Friday, December 19, 2014

Exit 2014 - Constant Race Against Time

As always I haven't had the time I'd wished for to put into studio work the last months, but I've managed to squeeze in some days here and there and am yet another step closer to finishing my solo album. The main vocal tracks are down - and I consider myself the winner in the war with my vocals! I've also been fighting with some real tricky classical guitar parts which I came up with and absolutely wanted to have on this album. Real tricky parts for me that is, way beyond my capability as my fingerpicking-shape of today. But they are now down in the best performance I could get out of me today. Pretty cool and progressive stuff indeed and it all taking it's time for sure. 

Close to finishing it all it has now come to my realization what a complex piece of music this album really is. It's complex and progressive in many ways, and by that I don't mean that it's all flawlessly performed, super tight or in perfect pitch all the way through. It has soul and depth to it, you can approach it from different angles experiencing different things. I'd say it covers lot of ground and is a pretty colorful piece of music. It consists of these pretty complex songs that you can listen to uncomplicated if you want to. If you don't want to get into the depth of them and analyze it, you don't have to. Yet if you do, you'll find some really interesting things down in there for sure. I'd say it'll be pretty close to fulfilling what I'm always aiming for: mixing the complexity and virtuosity of classical music, the in your face attitude, attack and whippiness of punk and the ingenuity, the melodies of pop and maybe the most important thing for me: the improvisation from jazz and then off course, last but not least: the power and feeling of classic heavy metal/hardrock (which obviously is inherited from rock and blues).

At an early stage of this recording I decided to perform all guitars and vocals myself on this one (in contrary to the next solo album which is planned to feature loads and loads of guests...) - Otherwise I would've taken in some friends to do all these tricky vocal and classic guitar parts long time ago! I've surely struggled and pushed myself way beyond where I thought my abilities could reach, which is really exiting and stimulating. Only wish I'd had more time to push it even further and reached total perfection, unfortunately a luxury I don't have as things are today. But then again, for me, it's all about here and now (in the future: then and there) and this surely reflects my here and now.

So, some drum editing, a few additional guitar parts and additional vocals, maybe some retakes, are left recording-wise, then I need to compile and cut all the tracks, a lot of it done already though, and then see who will be mixing it and I believe, depending on when the mixing will be able to be done, it will actually, for real, finally be finished in the first half of 2015.

Besides beginning with solo album #2, some other exiting music stuff is in the planning for 2015, but nothing confirmed so more on all that closer when, and if, they are executed. 2014 may not have been a that productive year for me, but I've surely experienced the more. You'll find my 2014 pretty much documented in my earlier posts in this News & Thoughts Blog (here below?), so check those out if you feel you might have missed something. 

Don't forget that you are always welcome to take a landing at my YouTube site: for videos and my Reverbnation site: or Soundcloud: for audio. Check 'em out, and maybe hit "like" and maybe even leave a comment, to support me and my music.

Now I'm off to beautiful Hälsingland for some skiing and holiday family-hanging - and actually try to have some actual time off!

Wishing ya'll a super merry X-mas and really happy holidays!

Peace 'n out.
/ PM

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mr. Scary

A while ago I was presented an opportunity to do a little George Lynch/ESP Guitars thing which for my part meant that I was to perform (or as I do things, rather jam or improvise) my version of George Lynch's instrumental anthem from the Dokken days, "Mr. Scary", live in front of a video camera to a backing track actually provided by Mr George Lynch himself. My immediate natural reaction was of course to decline. Because: 

1. It's impossible. I mean, for me to do a new version of the perfect song with the perfect performance and above that blend in my style in it, yet keep some Lynch elements, melt it all together into a great piece of flamboyant action entertaining guitar work worth tributing one of the greatest musicians ever. I mean, Mr George Lynch is after all one my Top 2 (!?) favorite guitarists and influences. So totally impossible for me to nail.

2. I hadn't really played guitar that much at all the last year (years?) so my chops weren't really what this would take. Not even close. I mean improvising this hard fierce piece of music in this tempo in real time isn't easy.

3. Getting into the mode, that mood, that feeling, that is absolutely necessary to improvise through such highly technical intense fast riffing, nailing it all in one take, well it's really easy for me to get into that mode live on stage, but in my work-room in front of video camera? Not so much easy at all.

But then I like challenges, so I decided to do it. 

