Norwegian-American rocker Toggo Ultrarock recently released his new single “Creepy Wonderwall” world-wide. His emotionally charged Oasis cover is a dark and haunting version of the original with the kind of sincere and unique vocal delivery that only Toggo can conjure.
Toggo was happy to share questions and answers regarding his new single as well as his life and career. Toggo’s goal in his own words is “ To leave the world irrecoverably inspired by his music and persona”, and he’s well on his way to accomplishing that…
What has been people’s reaction to “Creepy Wonderwall?”
I’ve released other songs before obviously, but I have never gotten a reaction like the one I’m getting for this. It’s just absolutely insane. Within an hour it had 1000 streams on Spotify and the reactions I’m getting are just amazing. I have a good feeling about this one.
What inspired you to do a cover, because I know that you are a really great songwriter?
Don’t get me wrong, I already have another fully produced single, ready to go. But a while back, my old guitarist Johnny Santoro, who is also a great producer, played me the demo of this track and I said “oh my God you’ve got to be kidding me, we have to do this live!” So Johnny produced the tracks and we started doing it live. People went nuts every time we played it, so I knew there was something special there. That’s why I had to release it before anything else.
What do you hope people will take away with them from your version of the song?
My goal with songs is always to transport the listener somewhere else than where they are. With Creepy Wonderwall, I get a lot of teary reactions, people choking up from listening to it, due to how emotional it is, and the symphonic soundscape. That makes me feel like I did my job well.
I feel like you put a lot of emotion into it…. I mean all of your songs you do with passion and emotion, but I feel like there was just a little extra something in this song.
There was. I was going through some heavy stuff with my girlfriend at the time, and I really channeled it to that song, just pure, raw emotion, and people always pick up on that; when it’s authentic. Incidentally the same girl is actually the girl on the cover.
During this pandemic a lot of artists got a lot more creative, because there was nothing else to do but focus on creativity. How was it for you?
Same thing. It hasn’t really given me a choice. Everyone were just bottled up at home. So I have been super creative, not just with my music but with my business and with everything.
Why has there been such a long time between releasing “Cannonball” which was so awesome, and this song?
That’s a good question. Honestly, I’ve been in a dark period of…I don’t know what to call it. Depression definitely hits me here and there, and this was a big one. I wasn’t able to pull myself out of this until a few months ago.
You are such a great musician….it’s almost like you’re afraid to become famous…I mean you’re already a superstar….
Thanks. Not on a conscious level but subconsciously I think there has been some fear of success because I have managed to sabotage myself in my career a few of times in the past. The good thing is I finally came out of that. Between moving here and starting a new life, I am blossoming again in a big way. I am more active and productive than I have been in my whole life.
Will you be touring in support of this single?
What I am focused on first of all is promoting Creepy Wonderwall and getting it out there online as much as I possibly can, instead of going the opposite route.
You know I’ve done that before where you struggle on an indie tour and there’s three people that show up because nobody knows you. Since promotion is what I do, I’m going to work hard at it and try and build up way more of a buzz before I go to the touring route.
So, if you could help me ask you any question on the planet what would you want me to ask you?
That’s easy – “Toggo, I’m going to give you $1 million – where and when would you like me to drop it off?” (laughs).
You know, I kind of got a head start living the rock star lifestyle, without actually being a well-known rock star yet. I live in the house of my dreams, I own the kind of cars I dreamed of when I was a kid, and I enjoy the kind of lifestyle most people dream of. And I got there by being extremely stubborn; by never giving up.
To anyone else struggling with anything, especially as a musical artist, the advice I would give is, be courageous, and don’t ever, ever, ever give up. Or sell out. I can say that with confidence because I feel like I did sell out out for a lot of years, trying to make my songs extra radio friendly.
Look at some the most successful bands of all time – the Beatles, Guns N’ Roses, Zeppelin, Metallica, Nirvana, and so on. What they all had in common was that they didn’t give a flying fuck about radio hits. They just went with what was in their hearts. Most of them were convinced that it really wasn’t going to work on a large scale.
I just saw this special with Paul McCartney on Hulu, where he was talking about one the biggest hits The Beatles ever had. When they wrote it, they were convinced it wouldn’t go anywhere…because they wrote it for themselves – not to try to create a hit. Yet it became a monster world-wide hit. When you come from that kind of authenticity, and have a lot of talent at the same time, that’s when the world starts opening for you.
What does your new single mean to you personally?
Like I was saying earlier I was in a bad spot romantically when I was recording it, hurting really bad. I just pulled everything painful inside of me out onto the track. The funny thing is until you brought this up I completely forgot that I had done that. Then I go over in my mind how emotional this song is, and I think oh shit… I was a ball of emotion when I recorded that and that’s how the emotion found its way in there. I think also that that’s why it has such an impact on people.
Well then you must be in pain a lot of the time….
Haha, not exactly. But I do tend to write my best songs when I’m struggling with something, especially the romantic area. And that area has been a bit of a mess for me the past 7 years, and thank God for that I suppose as a lot of great songs have come out of it.
Download “Creepy Wonderwall” on Apple Music here:
Follow Toggo Ultrarock on the web:
Photo Credits: Toggo Ultrarock