How is the current situation for Danish artists and musicians regarding covid19 restrictions?
– A disaster! All concert venues and festivals are shut down until September 1!
How did you spend the time during the lockdown?
– Writing new material, begun recording a new album and practice like crazy! I’ve also found time to check out new stuff and learning a lot of stuff, that I always wanted to know, but haven’t had the time to work on.
You are born in Stockholm, Sweden but since many years back living and working in Denmark. How come?
– I studied music in Copenhagen from 1994-99 (Masters degree in performance) and met my wife at the academy (drummer Christine Dueholm) so I never got back to Sweden. We’re still married and have two lovely sons, Robert 20 years and Simon 17… The oldest son has “gotten the bug” and is currently studying music in Copenhagen and is becoming a great bass player.
Current musical projects?
– I have 3 major projects of mine;
1. My singer/songwriter-band, Dekadansorkestern, where I play my songs in Swedish and interprets songs by Cornelis Vreeswijk, Evert Taube, CM Bellman and others.
2. My folkband, Bragr, We play trad Scandinavian folktunes and some of my original compositions in the trad style. In this band, my main instrument is the Swedish ”nyckelharpa” ( keyed fiddle), but I also play some of the tunes on guitar.
3. My blues/roots combo, Les Elegantiers, where I can let off steam on my electric guitars! We have some “SRV tribute concerts” coming up in collaboration with my dear friend, Danish guitar ace, Uffe Steen.
– I will also be touring in Norway with my friend, Norwegian singer/songwriter Lars Martin Myhre, and I have a major tour coming up with “Denmarks Bob Dylan”; Sebastian, where we’ll be playing all the major arenas in Denmark.
Which guitarists have inspired you the most?
– That’s a tough one, but Jimi Hendrix and Wes Montgomery was the first major influences. Later SRV, Bill Frisell and Daniel Lanois inspired me, and I was fortunate to have some private lessons with Tommy Emmanuel back in the 90’s wich influenced my playing greatly!
Best advice you´ve got as a working musician?
– Be on time, be well prepared and make sure your gear works!
I suppose by playing folk and jazz as well as blues and rock you have created a special guitar style. How would you describe it?
– It sounds like a cliché, but I’m striving to be “a melodic soloist and a steady rhythm player”. Timing and tone has always interested me more than playing ultra fast.
You are a sought-after session player in Denmark. What kind of studio jobs do you do?
– I used to work for years as a very busy side man on the Danish scene, and and have done session work on some 150-200 records, but now I only do sessions, where I feel I have a creative impact.
What do your rigs look like, acoustic and electric?
– My main acoustic guitar is a Martin D28 Marquis with True Temperamnet frets – of course, Fishman Matrix PU into a T-rex Acoustic soulmate board and a Headway Shire King 120 Acoustic combo. I use the same rig for my Beard Dobro, my nylon stringed Cordoba and my Weissenborn.
– For electrics, my main guitar is a Magneto T-wave with a True Temperament neck, plugged into my “ever evolving” pedalboard, which I’m trying to keep as compact as possible with a Fulltone Clyde Wah Dlx, Carl Martin AT Dual compressor, Origin Effects Revival Drive compact, Dunlop Volume pedal, T-rex Replica Delay, Strymon Flint Rev/Trem. Goes into my Bogner Metropolis combo, or for smaller gigs my Milkman “The Amp” and a small cab.
– I use this rig for all my electric guitars, lap steels and pedal steel.
Both your main guitars, your acoustic Martin and your Magneto electric are modified with the True Temperament fretting system. What made you do this?
– I’ve been playing a lot of steel/slide over the years and because of that, I developed a sensitive ear towards intonation, and it frustrated me that my fretted guitars never intoned as good, until I tried True Temperament.
What are the advantages as you see it?
– It took away “that little head ache” I had when playing chords, that sounded out of tune to me when using guitars with regular frets. In my songwriter project, Dekadansorkestern, I’m playing with the fabulous Danish Double Bass Player, Henrik Kunz, and he’s comment on it was “Man! It’s so much simpler to intonate with your chords, than other guitarists!”
– We guitarists are normally a very conservative bunch, when it comes to new inventions or ideas for our instrument, but my philosophy is that any little thing, that’s an improvement, whether it’s something in your playing technique or in your gear, should be adopted, even if it’s only a minor improvement, because it all adds up in the end. That goes for all the stages from the string is plucked until it reaches the listeners ear…
– Take some time and try out different picks, different strings, different combinations of effects, different settings on your amp or where you hit the strings, and how, since it all impacts on your tone. Try to develop a “Meta-routine” that regularly overlooks your routines/habits, and see if there’s anything that can be improved. I promise you, that way you’ll always develop and be a better player than you were yesterday, last week or last year! It’s a never ending journey!
The future of the Corona pandemic is uncertain, but what do your plans look like?
– I’m hoping things will be back to normal from September, and I’ve got about 100 gigs/workshops waiting to be played from September (See concert calendar at http://perrystenback.com/concerts/)
– During this summer I have a couple of smaller outdoor gigs, that are allowed during the restrictions, and my yearly acoustic guitar camp will also be held at Engelsholm Castle in July, even though we’ve been forced to re-think the teaching facilities to comply with the Corona regulations. Ulf Zackrisson©