PATRIK SKANTZE AND THE FREE
and the Free Souls Society
Patrik Skantze is a selftaught musician who works and lives
in Stockholm. He started playing guitar at the age of thirteen. As he was growing
up in the era of hard rock the earliest influence was, which may be rather surprising
and a bit odd when you listen to his own music today, Ace Frehley.
"I always felt a strong bond to Ace, I got the feeling
that he was an outsider, the underrated genius that wasn't allowed enough space,
not unlike George Harrison. My earliest memory of music that makes a strong
inpact on me was written by Ace. It was the instrumental song "Fractured
Mirror". From that on I went on to guitarist like Brian May and Richie
Another impression that led Patrik to persue a career in music
was when he by coinsidence started to listen to symphonic rock by bands like
Yes, Camel, Alan Parson Project and Steve Hackett but also minimalists such
as Steve Reich, John Adams to late romantic Jean Sibelius.
It was like a spiritual awakening, life before and after this
period! A classmate of mine had stolen a box with LP's from a cellar storage
to find heavy metal records but was utterly disappointed when the box just contained
"garbage", as it was to his ears so he gave me the records. I recognized
some of the names vaguely but had never really listened to them. The bands and
the composers were just awesome but it meant so much more to me. For so many
years I had felt, almost like a spiritual longing, a need to express myself
in a way that I couldn't see nor hear around me. After a rather messy upbringing
with very little cultural content I had lack of references to what was possible.
The feeling of homecoming was very real and gaved me a new faith in myself and
made me want to test and develop my own ability.
Patrik started to play in different bands and the dream was
to breakthrough as a creative guitarplayer in a rockband. In one of these bands,
around 1990, played Johan Högberg who later on founded the proggrockers
Änglagård. But after a few disappointing years he run out of steam
and decided that after this that he would go his own way with his own music
on do it on his terms. He invested in a 4-track recorder and some instruments
beside his guitars.
The question was and has always been which direction I would
take. At this time I listened a lot to Neil Young and Nick Drake, these two
are the sole reason why I took up singing. This is the story and reason that
started the collaboration with Mi-Mo Sound Records.
In 1995, Patrik started to contact different studios with the
mind set to record an instrumental piece, as he felt that that side of his musicality
suffered the most and became very limited due to his 4-track recorder and it’s
limits. He felt that recording his piece in a proper studio would do it more
justice and make a better point to the record companies what he wanted and could
do. He came across Mikael Moberg, owner of the Mi-Mo Sound studio in Stockholm
and they hooked up and what was meant to be a one off recording ended up being
a good friendship and the start of a long collaboration.
The debutalbum "Music for my egos sake" was released
in 1998 on Mi-Mo Sound Records / Border Music and it got it's share of good
and bad reviews in Sweden and it was classified as symphonic rock. Patrik also
made an apperance at the Swedish radio's program "Musikjournalen"
and a further step was taken when Patrik got in touch with the musician and
hammond virtuoso Pär Lindh. With the help from Lindh and Crimsonic Label
"Music for my egos sake" got publicity and good reviews by critics
in the progressive rockgenre outside Sweden. The English Wonderous Stories wrote:
"This is an outstanding symphonic release by multi-instrumentalist Patrik
and features just two tracks. But both are epics in every meaning of the word…
his guitar work is simply devastating, fluid, controlled and seething with passion!
There are also certain classical influences that ensure this is a symphonic
masterpiece. If Oldfields name was on this then sales would be huge and to think
that I was enjoying Tubular Bells 3 until I heard this! Sorry this is much better.
Buy at all costs". (Terry Craven).
This might sound strange but I have never seen myself as an
artist belonging to a specific genre, but it seems like we're living in a time
when you're automatically alternative when you're yourself and acts the way
you are. It feels unnatural to me to write or create after a specific mold that
people makes for you and that for some reason is considered to be "right"
in time. Paul Simon, Thom Yorke, Joni Mitchell, Dolores O'Riordan, David Crosby
and Elliot Smith are persons who are what they are due to that they stay true
to themselfes and all these names also representes what the symphonic rock means
to me : personal, musical and artistic freedom. Its easier when it comes to
classical music. The freedom and individuality is very present in the works
of some of my favourites as Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Mahler, Joseph Jongen
or Gabriel Fauré.
