Guitar guru Mattias Ia Eklundh, frontman of Swedish progressive metal band Freak Kitchen, is all set to come down to India all the way from Sweden and house the ‘Freak Guitar Camp’ for the first time in India. Presented by Bajaao, the Freak Guitar Camp is a week-long program dedicated to the zealous guitar players of the country. The camp which will take place from the 13th – 19th of October, 2014 at Jal Srushti Island Resort in Mulshi, a serene location situated a few kilometers from Pune.
Mattias is widely known for his unique style of guitar playing and song-writing. He has always had a soft corner for India, Indian music and Indian musicians. This time, he will share his bit with us in our very own country! During the camp, Mattias will sink his teeth into odd time signatures, tons of poly rhythm techniques, licks and tricks to spare, how to make a guitar sound anything but a guitar, song writing process tips and talk about how to use synthetic modes and unorthodox scales.
We had an incredible time sitting with the Guru sharing his creative ideas and plans behind this guitar camp.
Metalbase India: 15 years is a long period of time. How did the idea of Freak Guitar Camp take birth and how are you pulling it up in all these years?
IA: Believe it or not, but it’s been no less than 16 summers in a row of pure craziness in the woods of Sweden with players from all over the place. I am simply addicted to the experience as it makes me grow; never stop, always looking for what is hiding around the corner. Progress is a lovely thing. I need to get my butt together to do this and I am grateful and honored that so many dedicated guitarists from basically everywhere are interesting in learning unorthodox, challenging, stuff.
MBI: Give us a brief tour of the whole Freak Guitar Camp- its basic motives, techniques and lessons, schedules of days of the camp, deals and activities, etc.?
IA: We hook up for six days and play for hours and hours every day, squeezed into a room way too small for its own good (in Sweden, that is). Coffee and sugar breaks plus excellent veggie food is served when you need it the most. I have a stunning cook making stunning food. There is too much material for anyone to comprehend in such a short time but it is a little bit of what the Freak Guitar Camp is about: a genuine overkill, a tremendous vitamin injection (for me as well) in order to move forward, to force yourself to the next level.
MBI: What are the must-haves for enrolling in the Camp? Is it applicable for amateur guitarists also, or is it just for those who are already skilled and professionals?
IA: Basically anyone who really, really wants to learn can come. It is not about speed or technique. Sometimes the less experienced players are better off since they don’t carry a lot of musical luggage and are stuck in routines. You have to be able to read music, at least tablature. We give everyone a beefy booklet with notation that corresponds with the many, for the camp especially written, backing tracks.
MBI: In a guitarist perspective, which one has been more challenging yet soulful to you on personal front, teaching lessons or being in a band?
IA: It’s two quite different things and I adore both. Being in a band like Freak Kitchen, one for all, all for one, is naturally a great kick. Bjorn and Chris are my brothers. Doing the camp is equally rewarding, but in another way. The best of both worlds. My job never gets boring for a second.
MBI: Which other places in the world have you travelled to house Freak Guitar Camp so far? And, how has been the support from the people and the fans?
IA: Thanks to Sidharth Kadadi and Bajaoo along with our sponsors this is the very first time we take it outside of Sweden. I have had numerous invitations to set it up in various countries but that never fell into place until now. There have been tons and tons of workshop set ups, some longer, some shorter, all over the place but no camp… until now! Proud and happy we are doing this!
MBI: The fans here are in huge anticipation about the upcoming camp, so what can they expect from the camp? And on the reverse end, what surprises do you have in your bag for the guitar freaks in India?
IA: We will sink our collective teeth into so much music everyone is going to return with a serious headache, including me (laughs off). I just sent the 50 page booklet away for print. Can’t wait to get out in the wilderness outside of Pune and start working on it!
MBI: Head us up a bit about your upcoming plans in future.
IA: There is going to be quite a lot of travelling around this particular planet in both 2014 and 2015 due to the release of the new Freak Kitchen album ‘Cooking with Pagans’. So there will be gigs, gigs and more gigs plus clinics in between. Next summer it’s, of course, Freak Guitar Camp time in Sweden which is an annual highlight and, should the Freak Guitar Camp India do as well as we expect, we are hoping to set it up again in 2015! Spread the word!
Check out the video Mattias made on Freak Guitar Camp India:
Also, check out Jal Srushti: www.jalsrushti.com
On Freak Guitar Camp from those who have been a part:
Mangesh Gandhi (Coshish):
“The Freak Guitar Camp is the best experience I had as a guitar player. IA is simply amazing and I basked in his awesomeness for a week in the Swedish woods. Beware, the musicality quotient takes a massive leap and might turn you into a musical zombie by the end of the week” he said.
Sidharth Kadadi (Zygnema):
“Freak Guitar Camp is truly a surreal experience, a must for all guitar players. Mattias is a living genius and he knows how to condition his campers. I learned a lot under IA’s guidance and am looking forward to be a part of this again. You have to be a part of it to experience it. As our guru says -Once a camper, always a camper.”
The registration fee of camp is kept at Rs. 43,000/- which will include all the course material, luxurious beds, nutritious and lip smacking meals cooked by the Jal Shrustri Resort cooks, above of all the lessons and fun activities. All you have to do is carry the instruments, learn new creative guitar techniques and just have a great time.
For registrations and further details, visit the official Freak Guitar Camp India website: www.freakguitarcamp.in