So with not as much time as I'd have wanted for preparation of my technique, to get it into the shape that this would demand, I sure hell played guitar! More than in a long, long time - and it was such fun! Loved it. If nothing else I sure ended up a better guitar player technically today than in years. I just wish I'd have had some more hours to put into my playing before I had to nail it, I was so close of getting my chops into a really, really good condition. But what can you do? My constant dilemma, lack of time. It is what it is.

Then, to be honest, I was afraid to run the song through too many times as well, it's a risk when you're improvising something and you do it many, many times in a row you start finding patterns, melodies, phrasing etc that you really like and feel comfortable with and you automatically, unconsciously, start performing more and more parts the same way every round, loosing the improvisation, turning it into writing instead. That was definitely something I did not want.

So I was going for a version of this song with my style all through the thing, yet trying not to loose Lynch completely, which probably is impossible since he's such a huge influence. I was going to improvise it all (except then some of the main theme riffs and some of my licks that might have managed to get stuck when jamming it though all those rounds), as I almost always do,  it had to be there and then.

I ended up with a couple of pretty different, since I'm improvising it all, takes of me doing it and I decided to put out two takes. These might not be the tightest and most perfectly performed ones but they have the flow, the feeling, the wild improvisation and my licks and fills, my style (coming along with the wrong tones, wrong timings and unwanted noises).

Rather wild than flawless. Rather soulful than clean. Rather groove and intensity than timing. Rather punk than progg.

Loads of fun, loads of love, loads of improvisation, loads of guitar playing.


/ PM

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Battling Vocals

The last month I've spent a couple of hours every week in the studio and it seems I've finally got some routine rolling into that. As always not as frequently as I'd wish for but things are moving in an even pace and I get things down, which feels good. I've been working mostly with the final writing and arrangements of, and nailing, the vocals of my solo album. I dare say that most of everything else, except maybe some lead and classic guitars, are recorded by now (a lot need to be edited and compiled though, and then the mixing, so loads of work remains). There will be vocals on five of the songs, the other half will be instrumental, and I can tell you the vocals are pretty tricky on some of the tunes. I really tried to get some of my dear friends, who happen to be awesome vocalists, to do it when I started out this project but it all ended up them convincing me to do it myself. Mainly I believe due to all the strange timings and phrasing I have going on in my vocal melodies, pretty progressive stuff I'd say and not always that easy to get into your system. So that's why I ended up waging this war with the vocals myself. When I started working with it my singing technique wasn't even close of being able to nail it, but today I can say we're at least closer. I'm pretty picky, and am not going for less that getting it all exactly as I want it, as it was meant to be, with the right feeling I'm after in these recorded vocals. Whatever it takes. The thing is also that I actually really enjoy pushing myself, stretching my abilities but it consumes time, wish I had more of it, but I'm convinced that I'll be nailing it all soon enough.

Last week I grew a little bit bored of trying to rise the bar of my vocal capability and I decided to letting it go for a while and ended up finishing another "Odd song that doesn't fit anywhere" instead. A pretty cool one indeed, if you ask me. It's in Swedish and called "Bara Du" ("Only You" in English) and since it's in Swedish it might should've had landed in my project "Under", where everything is in Swedish, but it's undoubtably an odd song that doesn't fit in, so. Anyway, it turned out pretty cool, a very riffy tune full of my style LA-80's guitar fiddling fills but performed on a steel string acoustic combined with my, what I believe, pretty Joakim Thåström inspired vocals topped with Andreas "Drake" Mallander's fretless bass singing through it filling it all up to perfection. It is clean and naked but there's A LOT going on there, loads of improvisation, melodies and loads of rhythm, though there's no percussion or drums on it. A strong song, pretty unique in style, but it all sounds very natural and unforced, which it most certainly is - it just happened (had written the song earlier though). It's not flawless performed and super tight, but it's most certainly live and it's there and then, totally fitting and going hand in hand with the song and I believe we nailed it pretty well. 

Hope you'll like it as much as I do. 

/ PM

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Iron Maiden

The other day when leaving Hälsingland I was to drive down home alone and needed to compensate for the lack of the usual wonderful company of my girls. I came to the conclusion that the only thing that might do the job was to crank the best band in the world and their best albums the whole way home. So when I got in the car I put on their third album from 1982, which happens to be the best album ever recorded, and realizing this was an excellent idea. 

