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Interview - Mattis Karlsson (Dynamite)

Interview with Mattis Karlsson from Dynamite
by Jeff Legg at 13 June 2014, 4:17 PM

Jeff Legg interviewed Mattis Karlsson of the fast rising, Swedish band, DYNAMITE.  With the release of their second full length LP, “Blackout Station” (release date-May 24th via High Roller Records), these guys have given notice to the world that they are a band that needs to be recognized alongside the bands dominating the current Hard Rock charts. With a sound reminiscent of the old school ’80 Hard Rock era, they have drawn comparisons to AC/DC, BUCKCHERRY, KROKUS, and even a personal favorite of mine, DIRTY LOOKS. The band consists of Mattis Karlsson on lead vocals/guitar, Sebastian Hed-Plikas on guitar, Adam Butler on bass, and Jonas Hagström on drums. This is easily one of my favorite albums of the year so far.

Hello Mattis, it’s really an honor to be doing this interview with you. I’ve become a huge fan of DYNAMITE in such a short period of time. Congratulations on the new record, “Blackout Station”. Like I said in my review, I think this is a masterpiece and I don’t shell out praise like that on very many albums. Let’s start by talking about your influences growing up. A lot of people get the obvious comparison to Bon Scott, with whom being compared to is not a bad thing, but who do you feel inspired your music the most?

It’s impossible to choose one band or one artist. There are a lot of bands that have inspired us; KROKUS, AC/DC, ROSE TATTOO, RAMONES and STATUS QUO, just to mention a few of them. Bon (Scott) have made a big impression on me but I also like Steven Tyler’s (Aerosmith) singing style.

With that being said, whom do you listen to these days that you might draw inspiration from?

I listen to all kind of music from GARY GLITTER to BATHORY (HaHa). If it’s good, it’s good, no matter what genre.

I know you’ve heard the comparisons to other bands and people saying, “they sound just like this band and that band”, or “your voice sounds just like this guy or that guy”; does that have any affect your approach to song-writing and/or singing?

I know I sound a bit like Bon Scott but that’s what I sound like when I sing. Sure we are always trying to develop our writing but this is what we love and what we are good at. I guess that people always need to compare bands with other bands cuz it’s easier to get a grip of what they sound like then. I can understand that

DYNAMITE has only been a band since 2012, which means you guys are still relatively new to the scene.  But having already released a self-titled EP, and with the release of “Blackout Station”, two full length LPs, at what point did you think to yourself, “this could really be something that I can do for a living”? Was there a moment when you looked out to the crowd and it hit you?

We always work hard in DYNAMITE, we have since we started and from the start we had the goal to live on this band 100% and we still have. This is something we all four members love to do and I could not see myself doing anything other than this band.

OK, it’s well documented that most great four-piece bands have conflict between the singer and guitarist at some point. How is the chemistry of the band? There’s not an “Eddie Van Halen-David Lee Roth” or “Axl Rose-Slash” relationship here, is there?

(Haha). No. thank god, the chemistry is good. Sure we can have different points of view sometimes and think differently, but that’s important. Everyone just wants the best for the band, so no point in arguing.

You guys have attained a pretty descent amount of attention in such a short time. How has that changed your day-to-day lifestyle? Or has it affected you at all?

Nah, it has not changed any day to day lifestyle “yet” (HaHa). But sure we get do quite a lot of interviews now and that’s very fun of course!

What did you guys learn after releasing your last record, “Lock ‘N Load”, that carried over to the writing and recording of “Blackout Station”?

Well it was about a year in between those records and I have learned very much and improved as a singer. In “Lock and Load” I had only been singing for a couple of months so I was pretty fresh back then. We’ve also improved very much as songwriters; myself and Sebastian write everything together and we feel like we have better ways to write now.

Is there one particular song that you consider your signature anthem or your identity song? Or if someone asked you to give them one song that really sums up the DYNAMITE sound, what would it be?

I would say “Long way home” or “Burn it down”

I hate to bring this up, but I just can’t resist. With you guys having the attention and recent success, rock star looks, and playing your brand of music that makes people get out of their seats and lose their minds, there are surely some wild after-show parties going on like you’ve never thought possible, right?

Haha yeah, some sick things have happened on the road. Drink hard but work even harder!

I know that you guys are touring this summer with BULLET and playing some pretty impressive festivals, but what does your touring schedule look like for the rest of 2014 and beyond?

Right now we are searching for booking managements so there’s not much confirmed yet. We will play at Väsby Rock Festival (Stockholm) with EUROPE later this summer and got some more shows in Norway.

Any plans to tour the USA anytime soon?

No plans yet but we would love to do it. We are still searching for contacts over there, and trying to get a way in.

Thanks for your time today and I really appreciate you doing this interview.  I’ll say it again: “Blackout Station” is an instant classic and DYNAMITE have a huge future ahead. I’ve listened to this album repeatedly for two weeks and still have it playing as I sit here writing. I would love for you guys to invade the States and put that great rock ‘n roll sound in the ears of this rock-starved nation.  KEEP ON DOING WHAT YOU DO!

Thanks man, we’re sure to see you on the road!



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