record label and publishing company may say Fishbone Music but the
groups name is Bonefish and in 2014 theyve released
an excellent album of pop and rock. The self-titled Bonefish
album features a fine performance by Bie Karlsson (guitar,
vocals) and his Bonefish band mates. The Bonefish sound ranges from
a more rural type of pop-rock mix between The Band and Little Feat
to a more electric rock and blues rock sound that mixes in various
Beatles / Stones / Neil Young influences. Speaking about the 2014
Bonefish CD, group leader Bie Karlsson tells mwe3.com, We
worked a lot with the arrangements of the songs, bringing in horns
and female backing vocals as well as a lot of keyboards, still maintaining
a sound thats easy identifiable as Bonefish. Even
with powerhouse rockers like track 2, As Her Soul, showing
the group in fine form, the mellower stuff seems to win out but its
all done so well youll wonder where these guys have been before.
The music on the 12 track Bonefish CD was written by Bie Karlsson,
who also skillfully handles the production as well. The 2014 self-titled
Bonefish CD offers a fine mix of stomping rockers and more
nuanced and introspective Americana pop and folk-rock sounds. www.bonefishswe.com
mwe3.com presents an interview with
Bie Karlsson of Bonefish
What inspired the lead off track Revolve. I guess its
just missing an r at the end! Still for 2014 its
a pretty daring lyric, very Zen like. Were you tempted to call the
album Revolver? Looking back on it, what was it like recording
this second Bonefish album and how has the sound evolved
this time around?
Bie Karlsson: No, its supposed to be Revolve,
as in rotate but revolve is a better sounding
word. The lyrics are a bit like if you just sit in your coach and
watch TV, youre still rotating on this earth with the rest of
us, rich and poor, free and enslaved. We all have a responsibility
for what happens, whether we choose to do something about it or not.
Maybe a bit Zen!
We worked a lot with the arrangements of the songs, bringing in horns
and female backing vocals as well as a lot of keyboards... still maintaining
a sound thats easy identifiable as Bonefish.
mwe3: As Her Soul is a kind of 21st century love
song. Who did you write that song for? Theres some great interplay
between you and the guitars and keyboards. I would pick this track
for a single from the CD. Is there a single youre pushing from
Bie Karlsson: Well, we tried to push Revolve a
bit with a video but As Her Soul could surely be the pick.
The song is about a young woman who is a bit afraid to meet the world.
Is Imaginary a kind of self-help song. Dont
be afraid of the imaginary, It might do you some good. Is
that sort of the lighthearted side of Bonefish?
Bie Karlsson: Haha, yeah perhaps! I wrote it for a friend but
it didnt help.
mwe3: Is Theyre Sending Back a kind of ecological
song about what were doing to the planet? Its like instead
of the glimmer of hope for eternal life, turns out were all
being recalled by the factory or something. Nice guitar lead at the
Bie Karlsson: Yeah, the original idea was to describe a coffee
break at a mail order firm where employees were commenting on spoiled
kids sending back Christmas presents because of the wrong color or
not being the absolutely latest model. But then it struck me this
is a universal human behavior and what if theres some heavenly/extraterrestrial
warehouse where they wonder why we are no longer appreciating the
gifts ones received.
Cold As The River is very Americana sounding. Is it a
very country type track? I was thinking The Band influence here too.
How big an influence were groups like The Band and who else were the
big music influences on your writing and guitar work?
Bie Karlsson: The Band is definitely one source of inspiration
and influence! Others are Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Talking
Heads, Television along with British artists like The Clash and David
Bowie. And Blue Oyster Cult, Iggy Pop, MC5, Radiohead, B-52s
etc. etc. etc. (lol)
mwe3: White Bird has a big band kind of arrangement
with the horns. Is that another ecological and anti-gun type of track?