I'm off course talking about Iron Maiden and the album "The Number Of The Beast".

I've listened to this album about a million times and I'm never getting the slightest bored of it and now I hadn't really listened to it for quite a while, which made it even more exiting than usual. When it had ran through after 40 minutes and 15 seconds (the original version that is) I realized once again what a perfect album it is. To me it has everything and everything with it and on it is total perfection. (Thinking that if Iron Maiden is my religion, that album would be it's holy scripture.)

I mean, listen to it's sound. Amazing. The guitar parts are so great, Mr Dave Murray and Mr Adrian Smith doing some divine guitar work and arrangements there and the bass obviously doesn't need any any praise since it's the work of Mr Steve Harris. Mr Bruce Dickinson easily does his absolute top vocal performance ever, his phrasing and dynamics are phenomenal. Listen to his voice on the verses of the first song "Invaders" (which we, by the way, all probably agree should maybe not have been on that album at all. But I've come to realize that it fills it's purpose on there, even if the song undoubtably would have gained having a different chorus). I really love the jazzy vibes that runs through more or less the whole album, supposedly thanks to Mr Clive Burr and Mr Smith I believe, the song "Gangland" being the main example, such a great and really cool song, way too often overlooked. Speaking of overlooked, "Total Eclipse" should surely have been on that album (well it is nowadays on the re-released versions), awesome song and I believe even Mr Harris agrees with that. Even though I've grown up with Mr Nicko MacBrain's drumming and love it, Mr Burr plays such unique and tasteful drums on this album, as on the two first ones as well, they really melts in so naturally. Despite all this I do however believe that it's the all-thorough strong material, the arranging and the production that makes "The Number OF The Beast" so great and here I think Mr Martin Birch and also Mr Smith deserves some credits, besides Mr Harris off course. Beside Steve Harris being the main motor and therefore a huge influence on me, Adrian Smith is one of my top five musical influences, mainly his arranging and writing.

I believe album number two for me has to be "Powerslave". It made such a strong impact on me back when it came out, and still does. It was the first album I've really been waiting for to be released, really waiting, I remember getting the single to ease the wait. Great album, awesome production and material. Not to exited about the guitar sound though, I think they lost their awesome guitar sounds after "Piece Of Mind", which by the way is an awesome sounding album, love the production on that one. Though it might lack the Maiden-all-way-through-hi-quality material a bit, some weaker songs there on side B, love "Still Life" though, and side A is great. Also "Killers" got me really hooked, great and cool arrangements on that one, the bridge between the punkier Maiden Mark I and the more progressive Maiden Mark II, a lot thanks to mr Smith joining the band and Mr Birch producing it I believe. Really cool blend of punk and progressive heavy metal - The birth and invention of many parts of future heavy metal music. Off course the first album is a milestone and an awesome album as are "Somewhere In Time", which I like a lot (lots of great material written by Mr Smith on that one) and then also "Seventh son of a Seventh son" which kind of wraps it all up if you ask me. Mr Smith and Mr Birch leaving and the flow and magic seems lost and Iron Maiden never quite found it again. For me it's the first seven albums.

This might have ended up sounding a bit like a review or something but it sure wasn't meant as such at all, I simply wanted to throw in a couple of words of my reflection after doing this little dive into the sea of my biggest influence. Maiden have really, really meant so much to me since the day I bought "The Number Of The Beast" sometimes back in 1983, in so many different ways, and my best Maiden memory must, besides seeing them live all the times, off course be the two times I got to meet them in person some years ago (two totally different occasions but two days in a row!). I never really wanted to do that simply because they were Gods and I didn't necessarily want to come to realize that they might be normal human beings, which I know now that they are and real nice and cool ones indeed. Even though it sure took some of the divinity level down I'll off course never forget getting meeting the band, hanging, chatting and having cold ones with them, totally surreal for me but glad I got to live to that - Huge cheers to my bro Mr Viberg for hooking us up real good! 

Regardless meeting them or not, it's what they do, what they've done that I'm grateful of and above I'm only reflecting on the studio-side of the band, which is great, but it's live on stage where they're really doing it, where they've really influenced me (and also by the fact that they've always done their thing, their way) and yeah, when I think about it, Iron Maiden is, at least pretty close of being, my religion.

Up the Irons!
/ PM

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Check out my top 2 guitar heroes live - Check.

