Fjordhammer Saga - A Wanderer Lost In The Wrong Century
As the title suggests, this is where you, my most welcome reader, can find out about the mad yet fantastical world in which I am fully immersed and exist in! You have had a small insight into this world through The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom, but now you have the delight of a full unabridged version!
I suppose we can start off with how the blog got it's name, like many sagas the origin is lost in the annals of time, so the precise moment cannot be recorded. However, I believe it was to do with an amalgamation Dungeons & Dragons, The Lord Of The Rings, Game Of Thrones and my love of all things Viking, Celtic, and Anglo-Saxon (we'll get onto that later!). I would often play as a dwarf with mighty hammer or axe, similar to Gimli, and alongside my surname sounding distinctly Anglo-Saxon (Fordham), the name was manipulated to sound more Norse/Dwarfish, hence the name Fjordhammer. Considering it fits well in all my music, literary and historical passions, it seemed only right that I call the blog after my infamous fantasy character. I started writing the blog to help me fill my time and write about the albums and artists I love, not once did I expect it to grow like it has but I am very thankful to be here and thriving! Through the blog I have made connections in Germany, been shared by multiple PR companies and artists and I am immense proud of the community I'm building around my musical reviews.
Outside of the fantasy realm, I am a songwriter, musician and producer. My passion for music runs deep in my soul, as a result it has been a blessing and a curse for many years. I started playing guitar aged 12, deeply inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Tony Iommi (to name a few) and all the blues and metal stylings they had. I don't think music properly gripped me until the age of 14, in which I started to practice more and spend countless hours in my room spinning various albums from my idols and the popular scene/emo/metal music at the time (I won't list the bands but the time period was 2010-2013). In the darker times I would use it as an escape from the cruel hand that life dealt me, but it was also my strength, it gave me a purpose and in 2020 that passion and purpose is as strong now as it was then. My guitar playing led me to City Of Bath College to study a diploma in Modern Music Performance and then on to British & Irish Modern Music (BIMM) in Bristol where I obtained a BA(Hons) in Music Production. I think the biggest musical journey I undertook was through my time in Bath and Bristol. There were no other subjects to interfere I could fully concentrate on my music, my sound and my songwriting. In Bath I learned how to perform in various styles from R&B, Reggae and Blues to Rock, Metal and Pop, we covered it all, as well as weekly recording studio sessions. This inspired my love for production, I always have loved and still do love the retro styles of production, as the sound is unmatchable by digital standards (although we can get close). I also enjoyed the sound design and electronic elements, so going on to BIMM was the next logical step for me.
BIMM and the city of Bristol proved to be the making of me musically, I got out what I put in and learned a significant amount about my own songwriting and production style. I always have had a desire to continually improve and evolve, and in such an open minded city such as Bristol, the process was very easy. It was in Bristol that I started to really tune into black, death, grind, stoner, doom, thrash and a whole plethora of genres as they had the rawness that I was aching for (I was massively into the "Djent" movement of progressive metal at the time and it started to grate on me how pristine everything was, as if it had no life force or character). This helped formulate the foundations of my first musical project Vanaheimr. Like many of my friends and colleagues, I was dealing with issues that brought about anxiety, stress and depression, Vanaheimr gave me the opportunity to vent into the harsh void with solid black metal riffs and ominous atmospheres. The three EPs under that name have had a remarkable reception internationally much to my surprise. This love for the old school also inspired me to visit the 70s a lot more with that vintage old school production and the chunky riffs, so through many hours of experimentation to write psychedelic stoner songs, Witchwood Wizard & The Psychic Yeti came into being with the help of my wonderfully talented and creative friend Sabrina.
Outside of music, I am passionate about literature, history and of course writing! Whilst I don't do much in the way of creative writing (outside of lyrics that is), I have been known to write little snippets of poetry here and there. I've always had a passion for reading from a young age and devour everything that I took an interest in. Which as I mentioned before is the Lord Of The Rings, Game Of Thrones and all things Viking, Celtic, and Anglo-Saxon alongside mythology and language. It was primarily kicked off by my love of Tolkein's Lord Of The Rings that I am so invested in the period of history that I am, my parents also encouraged it by buying me Playmobil castles when I was a youngling. I've often been told that I was destined to be born in the Dark Ages as my love for magic, folklore and myth is something that drives me. The heroes of Tolkien were just a stepping stone into a greater world that I've invested in, with help from the TV show Vikings and Amon Amarth. It has also awakened a deep travel lust in me, to have my own epic adventures. I had a taste when I lived in Germany as a boy, easily the best 5 years of my life and those developmental years still have a baring on who I am today. My personal travel highlights so far have been Sweden and Japan. One thing that I'll always want to do when I'm away is visit historical sites and museums, there is something so awesome about learning what other countries have gone through and how it has made them who they are today.
In my spare time when I'm not making up worlds and stories in my head or listening to albums, I am a passionate rugby player and fan (controversially to those that know, I enjoy Rugby Union and Rugby League). Playing rugby has always been a great way for me to channel pent up stress and aggression whilst staying fit and being part of an accepting community of awesome people. It has given me confidence in myself and as part of a team and has driven me to do go to the gym to become bigger and stronger so I can be the best player I can be.
So, that's my musical and interests covered, however all this would not be possible without the inspiring, fascinating, interesting and quirky people around me. The people I hold dear have all impacted my creativity in some way, inspiring me to keep going and to challenge myself. Even in the darkest time we've all been there for each other and I have no idea what I would do without them!
Hopefully, you now have a better insight into my mad world and connects all the dots alongside the little passages and titbits in The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom. So, my most welcome traveller, I hope you enjoy what you find and hopefully discover something new here in the musical Fjords.
Keep rockin' 🤘