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Interview: Thomas Dybdahl


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Norwegian singer/songwriter Thomas Dybdahl has taken his native land by storm and is now turning his sights on the UK. The acoustic musician talked to TNS about his forthcoming album Songs.

Thomas DybdahlHow has Norway taken to your music?

Norway´s been good to me. I released my first full length album in 2002 and kind of got off to a flying start there with an unlikely hit (From Grace) and some nice awards. I have released another four solo albums as well as some side projects (The National Bank) and movie scores.

You remind me a bit of Jeff Buckley; are you a fan of his?

Well, there is no doubt Grace is a monumental record and had an influence on me, but then again, that is just about the only record if you don´t count the endless bootlegs and live recording. His dad, Tim Buckley, has been a bigger influence on me really. There is just so much more music to get into and a bigger range

Who else are you a huge fan of?

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. The best duo out there and in a league of their own. 

Is there anyone current that you’re enjoying listening to at the moment?

Dirty Projectors, Ben Folds, Beach House, Kanye West, Bon Iver. And lots more…

When did you first play in the UK? How did you find it?

I first played a pub in Camden about 5 years ago. Can´t remember the name of it, but I got the gig through some contacts at the  Norwegian Embassy in London.

How are you feeling about the release of Songs?

There´s always an excitement when releasing an album of course, there is really no way of telling how it will be received. You have a hunch maybe, but that´s about it. So even though this is a compilation, I am very aware that most people in the UK have no clue who I am and I think the album can serve well as an introduction to me as an artist and to my music

Are you playing any festivals this summer?

Yes, we´ve played quite a few already. Some in Denmark, some in Holland, Belgium, Norway, France. Coming to play at Green Man Festival later this summer.

What was the main aim behind ‘Songs’? What kind of album did you want to make?

The main aim was to select a few (well…) songs from throughout my career that I feel would best represent me as an artist now. But still try and make it feel like an album, which is harder than it might sound, considering that there are songs from five different albums there. Five different periods in my life with quite different inspirations.

It’s quite a long album; how come you decided to make such a long album?

It´s very hard to kill your darlings:)

Is there a story behind the writing of the album? Did anything in your life particularly inspire it?

This album is basically the story of my adult life and the various phases and musical influences I have been through. It´s an erotic journey from Milan to Minsk. Puh!! 

When will you next be in the UK? 

Green Man Festival 21st August

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