Mattias Ia Eklundh

Imagine a musical frontier without boundaries, limitations, or restrictions. Let us reveal that record — Freak Guitar-The Road Less Traveled by Mattias IA Eklundh, a Favored Nations new release. This six-string tour de force of musical explorations is a masterclass in sound exploration. Freak Guitar-The Road Less Traveled features 23 stunning tracks that showcase Eklundh’s imagination, seasoned versatility, and fiery virtuoso techniques. Eklundh says, “The thing that I’m most proud about with the album was I gave the record-time.” Eklundh says that time is key to breaking new ground. It’s about that. Although I am influenced by all the same guitarists as everyone else, I tried to take the less traveled route to grow my mustache. I am from Sweden, and everything I do is backwards. I am left-handed and use no effects. There are so many sounds that you can make with the guitar. I am a very open-minded person and wanted to create a party CD that was both listenable and unorthodox. Eklundh received five-star reviews from British publications Kerrang and Guitar Techniques. UK Guitarist says Eklundh is a master of melody, even in his most experimental moments. A stunning cover of “Smoke on the Water”, is just the tip of the iceberg. This is the future of this type of guitar playing. He’s faster than Malmsteen, more fluid than Michael Lee Firkins, and better than Vai. Mattias IAEklundh’s second solo album, Freak Guitar – The Road Less Traveled is a testament to his musical talent. It sounds like an artist who feels at home in his own skin. This isn’t a shredder-guitar wack fest. Freak Guitar is a great album with memorable songs. Eklundh says, “Of course there’s tons of guitar licks in the record. It’s a record that I believe is suited for guitar lovers who like different types of music. It doesn’t require you to be a guitarist nerd to enjoy it. Songs are the star of the album. In guitar instrumental music, it’s even more important to frame your songs and make them accessible to everyone. It shouldn’t be just a place for showing off. He is originally from Sweden and began playing guitar when he was 13. He found inspiration in Frank Zappa’s music and KISS. His passion for ‘left-of-the dial’ mavericks had a profound impact on his artistic direction. “I am not a musical snob. My record collection includes gypsy music, Miles Davis and KISS among others. KISS and Zappa were my main men and still inspire me. They were both unconventional in what they did, and in many ways were opposites of one another, high-fi and low-fi. Zappa was all humor, his enormous skills and the complexity of the music, while KISS was a sledgehammer, and I love both. This duplicity in sounds, approaches, and philosophy has greatly influenced my writing and recording music. Eklundh’s solo work includes 1999’s Freak Guitar and many sonic explorations together with Freak Kitchen. His innovative guitar playing can be heard on records such as Guitar Odyssey-A Tribute to Yngwie Malmsteen, Warmth in the Wilderness – A Tribute to Jason Becker. Eklundh has also produced several instructional DVDs on guitar for the Japanese market, including “Super Virtuosity” and “Hyper Freak Exercise”. The Road Less Traveled opens with an arpeggio, which reveals Eklundh at his best. He captures the listener with incredible guitar dexterity, impeccable note selection, and a great sense of humor. The title track is followed by “There’s No money in Jazz”, which can be compared to Steely Dan and Slayer. The musical brawls are set by fast, high-velocity guitar firepower and machine gun drums that are punctuated with some delicious and lean jazz licks. The melancholy feeling of Mattias song “Father”, which he dedicated to his father Bernt, shifts gears. A torrent of nimble acoustic guitarists imbue this song with the bluestuff of sadness. I think that putting an emotional song such as “Father” on the album ultimately makes it more powerful for the listener. It all comes down to dynamics and how you work on different layers in a song. Even the most experienced musician can find it difficult to cover “Smoke On The Water”, one of the greatest classics in hard rock. Eklundh is up to the challenge and reinvents this classic metal song. “I’m shocked that I had the nerve to cover Smoke On The Water (laughs). This is the song that a guitarist should never cover. My neighbor was a 15-year-old boy who heard it and played it for my ears. I then rediscovered the song. I suggested that I try to imitate the vocal phrasing with my guitar, and make use of natural harmonics. Although it was difficult, I am very pleased with the results. It was a promotion project for the album that I did in France. They played it at a disco, and people of all ages were dancing to it. They didn’t care about how flashy the guitar playing was, they just wanted to have fun. The 23 tracks that make up Freak Guitar-The Road Less Traveled take you on an unforgettable musical journey. Eklundh lets loose his freak flag, proving that sometimes blissful guitar enlightenment is found in the trail just a little further to the left. “I believe there is something for everyone on my album. It’s all about listening with an open mind. from

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