Sipping on a German cappuccino and try to wake up. I find myself in Frankfurt, playing for my dear friends at Laney at the annual (gigantic) Musik Messe. Having a good time here, as usual, meeting and greeting friends from around the world, trying out some new stuff I am working on, signing my brains out, doing another of those Guitar Part-DVDs, playing with Jonas and other stuff.
The fine people of the Russian pedal company AMT built me a wonderful signature distortion pedal, simply called Freak Guitar. I am having some slight modifications done but I hope to have it in production soon! It sounds absolutely awesome with its two hard-working tubes. Battery won’t be an option since it’s not powerful enough to give the tubes what they need. Real neat design as well. Road-proof to say the least. I have used their Fatal Tube and Platinum pedals for years on clinics and at the Freak Guitar Camp. Great, potent stuff! (Some of you may wonder what happened with the AMT-pedal that was supposed to be my big face sculptured. Well, it would be too damn expensive to produce, but perhaps we will be able to pull it off in the future. I still think the idea of stepping on my nose, eyes lighting up, cables plugged into the ears, e t c, is funny, or at least different).
Isn’t Sindre looking cool in his freaky baby-dress? Photographer Patrik Hellström has made it for Björn and Sofia’s first-born (and one for his own son Tim). I think we should start to sell those at the online store.
Did a jam yesterday at the Pro Stage here in Frankfurt with Jonas and stunning South Indian violin player Radhakrishna. Got to learn several new inspiring Ti-hais (short reduction structures) as well the longer Korvai reductions and to me, unfamiliar, yet wonderful modes which I love to sink my teeth into and incorporate in my style. Needless to say, the campers this year will suffer… (Bumped into lots of campers at the Messe. Thanks for the fine, dark chocolate Danny!)
(Jonas and Felix)
(Jonas and the Warwick girls)
It was kind of funny, before the gig we rehearsed a few things together in the Warwick booth. We were joined by the fabulous Felix Pastorius (son the late Jaco) who meant to also sit in with his bass at the loose mini-concert but lost himself at the fair. Dave Mustaine signed autographs in the booth next to us. Wonder what the heck he was thinking about our funky, South Indian, heavy metal jam…
Happy to see Musik Produktiv pushing for the Apple Horn guitar here in Germany. UK distribution has also been taken care of. Might do a couple of Caparison clinics in England later this year.
Hung out with buddy Greg Koch, a stunning player and a very funny man. We will hook up again at the Fuzz Guitar Show in Gothenburg in May.
Got a cup of coffee with legendary Swedish player Bo Winberg from The Spotnicks. Björn used to play with the band and toured all over the place with them.
I am working on this acoustic album (along with all the other future releases). Haven’t been completely satisfied with the acoustic instruments I got, all kinds of them. A friend of mine got me to check out Yamaha’s unorthodox creature of an instrument, the Silent Guitar. At first I was sceptical (understatement) but boy was I wrong and baffled! It kicked major ass and was a blast to play! Got myself two of them already and plan to use it a lot. More about this later on.
Being picked up today by my new acquaintances Robert and Melanie Schiefer for a clinic in Essen before I fly home. Today is the public day of the Musik Messe and WHAUO there are many people here. Hard to move. Laney booth is packed. Video- and digital cameras all over the place. I realize I say stuff that may not be politically correct in the booth but I get carried away. Nobody seem to mind. Forgive my Pagan mouth if insulted in any way.
Watched my amazing friend Christophe Godin play at the Pro stage before saying bye-bye to everyone. He’s such a kick-ass player. Check him out! (There is a brand new CD with his band Mörgbl coming out soon. Really good!)
Bumped into the fabulous Mr. Fastfinger! We’ve only been in contact over mail and it was cool to see the guy live in person. Have you checked out Guitar Shred Show (http://www.guitarshredshow.com/)? Lovely stuff! We decided to stay in touch and see if we can do some stuff together in the future, a possible video, live animation, e t c.
Melanie drove us to Essen in a graceful way and I checked into Welcome Hotel where Robert had booked the biggest suite in the building. Very nice of you, Robert. (I never know what to do with all the space when staying in beefy suites, but I promised Robert to at least imagine I had a short conference in my private conference room and pee a little in every bathroom. So I will, so I will. Thanks a bunch!)
Kick back in the Schiefer residence at the moment, soon about to have a glass of Champagne and tuna pizza. Ahh… That’ll be good. Mieze the Cat and I have become friends in no time. Sweet creature.
Did the clinic in Essen and the tiny room was packed with kids. Had a great time! Thank you for coming! Signed some 27 copies of Freak Guitar – The Road Less Traveled on a car roof afterwards.
Outside the clinic room there was this gorgeous Mercedez 300SEL 6.3 from 1969. Well, it was under restoration, but it is still the most beautiful car in the world to me. One day I will certainly buy one of these magnificent beasts and ride in the Swedish woods. Also got a copy German Guitar magazine that featured an interview with moi + a CD-thing which was done in Berlin close to a year ago. Completely forgot about it and didn’t have a clue when Robert told me stuff that was mentioned.
Time to get on the plane here in Düsseldorf. Robert and Melanie, thank you for everything. You are truly fine people!
Got home and received an e-mail from American friend Eric Clemenzi. He was psyched to see I was voted Best New Talent in Guitar Player’s May issue. Yeah! Far beyond good and ego boosting news! I’d like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to each and everyone who have voted for me. This is a big honour, needless to say, and I hereby promise to release tons of inspired, home-grown Viking music in the future. Thank you all. I appreciate it a lot.