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Freak Kitchen Blog

Land of the Freaks XII

Hey there! Hope you are all good wherever you are despite times of financial doom and whatnot. Everything is splendid here, I am afraid to say. Sitting in Munich about to get on a plane to Milan in a few minutes. Five clinics in Italy coming up, arranged by the great Mogar company, the Italian distributor of Laney amplification. Did a bunch of clinics here in Germany the other week and had a great time meeting and playing for all the cool people showing up in Berlin, Hamburg, Witten and Brilon (crazy/passionate campers Jochen and Andrei drove some 800 kilometers to hook up. Gee…) Will be back in Germany soon again at the mighty Frankfurt Messe as well as a few more clinics here and there. I dig doing clinics. It keeps you focused and is a fine way to get out there and play when Freak Kitchen is gearing up for future concerts but not in actual touring frenzy. Now I am not going to write the word clinic again. Ever. Clinic.

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Memory lost!! No kidding…

Land of the Freaks! Yes, damn it, it’s very much alive and kicking, to say the least, despite the silence from the Freak Camp recently. This is the deal:

The album is being mixed 11th – 22nd of May at IF (In Flames) studios in Gothenburg together with our trusty audio side-kick Roberto Laghi who has been mixing every album except for Appetizer and Spanking Hour. Since summer is then around the corner we have decided to release the album late August, early September. In the summer we will take care of all the video and the usual promo things involved plus I am doing the annual three week Freak Guitar Camp. (Glad to tell you we are most likely having visits from both amazing players Kiko Loureiro and Guthrie Govan this year. If you haven’t signed up already, hurry up and do so. Presto, presto as they say where I find myself now in the back of a German car in the south of Italy).

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Germany treble clef coffee

The artwork is done with the amazing photographer Lennart Sjöberg behind the wheel. New merchandise is being designed. (It has been very quiet at the online store as well with lots of things out of stock. This will of course change as we’re getting closer to the release).

We are starting with concerts around Scandinavia this time, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway before we head out to the rest of the planet. ProgPower in Copenhagen at Vega in September is already booked. So is the Sweden Rock cruise in October. We are warming up with a gig at the Fuzz Guitar Show in April. We are also doing something called Bordeaux Drumfest in France early June. Stay tuned for whole lot of dates as we get closer to the release.

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The spooky looking Media Bunker in Hamburg

I am thrilled to tell you I have been introduced to a new instrument recently. It’s called the Kelstone and is, to say the least, a monster with endless possibilities. I have just begun experimenting with it but seriously plan to bring it on the road. Got me one already and another one is on the way. It’s not a Chapman stick. It’s not a guitar. This one has a soul of its own. Check it out.

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Kelstone, to be heard on the road later this year

My friend Stefano who is taking care of me here together with his lovely wife Katia told me a funny joke as we are looking for a place to have lunch on our way to Lecce. The people in the US have a special name for Fiat, the Italian car. Fix It Again, Tony…

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Doing an interview for Italian guitar forum together with Stefano

Well, I guess we all have our flaws. Yesterday I screwed up a whole bunch of songs at the… hrm, clinic in the city of Cosenza. The thing is, I enjoyed it and several interesting things came out of my fuck ups musically. The only concern is the crap that one produce every once in a while always ends up on YouTube, but that’s how it is in the 21st century. Impossible to control. The way it should be, I guess. Sometimes you suck. Sometimes you suck even more. Sometimes you don’t. Life. Get on with it.

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Food and drink is serious, serious business in Italy, hence the focused faces of Stefano and Katia

Besides Land of the Freaks I am recording the upcoming solo album, working title Freak Guitar – The Smorgasbord. A zany electric and acoustic smorgasbord is what it is with many fine guitar playing friends helping me out, adding their stunning fingerprints. Björn is playing on a whole lot of tunes too, as is V. Selvaganesh and my amazing buddy Jonas Hellborg.