So the other week I finally got to cross off an important point on my to-do-before-I-die list: I finally got to see one of my absolute top two favorite guitar players live on stage: Mr Jake E Lee performing with his Red Dragon Cartel at Virgin Oil in Helsinki, Finland - and boy did he totally wipe the floor, delivering beyond expectations. Though I saw him with Ozzy at Monsters Of Rock at Råsunda in 1986 - I was a kid and don't really remember that much of it - it was sort of the first time I got to see him playing live and was indeed a thrilling experience. It was so great to see that he seemed so happy and really enjoying doing his thing again after being away all these years. He's such a great kick-ass performer and have such a tasteful playing and I now realize how much I really am influenced by him, not only the guitar playing but in many ways. The improvisation, the originality and then the mixing of kick-ass-punk-attitude, feeling and technique that I've always been striving to get a perfect blend of in my playing and performance, well Mr Lee's sure got it all nailed down in the perfect tasteful cocktail. Such a great songwriter as well. Hope he'll stay in the scene now that he's back, playing in whatever constellation he feels comfortable in, doesn't really matter (though it surely would be nice to see him with a real killer band with a killer line-up like the first version of Badlands or the Ozzy years...).

Yeah, it sure was a great and important moment for me and it feels pretty good now when I've witnessed my top two influences guitar wise, my heroes!, live on stage - and I can cross that off the list - and the fact that they both totally delivered the gods living up to my very high anticipation. The other one is off course Mr George Lynch who I saw with Lynch Mob (with the killer line-up: Oni Logan, Robbie Crane and Brian Tichy!) in Västerås, Sweden some years ago. (Had never seen him playing live prior to that. Awesome show, awesome moment for me.)

Truly, truly wishing all the best for these two geniuses and my main influences - and that they will get the appreciation that they really deserve!

When it comes to the Saari Camp the renovation of my house, family and business has once again been taking time from the studio, real time eaters those things, and add some personal stuff of some of the others involved the recording of the last bits and pieces of my solo album has been postponed somewhat. It's not that easy to get the time and dedication it all requires when your own ass isn't the only one that's busy as hell. But I can see the end of the tunnel. (...and even beyond: The planning of solo album number 2 is actually already floating about.) It's not only my studio time that's being eaten by my life but playing music time as a whole - I wanna play more guitar! ...well, at least I got to do a couple of great and exiting gigs last month with Straight 8 Diablo and Lizard Eye and I get to throw in a rehearsal every now and then. Hoping there'll be more of all that in the next future though.

We'll be putting out some rehearsal videos every once in a while with Straight Eight Diablo to document the progress and growth of the band, the S8D evolution. Though we only manage to get time to rehearse maybe once every second week or so but we're all loving what we have going on so much so we'll just keep hanging on there. Hopefully we'll be getting able to throw in some gigs any time soon now. Here a tune called "Regret" being rehearsed:

You'll find more of them S8D videos over here:

Over and out.

/ PM

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Calm before the storm

Though I haven't got the chance to put as much time on the solo album as I could wish for the last weeks it's moving forwards. The rhythm guitars and drums are more or less recorded by now (more or less because parts are always rewritten and changed along the road) and I believe 8 out of 12 songs are completely finished recording-wise by now, except maybe for some vocal retakes. Next week Andy and I will start recording the bass on the last tunes and I've also booked in a couple of studio-hours to work on some vocals. So despite everything things are moving in that corner.

When it comes to rehearsals and playing live I will all of a sudden find myself in the middle of a storm in a couple of days. On Monday when I'm back home to Stockholm I'll have to throw myself deep into both the Lizard Eye and the Straight Eight Diablo live sets and remain down there 24/7 for the next week and a half.

On friday (25th) Lizard Eye has the gig in Upplands Väsby and I haven't played those tunes in almost two years and we'll only have time for one night of rehearsals, so need to get myself into that. My bro and drummer Ralph Rydén has made the tough decision to leave the band due to personal reasons and we'll be doing the gig with Mr Peter Hermansson (John Norum, Talisman, 220 Volt) on the drums - which will be exiting indeed (and with only one rehearsal!). 

