went on as a session player for those who wanted him live or in the studio.
Playing with bands and artists such as Neal Morse (US), Lana Lane (US), Damian Wilson (UK), Mr. Fastfinger (FIN), Dark Suns (DE), Harmony (S), Omnia (NL), Bert Heerink (NL), Semantic Saturation (US), For All We Know (NL) and many more.

In 2007, Kristoffer released the album ‘Synchronized’ with the art rock band ‘DIAL’ that he started together with his wife Lilo.
This was the start of Kristoffer writing his own music and would lead up to his own solo career.
The album was recorded and produced by Devon Graves (Psychotic Waltz).
(The friendship between Devon and Kristoffer later turned into the release of the album ‘Behind The Black Veil’ (2010) and their band ‘The Shadow Theory’. Though the album was well received, the band split up shortly after the release as Devon was asked to rejoin with Psychotic Waltz.

So, in 2012, Kristoffer finally took the courage to release his first solo album – RUST.
First released as a limited edition LP in 2012 and then rereleased on CD in 2013 with two extra songs and then again in 2020 as an extended version, contain three extra bonus tracks.
The album was well received, although many thought Kristoffer would stay closer to the progressive metal he was know for playing.
Kristoffer’s own music, however, is more mellow.
A spiced up singer/songwriting with influences of symphonic rock and postprog.
And with this blend, he has certainly created a sound of his own.

In 2016, four years after his debut album ‘RUST’, Kristoffer finally came with new music.
The album ‘The Rain’ saw the light of day with a full album play through performance with an 11 piece band.
The emotional concept album captured the audience at the venue and you could hear a needle falling in-between songs.

In the years that followed, Kristoffer continued making new music and finally had enough to release not one but two new albums.
They were both to be released in 2020 but due to the pandemic, only the album ‘Homebound’ was released.
This album also came as a limited edition DVD, featuring music videos for each song.
The DVD-edition was sold out in one week of presale.
Instead of releasing the second album (‘Empty’) after ‘Homebound’. Kristoffer felt the need to get something else out of his system first. And so his 2021 release ‘Let Me Be A Ghost’ came first.
A dark story that got great reviews and reactions all over the world having venues asking for his performances once the pandemic restrictions were lifted.
Empty, an album about the world, its inhabitants, its rulers and its creator.
To be released on February 8, 2024
Kristoffer has always been keen on finding the right sound and feel to his music.
The album ‘RUST’ had no less than 27 guest musicians and ‘The Rain’ used an actual 17’th century church organ, recorded at location. And though many instrument can easily be played by synthesisers and perfect samples, Kristoffer spent lot of time finding the right sounds and recording as much as possible with analogue instruments and sound effects.
In 2017, Kristoffer was asked to join legendary prog band Kayak (NL) as they reunited for another go.
Appearing on three Kayak albums (‘Seventeen’ 2018, ‘Live 2019’ 2020 and ‘Out of This World’ 2021) Kristoffer also join Kayak on two European tours, including their 2022 farewell tour.

Musicwebzine – Hi Kristoffer and welcome. Present your project to our readers!
Kristoffer Gildenlöw –
Dear readers, this is my new album ‘Empty’. Ana amazing sounding hour of pristine progressive, symphonic rock music. You’ll love it!

Musicwebzine – Why did you leave Pain Of Salvation many years ago to dedicate yourself to something else?
Kristoffer Gildenlöw –
Well I didn’t leave PoS. They kicked me out for living too far away.
So then I was kind of forced to do something else. They wouldn’t have liked it if they had kicked me out but I would continue showing up to gigs and rehearsals. So it was more out of curtesy, really. Plus they were four against one… I could never have won that show down.

Musicwebzine – Your music is very beautiful and refined, but it hides a lot of melancholy. Why do you think this feeling comes about?
Kristoffer Gildenlöw –
Probably because I’m a pessimistic, sarcastic and melancholic bastard. But there’s also a little bit of hope and even romance if you search the lyrics at the right places. We Scandinavians seem to have something for dark topics. Most rock bands do, come to think of it.

Musicwebzine – How is your solo career going in general?
Kristoffer Gildenlöw –
Well I still hold down a full time office job so… not very great.
But then again, most musicians can’t live off of their music these days. I only know of a handful who can call themselves full time musicians. But reviews and public reactions to my new album are great so far and I’m very grateful for that.

Musicwebzine – How do you think your musical path will evolve in the future?
Kristoffer Gildenlöw –
Very hard to say.
I’ll always make music but the music industry is slowly dying and people hardly buy albums anymore. Everything’s for free on streaming sites so why pay for a physical copy? I wouldn’t! So then the artists don’t make enough money to pay for productions and without productions you’re stuck with demos and people don’t want demos (nor do the artists and bands really). So there has to come change in this, are smaller artists and bands being able to survive. But this is not only the music business, we see the same in so many other art forms. Music wise… I just released my new album and can’t wait to start writing and recording the next one.

Musicwebzine – Do you still listen to metal? And which one if you listen to it?
Kristoffer Gildenlöw –
Never really listened to metal actually. Come to think of it, I hardly have time to listen to any music these days. Too busy recording music.

Musicwebzine – Why in your album there are no typically metal or hard rock pieces but you favored a more intimate and soft approach?
Kristoffer Gildenlöw –
Because it’s not a metal or hard rock album. I didn’t know there were any expectations of me releasing a metal album at this point. I’m sorry of I’ve disappointed or even offended anyone by not doing so. But if you get the LP-version and play it in 45 rpm, then you might get more of a metal feel to it. I’ll see if I can get more metal components into my next album.

Musicwebzine – Are you planning any live shows to support the new album, “Empty”?​
Kristoffer Gildenlöw –
We just had a release show, where we played pretty much the whole album from start to finish. We’re looking into more gigs and there are some nice festivals being planned for the fall.

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