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Pain of Salvation’s Daniel Gildenlöw Shares Candid Reflections on Music, Life, and Returning to the Studio

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Daniel Gildenlöw, the creative force behind the progressive rock band Pain of Salvation, recently opened up about his struggles and rejuvenation in the music industry through a heartfelt post on his Facebook account. After a challenging period marked by personal reflection and a global pandemic, Gildenlöw expresses renewed enthusiasm for his upcoming album, The Deep End.

Gildenlöw begins his post by acknowledging the challenges he faced in returning to his music. “I’ve had problems finding my way back to the album,” he admits, but reassures fans that he is back on track and enjoying the process once again. This shift in mood is a recurring theme in Gildenlöw’s journey, highlighting the ebb and flow of a musician’s creative passion.

With years and experiences accumulating, Gildenlöw notes a significant change in how he views music sharing. Where once the idea of widespread dissemination was the “world” to him, he now finds contentment in more intimate settings. This reflection is poignant, revealing the evolving priorities that come with age and the impact of the recent pandemic on artists worldwide.

Gildenlöw laments the isolation that modern music production often entails—a far cry from the communal vibrancy of jam sessions and big studio collaborations that he cherished in the past. “Many of the key aspects of why I loved making albums have dissipated over the years,” he says. The solitude of working alone on a computer and the critical scrutiny that follows each release has dimmed his enthusiasm for the traditional album release cycle.

The musician also touches on the pressures of living up to past successes. Each new album invites comparisons and potentially harsh critique, which can be disheartening. “With every album release, there is more back catalog for the fans and press to compare with and express dissatisfaction with,” Gildenlöw explains, highlighting a sentiment many artists share but few openly discuss.

Finding solace and rejuvenation through teaching music to children, Gildenlöw has embraced the simplicity and joy that comes from making music with the younger generation. This part of his life brings him peace and satisfaction, helping to rebuild the foundational joy of music that the industry side had eroded.

Despite the setbacks and his moments of doubt, Gildenlöw is optimistic about the future. His closing thoughts are a mix of resignation and defiance: if much of the world disappoints, he will nonetheless dedicate his efforts to those who still “have their mojo.” This declaration not only reaffirms his commitment to his art but also signals a hopeful, albeit cautious, outlook for his creative journey.

Daniel Gildenlöw’s post is a raw and honest look at the personal and professional trials facing musicians today. It resonates with the broader struggles within the creative community, where the balance between passion and the pressures of production can often tilt unfavorably. As Gildenlöw prepares to bring The Deep End to life, his reflections provide a valuable perspective on the necessity of maintaining passion and integrity in music. His journey underscores the importance of adapting and finding new sources of joy and inspiration, even when the conventional paths prove challenging.

Fans of Pain of Salvation and newcomers alike can look forward to The Deep End, not just as another album, but as a testament to the resilience and evolving creativity of one of progressive rock’s most introspective figures.

Below you can read Daniel’s entire post:

I’ve had problems finding my way back to the album. But now I’m at it and having fun!

There was a time when sharing my music with others meant the world to me. With age, and especially after the pandemic, I’ve grown frighteningly content with just sharing it with a few selected friends, or even just hearing it in my head without recording it.

Many of the key aspects of why I loved making albums have dissipated over the years. The process has become a lonely one, without hanging for hours on end in a rehearsing room, without spending weeks in a big studio. And with every album release, there is more back catalog for the fans and press to compare with and express dissatisfaction with. I didn’t dive headlong into music as a kid to sit at a computer on my own week after week, or to get judged and rated by opinionated somebodies around the world. I love making music, singing and playing my heart out, having fun with other musicians, show and be shown the ropes on new techniques and creative ideas. I simply fell in love with music.

If these aspects fade too much out of view, I will respectfully back out. See, I have a responsibility to Music – to remain passionate. To invest my entire heart and soul into it. Every inch of the way.

These last years, I have grown extremely tired of opinions, posts, content, arguments, upset feelings and agitated world views. Why should I even consider bringing my thoughts and my music to that overly set table, creaking at the hinges from all the indigestible stuff that’s already heaped upon it? Would I not be part of the problem? If I have a strong longing for the entire mankind to just shut the fuck up for a mere two seconds and take a deep breath, should I not be the first to do so?

Teaching music to kids have been an absolute joy these last two years. They make sense, and I learn a lot myself from teaching them. And we have fun, playing music together. A lot of the building blocks that I have come to miss from the album making processes.

So, I shut the fuck up a bit and took a deep breath or two. And now it’s fun again. If 90% of this species are halfwits, then what the hell, I’ll give my heart to the remaining 10% before they lose their mojo the way I did. Hang in there. The Deep End is coming to life again. 🤘

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