BONEFISH
Bonefish
(Fishbone Music)

 

The record label and publishing company may say Fishbone Music but the group’s name is Bonefish and in 2014 they’ve 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 that’s 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 it’s all done so well you’ll 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



mwe3: What inspired the lead off track “Revolve”. I guess it’s just missing an “r” at the end! Still for 2014 it’s 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, it’s 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, you’re 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 that’s easy identifiable as Bonefish.

mwe3: “As Her Soul” is a kind of 21st century love song. Who did you write that song for? There’s 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 you’re pushing from the album?

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.

mwe3: Is “Imaginary” a kind of self-help song. “Don’t 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 didn’t help.

mwe3: Is “They’re Sending Back” a kind of ecological song about what we’re doing to the planet? It’s like instead of the glimmer of hope for eternal life, turns out we’re all being recalled by the factory or something. Nice guitar lead at the end.

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 there’s some heavenly/extraterrestrial warehouse where they wonder why we are no longer appreciating the gifts ones received.

mwe3: “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-52’s 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? It’s 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 (Hunter’s Association) that believe they should be allowed to shoot everything... Well, except humans...

mwe3: “Baby’s 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, it’s not certain it comes out that way.

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 writing coin?

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.

mwe3: “Under A Star” has a kind of T. Rex vibe to it. It’s got a great dance rhythm to it. There’s a kind of cosmic train of thought to the lyrics. What’s your take on the solar system and just what we’re 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 it’s a song about a girl who believes in astrology but doesn’t really have a firm grip on what's really out there, hence the plural Mars reference. But for some reason, I’m 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: There’s 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? What’s your take on religion and how it impacts your music. Also pretty brave of you to pick that title!

Bie Karlsson: Brave or stupid! It’s the most common opinion on any Bonefish song; George Harrison has one too, you know. But it’s definitely religiously inspired. I like using metaphors like that, even though I’m not overly religious myself and we’re not a church band or something. But these things mean a lot to a lot of people including myself so when you’re 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 we’re 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 there’s no hope and all we can do is to drive this burning motorcycle all the way to hell. It’s an urging to do what it takes before it is too late.

mwe3: Thank you for this track by track Bie. What’s 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: You’re 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 I’ve 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) or bonefishswe.com.


Thanks to Bie Karlsson @ www.bonefishswe.com

 

 
   
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