INTERVIEW MATTIAS IA EKHLUND ::..
May 16th 2004
Well plenty. First of all I bought a couple of new shoes (laugh). The first Freak Guitar was released in 1999. To our very big surprise, it has been sold very good. Nobody believed in it. But is was one of the best sellings in South East Asia. 10.000 copies. It was recorded in a bathroom, appeared on 8 channels which is pretty amazing. Steve VAI called me one day and told me he really liked my stuff and want to release it. I wondered if it was true. It has been released it 11 different versions. It's really amazing. So I bought myself a house in Gothenburg with great fire place, 3 cats and a french dog, a beauceron. I have a little forest and a nice river. I have my studio in the basement. I just feel like I'm a fortunate guy. I've been touring a lot with Freak Kitchen, and recording. Life is really good actually. Then I started to record Freak Guitar, the Roadless travel 2 years ago. It's very cool to have your own studio, because you can take all the time you need. I wake up early in the morning, take my Beauceron for a walk in the woods, take breakfast with my fiancée, take my cup of cofee, go down in the basement and work as long as I feel like it. I think you can hear it in the music, it's make in a passionate and friendly way. I like experimentation but time is really the keyword.
On this new Freak Guitar album, with 23 titles, we can hear very different styles of music like jazz, samba Is it a way to talk about the music you like or the music that influences you ?
Well I enjoy plenty of musics. I just use them and told myself "Hopefully I'll get a unit that's very organic". And you say "ok ! it's a cool album for strange people". I don't want to make albums only for guitar players or musicians. I like the fact that there are a lot of other people who buy it. They just like different music. I think you can dance on the most of these tracks, not of all but I think you can jump on tracks like 'Cafeine' or 'The Roadless Travel' or 'Smoke on The Water'.
You use basic sounds like type machine, video game or rain and it sounds so amazing. How do you compose ?
Most of it is done by mistake. My fiancée is a Mcintosh girl and she bought this bad Epson Stylus color type machine. As she turned it on for the first time, it took about ten minutes before it was ready to print. "What ? What a sound is that ? Ok ! Bring the microphone !" (laugh) and that's why I wanted to tune it. Well I just do the way I feel like. That's why I called this album "The Roadless Travel", because I never did it before.
Do you know the French Guitarist Christophe Godin ?
Oh Yes ! He's a great guitar player ! We are very nice friends.
He played once in a crazy Band, called Ze Morglbl Trio
I know I know ! I've got all the cd's. Very great job ! I really like it !
When you see that Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Robert Fripp are playing on stage together, the guitar heroes, we wonder why there are no Freak duet or trio ?
We spoke about it
a lot but again, the problem is time. We spoke about making a G3 and a
half, or a G2 and a half (laugh). But we'll see.
Oh yeah, the vibromasseur (laugh) ! Well it was actually given to me as a present, and not to play guitar with. I get it for my birthday and I wonder what it was. There's a motor inside and intead of shaking inside you know where, I just tried it out on the guitar. And it sounded wonderful ! But as I used it on the Freak Kitchen Tour, I wanted it to stay into the past. So there's actually no vibromasseur on "The Roadless Travel".
On the first Freak Guitar album, you made a recover of Kiss. On this one it was a Deep Purple one. Why this choice ?
Well, it's a scary
business to do a song like "Smoke on the Water". So many people
have covered it. It's a song you here in clubs, pubs, and for me, I would
never done it. But we went to dinner in a friend's house and their teenage
kids they were downloading a lot of things from Kazaa and they played
the "Smoke on the Water" really really loud and I got the feeling
I heard it for the first time. I felt "Yes ! This is a really cool
song ! I could make a techno version from it !" After that, I get
a lot of strange emails from the USA saying "You'll burn in hell
for what you made to our rock music !" But Fuck (laugh) !
Well I made a recover of Zappa and I get a lot of problems. It costs a lot of money. Especially for the US release that we had to take away. Zappa family lawyers were very expensive. Steve Vai wanted to fight for it, as he is in the States. But it would has been too costly. But one day, I would love to definitely have the right to recover Zappa's stuff because I really love the music.
Why did you choose to put a song with lyrics on this instrumental album ?
When I tried to work on the running order, it really made sense to have one because it makes possible to listen to the entire album. You would become insane after a couple of minutes (laugh) !
A sort of break in the album ?
Yeah ! Like "It's time to breathe".
Which public is targetted by this album ?
Everybody. Everybody with an open mind. You don't have to be a guitar player to listen to it. Do you play guitar ?
Actually not. And that's why I was a little afraid to make this interview. Because I'm not used to listen to instrumental albums. But when I listen to "The Roadless Travel", I found it totally crazy ! All these moods, crazy sounds I told myself "It's for everyone !"
Yes ! Yes ! I totally approve (laugh) ! Thank you ! That's the idea ! I feel like I succeeded. You are a person who got it ! I'm really glad you see it that way ! Good girl (laugh) !
Something to say to the readers and fans ?
Well, stay freaky ! Stay French ! See you in november !