The Swedish Technician: JONATHAN CARLEMAR!

Today's Elevenses Throws Eleven Quick Questions At 'The Swedish Technician' Jonathan Carlemar!

Jonathan Carlemar is a 19 year old guitarist and composer from the South of Sweden. He is a member of the Melodic Metal Band Seven Tears that recently released a debut album on Frontiers Records. He is at music school in Sweden improving on his already impressive skills.

So what’s your drink of choice at 11am in the morning?

Well, probably some coffee or tea. That's a good start of the day!

Which song/album really made you want to play guitar?

I was about ten years old when I first heard Yngwie Malmsteen's "Rising Force" and "Marching Out". My father used to play them at home and I fell in love at once! I still think that they are two of the best albums ever and I can never get enough of Yngwie!

Who’s the world’s greatest guitarist?

That's an impossible question to answer! I have listened a lot to Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai. Yngwie is a great inspiration and Vai's innovative style is outstanding. Steve Lukather is also one of the best along with Steve Morse! I am also a huge fan of jazz guitarists such as Mike Stern and Django Reinhardt. But I would consider Steve Vai as my greatest influence!

Who’s the world’s most underrated guitarist?

I have to say the Swedish guitarist Mattias "IA" Eklundh. I think that he is quite unknown in the rest of the world, even though he might be the best guitarist out there. He sounds like no-one else and has done a lot of great guitar music. His band Freak Kitchen are insane! Check 'em out!!

So what are you up to at the moment?

I am writing some new material for Seven Tears and are studying music at a school here in Sweden. I learn a lot every day and try to play as much as possible. We will also be able to announce some more gigs for Seven Tears soon!

What was the last gig you went to (as a member of the audience)?
Who would be in your dream line-up?

I went to a gig with Dream Theater and Symphony X in Stockholm some weeks ago. A divine night for a guitarist with two guitar gods on stage! It's always fun to see Dream Theater play and truly inspiring!

Jörn Lande - Vocals

Yngwie Malmsteen - Guitars

Steve Vai - Guitars

Mats Olausson - Keyboards

Marcel Jacob - Bass

Billy Cobham - Drums

How many guitars do your own and which one is ‘your precious’?

I own about eight guitars. My precious at the moment is my Fender Stratocaster. I recently bought it, so I'm still in love with it (and will always be). It's white and has a maple neck and single coil pick-ups. A great guitar with a smooth and warm tone!

What’s the last great album that you bought (or were given)?

I got Mike Stern's "Jigsaw" and Steve Vai's "Sex & Religion" for Christmas presents. "Jigsaw" is a masterpiece in the genre of jazz/fusion and I have already learned a lot from it. Great album! "Sex & Religion" is a true "guitar bible" and I just love the way Steve treats the guitar! It's also killer vocals by Devin Townshend and nice drumming by Terry Bozzio. I love it!!

Do you suffer from stage fright?

I also get nervous when I'm about to get on stage. But I love the thrill! I suffered from it a lot more earlier, but I have been on stage a lot recently, so I have got rid off that fear.

So what’s your drink of choice at 11pm in the evening?

Probably some beer or Red Bull and Vodka. That puts me in a good mood!!

(Interview - 15th January 2008)