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Stefano wants meat with his meat

Speaking of Jonas, we are both teaming up with the groovy Zoltan Czorsc Jr on drums again to play the Swedish Jazz Celebration the 27th of March in Gothenburg along with Nils Landgren (whom I happened to bump into and harass on my way to Germany. Tiptop guy, great player, great singer), Ulf Wakenius, Viktoria Tolstoy Quartet and others. Looking forward to it.

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German Wedding?

Christer is wrapping up his Eaglestrike album at the same time as Land of the Freaks and Roberto will take care of the mix. It is going to be an awesome record with straight-in-your-face, no bullshit rock, Chris style. If not elsewhere you will be able to get the Eaglestrike debut from the online store and at gigs but Chris will most likely close a decent distribution deal so you all can enjoy it later this year. Eaglestrike might tag along wherever possible to open for Freak Kitchen. If someone can handle two gigs in a row, it’s Chris. A win-win situation.

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Groovy place for a clinic (Codroipo)

We recently signed a deal with iTunes so the entire catalogue should be available there shortly. The Freak Guitar albums have been available for a long time through Favored Nations.

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Typical south Italian weather…
Climate changes anyone?

It’s bloody cold here in Italy. Not like home where we had -20 Celsius this morning but still chilly. We flew from Milan to Lamenzia, the south part, west coast of the country. The first thing I saw when I got off the plane were palm trees and… snow. Bizarre. During the performances it has been insanely freezing since the Italian buildings aren’t really built to handle this. At least not in the south. Yesterday in Lecce we had 12 degrees in the store. Try to play warp speed arpeggios in that temperature… Anyway, I am a Norseman. I don’t care and after a couple of songs I am starting to feel my fingers again. The fine crowds who show up sit with their gloves, jackets, caps, hoods, e t c, on all the time. Weird. (We just spoke about how pathetic it would be if I catch a cold in Italy).

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The relaxing power of the Adriatic Sea

Now it is Thursday morning the 20th and I am looking out at the beautiful Adriatic Sea. Slept like a rock to the sound of the strong ocean winds. Lovely. Batteries recharged. Ready to kick butt again. Two gigs to go plus interviews and some meet and greet before heading home. Italy is really guitar infested in these days and one is very grateful all these fine people are showing up despite that monsters Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert and Steve Lukather are lurking with clinics here in the near future. Thank you, Italian friends.

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So you don’t like road signs

In a Codroipo I met Freak Guitar Campers Marco and Claudio which was fun! Great guys. It was also the first performance we did where the temperature actually was bearable.

Tomorrow in Milan I am having a meeting with a promoter to start working on the very first tour for Freak Kitchen in Italy. It will most likely happen early 2010. Can’t wait to return to this nice country with the most delicious food and drink on Earth. Double espresso with a touch of milk makes me happy and slightly hysterical (caffeine). Love it.

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Quattro Formaggi Pizza of doom

Talking to Connecticut based company Rock House about doing a few tuition DVDs. I am also finally planning my follow up to 1995’s zany Freak Guitar Vol. 1 later this year. The two productions won’t really interfere with one another as they are approached quite differently. My only concern is to find the time to go to the US and pull it off. Luxury problems, as usual. I’ll keep you posted.

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Inside something called Trulli, not really made for Swedish people

Milan clinic was great fun and loud as hell. Met nice people who came all the way from Romania, where I might do a couple of clinics in the near future among all the tiptop Italians in the theatre. Found a cheap Ikea sign backstage as well as a bingo board. So much for decorating. Hooked up with buddy Guglielmo Malusardi who joined us for the largest pizza I have ever eaten after an interview at the Lucky Music store. All good.

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Freak Guitar Camp posters at Lucky Music in Milan

Right now I am sitting at the airport in Milan and need to wrap this up. As soon as I get home I will hug my family until they turn blue but tomorrow the work on Land of the Freaks will continue so I need to get this stuff up on the site. No rest for the wicked.

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The cheap Milan Ikea sign…

Stefano, Katia, Mogar Music, all the stores, dealers and YOU, fine, dedicated Freak People that attended the five clinics: thank you! Hope to see you soon again! It was a pleasure from start to finish.

Thanks for reading this. Take care. Stay freaky. Always.

IA

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