The years that follow after the release isn't all in silence.
In 1998/99 a video is made by Niklas Salmose with an excerpt from "Music...".
The recording of the follow up record was also started at Mi-Mo Sound and this
time Patrik also started to sing and also used the folkmusician Violina Juliusdotter
from Alder and Andor on flute. Unfortunately the project is put on hold for
a number of reasons, one being his work in the graphic buisness took a lot of
his time and the lack of a band that meant that Patrik never made any concerts
but also from personal reasons.
In 2002 Patrik started to play with a shortlived project called
The Movement. I had started to get an urge for playing together with other musicians,
I was really fed up with just playing the guitar by myself and needed to break
my isolation and felt that I wanted to be a part of other peoples creativity.
To say the least I did meet an excentric poet that needed a guitarplayer to
do a gig at Lava in Stockholm. He took me on a trip that almost gave me a mental
breakdown, but at that moment it didn't matter because ha had some gigs around
town and also I didn't have to be the front person. I wrote the music and he
wrote the lyrics, Adam Axelsson played percussion on a few gigs which was very
fun for me since he had played drums in one of my first bands that I rehearsed
with in 1989. I was 17 at the time and the band I think was called Fable, however
The Movement made a few apperances but the most important that came out of all
this was that I met a drummer called Christopher Korling who joined us in the
later part of it’s era.
During the same year Patrik composes the music for the first
of three meditation records under the name "Mindfullness". Jan Roostal
are running classes in meditation and gives lectures and seminares on the subject,
and he also took part in a tv-show on Swedish Television called "Livslust"
and he’s a spokesman for Deepak Chopras thought on eastern philosophy
and medicine. During some of these seminares Patrik played sologuitar. On one
of these occations he needed someone who played the flute and through some friends
he got in touch with the singer Eva Björkner and since she also plays the
piano, herself, Christopher and Jörgen Palm (playing the cello) participated
on the last meditation CD that was released in 2003 on a longer piece of music
I had the oppurtunity to get instrumentalmusic released that
probably never would have been heard unless these records had been made. As
usual I put my whole soul into the music. I’m usually a bit sceptical
to New Age in general but since this was strictly about meditation I coulnd't
see any problems with it's message.
In December 2003 Skantze (6-12 string acoustic) together with
Eva (piano & flute) was appeared in the festival Frölunda goes progressive.
The other bands were A.C.T and Johan Randen band. Setlist: Mindfullness / A
new morning in-sight / In D / Music for my egos sake part 1 / Tubular Bells
part 2 (Mike Oldfield) / Sketches in the sun (Steve Howe)
2004/05 Patrik started recording with new written material
at Mi-Mo sound studio. It took off as a single solo project but during the recordings
the thinking of a band grew and got clearer and clearer. Both Christopher and
Eva is brilliant musicans and is giving so much of themself in all what they
are doing on the album. And from the opposite from me they are eduacated musicans
which I took advantage of regardless. This is the reason and the birth of The
Free Souls Society.
After the release of "Fiction at first view" it's
more of a reality that a band has been formed after Patrik Öhlin Olsson
joined their forces. And then finally the big question... What kind of music
are they playing, what genre???? Well, I write personal music that the band
plays with great confidence and emotion. I know that Eva prefers jazz and soul,
she listens to Stevie Wonder and Bonnie Raitt amongst others, Christopher grew
up listening to Metallica and Dream Theater but also enjoys everything from
jazz to death metal and Patrik Öhlin listens to everything from drum n'
bass to Weather Report. Regarding myself I just have to take a look at what's
next to my stereo at the moment which is Led Zeppelin, Air, Jon Brion, Sweet’s
neglected Level Headed, Smashing Pumpkins and piano music by Bela Bartok.
"Fiction at first view" |
Patrik Skantze (S) |
"Fiction at first view"