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Interview with Thomas Carlsen’s Transmission
Hello there, nice to have you on Volatile Weekly! What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music, what would you be doing today?
First of all, thank you for having me! It was my Dad that got me into music. He’s been playing me Heavy Metal (and other genres) throughout my whole childhood. If it wasn’t for his influence, I wouldn’t be doing this! It’s hard to imagine a life without music, so it’s a tough question to answer. I don’t do music full-time. I am a train conductor outside of doing Transmission.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music, and how does that influence your creativity?
When I’m not working my full-time job OR doing music, I love cooking, and I try to hit the gym a few times a week. I guess those are my hobbies outside of doing music. I work out because I like to eat, and I like to eat a lot… and often…
How long has your band been around?
I started working on what ended up as Transmission in early 2020. The ideas had been there since I picked up guitar playing in 2013.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I am based in Northern Norway. I wouldn’t say I listen to many local bands, but we have a few cool Metal bands in Norway. TNT are an 80s Hair Metal staple. Ronni Le Tekrø’s guitar playing influenced me as a kid. Another killer band is Pagan’s Mind, which is more on the progressive side. Killer guitar work on all their records.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
I came up with the name Transmission when I was brainstorming what to call the project. I had a bunch of potential names written down on my phone, and I just went with something that had not been used before, and I liked that it started with the letter T; «T.C.T.» It’s a mysterious word. A Transmission can involve sound/radio waves, data, and other mysterious sources…
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
The most memorable show I attended was Iron Maiden on their Legacy of the Beast tour in Portugal, 2018. I was standing at the barrier right in front of Steve Harris.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Transmission is not a live band… yet. It’s hard to pull off because it is a one-man act. I hope to do local shows with a backing band in the near future, though.
If you could play any show with any line-up, who would be on the ticket?
Oh, wow. That would undoubtedly be with Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Doing music takes A LOT of practice, doing something solo takes even more. When Transmission is doing something new, it is very time consuming, which is partly why I took so long to reply to this interview, for instance. Release month is crazy. Try to make time for things outside of music! Call your friends, go out for a beer. Try to get some time off in between studio work and do other things.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
If I could go back in time and give myself advice, I’d pat myself on the back and say that I’m doing great. I’m only 25, I’d say I’m doing this as young as I possibly could.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I’d say «Redemption» because it was my first full composition with both instruments AND vocals. The subject matter, which deals with spirituality, is close to my heart.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
When I start doing live shows, I think the aforementioned «Redemption» will be requested, just because it is my most streamed track. Other than that, I think «Crownless» will be a great live track, because of the catchy melodies.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I come up with new music one of two ways; it comes up either when I’m jamming around on my guitar, or it happens inside my head when I’m doing something completely else. Sometimes a full track will write itself when I’m in my car, on my way home from work. That is what happened with «Force Majeure» from my new album. I’m often inspired by certain things I hear in new music. It can be a way a chorus is constructed, a chord progression or a lyric, for instance. I’m also inspired by landscape and art. It gets my head composing new melodies that I can use as a base for a new track.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Not all of my lyrics have a message. Sometimes I’ll have a phrase in my head that writes itself over a piece of music. An example of this is the chorus to «Climbing the Heights» off my new album. I wrote the rest of the lyrics around those phrases that were stuck in my mind. Other than that I often write vaguely about spiritual matters, or psychology.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Luckily, with Transmission being a solo act, I only have myself to disagree with.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Right now, my focus is on promoting my brand-new album that was released on July 14th, titled «A Brave Horizon». Outside of that, I’m working on a couple of new ideas, maybe even a completely new music project. Who knows?
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
The best way to keep up with Thomas Carlsen’s Transmission is on my Facebook page, which I update often. ( https://fb.com/transmissionmetal ) - Links to all my other socials are gathered in my Linktree ( https://linktr.ee/transmissionmetal ) - Thanks!