We talk with Matte Gustavsson and Lisa Lystam. The Swedish guitar and the singer tell us details about their project parallel to Siena Root. His new band HEAVY FEATHER, whose debut album “DEBRIS & RUBBLE” will be released in April via The Sign Records.
“Many 70’s retro rock bands of today are coming from the metal and hard rock scene. We are the opposite and we have played mostly blues, just like the bands back then.. I think you can hear it. And we don’t write about Satan and that darkness-kind of-stuff…
We’re trying to put our own experiences into the music”.
DenpaFuzz: After seen this summer Matte & Lisa covering Blind Faith or Cream in Siena Root, and knowing Lisa’s work with her blues band, I’m not surprised at the sound Heavy Feather displays. But, how came the idea of creating the band? I’ve been told the seed was planted on 2016, is that right?
(Matte): Me, Lisa and Morgan have talked a long time creating a real rock band like The supergroups in the 60s. We love to play that kind of bluesy rock.. high volume and improvisations. But we needed a drummer and then Ola joined the band after jammin togehter. The band was created!
DenpaFuzz: There is a short span of time since the band is officially introduced to the public, until “Debris & Rubble” is recorded. Did you have songs before? How it is the process since the first chord rings until the song is finished?
(Matte): We started to play togehter in 2016 and began to write songs at our first session. And after like one and a half year we had and album and recorded it. Then we officially presented the band with our first single “Where did we go”. So it was some kind of preparatory work before we were an official band. It needed to be in the right time.
DenpaFuzz: Bearing in mind Lisa comes from a blues band and her style is appreciated in Siena Root, now, in Siena Root, her influence seems bigger. Who compose the songs? Lisa? Matte? Everyone?
(Matte): We do all the songs together in the rehearsal room. But in more detail, Lisa is writing the lyrics, I made a lots of riffs, sometimes alone with Ola. Everyone is composing and we work quite fast. I like the sound of songs and recordings that you can hear it’s written “there and then”… Its more intense and feelin in it. Sometimes you can kill your music if you’re work on it too long.
DenpaFuzz: Does the band comes like a parallel project to Siena Root or is it an interruption from your work with Samir and the rest?
(Matte): It´s kind of a parallel project with our other bands. We need to have good planning.
DenpaFuzz: It seems your influences are very clear; even more, you said it yourselves: Free, Cream… It is a fact the sound of Cream could be traced to songs like “Higher”; also, “Dreams” showcase echoes of Free with some southern flavour. But, which is the band that influences you the most?
(Matte): I don’t know actually but for me the biggest influence is the way those muscians in the 60´s played. They way for example Paul Kossof and Andy Frazier in free, Felix Papalardi and Leslie West in Mountain were playin together with the drums and vocals. The real heavy and loud trio sound.
DenpaFuzz: Many bands use to have a favourite song in their own records, which is that in “Debris & Rubble”? Why? Just in case, it were one…
(Matte): Maybe one favourite is “Hey There Mama” or “Please don’t leave”. I like the way we´re jammin on those songs when we play it together..
(Lisa): My favorite is probably Long ride. Sounds like a classic (a bit cheesy in a good way) rock song. I always wanted to write a song lika that.
DenpaFuzz: With so many bands today with a “retro” sound, what opinion do you hold on the scene? Is Heavy Feather one these bands that pay homage to the seventies or, on the other hand, do you, taking these 70s sounds as a starting point, try to have your own identity?
(Matte & Lisa): Many 70s retro rock bands of today are coming from the metal and hard rock scene. We are the opposite and we have played mostly blues, just like the bands back then.. I think you can hear it. And we don’t write about Satan and that darkness-kind of-stuff…
We’re trying to put our own experiences into the music.
“Swedes are stubborn and perfectionists. Many artists work on a high level and we also got great schools and opportunities to play and learn about music here in Sweden”.
DenpaFuzz: Following the last question, which opinion do you hold on the musical scene that tries to run from the mainstream stuff? Also, I wanted to ask you about the Swedish scene: how is it possible that each day we discover a new talent from Sweden that sound like Hendrix, Zeppelin, Clapton, etc? Is it true the legend that says that the Swedish mothers put an elixir of Wah & Fuzz in the baby bottles? Hahahahaha, jokes aside, I’m jealous of your scene.
(Matte): Haha, Yes, the legend is true.. But seriously I don’t know actually. One answer of that question is maybe, that a lot of swedes are playin music so the rock scene is big cus of that, but even other genres are popular. Like Jazz and the Pop Scene…
(Lisa) Swedes are stubborn and perfectionists. Many artists work on a high level and we also got great schools and opportunities to play and learn about music here in Sweden.
DenpaFuzz: What are your feelings about the reception of the released material as a teaser of your record? Are you happy with the response you’ve received?
(Lisa): More than happy. Our teaser-video gave us our first tour for next year. We had not even released a full song. It’s alway nervous to release new music that means alot to you but the reponse we’ve had has been wonderful. But all of us has been working in this industry for a few years so we can use our experiences and tricks for this band to develop more.
“If the audience like old rock music influenced by band such as cream and Free they will hopefully like us. We got some good energy up on stage and we LOVE to work together”
DenpaFuzz: It is a great surprise to me that out of the 12 shows you have scheduled, 9 are out in Spain. These are great news. Are you touring alone? Will you have any local band opening your shows?
(Lisa): We havent heard about any other bands playing at the same venues as us. Hopefully it will be. It’s always fun to meet other bands and share the stage together.
DenpaFuzz: What would you tell people about your shows? Aside from your own songs, would you include any version in your repertoire?
(Lisa): If the audience like old rock music influenced by band such as cream and Free they will hopefully like us. We got some good energy up on stage and we LOVE to work together, I think people will see that. We might have some good covers prepared. But I’ll keep that as a secret.
DenpaFuzz: About this summer, do you have any project like playing in festivals or more shows around Europe? Do you have anything you can tell us?
(Lisa): After the release we will start working more on planning the future for Heavy Feather. Hopefully there will be another tour in the end of the summer but nothing is setteld.
We’ve gotten some cool offers on great festivals but it needs to fit all of our schedules.
We’ve already started to right new music so the future looks bright and interesting. We all look forward to develop this band and plan more tours.
DenpaFuzz: Thanks a lot for your word. We wish you the best with your record and with your shows.
Translator: Omar Prieto