Meet the audience
Tomas achieved international success through his role as composer and keyboard player with The Flower Kings. TFK, founded in 1995, have been touring countries like the United States, Russia, Germany, England, France, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Japan. Having the chance to meet such a wide international audience gave Tomas the idea to release his own music parallel to the Flower Kings’ music.
In 1996 Tomas released his first solo album An Ordinary Night In My Ordinary Life. This critically acclaimed project was a combination of keyboard dominated symphonic rock and experimental art rock. Many fans still consider this album to be Tomas’s #1 release. How right they are:) The album was at first released by Foxtrot Music (Roine Stolt’s own label) Some years later An Ordinary night… was licensed by the German/American label InsideOut. Muscians: Roine Stolt guitars, Michael Stolt bass, Owe Eriksson bass, Jaime Salazar drums, Hasse Bruniusson percussion, Tomas Bodin keyboard & vocals.
The next release came in 2002. Pinup Guru was an album that flirted with influences from some 70’s keyboard oriented artists such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer as well as modern Electronic World Music. This was also the first time Tomas recorded and mixed in his own studio. Invited to play with Tomas were bassist Jonas Reingold and drummer Zoltan Csörsz.
Only one year later Sonic Boulevard was released. Drawing inspiration from both World Music and Progressive Rock, this album was completed with the great creative input of guitarist Jocke JJ Marsh (Glenn Hughes) and singer Anders Jansson. The typical craziness of Bodin’s compositions on Sonic Boulevard have strong hints of Jeff Beck’s influence. Musicians: JJ Marsh guitars, Anders Janson vocals, Jonas Reingold bass, Zoltan Csörsz drums, Lars Bjurhäll FxScat, Tomas Bodin keyboards.
Swedish Family: Vintage Prog was released in 2004 on Tomas’s own label Helikon House. The album was a declaration of love for the Swedish folk rock movement of the 70’s. With bands such as Samla Mammas Manna, Fläsket Brinner and Kebenekajse in mind, songs were written in the Swedish folk rock tradition. In addition, Tomas created a fictitious scenario where Swedish Family was promoted as a band that had actually existed during the 70’s. An extra interesting twist was added, when a certain unnamed journalist claimed to have seen the band live during the 70’s – You can say that Swedish Family are the prog movement’s Spinal Tap. The Vintage Prog album showcased still sensitive emotional music with strong, rather sad melodies. Again, typical Bodin. Musicians: Roine Stolt guitars & bass, Hans Bruniusson drums, Ulf Wallander soprano saxophone, Tomas Bodin keyboards & percussion.
In 2005 it was time for yet another chapter. For the first time, Tomas broke his purely instrumental streak to release an album with both lyrics and music. The concept album, titled I AM was a three track, sixty-four minute long rock opera in the vein of Jesus Christ Superstar. Numbered among Tomas’s influences on I AM are Pink Floyd (The Wall), David Bowie (Ziggy Stardust) Deep Purple (Mark II) and certain elements of Genesis. Once again, Jocke JJ Marsh and Anders Jansson were among the 7-man band. In the concept I AM was the first part in a trilogy. You Areand He She It complete the trilogy. Musicians: Tomas Bodin keyboards, Jonas Reingold bass, Marcus Liliequist drums, Jocke JJ Marsh guitars, Anders Jansson vocals, Pernilla Bodin vocals, Helene Schönning vocals.
Minimalism vs. Maximalism
2008’s Cinematograaf (Helikon House) was a step back from the big productions and a return to instrumentals. This album was truly a solo album. What you hear is 100% keyboards. To describe it you could mention influences like Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis and Philip Glass. The music is somewhat minimalistic and allows long passages with meditative soundscapes.
A year later, the second part to the trilogy You Are was released. Tomas worked four years on the album’s production, which featured the musical influence of bands like 10CC, Queen, and The Beatles. Hardcore prog fans were disappointed with the ‘less- progressive’ sound. Tomas drew from life to portray a concept: one day, many different people leading their lives, each of them with a story – loneliness being the common emotional thread connecting them all. Musicians: Tomas Bodin keyboards, percussion, kazoo, backing vocals, fx voices and covoder, Michael Stolt leader vocals and bass, Jocke JJ Marsh electric & acoustic lead guitars, Marcus Lilijequist drums and percussion, Simon Åkesson backing vocals, barbershop load vocal & arrangement, Janne Hellman backing vocals and high pitch veils, Hasse Fröberg backing vocals (lead vocal line), Helene Schöning backing vocals, Pernilla Bodin backing vocals/fx voice and handclap, Peter Lindberg pedalsteel, electric 12 strings Fender telecaster, Ulf Loveus Martin acoustic 6 & 12 strings, Samuel Bodin Gibson SG electric guitar and handclap, Mats Johnsson French horns, Alexander Lundberg cello, Adam Bodin handclap and fx voice, Moa Berglund fx voice, Bony as the angry boss, Renee Fischer radio voice, Don Cassidy radio voice.
In addition, Tomas has also worked within film and theaters as a composer, conductor, scriptwriter and actor both in Sweden and abroad. We can mention The Royal National Theater of Drama (Dramaten) in Stockholm, Circus Cirkör Sweden and Tjuz Theater in St.Petersburg Russia.
Tomas has always loved the technical side of being a keyboardist. This has given him a deep knowledge about midi, programming and sound engineering. He has worked as a teacher/head teacher at Folkuniversitets vocational school for sound-engineers. When the Swedish company Clavia released the award winning synthesiser Nordlead 3, Tomas was part of the production team and programmed a big part of the factory sounds.
Tomas’s focus for the past five years has been learning the craft of sound engineering and music production. To this end, he has invested in building a studio. 2012 and the field is open. There will be a lot of tours with The Flower Kings. Tomas have several productions in the studio. Also the start for a new solo album.