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Lars Eric Mattsson Interview | FESTIVALPHOTO

Lars Eric Mattsson Interview


Lars Eric Mattsson

"An Obsession with Guitars that will Last into Eternity”

There are guitarists, and there are guitarists. Some make an impression, some lasts over the decades. LARS ERIC MATTSSON is definitely one of the everlasting ones. Ever changing, ever exploring, but still with a keen eye to all things progressive, which he either releases, features in or both. Everything from neoclassical to modern metal is in his varied portfolio. Who is not curious about the views on metal and the record business of a guy who has been in the business, in many ways, for over 20 years?

But no more of me, time for the star himself - Hello Lasse, cheers for your time

- Thanks for having me!

First up, when did you start playing and who influenced you? How come you got into music?

- I started playing in cover bands and together with an accordion player on bass at the age of 16. I did not know any of the songs and we never rehearsed! But later I played with more serious cover bands even though they were not THAT serious! after some time I switched to guitar and soon started writing my own songs. My influences were Ritchie Blackmore, Jimi Hendrix, Uli Jon Roth, Eddie Van Halen, Michael Schenker etc, I think Uli was my main influence but I never listen to any of these guys now…

Your albums are quite varied, if you ask me, could you please describe your various stages of development

- I like to experiment and try new things. Actually this is what keeps my hunger for music fresh and this is how I grow. I always try to learn something new, some things you might not end up being as good as other things you find but in total I think this way of working is essential for me. Lately I have been feeling more comfortable with my music and I think I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I am just doing what I like and what I enjoy doing. In the end it seems like everything I have done in my whole life ends up in a new mix every second year or so, when I have a new album done. Technically I become more careful and aware all the time and this is both good and bad.

You founded Lion Music and premiered with VISION in 1997, what caused you to delve into the record business? Would you do the same thing in 2009 if you were to start all over again?

- I had huge problems with a label I was signed to in 1993 and almost quit music completely. They were impossible to do deal with but not very much later they went bankrupt. I thought I can do this better myself. Of course I had no idea what I was doing and it was a long hard ride and very much harder that I could have imagined but now here I am! To start a label today is madness unless you want to burn money you don’t need.

Could you specify your sound, what effects, guitars etc do you use?

- I don’t like many effects, in general only some delay. I am always searching for a better sound and am just about to get a new amp. When it comes to guitars I love the Fender Stratocaster, but I also play a 7-string BOEL guitar and a Valley Arts guitar from ca 1990 (same model as Steve Lukather used to play). I have about 17 guitars of different models but I haven’t bought anything in a few years now.

Your career range from neoclassical, both instrumental and in a band situation, to modern sounding hard rock with female vocals, what can we expect from you in the future?

- There will be at least 2 more reissues in new versions, probably next year, but making new music is my main priority and I will continue to work in the vein of the last MATTSSON album “Dream Child” but there is also an all acoustic album in the works. My female singer Adrienn Antal has had some health problems but all is fine now so hopefully we will proceed soon. This is my main priority.

What is happening in your world in the near future?

- At this moment I am compiling, polishing and remixing stuff for another re-issue planned for early next year, but I am also writing for the follow up to Dream Child and I might also be producing another artist if there is enough time…

Thanks for this insight in your world Lasse!

Who can but wonder at how he finds the time and the money to all this. But as you have all seen there is still a lot of mileage in the guitar slinger from Åland. I am certain that he will continue down the same road with new developments and new talent to boost from his record company headquarters. Here´s to the next…20 years Lasse?!


Skribent: Mikael Johansson
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