Friday, 16 November 2012

Retrosonic Podcast: Mattias Hellberg Special Edition

Mattias Hellberg & Nikke Ström - Photo Steve Worrall
Our final Episode in the Retrosonic Podcast series on Sweden is a special feature on the Gothenburg based singer, songwriter and guitarist, Mattias Hellberg. Mattias has been a pivotal figure in the Swedish music since the late 1980's, and as he finishes off recording his next album with new band The Fur Heads, he kindly took the time to discuss his eclectic and exciting career with us. Mattias talks about his first forays into the music scene back in his hometown of Karlstad, putting on gigs in the college canteen for bands such as Union Carbide Productions. Then he formed his own band Ugly Jake, which later transformed into The Nymphet Noodlers with Martin Hederos, Mattias Bärjed and Jan Martens. Following the Nymphets' split he went on to work with ex-band mate Martin as the duo Hederos & Hellberg, which was an unexpected success and ended at a sold-out show at the Gothenburg Concert House. He has also toured and recorded as a guitarist with Stefan Sundström, and various bands including The Solution, The Hellacopters and The Soundtrack of Our Lives. In between his collaborations with the Dub Reggae band Kanzeon and working with Ugandan/Swedish soul singer Jaqee on her successful album "Nouvelle d'amour", he has also released two solo albums and one with his Psychedelic Funk Rock outfit The White Moose. As if he wasn't busy enough, in 2005 he was asked to sing with legendary Swedish rock outfit NationalTeaterns RockOrkester for a summer tour, but ended up becoming a full member of the band, touring with them every year. Along the way Mattias mentions some admirers such as Iggy Pop, Ryan Adams, Van Morrison and the MC5's Wayne Kramer. Now, surrounded by a great band including NationalTeatern's bassist Nikke Ström, he seems to be putting all his experiences and eclectic influences together with some fantastic genre-defying new material. The next album promises to be something very special...

Hederos & Hellberg (and friend...) - Photo by Anders Magnusson
The Episode is generously soundtracked with lots of great music from a selection of Mattias Hellberg's many phases. We're also honoured to have some superb exclusive and unreleased songs from his forthcoming album. I'd like to sincerely thank Mattias for his generosity and time. You can download the Episode free of charge from the Retrosonic Podcast Soundcloud site. Many thanks also to Anders Magnusson for contributing the excellent Hederos & Hellberg photograph.

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