Greetings again. Certain blog frenzy here. Watching Denmark pass by below me as we approach Holland. Yes. I am sitting on yet another plane, this time to Bremen via Amsterdam (as usual). The weather is beyond shitty (although I love it but not when in an aircraft). Everything is delayed and half the flights are cancelled at Schiphol airport. We will see if I will make it to Germany in time. The captain just told us to look at the sea to get an idea how strong the winds are. As if we don’t feel it through the turbulence. Thank God it’s a short flight. I have been stuck at Schiphol many times. Carry with me a terabyte of HD video footage to edit so I know what to do if the shit hits the fan. Have a nice hotel awaiting me in Germany though so I hope to avoid a Dutch stay on this journey.
Got a chunk of groovy US live shots from amazing photographer Todd Brown the other day. Here are a few:
All star jam dudes!
Playing for Laney tomorrow and the day after tomorrow at the Musik Produktiv fair. Left the house with my precious Gabriel jumping up and down in his new swing toy, hanging from the ceiling. I can’t get the image of his laughing, beautiful face off my mind. He was having a ball, harassing Maya the Dog as she passed by. Gee, kids grow fast. I totally understand what I’ve been hearing from other moms and dads. The little fella is now past 70 cm long and over 10 kilos heavy. He is a freakin’ real person with a wonderful personality, cracking us up, filling our parent hearts with joy every day. I also have never been in better playing shape, thanks to Gabriel. He digs Daddy’s choice of notes so I spend plenty of time with my acoustic (good to build strength in the hands) and try various tunes every day, something I would never had expected would happen. Gabriel experienced fire for the first time the other day and was baffled by it. Totally hypnotized. We have a huge fireplace in the living room where you can squeeze in a small forest (if you feel the need to). Dean Martin on the stereo and a cozy, warm fire makes the boy truly happy. Ahh, my son, my son.
Made it to Amsterdam in good health. Bad weather seems to have moved on slightly. Goodie goodie. Talked to Kee Marcello on the phone and enjoyed salad and a glass of white wine at the lounge while checking e-mails. At the airport the new Eagles album Long road out of Eden was played in the speaker system. Got it and dig it a lot. (Especially the second disc where Don Henley is in tiptop sarcastic form, despite what critics say). Sure, lots of it has been heard before, echoes from classic songs to left and right, and some of the love lyric stuff is a bit too trivial here and there, but still… I dig it. I do. It’s not everyday you get a new Eagles release so one shouldn’t complain. (What was the name of the band that wrote ‘Don Henley must die, don’t let him get back together with Glenn Frey’?)
Had a great clinic the other day in the Swedish city of Oskarshamn. A day time gymnasium thing that easily could have turned into a cheesy event. The auditorium was packed by kids from near and far and I had loads of fun! Thanks to Dejan for arranging the whole thing. I will be back. You kids kick ass!
Worked on Land of the Freaks as much as I could the last week, trying to ignore carpenters making noise outside my studio door. Edited and cleaned tracks up. Extended some parts and shortened other. Played a bit of Silent Guitar on One Last Dance that made the song glow. Tried out an acoustic solo, dubbing it, but it won’t make it to the finished album. It couldn’t compete with the intensity of everything else. (I will try to go through the stuff not used and put it on the DVD. Some of it is pretty nice but just don’t fit. Put up my video cam in the basement and play the various versions of takes). Got an e-mail from my friend Thomas Rydell who finished working on a string arrangement on the song OK (the first Pantuvarali power ballad as far as I know). Thomas has booked a studio in Eskilstuna where the actual playing will take place. I believe it will sound awesome together with Radhakrishna’s sweeping fills on the song. Also started to work on a couple of Freak Guitar Camp backing tracks for next year that some will find tricky (which is the point). ‘
Tuning up in Germany
Asked Björn the other day about a couple of recent photos of Sindre and here we go:
Son in groovy outfit + Freak Dad
Besides NAMM show in January I will make a couple of clinics in Greece early February. Seriously thinking about doing the Schorndorf Gitarrentage for the third year in a row. Mostly because I dig to work with the people of Kulturforum but it also creates a window for me to go into hard core notation insanity in the evenings back at the Hotel Bauer, preparing for the camp. The Bauers are really nice people. Having sort of the same name as Jack Bauer is pretty cool too. (Kiefer, you got to stop drinking, dude. Those U-turns endanger the entire series. From one thing to the other). We’ll see, we’ll see. Hope Björn and Chris are up for concert at the Gitarrentage again.
Glad to hear guitar demon Michael Lee Firkins is back with a great new release. Got to sink my teeth into the album in Italy. He’s got a wonderful, bluesy style, stunning chops and godly time and manages to avoid stereotype playing which often is the case. (Lost track of the man after his brilliant debut album). Check it out. Awesome stuff.
Had a funny and loose photo session with Yamaha and the acoustic Silent Guitar the other day. I can’t stand photo shoots but it’s a necessary evil and this one was quick and to the point.
Looking forward to the second rehearsal Sunday the 25th this month for the beefy concert 1st of March 2008 with the LJO!