I wonder is there a kind of NRA in Sweden? Its just amazing
how many people love to shoot to kill... anything. Why am I thinking
about Ted Nugent? lol
Bie Karlsson: It can be interpreted as an anti-gun or anti-war
song, or as a song about running away from something real or imagined.
In general I like to write lyrics that can be interpreted in many
directions and sometimes I feel the inner or hidden meaning is not
clear even to myself! "White Bird" is a song like that.
In Sweden we have Jägarförbundet (Hunters Association)
that believe they should be allowed to shoot everything... Well, except
Babys All Gone is the rocker of the CD. The song
has a great mid 60s British invasion kind of beat. I could picture
The Yardbirds or even The Who doing it. So the British invasion stuff
kind of competes with the more Americana edges in Bonefish.
Bie Karlsson: Sort of... I grew up with British music like
the Stones, Zep and Sabbath and later punk era
bands like the Pistols, Clash, Magazine and Joy Division. As an adult
I learned more about the forerunners and came to appreciate the various
styles of music originating from America. But in a band all members
have great impact on how a song will end up, so even if I write something
with a sort of vibe in mind, its not certain it comes out that
mwe3: Doomsday Blues is a kind of future blues.
It has a kind of Dylan like quality to the lyrics. Are you more of
poet than a melody maker and how do you feed both sides of the song
Bie Karlsson: Well thank you! I think that was the kindest
thing someone ever said about one of my songs. I try to write music
and lyrics at the same time but sometimes the music comes first and
sometimes the lyrics, either small pieces or large chunks and on rare
occasions almost complete songs.
Under A Star has a kind of T. Rex vibe to it. Its
got a great dance rhythm to it. Theres a kind of cosmic train
of thought to the lyrics. Whats your take on the solar system
and just what were actually doing here on this blue marble?
Bie Karlsson: (lol), Yes, the T-Rex reference is definitely
justified. We simply lent the riff because it fitted so well! Lyrically
its a song about a girl who believes in astrology but doesnt
really have a firm grip on what's really out there, hence the plural
Mars reference. But for some reason, Im very exited about the
fact that we all are built by stuff created in exploding stars.
mwe3: Lion's Heart Blues is a tribute to the king
of the jungle or is there another metaphor here?
Bie Karlsson: Theres a metaphor in the line that people
who try to accomplish something have to pay a price.
mwe3: My Sweet Lord is a kind of religious overture
of sorts. Is it like visions of paradise or a prayer of sorts? Whats
your take on religion and how it impacts your music. Also pretty brave
of you to pick that title!
Karlsson: Brave or stupid! Its the most common opinion on
any Bonefish song; George Harrison has one too, you know. But its
definitely religiously inspired. I like using metaphors like that,
even though Im not overly religious myself and were not
a church band or something. But these things mean a lot to a lot of
people including myself so when youre trying to say something
beyond the standard boy-meets-girl clichés, it comes natural
to spoon from these rich stories.
mwe3: Is Burning Man about the death of fossil
fuels. Gas has always had a kind of blues type imagery. (I sold my
soul for a gallon of gas) When were all driving
alternative energy cars, the blues will definitely take a hit. When
will we see the last of the Burning Man? How long will
it take for man to evolve from here?
Bie Karlsson: Well, I guess this is my most pessimistic song.
I hope no one takes it to his or her heart too literally: that theres
no hope and all we can do is to drive this burning motorcycle all
the way to hell. Its an urging to do what it takes before it
is too late.
Thank you for this track by track Bie. Whats coming next for
you and Bonefish as far as writing new music, new directions, live
tracks and other musical and nonmusical events and happenings?
Bie Karlsson: Youre welcome! We have some festivals to
play in Sweden this summer and rest of 2014 will probably be for us
to finish some of the songs Ive been working on. Hopefully we
could record an album again in 2015, if the stars and band economy
are in favorable localities. In the meantime we will release some
already recorded live and studio material through social media. Stay
tuned on Facebook (BonefishSWE)
Thanks to Bie Karlsson @ www.bonefishswe.com