La Masa of Sweden
La Masa was formed in Gothenburg 2002, when Mats Forsberg and Jakob Linde decided to start a new project. Previously, the dynamic duo handled vocals and organ in the indie-pop and live-favorite band Kracklites from Skövde and Mariestad. There they had met guitarist Thomas Blixt from the recently split-up band Smash Hit Wonders, Sweden’s most actively touring answer to Pavement. Forsberg and Linde were impressed by Thomas’s guitar style, and the trio immediately began to collaborate and create great music. After some time searching for a bass player they found what they were looking for in indie guru Fredrik Eriksson from the noisy punk band Blonk. Thomas and Fredrik knew each other from Gothenburg’s shadier hangouts and illegal clubs.
With a wobbly drum machine the songwriting continued, but on the band’s first recording session they worked with drummer Bo Peter, former member of Souls and Kracklites. Together with Johan Forsman Löwenström, La Masa spent several hours in the Music A Matic Studio, and some of the recordings ended up on the band’s debut album “Nu eller plötsligt” (A West Side Fabrication, 2005). During the following recording process, the band found a permanent member in the shy, but brilliant drummer Mats-Peter Skyldberg. When released, the record was well received and the single “Tomhetens dunkla spår” was played on Swedish national radio station P3 for 14 weeks.
To record La Masa’s second album, “I allas åsyn” (A West Side Fabrication, 2007) Johan Forsman Löwenström was once again called in as producer. Several songs from the album were played frequently on Swedish and Finnish radio stations, for instance “Günter Wallraff på hal is” and “Flyttkartong”. Over the years, La Masa has carried out a number of live shows in Sweden as well as in Finland. Front man Mats Forsberg really knows how to enchant and charm an audience. As a live act, the band has proven to be a tight and dynamic explosion.
Due to lack of time Mats-Peter left the band in 2009. As a substitute La Masa found the drum machine Oberheim DX, which went well with the band’s move towards a more electronic style. Fredrik’s interest in old, retro synthesizers was allowed more space, and the band began – with Fredrik as sound engineer and producer – the recording of their first album with English lyrics; La Masa was reborn as La Masa of Sweden.
La Masa of Sweden worked on the songs for the upcoming album for quite some time, but the process was delayed. Fredrik died tragically around Christmas 2010 after suffering from a severe depression. The band members were hit with tremendous pain, but also anger because of the fact that their dear friend did not get the help he needed. Fredrik had time to produce and play on all the songs except one before he passed away. He also had a career as a saxophonist in the super-hyped punk-pop band, Love is all.
In order to complete the work on the album, La Masa of Sweden took the help of Bastian Pabst for recording vocals, and Johan Forsman Löwenström (Jens Lekman, Caesars, Silverbullit, Håkan Hellström, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Thåström etc.) for mixing. The result is outstanding, with brilliant pop songs that at times sound like the perfect mix between The Jesus & Mary Chain and Wham, a nice mix of shoegaze guitars and electronica. La Masa of Sweden could be the Swedish cousin of the DFA Records family. The album consists of ten great pop songs: “Jimmie Give Up” – a political stance against Jimmie Åkesson, Swedish right wing politician; “Tom of Finland” is a tribute to the gay icon, artist and provocateur with the same name; “Monarchy” is more current than ever with the recent fuss and debate on the Swedish royal family; “Scrapbook”, “When Satan Loved Her” and “Protest March” show different perspectives of human shortcomings in a grim existence.
But now it’s time for change, both soundwise and linguistically. La Masa of Sweden sets out on new adventures in the great pop-cultural world!
The band currently consists of Mats Forsberg – vocals and percussion, Thomas Blixt – guitar and electric bass and Jakob Linde – synthesizer, organ, bass, drums and vocals.