Release date: June 27th, 2005 on SPV/Inside Out

While there is absolutely no Glenn Hughes on this album to be heard, it is certainly relevant that Tomas Bodin's solo effort 'I AM' gets some attention here on www.glennhughes.com. Reason is that the album features no one less than Hughes' main guitarplayer Jocke "JJ" Marsh, who again shows how multitalented he is. While busy for an upcoming Flower Kings tour, friendly Swede Tomas Bodin found some time to tell some more about his new album.

Tomas, some might recognize your name as the keyboard player in the Flower Kings. Could you maybe give us a short
introduction of yourself ?

Tomas: Well, I have been playing keyboards professionally for 25 years. I have played a lot of different styles but always had my heart in rock and symphonic rock. I started to listen to classical music but found pretty soon bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Budgie along side with Yes, King Crimsone and Genesis.

Are the keyboardplayers of these bands (as far as they had one) also your main influences?

It depends on what kind of instrument you’re talking about. Say Hammond organ and I must say Jon Lord. He's just so great. Heavy! Then we have several masters on synthesizers like Rick Wakeman, Patric Moraz and Eddie Jobson. Mellotron is very much a Rick Wakeman and Tony Banks sound but also the band Moody Blues. When it comes to Rhodes piano then it's a little bit more tricky.. I must say George Duke during his Zappa time.

“I AM” is your fourth solo album up to date. Does the music on it differ from your work with the Flower Kings?

It's a big difference. The Flower Kings is very much a symphonic rock band with roots from Yes and Genesis. I have created a symphonic rock album that is influenced by hard rock from the seventies like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath.
So I would say I have more heavy guitar riffs.

The album has three long tracks; part I, A and M. What is the thought behind this?

First I wanted to make one long song out of it, but I realised that it could be difficult to scroll in the CD player. So what I did was to divide the music into 3 equally long pieces. Once that done it was logic to name it I, A, M instead of (boaring) part 1, part 2, part 3. When it comes to progressive rock there is a tradition to make long songs. 25 minutes is a shorty!

What equipment do you use on I AM?

The keyboaed rig was Hammond organ, Mellotron, Minimoog, Rhodes piano and a sampler. This is very much the same as I use in The Flower Kings. Jocke used his Gibson Flying V and a Marshall amp, very loud! A funny thing is that the bass player plays on Glenn’s old bass. Everything was recorded on a Macintosh G5 with Logic7.

How did the session with JJ took place? His playing on your album is different from what he is best known for.

First I need to say that JJ always add his own personality into the music. JJ is such a brilliant musician. He knows so many styles and can play his guitar sometimes without limits. He plays very emotionally but in the same time heavy. Before the recordings we both went thru the chords and melodies. Then we recorded it and most of the time it felt good instantly. You might not know it but the truth is that JJ is a symphonic guitarist in disguise!

You also play on JJ’s upcoming solo album ‘Music From Planet Marsh’. What can you tell us about that album/your contribution?

Oh that’s a beautiful album. It's very heavy stuff in a Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath tradition. Also you’ll find some symphonic stuff too. He's got one long (13 min) song that very much “YES”. I made some Mellotron arrangements on that one. Also some hammondorgan (very distorted) Then there is a song that lead your thoughts to Led Zeppelin at there peak. On that song I played some cool Rhodes. I like his album a lot and it really deserve a lot of ears. One thing that surprised me was that JJ also was a brilliant singer.

Do you plan to tour as a solo artist?

We have talked about forming a band around the concept of “I A M”. Still this is just the beginning of it all but I truly believe that “I A M” is very suitable as a live act. Perhaps we'll start to play some festivals.

When/where will I AM be available?

The release is the 27th of June (USA/Europe) But, they will sell the CD during The Flower Kings upcoming US tour. (24 May-10 of June) Please check out the tour dates at www.flowerkings.se

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1. I
2. A
3. M

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Tomas Bodin (Keyboards)
Marcus Liliequist (Drums)
Jonas Reingold (Bass)
Jocke JJ Marsh (Guitars)
Anders Jansson (Vocals)
Helene Schönning (Vocals)
Pernilla Bodin (Vocals)