Straight Eight Diablo got pulled into a really exiting gig that we just couldn't turn down at the real cool medieval bar and restaurant Sjätte Tunnan in old town in Stockholm on what we in Sweden call Valborg (on april 30th). It'll be a real cool way to start off the S8D train, a bit earlier than we planned for, but we'll get it all together. I mean the last S8D gig some two years ago, the very first S8D gig ever, we hardly rehearsed at all, I mean the songs weren't even finished, so this is the real first S8D gig, the launch presenting the band, and the music as well since we haven't, and probably ever won't, record it in the traditional way in a studio - Straight Eight Diablo is a live band and that's it as it is for now. Hopefully this means that a bunch of Straight Eight Diablo live dates will follow now that the train is rolling.

Last week we also managed to squeeze in a solo band rehearsal as well - loads of fun and sounded beyond anticipation - I mean it was about two years ago since all the three of us was in the rehearsal together. We'll however be taking it slow and put the time on finishing the album, which will have Andy and Vesa on all bass and drums. But I believe we'll might be putting together a live set in the summer or in fall and then take it out live on stage, as has been the plan for a long time.

Anyway really looking forward to loads and loads of guitar playing the upcoming weeks - and singing since Fred and I split the lead vocals in S8D - and the gigs and hopefully even more gigs and getting closer to finally finish the recording of my solo album.

There's some new items in the Saari Shop at Zazzle, we're building it up as we speak, so you might want to check it out and maybe even buy stuff and support us:

Now I'll just continue chilling, well I'm actually getting some work done but taking it easy while do it, a day or two more up here in beautiful Hälsingland - what feels like the calm before the storm.



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Back after setback

My precious plan of 2014 got a pretty bad start - Almost before it was put into practice it suffered a setback and was delayed some 2+ months when I managed to fall at the construction site (expanding my Beyond Dimensions Rehearsals business), smashing down from a couple of meters into the concrete floor and destroying my left shoulder, arm and hand. Resulting in not being able to play the guitar at all for 6 weeks (couldn't even feel my fingers). Now I'm somewhat back, not quite just there yet, but as rehab I've been playing loads of guitar the last weeks, I've probably played more guitar the last month than in whole 2013, and loving every minute of it.

So I'm not quite able to record guitars quite just yet, but very close and I'm trying a bit. Right now I'm working on what most likely will be the opening track of my solo album (and also the title track if I'll stick to my plan), a nylon string acoustic classical little thing (which many probably will be calling an intro). I wrote it a while ago and now when recording it in Pro Tools I'm realizing it's in a very strange meter. Don't know if I'm in some sort of strange state of mind or something, but after hours of figuring and with my knowledge of music theory I ended up with the result that the one of the two parts in it is in 11/4 (or should it be 11/8?) and the other in 13/4. But I mean, hey, it's supposed to be a progressive album so I guess it fits right in whatever it is... This happens to me every now and then, I end up with parts of songs in odd meters without having realizing it until it's being recorded, put into Pro Tools or Logic undressing it and revealing it all. All I hear when I write is melodies and the song itself, my mind never allows me to analyze it. Like the main/verse riff in "360 Degrees", it's in 7/4 (or 7/8 if you will) but I didn't realize it until it was recorded, all I heard was a melody and a riff that I liked when I wrote it. (You'll find it at my Soundcloud site:

I also finished up another odd song that doesn't fit. A very special one, a really, really hard one for me to get right. It's a real sweet, nice and stripped down little nylon string acoustic lullaby kind of piece that I wrote about a year ago when my daughter was born. I simply wanted to write a song and get that very feeling into it, which was easy, but playing it to be recorded was everything but. Had a real hard time getting the right vibes into this very naked and primitive little piece. It's not at all about being flawlessly performed and tight (it most certainly is not), nor about the clearest and perfect recording, but solely trying to catch that feeling intended when writing it, pure and unforced. This is how it turned out, "Song for Astrid".


My hand and arm are more or less now well enough to rehearse so we've continued the Straight Eight Diablo rehearsals where we left off some two months ago. Hopefully we'll get it all together in the spring so we can get the S8D machinery where it truly belongs - live on stage. The plan is to also start rehearsing with the other bands and project soon.

We had some arranging and writing rehearsals with Lizard Eye a couple of weeks ago. Loads of fun indeed. Yet there's some things in the happening in the Lizard Eye camp so need to be on hold for a while but some news are coming. I believe we have a live gig or two coming up however. Check out the official Lizard Eye website for updates and news on the band:

Next time I'll have some more fleshy info on the solo album, which should be more or less recorded by then.

See ya.
/ PM