LARS ERIC MATTSSON discusses his new album INTO THE UNKNOWN (Lion Music 2019)
Please tell me a little bit about what you have been up to since we spoke four years ago in 2015.
In 2017 I released my previous solo album "Sand and Blood" and last year also a non-album single "Vicky's Eyes" which was written for a film that never materialised. I also did a single "Tomorrow Never Knows" (Beatles cover) as well as a full concept album "Illusion of Truth" with CONDITION RED, a progressive band I formed with Alexander King in 2001.
And I released tracks by Beethoven, Haydn, Handel and Vivaldi for the compilation albums "Lion Music Presents..."either as solo artist or with Condition Red. I was the executive producer of all six albums in this series that were made between 2014-2019.
New versions of five Lars Eric Mattsson's VISION albums have been released, some of them just remastered, but two of them were totally remixed, sometimes with new vocals and guitars and also featuring some previously unreleased tracks.
I performed live for a few years with my local blues/blues rock band Roadhouse but this band is now on hold. Our bass player passed away in 2017 and I have been too busy to continue but I do miss this. It sure was fun to jam.
I have been super busy...
Please describe the music of your new fantastic album "Into the Unknown"
It's hard for me to describe but I tried to make it interesting and accessible at the same time. There are 15 songs on the album but it's still just about 45 minutes long. Some of the songs were written as interludes or epilogues to other songs. I had a very clear vision of what I wanted to say musically with this album. I guess I am just continuing to evolve as a musician and writer on a life long journey where I just let things happen. I know I have changed quite a bit and I guess the path I am on now started in 2013 with the "Epicentre" album.
Is this a concept album? I get this feeling from the five short pieces that bridge everything together in a very nice way.
Not really, musicially perhaps but the lyrics are about a few different real life topics. Things that I have been very close to one way or another but I don't really feel the urge to explain them. I belive it's all in the eyes of the beholder. True art should always be like that. I never wrote down any of the lyrics, they just appeared in my head and I recorded them like that, one piece at a time. Actually all my music is made like that, no paper, ever...
Please tell me what guitars and basses you used to record this album.
Almost all songs were built around the rhythm guitar tracks which is always the first thing I record, and on about half the songs I used my 7-string Boel, on the other half I used my coustom True Temperament stratocaster. "Soul Mate" is the exemption as it was done mostly on a Telecaster. I did the guitar solo on this one with the Telecaster as well, otherwize all my solos were done on my white True Temperament strat. The only guitar effect I used while recording was a Cry Baby wah wah. Then there are a few clean guitar parts that I did with my Jeff Beck custom shop and there is quite a lot of my Coral electric sitar here and there. Bass guitars were done with a Warwick thumb bass on all songs except for "Time to Change" where I played the fretless Bass Maniac.
Do you plan to support your new album live?
I would love to, the problem is I don't really have a band that is able to tour. Of course I have musicians around me but they are all busy with other stuff.
How about your other bands that you have formed?
Lars Eric Mattsson's VISION I think will not happen again, there will be a single our from BOOK OF REFLECTIONS soon, as for CONDITION RED there are a few songs in demo stages but I am not able to confirm anything at this time.
What was your goal with making this album?
It was time for me to express myself again, these songs kind of exploded fom my inside and I just had to catch them and do something with them, fast while the fire was burning.
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I honestly have no idea, there are a few reissues I want to make happen and I do have quite a lot of unfinished/unreleased material of all kinds that I should do something with.
In what way do you think your new album is different from your last album "Sand and Blood"?
I think "Into the Unknown" is the natural successor, it's not really very different but perhaps a bit more progressive and a bit more 70-ies like in a few places but then again, it's hard for me to tell. It was written and recorded much faster though. three months for everything is super fast for me. I had so much inspiration that I could not really sleep while I was making this album. I remember I was even coming up with changes to some songs while dreaming...
How much time to you spend practising and rehearsing music per day or week.
Not enough to be honest! I have been too busy with other things the last two years but I practise or jam most days a bit, but there are also periods when I don't touch a guitar for a few weeks, but then again, when I am back at it, it feels more fun.
What are your future plans?
A "new" single with BOOK OF REFLECTIONS will be released on August 28, it's actually a remix of a Japanese bonus track we did in 2005 for the first album. I will also reissue the Astral Groove album that was released in 1995 with new mixes and some new parts as the original recordings unfortunately have been lost.