An interview with Rille Rimfält
Rille Rimfält is a Swedish guitarist and a woodcraft artist.
He co-founded the band Witchery in 1997 and has been touring all over the world ever since. He strongly believes in taking a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards working together with other people.
“Knowing your role and creating goals together is so powerful. There is nothing better than sharing success together as a team”
He had a cake thrown at his face for the first time (by his fellow band members) on stage in Tokyo on his 25th birthday.
“It’s really hard to play guitar with creamy hands, lol!
I got my first guitar sponsor that day too; a good day indeed”
Witchery always receives a lot of media attention and their albums often get highly rated reviews. In 2016, they reached a peak position of 13 on the US Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart.
He loves spending time in his workshop, building luxury items such as tobacco pipes and props for Witchery, etc. To sum up what he’s been working on, he sometimes presents his art in the form of a little movie.
Today we interview Rille Rimfält.
Everybody has a story to tell, what is yours?
My struggle is to maintain focus, for sure, lol! That might surprise you, but maintaining focus does not come easy. If you lack focus, you can quickly begin to feel bored and uninspired. It’s a catalyst for so much of your wellbeing. It’s so easy to just be on autopilot every day and not pay too much attention to what you’re doing. Especially nowadays, it is very easy to develop and retain those bad habits and they ultimately end up making you miserable. Learn to find focus and you will get your life journey moving in a positive direction. Become sharp at everything you do, but also keep that balance so you can let it all go. How I do that is my story 🙂
How and when did you start playing guitar?
I started around the age of 14 or 15; at that time, I was struggling to learn the cornet/trumpet. I really couldn’t see any value in it back then and I was not that interested. But I became interested in playing the guitar through listening to bands like Kiss and W.A.S.P.
I told my music teacher that I was quitting the trumpet and taking up the guitar instead. He laughed in my face so loud for a long time and he could hardly even stand up straight. He just looked at me like I was the stupidest pupil he had ever had and told me I couldn’t do that cause I sucked at the trumpet: “are you stupid?” He asked me the name of the US president as if I was just completely brain-damaged or something. I was so mad I was lost for words and so I just left.
At this stage, I was too old to join the music school but I asked one of the guitar teachers if he could help me anyway. I told him I wanted to learn rock guitar and he said yes, so we got started. By that time I had already been practicing for several hours every day and my thirst for knowledge was endless. It took just a couple of sessions with him before he called in a drum teacher to come jam with us.
We played rock like crazy in there. One day, they were on rhythm while I was performing a solo; the door out to the hallway was open and guess who walked past? That’s right, my old teacher walked by to see me and his two colleagues rocking out, completely swept up in an awesome jam session frenzy. He actually stopped and took a chair and sat down because we just weren’t stopping. Finally, after the longest rock outro and a lot of laughter, he stood up and said: “Wow! Rickard, you really can play!” I just said thanks.
It was easy for me to find the focus to learn guitar. I wanted to play guitar so badly that it practically came naturally to me.
What music gets you excited and why?
All songs which are good, I have to say. The music genre can be whatever. I do have more of a love for harder music and perhaps if you aren’t really familiar with those genres, it can be hard to recognize the differences. Mostly, I’m into death metal, cause it is really intense music with a lot of hooks and twists in it.
How would you describe yourself as a musician in one sentence?
That would be – the Witchery guy, lol! I guess I’m the least famous guy and somebody who stands in the shadows of other great musicians in Witchery. We’ve been more or less an all-star band; they play with bigger acts who are really huge everywhere and they tour full time all around the world.
How would you define your style?
That would be, as one friend put it outside the rehearsal room while I was playing:
“We better go in to Rickard before he burns up”. For me, playing is a lot of fun that is really what defines my style. I love that frenzied riffing maniac cardio, lol. If we go into a studio and count all the notes ever played in there, I will probably double them after a day or two 🙂. I also have a softer side and that takes over sometimes.
What advice would you give to children who want to be successful in music?
Start or join a group. Doing it together with others is the key. You will get so much more than just success.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the music industry (events, festivals, concert tours, etc.). Could you summarize how it has affected you?
We did not have many gigs planned that we had to cancel (just one or two), so the big change for me was building fewer airplanes at SAAB and changing hours. Being more or less isolated all the time is not good, though the -15 degree weather we have in Sweden helps with that, lol. I do feel very lucky that I still have work and something to be doing.
You are a multifaceted person and you have the skills to transform ordinary wooden benches into art. What does art mean to you?
It means a lot to me. First of all, looking at art inspires me. Just looking at art can bring about all sorts of feelings in me; I guess that’s true for everybody. My process begins with the many pictures I get in my head when I am daydreaming. If you get that for yourself, I guess everyone can experience that. You have to notice it. That is pure inspiration. Not many people realise that they just experienced inspiration, or maybe they do, but something inside them says “no”. I’m in a constant battle with my ”nos”. They are always strong and plentiful and they come in all forms, both from yourself and from the people around you. So many people love to say no. If you get pictures or songs or whatever in your mind, that means you are inspired. Art is a huge thing for me, but it starts with those pictures and the battle against the nos :).
