Erik Jayce Landberg est un guitariste suédois qui a évolué dans un contexte familial musical entre Stockholm et la Suisse. La majorité venue, il quitte la Suisse pour la Suède où il rencontre Goran Edman (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum, Vindictiv). Ensemble, ils enregistrent "Lost Without You" et "Marilyn" pour un single qui attirera l’attention de ESCAPE Records qui édite son premier album "Break The Spell" et aujourd’hui : GOOD SLEEPLESS NIGHT. Bienvenue à JAYCE dans le HEAVY SOUND SYSTEM !
At first, can you introduce yourself and tell us in few words your own career ?
I started playing guitar at 14. Before that I wasn’t really interested in music even though I enjoyed listening to it. As a kid I used to sing all the time, so the music was unconsciously there somehow and I remember that my grandmother Gerda, who was an actress in Sweden kept telling me that I was going to become a musician. She really wanted me to. So I guess the inevitable happened and here I am with my second album “Good Sleepless Night”.
My mother pressured me too and very soon I realized that through music and art, I had found a way to express myself and very soon my emotions would translate into my playing. So I started to compose and turn poems into lyrics.
In Stockholm, I was in a few band constellations before landing my first record deal in Japan.
What are your own favorite styles and influences?
I used to listen to classical music like Ravel & Bach. Later I discovered Paganini and his 24 Caprices which had a deep impact on me.
Bandwise I was influenced by Ritchie Blackmore, Hendrix, Scorpions, early Van Halen and also the early Malmsteen recordings.
Wich artist you work with or you worked with impress(ed) you the most ?
On this record I have a guest singer whose name is Mark Boals. I think his voice is one of a kind. Göran Edman who is my official singer is a true and pure artist and I really admire his dedication and abilities.
John Leven, who plays bass in the band Europe is also a great musician. I had him play a bass solo on “Abduction”. He’s a really good performer.
What about your promotion work and your relation with press at the moment ? Do you get a good feed back about your new album ?
I have received some really good reviews in the press so far. But some critics, especially in Sweden seem to have expected that same neoclassical output from “Good Sleepless Night” as I had on my first album “Break The Spell” which is totally ridiculous.
I’m not a person who repeats myself. Every album I make is going to have a different color and texture. I’m a chameleon, I don’t conform to any frame. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to do another “Break The Spell” album and some have expected me to or “want me” to be this new neoclassical Swedish guitarist who only plays those neoclassical guitar riffs à la Malmsteen, and nothing else.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Malmsteen, We’re from the same country. I respect him a lot both as a musician and composer. That guy is a pioneer. He’s one of a kind and when he plays, he plays with fire. But I’m not going to stop there myself. The next album will be different from “Good Sleepless Night”. I’m an artist, not a conformist so be prepared for changes and exploration.
What’s the mood of it ? What would you say to make people listen to it and buy it ?
It’s got all the melodies and power you would expect from a good rock record. But it’s much more raw and punky than “Break The Spell”. I think that most people did expect those neoclassical harmonic minor guitar scales all the way through but on this album I focused much more on the songs and on the overall emotional effect that it could bring you. This album is much more in your face so to speak. It is genuine, not fake.
And although it contains a lot of interesting guitar runs, my main goal was not to show off all my guitar abilities at any costs by playing 28 notes a second in order to please narrow expectations. Everybody knows I can play fast and difficult licks. I don’t feel I have to prove it but I’m not saying the next album won’t be like that. The next one will actually be much more like that.
Where do you find your inspiration for music and lyrics ?
From my personal life and past experiences. From what I feel, hear and see around me. From what touches me and from what doesn’t touch me. From what I like and don’t like.
What’s your favorite new track ? Why ?
I think my favourite tracks on the record are “The Devil’s Wine” and “The Thorns”. Those tracks are really powerful, both lyrically and musically. Although “The Thorns” is not new at all. I wrote it before “Break The Spell” but felt it didn’t fit on that album at the time. So I decided to put it on this one. It’s very different from the rest of the album in that it’s almost entirely based on piano. It’s got so many sections and parts and I’m really pleased with Göran’s singing.
Do you think you will bring something new in music with your new cd ?
I think that the way I mix emotions into the record is what makes it worthwhile. You have the tough violent parts and the soft beautiful ones. You have contrasts. Contrast is art. The beauty and the beast.
Will you be touring soon and what can the audience expect from you on stage ?
I just returned from Sweden where we played a few shows. We have a few dates coming up soon and are really looking forward to go up on stage again. People ask me if I’m ever nervous before going up there and I would always answer: “No, I’m more nervous when I have to leave the stage and the music is over.”
If you come to see me perform, expect a real show. I won't just stand there like Clapton and play my guitar as if I was alone in the room. I throw it around into the air, scratch it against the speakers and always give 110% of myself. It doesn’t matter if there are 400 or only 4 people in the audience. I will give you the same show no matter what.
Message to HEAVY SOUNDERS :
Remain true to yourselves and art!
JAYCE LANDBERG interview 05/03/2010 – Good Sleepless Night (2010) – ESCAPE Music
Photos : Henrik Berggren