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Freak Kitchen (July 2012)

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Conor Fynes View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 Jul 2012 at 2:34pm
Anyone who has heard the work of Freak Kitchen, and/or the inventive wackiness of guitarist and frontman Mattias IA Eklundh will conceivably agree that he is one of the most innovative guitarists in the current rock scene. Fuelled with a love for the kin-spirited Frank Zappa, proggers will find much to enjoy in Freak Kitchen's music as well. Mattias was kind enough to respond to some questions of mine!

Hello, Mattias! How did the name ‘Freak Kitchen’ come about? Judging from the wacky guitar experimentation, it seems like a fitting name...

IA: I really don't have a clue to tell you the truth. I knew I liked and felt close to the word freak.
But kitchen... If memory serves me right I think I had some kind of cheesy idea of cooking music
in the freak kitchen. Some say it comes from my potent Zappa-influence and his The Dangerous
Kitchen. No matter what, we still jerk around with gastronomic metaphors to this very day for
some reason. I suck at cooking and Freak Kitchen is in many ways a terrible name, especially
with the two k:s next to one another, but... You got to call your band something and at the time it
felt right.

What made you first pick up the guitar? What makes it more special to you than any other
instrument?

IA: What made me pick it up was merely teenage frustration. I began playing the drums at an
early age but switched to guitar full time at the age of thirteen after a ten minute drum solo in
a packed school auditorium, walking off stage and not getting a fraction of recognition (no one
could see me behind the kit). I also got more and more into song-writing which I found awfully
hard to do on a cymbal. I have to confess I am no guitar geek. I don't know anything about the
instrument and often find it primitive and limiting in terms of composing. I do love the sound of
it though and since my buddy Anders Thidell came up with the True Temperament frets things
got so much better with precise intonation. Keep my fingers crossed I am not disappointing
anyone out there but I detest just changing strings not to mention modifying, fixing up, polishing,
e t c, my instruments. Thank God I have a good guitar tech to do that.

What’s your writing process; do you usually have an idea in your head, or do you noodle on the
guitar until a cool riff or lead comes out of it?

IA: Like most people that write music, I think, it is different every time. There is no formula.
A creative spark can appear out of nothing. I usually get myself a tiptop cup of coffee before
walking into my beloved Apple Horn Abusement studio and start building something out of
nothing. The fascination over the creative process never ceases to amaze me. When I listen back
to my stuff I sometimes find it hard to believe I came up with it as it sort of takes on a life of its
own after having given birth to it. To me, this is what it is all about - to try to break new ground
without making it too awkward so you turn the listener away. A fine balance.

Freak Kitchen’s sound tends to go all over the place, from catchy rock music to avant-metal that
would make Zappa proud. At the moment, what style are you preferring; do you find a certain
stylistic approach is best for expressing a part of yourself?

IA: We spend very little time (an understatement) analyzing where we are going next. You
do what you do and if you force it in any direction it will backfire on you (and the end result).

There are, and always will be, elements of many musical styles in Freak Kitchen's music,
unintentionally. I listen very little to actual metal. My influences nowadays come from
elsewhere; folk music, classical, jazz and life itself.

In other interviews you have stressed that you make no use of effects, instead making do with
the physical aspect of the guitar to get your weird sounds across. What modifications and
techniques do you use to make these ‘freak’ sounds?

IA: The electric guitar has such a rich palette of sound, weird and beautiful, you don't need
to add a lot of stuff. The natural overtone series is the most obvious place to start where you
basically have two guitars in one. As the lo-fi man I am I also find it ridiculous to put a lot of
gear in between the instrument and the amp which, in my book, takes away the sound of who
you really are. You become a preset of someone else. I am such a primitive Swede.

Freak Kitchen’s upcoming album “Cooking With Pagans” is scheduled for a release late in the
year. What can fans expect from this album?

IA: Good, intense, freaky tunes! The material is very homogeneous and I am convinced this will
be a kick-butt release.

You have expressed that Zappa is your musical idol. What is it about his work that appeals to
you so much?

IA: Everything! The stunning compositions, the humor, all of it. I'd like to say there is a Zappa
tune for any occasion and I still find his music as interesting today as I did thirty years ago.

What have you been listening to lately? Any recommendations?

IA: My iPod is one big mess. The other day I found myself in Chennai, south India, listening
to Mamma Mu and Kråkan, which is my five year old son's favorite Swedish books and CDs.
Somehow I found this more inspiring than Igor Stravinsky or Slayer. I mostly clear my mind
with stuff like Dean Martin, Edith Piaff, Ella Fitzgerald and more. I work so intensively with my
own music I hardly have time to check out and digest new artists as much as I would like to.

What advice would you give to young musicians trying to make good music?

IA: Grow your own moustache! Don't copy. Stay true to yourself. Work hard. Be proud and as
objective as you can. If your songs are doing good things to your overall well-being keep on
doing it despite what your neighbor or some sad person on an internet forum my say.

What is Freak Kitchen’s favourite place to get cheeseburgers?

IA: Haha, as a vegetarian I rarely get a cheeseburger I have to confess! Bjorn and Chris are
carnivores though but are more into ribs and steaks. I am a hummus man.

Freak Kitchen's MMA profile may be found here.
Thanks to Freak Kitchen for the interview!


Edited by Conor Fynes - 25 Jul 2012 at 2:40pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2012 at 2:40pm
Nice ConorThumbs Up. I´ve added the interview link to the index: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1115&PID=21252
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tupan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2012 at 2:57pm
More interviews, please.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2012 at 3:06pm
Nice observation about Zappa. I completely agree.Sax man
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