LARS ERIC MATTSSON talks about his new album EVOLUTION (Lion Music 2023)
It’s been almost two years since you released your previous album ”The Outsider” which featured 10 different singers and 19 tracks and contained many different musical textures. Your new album ”Evolution” seems much more homogeneous, and way more focused. Do You agree?
Yes, I wanted to make an album where all the songs kind of fit together and create this special unity rather than straying too far away in various directions, something I might be too good at.
Even if the music is not too far away from what might be expected from you, the orchestral elements are lifting the material to a new level. How did you come up with this approach?
Just like too many things in my life perhaps it just kind of happened. I knew I was going to make a different album than last time and not go in too many directions at the same time. So as much focused songwriting as possible and not too much ”showing off” but at the same time keep things exciting and dynamic. And I do love adding orchestral textures when the music calls for it.
Prior to the album’s release you have released shorted videos for each song on the album rather than going for a single a few weeks before the release. Why did you choose that approach? And do you think it was a good idea?
We live in times that are constantly changing and I see that usually people just watch a bit of a video and quickly move on so I was trying to not bore people too much with my videos. It’s too early to say if this was successful or not but I know I have reached many new music fans by doing things this way.
Your singing is fantastic on this album. Did you work with a vocal couch?
Thank you! No, but I spent a lot of time working on these songs. Learning by being critical to yourself and always thinking ”Maybe I can do better”.
I think most people see you as a guitar player more than anything else. What are your thoughts about that?
After being a bass player in various cover bands in my teens I switched to guitar mostly because I wanted to learn how to write songs. Of course then a million of things happened and I got totally obsessed with guitar playing. But at the end of the day it’s the quality of the music, not the guitar solos that matter. I also became very interested in recording, production and making good quality songs. Not really hits but music that I myself think is great. I never cared about becoming popular or anything like that so I have always walked by own way. During the last years I have been working a lot on my vocal abilities and I probably spent more time on the vocals that on the guitars on this album. I see myself at an artist more than just a guitar player (or singer).
The opening track ”Fighting the Good Fight” is about Russia’s attack on Ukraine I believe from seeing the video sample. What can you tell about the other songs on this album?
Yes, that is correct! ”Lies” is about a very famous politician you all know and ”Sail On” just kind of wrote itself teh day after someone I used to know passed away unexpected. ”Where Are You?” Is about how some people refuse to accept that the world has changed and ”the good old days” as they think will not come back. ”Stand Up” and ”We Are One” I think speak for themselves. The lyrics are pretty clear.
Am I right to think that your guitar playing is also a bit different than previously?
I am not sure, I think I do add some different minor stuff every now and then but I don’t really think about that very much. These things just seem to happen and of course we all hopefully evolve over time.
Will you finally tour with this album? And what are your future plans?
I would love to tour with this album! If there is sufficient interest by fans I will do what I can to make it happen, either a full blown tour or some selected shows.
Lars June 2023