"All About The Album - 15 Questions" - a brand new section at the RockUnited site where any recording artist with an recently released CD is confronted with 'album' questions (15 of them, duh!). If you'd like to have your material up here, email: urban "at" rockunited.com (simply replace "at" with your standard @ )
LARS ERIC MATTSSON: "Aurora Borealis – Concerto for Orchestra and Electric Guitar"
LARS ERIC MATTSSON - "Aurora Borealis" Marking Lion Music's 300th release, neo-classical guitar virtuoso / composer Lars Eric Mattsson returns with the ultimate neo-classical experience in which metal and rock guitar, bass and drums meets classical music for the harmoniously rich 'Aurora Borealis'. This new wholly instrumental 12 track release takes a fresh approach to the blend of guitar and orchestra for a musical experience as uplifting as seeing the wonder of the northern lights, from which the album gets its title. Learn more about the album, here's,: LARS ERIC MATTSSON...
How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
Very good thank you. I knew that making this album was taking a chance as it was quite a bit different and a few people don't like this kind of music so you can't do much about that but most people seem to get it, and from these people we have had nothing but good response.
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
A bit over 3 months, then I left it alone for a month and then I made some minor quick changes before it was mastered. Considering how complex the music is it all went down suprisingly easy and the composing process was also very much painless. Perhaps because I wanted to do this album for many years, so I really didn't have any problem with finding inspiration.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
A Classical orchestra with a drummer, bass and one electric guitar, no additional guitar overdubs and no "wall of sound". It should be possible to recreate everything on stage.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
I was the producer as well and I try to differentiate the role of producer and musician, actually I find that not too different anymore as I have worked like this also in the past.
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
Yes I am happy with both the sound and the production. Of course when mixing it is always a matter of doing the best you can within a set timeframe and then leaving things as good as they are.
Did the producer (you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
No it was all quite standard for this kind of release though I probably used more microphones that before.
How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound' in the studio, or perhaps you didn't
I think I have improved my recorded guitar sound a bit this time. I recorded my guitars (Mofified Stratocaster and Valley Arts Custom Pro) through a Peavey 6505+ with a Mesa Boogie 4x12 cabinet with 4 different mic's and then when mixing I could choose the one that I felt fit best for each track. It’s really a very straigh forward sound as I don’t really use much effects.
Please inform us about your favourite songs and why?
My personal favourites are probably "Planetary Strength" which might be the most weird song on the album but also the most interesting I think, and then the closong track "Starfall" which is very minimalistic. A great melody performed by just a few strings and one guitar.
Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?
This is different for each song and project but I try to include and interesting harmonic structure and stay away from clichés.
Does your vision for coming up with music get affected at all by time?
No, I don't think so. Musically I kind of live in my own world and let everyone else do what they want to while I try to improve my own style.
Did the record company interfere with anything on your "sound" and songs?
Yes, they wanted to but did not have any say! [Urban's note: ehem, a very personal conflict?? :-)]
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
Considering how complex the music is I think the recording process was almost too hassle free and I don’t really remember anything problematic or weird. The first things we recorded, some strings over a click track had to be replaced because I lost some files but that's all really and everything actually sounded much better the second time anyway, so it was all good really.
How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?
This is the ultimate neoclassical experience where metal and rock guitar, bass and drums meet classical music in a totally original sounding experience like never heard before. It's filled with interesting compositions and the best guitar playing I have ever been able to record.
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
Early on I guess I was influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Uli Jon Roth, Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and the best of the great hard rock bands from the 70-ies and early 80-ies I guess. But I don’t really listen to these anymore…
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
Please check out my new album:
"Aurora Borealis – Concerto for Orchestra and Electric Guitar", and look out for the upcoming Japanese tsunami and earthquake relief album
"Embrace the Sun" which will be released on June 17. There is a Mattsson track called
"Mother" included sung by Adrienn Antal as well as a jam track when I joined by 7 other guitarists.
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,