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Interview: Thomas Jonnson of I’m Kingfisher


Tell us about I’m Kingfisher. What is your style and your influences?

It’s an American sounding thing. It’s basically just me and my guitar, although on the albums I’m playing with more arrangements but when I’m touring… I used to play with a band once but that was a long while ago. I like to try to get away from the really conventional Troubadour stuff. I like to involve a little bit of shoegazing, a little bit of indie, pop, but of course it’s also strict Americana in many ways.

Why did you move away from the band to pursue solo work?

I realised I liked that way of playing the most. When everything is working well and you get into the bubble, it’s really exciting I think. Apart from that, logistics and we also had some problems with the band I was playing with. I guess there’s always some band member that can’t handle the drugs. But who can? On the other hand, the guy who’s producing all my stuff, he was also in the band and we’ve continued collaborating. It’s like the band thing evolved into more recording collaboration.

What was the thinking behind the name I’m Kingfisher?

I wanted to have more of a band feeling with the name. I used to, on my first albums, I was calling myself Thomas Denver Jonnson but I had somehow the same intention to make something more of my own name but, in the end, it felt like I was just cramming Denver into everything. I wanted to take that thought further and have more of a band name.

I like the kingfisher. I like that it’s a small bird, it’s very bright and shiny and cool.

Is this your first time at Focus Wales?

Actually, it’s my second. I played at the first edition in 2011.

What does Focus Wales mean to you and the opportunity to play here?

It’s always good to get to other markets and working but it’s also good for me in the Swedish market, I reckon, and to be able to attend these music industry events which have gained a reputation. But, first and foremost, it’s just a cool place to be and it’s such a privilege to be able to come here and play again.

How does Wrexham differ from Sweden?

It’s not that different. I can’t really say; it’s just nothing and everything! There’s some small changes in architecture…

It’s not a massive culture shock though?

No, not really. I do think that people are very helpful here in a way that Swedes aren’t. If I’m looking lost, which happens, there are always people here seeing that and helping me. That’s strange. I like it here, it feels down to earth. I guess here, before Focus Wales, there weren’t really any festivals and the scene in North Wales was really struggling. I don’t know. It feels like in Sweden there are festivals everywhere; too many! Now Focus Wales came, we don’t have that sort of thing in Sweden really. It’s such a good festival.

Where are you playing tonight?

I’m playing at The Bank at 8 o’ clock.

Are you looking forward to getting on stage?

Yeah, it’s really exciting.


About Alex Watt

I’m a writer, not a fighter. Freelancer, NCTJ student and comedian. Write for the Mirror, 411mania, the Denbighshire Free Press and more.


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