Hi Thomas Carlsen and welcome to LiveTrigger Magazine! Let’s start by introducing your project: what does make it unique and where is based?
First of all, thank you for having me. Well, Thomas Carlsen’s Transmission is my solo project, rooted in 80s style Heavy Metal and Hard Rock. I guess what makes it unique is the fact that I write all the words and music, and play the instruments myself. I am based in Northern Norway, where I live and work as a train conductor, apart from doing music.
How was your 2022 so far?
This year has gotten off to a great start on my part. Norway is opening up again after the pandemic, and we can soon go to gigs again and socialise like before. Inspiration is flowing.
Tell our readers more about your new album release. Are you excited?
My debut EP, Redemption, was released independently in August 2021. My fellow Norwegian and metal artist, Marius Danielsen (Legend of Valley Doom, Darkest Sins) performs the vocals on it. My label, RFL Records, is reissuing the EP along with a brand-new track on May 13. I am also working on my first full-length album, also slated for a 2022 release on the same label. I cannot wait!
And what about the video?
The lyric video to my track “Fallen from Grace” was made by Italian graphic artist Andrea Mantelli. I am really pleased with the result. The coolest thing about it is the fact that he animated the album cover art, which was done by German artist Nele Diel. Everyone should check it out, to get an impression of what type of music I am doing with Transmission.
Where do you get inspiration and how do you create your music?
The answer to this question begins over 20 years ago when I was a little kid. My dad is a huge heavy metal fan, and he played this type of music to me throughout my whole childhood. My biggest inspirations are bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne. I create my own music by compiling my own riffs and ideas into finished tracks. Sometimes they arise through jam sessions, sometimes stuff just pops up in my head. I usually write lyrics that fit the mood of each individual track, once the music is nearly finished. Then I record everything in my home studio, and send the lyrics and guide vocals over to a vocalist I think fits the music.
Who are your favourite artists in your local scene and what do they have in common?
Norway is a tiny country by population, and we don’t have many Heavy Metal or Hard Rock bands that ever made it big. A couple of bands I listened to in my upbringing, and still listen to, are TNT (which are classic, 80s Heavy Metal) and Pagan’s Mind, which are more on the progressive side. What they have in common is that they both have only one guitarist – but that one guitarist is more than talented enough for two.
How did they influence your style & sound?
Both Pagan’s Mind and TNT’s songs incorporate a lot of hard-hitting, juicy and creative guitar riffs that really stick to your mind. There are some riffs like that on my EP, and more to come in the future.
In your opinion, what is the connection between music and creativity?
I have a very creative mind. It’s not always about music, even. I used to write a bit of poetry and short stories when I was younger. Writing and recording my own music is a great outlet for my creativity. I have fun when I do it, which I think is really important if you’re gonna be serious about it.
Are you happy about what’s happening in your life as a musician?
I was actually quite hesitant about releasing my EP, and making my own music and supposed “talent” available to the public. It would potentially open it up to harsh criticism, and frankly – a lot of nastiness that you see on social media. But considering the positive response that the EP got, and me getting picked up by a label, I couldn’t be happier about what’s happening right now.
What’s the most exciting thing that happened to you recently?
That would, without a doubt, be me signing a record deal with RFL Records. That is something every rocker dreams of.
What about your next gigs. Are you planning a tour?
Obviously, with Transmission being a solo project, I won’t be able perform this stuff all by myself. If I were to do any gigs in the future, I would have to hire a few musicians to play with me. I’ve had a few people reach out and offer their help, which is cool. Nothing is being planned right now, but I definitely hope to perform live.
What’s the best live music show you’ve seen recently?
Oh man, it’s been a while since I went to a gig. The last gig I saw was Saxon, in Oslo. I stood right at the barrier, and the guys delivered a fantastic show. I shook hands with Biff Byford, for God’s sake! Saxon are also a huge influence on me.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
The best way to follow me and the Transmission project is on Facebook. From there you will find links to my other social media.