Dear friend and Caparison mastermind Itaru Kanno and myself are talking about the next Apple Horn guitar. I would love to have your input. How would your Apple Horn look like? Special features? Sound? Color? Drop me an e-mail if you got cool ideas at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Every mail is read and taken into serious consideration.
Nylon string bliss…
Now it is Sunday all of a sudden and my first Father’s day although I am not home… (Sniff, sniff, sniff). Played a couple of times today at the messe and had a tiptop time on stage. In between the Freak Guitar madness I set up tiny guerilla video editing studio at the Musik Produktiv store. Managed to cut two tunes, Ugly Side of Me and Snap from the Storan concerts last year. I love the vibe. It is LIVE, for real. Honest and no bull (well, it is lots of bull but our kind of bull. I am laughing my ass off at times, watching my crazy bros going nuts). Plenty of dirt under the fingernails. I believe the DVD will turn out groovy, at least in my book. It feels like the live vibe is captured in a very vivid way. If you like polished, overdubbed crap that looks like a slick, sexless, sterile, well-produced rock video, then you might not like it. Freak Kitchen – Live Actually (hey, that is a pretty nice title! Will check with the Freak Brothers and see what they think).
The great Horea Silviu Crisovan
Hooked up with a bunch of Freak Guitar Campers here at the fair which is always fine. Makes me jolly every time. We’re like one, big, twisted, global family, ergh, ergh, ergh. Tried to sink my teeth into the Beethoven score but it was too much mayhem going on. Hard to do delicate Ludwig Van phrasing when you have some guy blasting away distorted minor pentatonic Zakk Wylde licks behind you. Whatever. Happy to see AMT pedals doing great in Germany, including the Freak Guitar pedal. Splendid Romanian player Horea Silviu Crisovan was a real treat to watch and listen to. Keep it up Horea! (See you in Romania next summer perhaps?)
Gee what an ego boost: some inspired fella decided to smack my photo on the front page of the official Messe program. My friends from PB International, the German Laney dealer, harassed me throughout the stay by calling me the ‘top act’ (’top act, top act, top act’). Well, I guess it was good they put me on there instead of Scott Ian of Anthrax since he didn’t show up. Ian apparently is on tour with Meat Loaf (!) who got sick. I was looking forward to meet the guy. I still think Among the Living is one of coolest albums to date. Did many push-ups to Skeletons in the closet back in the days…
Now I am off to Verden where I will sleep tonight before heading home. I was told there is a bloody tornado on the way!? Not the most usual weather in Europe (or elsewhere) these days. Looking forward to do baby swimming with Gabriel on Tuesday before a one day thing in Lithuania on Wednesday and a band clinic in Sweden with the fellow Freaks on Saturday.
Didn’t manage to get the blog up the day I was home so now I am sitting on yet another plane, this time to Copenhagen and onward to Vilnius, Lithuania. Have only been to Estonia before (back in the Fate days) so I am really looking forward to go nuts in a, to me, new Baltic country and check out the surroundings. Grabbed a double espresso to wake up and finished the Honey, You’re a Nazi lyrics at the airport. Every time I complete stuff, whatever it may be, I get a true feeling of fulfillment bliss. I love it. It’s the hardest thing, to get shit done from start to finish. Beginning something is easy. Wrapping it up is not. Anyway, the lyric turned out better than expected which made me full of early morning joy. Since we work without any outside pressure this time things go smooth and very unforced. We have yet to track the drums for reasons out of our control that has delayed it a bit, but it’s no big deal. It will happen soon and it’ll be worth the wait.
Backstage now in a big auditorium in Vilnius now where the clinic will take place in fifty minutes or so. The people who set the whole Freak Guitar Clinic up, Danius and the guys from Real Sound, are very pro and easy going. They booked me the most groovy room, a suite actually, at one of the city’s more exclusive hotels. It’s sort of a penthouse with windows in every direction. Neat, to say the least (and appreciated a lot).
Frank is in the hou… park
Strolled around the place today and said hello to the cool Frank Zappa bust here. That’s amazing, they actually have Frank looking at you from a high pedestal in the center of town. Way to go Lithuania!
Did a whole bunch of interviews over coffee and stuffed veggie food in my mouth before the clinic took place.
Vilnius clinic time
It was lovely to play and talk about my mumbo jumbo guitar style for a couple of hours in front of the fine audience. I dug it a lot and felt really relaxed. Signed one of two Caparisons in Lithuania after the show and posed for lots of photos.
Later on we finished the evening at a swell bar with great fish dishes and local snacks that I ate until I was about to puke. On my way out I fell instantly in love with genuinely bizarre piece of Lithuanian art, done by a guy simply called ‘Santa’. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. To my utmost surprise the owner or the place gave it to me there, on the spot. Must present it to Bjorn and Chris. It might as well be the Land of the Freaks cover for all I care. Unbelievable. Unbelievable.
Alright, thank you again for reading. You Kitchen Freaks around Earth rule, always. Continue to spread the word. Freak Kitchen need you. More blog updates soon. Take care.
Funny Simpsons cow by US Freak Friend