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Freak When Spoken To: The Story of Freak Kitchen

Freak When Spoken To: The Story of Freak Kitchen

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What is Freak Kitchen, and where do they come from? Anyone hearing the band's trademark eclectic heavy metal is bound to ask the same questions. The lyrics do not even remotely resemble anything you ever heard before: satire, humor and attitude blend together in something quite out of the ordinary. Let's put it this way: how many other major rock acts have you heard discussing topics such as infidelity, organ transplant trading, anal bleaching and neo nazism among soccer mums to some of the grooviest metal anthems ever heard?
The music is straightforward to the ear, yet infinitely intricate to the mind, borrowing influences from all over the world in a way we haven't heard since the late Frank Zappa roamed the earth. Mattias "IA" Eklundh is certainly a driving force, the guitarman and singer who gave a whole new meaning to the expression "go your own way". But nothing happens without the entire trinity of Björn, Christer and Mattias on the wagon, and in this massively well researched biography by seasoned Metal Journalist Åsa Anastasia Jonsen you get to follow the Freak in detail from day one.

About the Author
"Åsa Anastasia Jonsén has written about music since 1990, for instance for Sweden Rock Magazine and Close-Up Magazine. She is also co-editor of Kulturdelen, a Swedish arts and culture journal

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
I've followed Freak Kitchen for nearly twenty years now, and have interviewed them several times long before this project took off. I was a music journalist for many years and continuously reviewed Freak Kitchen's albums and gigs in the local morning paper. When bassist Christian Grönlund and drummer Joakim Sjöberg (now Envind Redin) left the band in 2000, remaining member Mattias IA Eklundh turned to me to break the news to the world. At the time I was surprised ― why not contact a major evening paper? ― but I have come to understand how IA works. He doesn't care if you're well-known, if you're rich, if you know the "right" people, if you're attractive or have a really cool car; he cares about loyalty, enthusiasm and talent. When I've mapped the people Freak Kitchen work with, it's become clear, over and over again.
In May 2013, the Freak Kitchen boys gave me a lift home from one of their gigs, and IA brought up the question of an official biography. I had suggested it a few years earlier, but university studies, work and parenthood left no time to realize the plans. Now I had more time on my hands, and accepted the mission with great enthusiasm. I started by asking them for names of people to interview for the book. Unanimously they replied, "Linus Abrahamson, he knows everything about our music!" So I contacted Linus, IA's personal notation expert, met up for an interview about music theory ― and we fell in love. And there you have it, the cheesy part of the book out of the way!
Almost everything you'll read in this book comes from interviews. Translating conversations with IA has not been an easy task; his Swedish vocabulary is much like his guitar playing ― unique, inventive and sometimes slightly insane. I have interviewed all five members individually, multiple times over a couple of years, and did one interview with IA, Christian and Joakim together ― the first time the trio had spent a day in the same room since the break-up. If you listen to the conversation, you'll hear an honesty that's almost heart-breaking. For several hours they talked about memories ― and feelings. They laughed a lot, but there were also long, painful silences. In the end, it really felt as if they had cleared the air.

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