Pontus Tidemand #mymusicstory
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We’re sharing the music stories of industry veterans, aspiring young musicians, and entrepreneurs to help others make informed decisions when it comes to their own story.
Pontus Tidemand shares his musical story and answers questions about his musical journey on how to be successful in the music industry:
Pontus Tidemand is a songwriter and composer who with a background in the Swedish punk rock scene. He is the bandleader, singer and guitarist in the experimental and progressive punk rock band, Eftah. They experimented and still do experiments with mixing different genres in unorthodox ways and developed something they call Circus Punk. In 2013, Eftah had some instrumental music in the documentary Kiruna Spaceroad which was aired on Swedish public service TV, SVT. The film also toured on film festivals in Europe and Japan. After that Pontus decided to work as a film composer. Today, he scores for science fiction and horror movies, and he is also involved in the development of a new sci-fi TV series, The Intergalactic Space Rangers, as the lead composer and main theme composer. He is also working on an audio series called Doorways and Dimensions.
Listen to Pontus Tidemand’s music here
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What are your tips for new and emerging talent to stay afloat and last long term?
Do not be afraid to experiment and develop your own sound! You will either succeed or fail, but you will always gain experience. Listen to different types of music. Dissect the genres, listen to what every instruments are playing, then try to put it all together again, but with a piece of from a different genre, or even better, a piece from your own ideas. If you are more into writing music in the all-ready established styles and genres or even try to copy a sound that you love, make sure that you learn to do it really well! Do not be afraid of failure! You won’t loose anything on sending your demo to a record label, a publisher or even a film producer. You can only get a no or yes for an answer. Try and try again until you succeed and eventually someone will love your music and sign you or ask you to score their movie. And if no one wants to release you music Do it by yourself. That is the lesson I learned from the punk scene.
What has been one of the toughest music / entertainment related experiences you’ve faced?
Well, there are two things that come to mind. First, the experience to keep a band together. Band members tend to come and go and in the worst case they will get angry and start hating each other. My band Eftah has existed in 14 years now and there are two of the original members left. What I have learned from that is to keep your band mates together and if they want to go, let them go. If they want to stay, then they will make the decision to stay.
The second one was when I made the main theme for “The Intergalactic Space Rangers”. The producer crew wanted me to do a “John Williams” kind of theme and to my surprise I answered, “Yes, I’ll do that”. After that, I was terrified. How on earth would I be able to do anything similar to a Star Wars theme? I tested ideas and listened to many of John Williams scores and learned that it took John Williams over a month come up with the melody for the Star Wars leitmotif (or was it Superman?). Finally, I have made a lot of different themes based on how I fantasized how The Space Rangers universe would be like and ended up with a main theme with a leitmotif, a dark motif and a heroic motif, all in a track of 90 seconds. When I was almost finished with my sketch, I was surprised to see that I had got competition from the other newly arrived composers who were also working on a main theme so I acted quickly and sent my demo to the production crew and the executive producer. To my relief, they liked my mix of light and dark and chose my theme. It might not sound exactly like John Williams, but the executive producer was very pleased and happy with it, and so am I. Now I lead a group of composers and that’s a whole different story.
Which music / entertainment related book, blog, film or documentary would you recommend to inspire someone, and why?
Any open book would be: “All you need to know about the music business”, by Donald Passman.
Why? Well, the business is a tricky one, isn’t it?
Any one film would be ‘Punk Attitude’. It’s a documentary about the history of punk, the music and the DIY movement. The punks released their own albums, wrote their own fanzines, and arranged their own concerts. And they still do that. Watch it and you will realise that you got nothing to lose. Send in your demo tapes to a record label, publisher, film director or a game developer. If they don’t accept it release the music yourself, make a film or game by yourself. You got nothing to lose, but you can gain much if you succeed!