Also when it comes to inspiration and motivation, I think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is really interesting. It basically means that in order for motivation to arise at the next stage, each stage must be satisfied within the individual themselves. For example, at the bottom of the pyramid we have needs like breathing, eating, the avoidance of pain. If you not able to breathe, your motivation for anything else is just not there. At the top we have self-realization or: be all you can be, and that constantly changes. I do think that we can jump between those high stages from time to time, quicker when Maslow describes. We are now more aware of those things as something that can do good for you. Also maintain what you know cause something new fun will arise from that. I feel very lucky that I’m so often high up in that pyramid, focusing on art, music just for the love of it. Many sees my art as I was aiming for it to be on level 2 (there work to pay bills is) Well, I’m not. I have no profit interest in this and that gives me total freedom in time, effort and income to do whatever I like. It’s a superpower you get from having a regular day job and then the times comes maybe you can raise your price.
What led you to start your woodworking journey?
It started at school but back then I did not realize that it was something that mattered to me. I was only a musician back then :). If you didn’t play an instrument, I probably wouldn’t even talk to you :). I became aware of its importance at the age of 20 when I discovered that I can combine music with woodworking. Making props for my bands. Since then, I have made a lot of props, mostly for Witchery.
What makes people creative?
We all want to be there. It’s the top of everything. You can only go down from there and you want to go up again.
You are in deep focus and reaching your flow. Flow is one of the best states of mind you can be in. It’s really healthy and makes your mind stronger, smarter, quicker. You can have flow in many things, not just art. I try to achieve flow in many things; art, music, yoga, gym and so on.
How did the idea of the Insect Hotel for Finca Solmark come about?
It started with me showing my father’s insect hotels on Instagram. The design came to me from the sun in Finca Solmark’s logo. It had to be really huge so as not to disappear in proportion to your huge avocado area and it has to be a setting sun. And it would look great and do so much good around your avocado plants and nature. I tested the design in Sweden with some pieces of scrap and gave it a go.
What is the purpose of Insect Hotels?
To attract insects; bugs to the area. To pollinate and to balance nature in the area.
How do you attract bugs?
If you want bugs to come to your hotel, you have to give them shelter which is not too far away from water. All insects have different needs and a specific type of shelter that they will always search for; for example, if you watch a solitary bee, it will try out every hole it sees. At some point, it will choose a particular hole where it will nest or lay eggs in the tunnel. You’ll know they’re nesting if you see them flying in with pollen.
You visited Finca Solmark last year and spent some days in the farm. What did you like the most?
I loved swinging open the kitchen window in the morning and seeing that fantastic view. The landscape and the surroundings of the house and that amazing garden with all those huge vegetables growing. Playing guitar under that big tree right beside the huge stone oven. It’s a magical place in so many ways.
Do you like Spanish food? What´s your favorite recipe?
I actually didn’t like olives before that visit. Back in Sweden, I wouldn’t touch them at all. In Spain, when you go to a restaurant you get some olives first, as a snack, before the food. I couldn’t stop eating them, haha. Now I like them and I even buy them at home.
We hope you visit Finca Solmark soon. What do you think about this ecological project?
I’m searching for new art inspiration or ideas while working on some home improvements.
Preparing for album number nine with Witchery and also looking for prop inspiration, videos …
Doing a perfect, controlled handstand.
I’m a board member in our housing cooperative and we have some important things on the agenda right now.
What inspires you as a person?
Inspiration is everywhere. You just need to open your eyes a little bit to see it all around you. It’s different for all of us, of course; If you’re a writer, you might find inspiration in the dramas of other people and so on. I get it from people’s energy mostly; they want to be something and they send that out in a positive way. For example, if you live in a small town and there’s a guy who is totally brilliant at making shoes, he will attract a lot of people wanting to learn from him because he is a master at making shoes. They would never even contemplate making shoes if he didn’t live there, but they see his energy and they want to share in that.
Now that guy is everywhere because of the Internet.
What are you most excited about in your life right now?
The next Witchery album and the work that will be involved in that.
How do you organize your time to manage so many things?
I don’t; the main goal for the day is to find focus. I feel free to do whatever I like every day.
If I find focus, that will trigger more good stuff. Rest and come back 🙂
We hope you will visit Finca Solmark again soon. Any final thoughts you’d like to share with our followers?
Yes, if you’re planning a vacation, Finca Solmark is definitely worth a visit. I hope I can manage to get back there really soon. I want to try out that new swimming pool. Thanks for the interview and for making me a part of Finca Solmark :).
Finca Solmark is a Spanish-Swedish Rural EcoTourism engaged in the production, marketing and export to Europe of olive oil, avocado and other ecological products to Sweden. It offers charming rural accommodation and several projects to promote awareness, dissemination and environmental education.