Interview: Tim Skold

By on 5 May 2011

anomie: [an-uh-mee] –noun a state or condition of individuals or society characterized by a breakdown or absence of social norms and values.”


A fitting title for his first solo album in fifteen years as Tim Skold goes under many different titles these days; song writer, musician, producer, remixer, hired gun. You name it, he’s done it and probably picked up a few scars along the way to prove it. From working alongside the likes of Marilyn Manson, KMFDM, and ohGr to his new project Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult featuring members of Turbonegro.

With a pedigree such as that it is no wonder why Skold is a man in demand these days. Nor is it any wonder why ‘Anomie’ has lived up to its name as a rollercoaster ride through the twisted psyche of one of industrial rocks biggest names today. I caught up with Skold to talk conflict, betrayal and his twenty years in music.

Dominion: Since your last solo album you’ve been involved with a number of high profile bands such as KMFDM, Marilyn Manson and now Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult, why did you feel the time was right to indulge in a new SKOLD album?

Skold: I guess you could say it was about time… fifteen years later and the world is a very different place. It is hard for me to explain exactly why but it feels right for me to do this now. Sometimes it feels as if I’ve been preparing my whole life for this album. As much as I enjoy collaborating, working that way will automatically limit the engagement. If I am working with other people you will get pieces of me but with SKOLD, it’s pure and unadulterated, I have no one to blame but myself.

Dominion: What was the writing process like for ‘Anomie’, and how did it differ compared to your previous solo album?

Skold: Although it has been a long time, some things never really change all that much. ‘Anomie’ is much like its predecessor – really a complete ego trip. I was able to take the time to make music for the hell of it, nothing else. It wasn’t until it was done I thought about having it released.

Dominion: ‘Anomie’ is a very fitting title considering the almost schizophrenic sound of the album. What were your main inspirations when writing the album?

Skold: Me.

Dominion: Listening back to the first SKOLD album, how do you feel it has stood up to the test of time?

Skold: That album was very much an experiment in lo-fi and I think that way it holds up very nicely. The work ethos is the same for me now. I very intentionally try not to get caught up in trends when it comes to making music but new stuff can be exciting.

Dominion: What was to be the demo of the second SKOLD album was leaked onto the internet in 2002 and subsequently the material was abandoned by yourself. How did that breach of trust affect you and the way you work?

Skold: Well, I don’t send anything to anyone anymore. Good thing I went solo again huh? It was not abandoned by choice but since it was and is available online, it lost its commercial value. Spending more time on completing those recordings was obviously a losing proposition.

Dominion: As a result of that experience where do you stand on artists like Trent Reznor giving their music away for free?

Skold: The question is very leading but it is so in a completely correct way. I obviously cannot relate to Trent as he is quite successful and in a very different position than I am. What is a great idea for him might not be so great for me, or should I dare say, the rest of us.

Dominion: How did you come to be involved with Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult?

Skold: I befriended Hank and Tom from Turbonegro on the last Marilyn Manson tour I did and when Hank was asked to join up with the other guys from what was to become DMTMC he told them he’d do it if they could get me on board. I went to Norway the first time in January 2009 and we started working on music right away.

Dominion: In what is essentially a “super group” of sorts, how does the writing dynamic work and how do you fit in with it?

Skold: I’m not sure who decided to use the term ‘super-group’ but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the band itself. Playing music together feels very natural and right and everyone is always trying to let the others have their fair share of input. I think to a large part the reason we so quickly developed a sense of brotherhood was because we are all pretty confident in our individual talents.

Dominion: With ‘Anomie’ being released just before the debut DMATMC album ‘I Declare : Treason’ and subsequent tour. Will you be touring your solo work live anytime soon?

Skold: I’m putting the band together for that right now and I have some amazing guys lined up. I’m very happy and excited about it actually but there are still many logistics to deal with. I’m hoping to have the SKOLD show on the road this fall.

Dominion: You’re also known for your work as a producer. How does that role affect your work as a songwriter and does Tim Skold the musician ever come into conflict with Tim Skold the producer?

Skold: Yes, it is pretty much a constant conflict. There are still a few, random moments when we/they all get along but I think good music needs conflict, I know mine does.

Dominion: You’ve lived in both Europe and the USA, both of which have rich music scenes, how has that affected your style of song writing over the years?

Skold: I’m sure this has influenced me in many ways but I’m not really into trying to analyze or dissect my creativity. I am not about to question a part of me that I find almost sacred.

Dominion: You’ve been writing and performing music since the 1980’s and in that time the music industry has changed dramatically. What do you feel are the most important changes to the industry in that time and where do you see it heading in the future?

Skold: I’m not much of a businessman and I really have no business trying to predict the future but the toilet does come to mind.

Dominion: Are there any things in your career that you regret or would do over again?

Skold: Not a damn thing. Even if I tried I’m pretty sure I still wouldn’t get it ‘right’. Some things other people might consider a mistake turned out to benefit me greatly. You’ll never get anywhere if you are too worried about making mistakes.

Dominion: 2009 saw you revisit another chapter of your life with the release of ‘SKOLD Vs KMFDM’. Is the door open for another ‘Vs’ collaboration with Sascha?

Skold: No. That was designed as a ‘one-off’ but who knows, maybe in ten years it might seem like a good idea to make a follow up.

Dominion: You seem to be very in-demand as a musician, producer and remixer these days. Did you ever envision a time where your name would carry the weight that it does?

Skold: I don’t really think my name carries any weight like that. If it does, I don’t really think about it. But after twenty years, I’m still stoked I can make a living making music, now that shit is fucking amazing.

The official SKOLD website is HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Miranda Yardley

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