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After Guernica four years ago for the promotion of the eponymous album, it is now the turn of Filippa Nässil, Thundermother's founding guitarist, to speak out on Music Waves...
STRUCK - 27.01.2023 -
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Just back from an American tour with Scorpions, the year 2023 is already looking good for Thundermother, with a Hellfest that they reveal exclusively... A meeting with Filippa Nässil -the band's founding guitarist- an artist of character, a woman "with balls" as she defines herself, proud of the career she has built for her project...

What is the question that you have been asked too often and that you are tired of answering?

Filippa Nässil: (Laughs) It's more of a statement: "Come to Brazil!"... We get it very often (Laughs)!

We already asked Guernica the question when we met in 2018, and she told us that the question that came up most often was the one about the original line-up. Do you still get questions like that?

Absolutely! But that's part of the Thundermother story. When I started the band in 2009, you play for free of course in the beginning and then you work harder and harder and the atmosphere got worse... Still, I chose not to give up and continue the adventure. It's not something I'm ashamed of, on the contrary, I think I made the best decision because the current line-up has been in place for six years now!

Except for the bass player...

Exactly !

You said that you're not ashamed of your decision to have completely changed the line-up, on the contrary, we can talk about pride when we see that Thundermother has reached such a high level of popularity...

(Smiles) I'm very proud!

And did you think you could achieve this level of popularity?

Absolutely! Even though we didn't get to play with Whitesnake who cancelled, we toured with Scorpions for two and a half months and we just came back to Europe! I'm super proud of the band and the girls: we did a great job! There are a lot of break days during these two and a half months: the Scorpions can't play every day, they are not so young anymore (Laughs)! So we lived in our bus for two and a half months...
No, I'm very proud and most of all, the American audience loved our performances!

You answered in part, you just did an American tour with Scorpions, which is a kind of daydream. You said that the North American audience loved your performances but did they already know you?

No! In fact, after the shows, which were huge - it was our first stadium tour - we had signing sessions because we told the fans that we wanted to meet them all like we do in Europe. The queue of fans waiting was endless (Smiles), but most of all every one of them asked us where we were before because they had never heard of us (Laughs)!

And following this tour, have you noticed an evolution of your popularity concerning for example the number of views, listens on the listening platforms or on your pages?

Of course, on Instagram alone, we had thousands of new followers every night: it's great!

By participating in this nostalgic tour and by the very nature of your music, Thundermother takes us back to the great days of hard rock in the past, to that fun and energetic big rock.

Absolutely! We're a very tight band because we've played a lot of gigs, we've toured for a long time together... We never stopped touring, even during the pandemic! The teamwork is great, we work very hard and we don't have any management: we do everything by ourselves!

And do you think you'll change that in the future?

You know, if you only concentrate on one thing, you have time and as we don't play every night... If each person takes two hours of their time a day, as there are four of us, that's eight hours of work a day! You can imagine how much work can be done in a week as we have divided the tasks.
We are a really good team and what our new album "Black and Gold" is about is a good team work and anybody can join our team whether they are black or white, male or female, old or young...

As such, "Black and Gold" sounds even more classic US rock or even bluesy than its predecessors...

Personally, blues has always been a part of me... But yes, definitely, we always dreamed of going to play in the US and especially for a stadium tour. We had this vision before we were booked for this tour: we wanted to play there and play music that would stick with that audience!
We had this vision and it came true (smiles)!

And what was your reaction when this vision started to come true, when you were offered this tour with Scorpions?

It was hard to believe! First of all because we only had one e-mail to start with. It was extraordinary even if we didn't know yet if it was going to happen... Then, we had to ask for our visas which take six months. But in the end, we didn't really believe it until we were sitting on the plane (laughs)!

And who actually had this vision?

We all asked ourselves where we wanted to go next and what we wanted to do as a group. We all said: "America! America!"... We had been talking about it for years!

And finally, it's a good thing because "Black and Gold" is made for the United States and seems to be more for the American public...

I'll tell you how it happened, a guy from Los Angeles listened to our album and decided to sign us. He didn't have any unknown bands, especially from Sweden.

But you are not an unknown band anymore...

(Smiles awkwardly) Probably, but in the US we are, even if we are more known now. He wanted us and he told Klauss and Rudolf (Klauss Meine and Rudolf Schenker from Scorpions) who immediately said they loved us because Scorpions is a German band.
On the day of the first show, a member of the Scorpions team came up to me to ask for an autograph for his wife who had heard us on a radio in Germany (Laughs)...

On the other hand, some songs sound very AC/DC like 'Loud and Free'. In this respect, haven't you ever been afraid that you would be reduced to a female version of the Australians?

