Lars Eric Mattsson is living music, he's active for a long time and right now he presented another solo album, but Aurora Borealis is special in it's own way. I shot over a few questions which been answered within no time. Thanks a lot to Lars Eric!
You are a busy man, running your label and recording albums with different bands. So it's no surprise that between your last real solo album Earthbound and Aurora Borealis years passed - not taking the No Surrender + Live release in account. When did you first think about doing another Lars Eric Mattsson album?
I have had the idea to do this album for many years and at the end of last summer I more or less just woke up one morning with a hunger to give it a try. :-) Before that I had a period where I didn't really do any music at all for a few months as I had been feeling a bit burned out from too much work, but as soon as I started the inspiration came flowing and it all came together very easy.
Aurora Borealis is combining different elements but shows a lot influences by classic composers.. Obviously you are influenced by J.S. Bach, at least Bounce seems to proof this... Do you hope to raise some people's interested in him?
Yes, it is true that classical music and specially J S Bach has been a big influence on me. I used to listen to a lot of classical music in the past and I even studied classical guitar for a short period long ago. I don't really hold any hope of turning other people on to classical music though. :-)
I'm not an expert on classic, but do I hear some references to Telemann and / or Händel at Eternal Cycles?
I don't really know where the influences come from myself! I think all the stuff I have been listening to has merged and I do actually listen to classical radio sometimes without really knowing what I am listening to... Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Händel, Mozart, Telemann, Holst etc are all part of the equation.
The opening part of Planetary Strength make me think of Mozart's The Magic Flute... Was Mozart an inspiration for you? And which other classic composers you like?
It's funny you mention this title as it's one of my own favorites. Mozart was surely an inspiration, but in this track I think I took some of my own progressive ideas and converted them to the classical format as well. I do believe that J B Bach and L V Beethoven are my two absolute favorites, but there are also the previously mentioned composers and I might have forgotten some...
I'm always wondering how one comes up with the titles for instrumental music... How do you find the right title for a track?
Most often the time the title does reflect what I was thinking of or felt that the music sounded like while composing a track, but it's all very abstract and sometimes very hard to explain. Cold Water Spirit came from thinking of how if would feel like to drown in a cold ocean. I saw an old movie about a submarine during WW2 and I guess that's where it all came from...
Would you like to perform Aurora Borealis at least on time with an orchestra? Perhaps filming it for a DVD?
Yes, I do and I hope it would be possible. I am actually trying to find a way to make it happen.
Allow me an off topic questions... March 11th a big quake shook Japan and a tsunami devastated the coastal areas. With Embrace The Sun you'll raise money for the Red Cross to help Japan. Please tell us what's the current status on this project!
There will be about 23-25 bands included so it will become a double CD and it will be released on June 17. Just over half of the tracks have been finished and I expect the remaining tracks to arrive within the next few days. Most of our bands are taking part in this, only Seventh Wonder and Vendetta have been unable to participate, and the for all guitar freaks there will be a closing track with 8 guitarists jamming together.
Do you consider to do a video for this benefit album to get more attention for the release? Or do you think that it's better to donate the money a video would cost?
Actually a few bands will do their own videos, but I prefer to keep all costs as a minimum so no common video has been planned.
What's the status on Vision? Condition Red? Anything in the works?
I think they are deep asleep. :-) And I don't know, if they will return again.
What will be the next album you're working on?
I really don't have any plans at this time, I think I will have to recharge my batteries. :-) And see what happens.
So keep your eyes open for the Lion Music tribute to Japan album and if you haven't listened to Aurora Borealis yet, it's time to. I'm usually not a friend of instrumental music and I'm not much into classic, but I really enjoyed this album. And I hope that it will make it onto stage on day. And even if he hasn't any future plans at the moment, I guess it won't take long til he's back with some project.