In the 15 years since the release of his first solo album, multi-instrumentalist /songwriter/producer Tim Sköld has been involved with such bands as KMFDM, Marilyn Manson, and ohGr. But now he’s finally back with a new solo release, “Anomie” (Metropolis Records). Though he’s already involved in yet ANOTHER project, Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult, Tim hopes to get on the road to support “Anomie” this fall. The following is an email interview with him.
Since it’s been a long time since your last solo release, I’m wondering what the actual timeframe was for the writing/recording of “Anomie”? For example, did you block out time to focus on it, or work on it gradually while involved with other projects?
Tim Sköld: If, by blocking out time, you mean completely and defiantly ignoring other things like real life then yes, that is what I did. While there are a couple of pieces of ideas that are from some time ago everything on this album was really completed within the last year or two. Since I can hardly pick up a guitar without coming up with a new idea for a song I have a lot of riffs and fragmented concepts waiting to be worked on.
Could you clarify what had happened with the demos that have become known as the “Dead God EP”? Is the fact that they got leaked the reason why the material is not currently officially available? What, if any, influence did that set of material have on your work with “Anomie”?
Tim Sköld: What is known as the ‘Dead God EP’ are pieces of what I had intended to become a full length album called ‘Disrupting the Orderly Routine of the Institution’. At one point I made about a dozen CD’s of some of the songs in demo form and gave t what I at the time considered trustworthy people. Even so the material leaked and since it did so at such an early stage the material was practically rendered useless on a commercial exploitation level but also for me a on a creative level. If I could even find and be able to restore the original sessions I might consider picking up where I left off so to speak but I have a tendency to delete things when I get pissed off. The source files might not even exist anymore.
I’m not sure there was any direct influence from this on Anomie except that I just do not make CD’s for anyone anymore.
The track “Satellite” really reminds me of David Bowie – would you say that his music was an influence on the song?
Tim Sköld: Both Tony Visconti and Ken Scott productions are still exciting to me, I even like a few of the Eno works as well.
I was never a Bowie fan when I was younger because I was a one tracked Metal Head and missed out on a bunch of great music because I was being dumb about it. Lucky for me that stuff is still available.
The deluxe edition of “Anomie” has 2 extra songs – how did you come to choose those particular tracks as not to appear on the regular version?
Tim Sköld: It pretty much came down to a coin toss. I’m so close and attached to my music that by the time it is ready for release I have a really hard time making objective calls like ‘bonus-tracks’ or ‘B-sides’.
Of the various projects you’ve been involved with, are there particular ones that you think have had more of an influence on your solo work? In terms of either inspiring to do things a particular way, or wanting to do things differently?
Tim Sköld: No I think it is spread pretty evenly, both positive and negative. Every project has its ups and its downs, that is only natural. Perhaps the really big production touring shows I got to do with Marilyn Manson would be something I’d aspire to be able to do again in some form but of course not in the same way.
Having worked as a solo artist, what do you look for creatively in terms of taking part in other projects? Are there any collaborations that you’ve found to be particularly challenging?
Tim Sköld: I find collaborating challenging period. I think I make a great team player but it is definitely not without effort. The drawback on collaboration is that it automatically limits the engagement. In order to let your partners in on the work you will have to relinquish some control. That is not to say that this is a bad thing it is just sometimes something I have a hard time doing.
How did “Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult” come about? How will you be balancing your time between that and promoting the new Skold album?
Tim Sköld: I befriended Hank and Tom from Turbonegro on the last Marilyn Manson tour I did and when Hank was asked to join up with the other guys from what was to become DMTMC he told them he’d do it if they could get me on board. Anders Odden (guitar) came over to LA and after meeting we decided that we should definitely pursue this further. I went to Norway in January 2009 and we started working on music right away. Although it has taken a bit longer for DMTMC to get to the touring stage I intend to fulfill my commitment to the band as much as I possibly can.
Now, having said that, there might be some work on balancing because I’m hoping to tour for ‘Anomie’ as well. I’m putting a band together right now but I want to make sure the band is amazing before I commit to booking dates. As of now there are no shows booked. I’m hoping to be able to announce dates later this summer.
While ‘Skold’ works well as a ‘band’ name, it’s not uncommon for a solo project to be called something that is unrelated to the artist’s name. Was it always obvious that you should use ‘Skold’ for your solo work, as opposed to coming up with something else, or even going by ‘Tim Sköld’?
Tim Sköld: I think with the music being the purest, most honest and closest to me as a person it makes good sense to use my name. I sometimes feel as if I have been preparing my whole life to make this record so choosing a different name for it would be wrong to me.
You’ve been involved in some very high-profile projects. But there is always the chance that someone who might like your solo work has strong negative feelings towards, say, Marilyn Manson, and due to the connection not give you a chance. Do you worry at all about this at all?
Tim Sköld: No, I do not really worry about it but I understand the concept of guilt by association. I work very hard on making music that I can stand behind completely and some of the projects I worked on in the past have allowed me to be able to do so. I will of course always have a connection to Marilyn Manson but at the same time what I do as SKOLD is very, very different on just about every level. It might take some time but I think everyone will realize that at some point.
Tim Sköld: Yes, I hope so and I’m working on making that happen. I’m putting the band together for that right now and I have some amazing guys lined up. I’m actually very happy and excited about it but there are still many logistics to deal with. I’m hoping to have the SKOLD show out on the road this fall.