Of course, because at one time that was the foundation of the band. But album after album, we developed a sound, even if it changed especially on "Heat Wave" which was even more powerful. We've kept that sound and we're still developing more by trying new things.
But it's true that 'Loud and Free' is much more Airbourne, AC/DC, because I've been dragging that riff around for five years when we were recording (Laughs) and it was imperative that we do a song. But the other songs are very much influenced by the 1960s - like the track 'Looks No Hooks' in particular - and contemporary industry and society...

Thundermother is more a live band than a studio band. How do you manage to translate the energy of the live scene into your studio albums?

This is largely thanks to our producer Søren Andersen from Medley Studios...

You could say that Søren Andersen is the fifth member of the band, as your careers are so closely linked...


Did you ever think about working with someone else who could bring a fresh look to your music?

Yes, I have. But I love Søren, he has helped shape our sound and we feel very comfortable with him in his studios. But if Rick Rubin would come and offer his services, we would of course try (smiles)! We're not tied to him forever, although we love him, he's amazing and we owe him a lot for the great albums we've done!

Thundermother's rock is simple and wild, with no pretensions other than kicking ass. How much care do you take with the lyrics?

I'm repeating myself but our music is for everyone! We are a rock'n'roll band but we want to make rock'n'roll for the world regardless of gender, ethnicity... We are finding more and more that all kinds of fans are coming to our shows. More and more people are listening to Thundermother and not just hard rock guys who we love because I will always be a hard rock woman in my heart (Smile)!
I think everybody should listen to our lyrics which are interesting because we try to talk about our society nowadays.

Thundermother is a bit like your baby. How do you look back on it and how far have you come since 2009?

I've been dedicating 14 years of my life to the band: it's been a while! I'm proud to be able to do what I want and be a woman with balls (Laughs) in this male dominated industry! We've come a long way and reached a level we never dreamed of: we've toured the US with legends... We're blessed and lucky! My dream is to keep making good music...

Despite everything, "Black and Gold" gives the impression of being the fruit of a great collegial work, with notably the performance of Guernica...

It is indeed a team work...

... Which was not necessarily the case at the beginning of the group?

No! When it works, teamwork makes you work ten times faster and better. Since I opened up and made sure all the girls were involved in the composition process and we became a democracy, everything is much better! But it's all thanks to the whole team we are now! Each one of them is a great musician and helps me to become a better musician!

The pride we've been talking about since the beginning of this interview is multiple and understandable, namely to have succeeded in making your baby reach a fairly high level of popularity but perhaps even more to have succeeded in forming this team of friends...

That's true because it's rare! We've been together for six years with Guernica and Emlee, our drummer. We are a great team! And Mona, our bass player, is also great... I'm very proud, I don't know what else to say (Laughs), I'm very proud and I feel extremely lucky even if it's sometimes difficult like in every band...

That's life...

Exactly, that's life but we work together in a totally dedicated way: that's rare!

With all this, Thundermother is now on the way to enter the big leagues like Girlschool, Rock Goddess or The Runaways...

Ooh, but we don't have Lemmy on stage with us (Laughs)! But we're going to play Hellfest in France: it's a dream even if I'm not allowed to tell you because the announcement will be made next Thursday... We feel really lucky and I can't wait to meet the members of Girlschool and become friends with them! It's so nice to be able to hang out with these people who are your idols...

Concerning female rock bands, some female bands play mainly on the physicality. Don't you think that these bands damage the credibility of female bands?

That's a good question! A lot of people focus on this aspect especially on social networks I see it when people comment on our sizes but my answer to these people is simple: "Fuck you" (laughs) We want to inspire people to be themselves, we're not the kind of skinny girls that the media would like us to be...

But in the end the media is responding to a demand. In this respect, what is your opinion on the rock and metal scene...

We are part of a new generation with a new vision of rock'n'roll. But the question I ask myself is whether we look at male bands and wonder if they are thin and hot (Smile)? We don't have that responsibility! We are only on stage to make music. Our responsibility is that the audience has fun, we are there to spread joy!

Do you think that this new generation is more open-minded, especially in Sweden?

Definitely! We've always had good feedback about being ourselves, even in the US. I think people find it refreshing to see normal girls on stage!

We started this interview with the question you've been asked too many times, what is the one you wish I'd ask you or that you'd dream of answering?

Um... "What should the readers do after reading this interview? They should listen to our new album "Black and Gold" because it's simply stunning, it's the best rock album of the year 2022 !

I love your conclusion, but I would like to make you react to the answer of Guernica who wanted to be asked which band she would like to play with. She answered Guns N'Roses and Ozzy Osbourne...

Oh I thought she would have answered Prince who she loves (Laughs)!

Yes but it's complicated to tour with him now...

Oh yes, it is (Laughs) !

In other words, after touring with Scorpions, what is the next step?

I would like to tour with AC/DC (Laughs)! It would be really fun to tour with Aerosmith who I really like...

Fingers crossed, but who knows? After Scorpions everything is possible and you deserve it...

Thank you (Smile)!

Thanks to you !

Oh a big thank you to you for this interview!

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