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>1 - Lars, you're back with a new album, called "Obsession". Can you present, describe it?

I think it is my best work up to date and it feels like a new beginning for me, I have worked hard on both my playing and writing. While there are some new influences I do also think it sound like a development of the style I had on my first 2 albums, specially No Surrender. However those albums were bad recordings and everything is a bit sloppy compared to Obsession which I worked very hard on.

>2- What are your most important influences?

Uli John Roth is my number one. But I have to also mention Ritchie Blackmore and Michael Schenker.

3 - In france, som eof your albums were distributed by Black Dragon records. As this company stop to distribute new productions, have you anotHEr distribution schedule here? Then, you can maybe stell us who distribute your albums & where?

Obsession is about to be released by Brennus, a division of Musea in france and few other countries like Germany. We haven't really talked about the back catalogue yet, we will have to wait and see what happens with Obsession I think.

>4 - You played as solo artist in instrumental projects, you played in some bands with singer. What do you prefer to do : playing instrumental music or playing with a singer?Is there a lot of difference in the writing of song between these 2 choices?

I prefer working with vocal material since I think it gives the music another dimension. there is always the possibility to add longer instrumental sections which may be like an instrumental song within a vocal song. I think I did that on the last track of Obsession (And the road goes on). I like to compose the solo sections as separate parts of the songs - not just like a verse without vocals. I would not mind doing film music sometime though which I would make instrumental.

>5 - I heard you were planning to reissue some past albums. Can you tell us more about it & tell us why?

The most asked for album of my back catalogue has been 1992's album Lars Eric Mattsson's VISION. It was released in Europe by Roadrunner. We had a 3 year contract and the album has been out of the maket for quite some time, and I have added 2 bonus tracks recorded 1993 for a follow up that was never released. In Japan the album did pretty well when it came out and the singer Conny Lind has since this joined the band Amaze Me. We are selling worldwide now in small quantities of the complete back catalogue so eventually all albums will be remastered and have bonus tracks added if there are suitable material.

>6- you record your album by yourself. What do you think now of the sound of your first albums ? Do you think that with this new one, you achieve a really better result than you ever did ?

Yes I think the first albums were more or less like demos being released on CD. We did not have any financial backing and we engineered the albums without knowing what we did, but we learned a few things here and there. Another problem was lack of time, but with Obsession I took the time I needed and for the first time in my life can I say that I am quite happy with the result. I also think that as I grew as a song writer I can't wait to work again! Now I do a lot of work in the studio and have learned quite a few things about sounds which I think can be heared on the new album.

>7 - When i hear how was singing your singer on your music, "Obsession" remains me bands like Rainbow ("Stranger in us all") but with a more modern approach. Is it something you feel too or do you think that it's certainly because of the voice of your singer?

I think it is the singer's voice, I think Bjorn Lodin has a very personal voice and we plan to keep working together for years to come. He is a very nice person and I like working with him.

>8 Heavy metal is back with lots of new bands & some come back of "oldies" >like Judas, Dio, Maiden, ...Do you think this return is due to the popularity of prog metal?

I think when heavy metal became forgotten by the media and major labels, there were still people out there liking it. I don't think all the people just stopped liking it and became alternative/punk/grunge fans. The media is to blame for this - they are always looking for the next big thing. Eventually the cry from the metal fans became too big to ignore so it is not really the fans that are changing. But the metal was out of the media, nobody could buy any CD's because there were no music in the shops and no magazine informing people about the releases. One good thing with this is that you can tell now who is a trend follower and who is for real!

>9 How do you explain this new increase of interest in "classical " heavy metal?

I think within hard rock and heavy metal everything that is good is influenced by 70-ies bands because that is where the sounds come from. Even bands like Dream Theater are influenced by Deep Purple in some way. Of course there are also some young people who were not around the last time who just have discovered some great music.

>10 How do you define your style of music?

Classic hard rock/metal with influences of both classical music and progressive music, but I think I mix quite a lot of stuff together as there are also influences like blues, funk and fusion. I try to be melodic but most of all I try to be true to myself and the music I make seems to come out of me without me really knowing how.

>11 As a guitar player, are you self taught or did you take some lessons in >the past? How many times & ho woften do you practise your guitar?

I am completely self taught, I think I should have taken some lessons in the beginning, but I don't know... I did'nt know anyone into the same music as me.

>12 Can you give some advices for young guitar player? Do you think that it' s really important to know a lot about classical music & classical composers like Bach, Paganini, ...& why?

No I don't think you have to study those guys. my advice is to listen to your heart, do what you wanna do. If it's not fun you will probably quit. I do think however that it is important to learn some scales. Practise some scales slow and clear with a drum machine, metronome or something that keeps the tempo steady. Then when you get bored- makes some noice! It is also a good thing to learn the blues, and it's also fun to wail some blues licks because in the beginning of your playing chances are you will be able to understand this music while trying to copy Steve Vai may not be possible...

>13 A last word?

Take care - be careful we only live once.

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