Metal Origins: Mats Nilsson

Metal Origins: Mats Nilsson

The Marys Creek frontman takes us through his formative years of metal devotion...

Hello Mats, welcome to Sentinel Daily, and welcome to Metal Origins! What are your earliest memories of heavy metal – was it love at first sight/hearing? “Yes, it was true love from the start… and still is”.

What was the first metal album you bought with your own cash? “My first metal album was Mötley Crüe – Shout at the Devil, my mother bought it to me as a gift and from that day…I´m stuck on metal. But the fist record I bought for my own money must been Accept‘s Balls to the Wall”.

Not a bad pair of records to be kicking off with! That’s the good stuff taken care of – But are there any bands you loved as a youngster that cause you to wince now and ask ‘what was I thinking’ ? “(laughs), yeah I guess most of the band I listen too when I had my thrash period will fit in that category, even if I still enjoy Anthrax a lot”.

Who were the first band you saw live – please feel free to include no-name local bands if that was your first interaction with live metal. “We had a local band in Mjölby in Sweden that was called Vanguard, I remember I sneaked around their rehearsal studios and they must been the first hardrock or metal band I saw live. The first big hard rock band I saw was Whitesnake”.

Vanguard (Swe)

Again, not a bad band to start things off with! How hard was it when you were growing up to get info on the bands you loved- was there much mainstream media coverage where you lived? “Here in Sweden we had a radio programme called Rockbox and a magazine called Okej that were the best way to hear or read about new bands”.

Do you think the internet has taken away the mystique of being in a big band for young people today? Do we know too much about our heroes in 2016? “Yeah I think so, I remember when music videos started to show up in Sweden, that was so cool to see your heroes on the TV instead of just as pictures in a magazine”.

Were you a big festival goer as a junior headbanger? “I wasn´t that into them when I was younger but today, I really love festivals and the one I love most is the Sweden Rock Festival, such a lovely festival with great bands (that I never thought I would see live) and a great atmosphere, I love it!”

Yes, I’d love to go to Sweden Rock – every year they seem to put together a really great bill of bands. But back to you – how hard or indeed easy was it for you to get to big gigs growing up? Would you have hitched hundreds of miles to see your favourite bands if necessary? “When it was time to see bigger bands we had to travel to Stockholm or Gothenburg , about twenty five to thirty miles from where I grew up… so that was not a big problem”.

What five albums have stayed with you since your formative metal years? “Mötley Crüe – Shout at the Devil, Toto‘s Seventh One (not so much metal but I really love this album), Eat em´and Smile by David Lee Roth, Tell no Tales by TNT and GiantTime to Burn. But there are soooo many records I really love so it´s hard to pick just five, but today it´s these five”.

And a jolly nice five they are too. I love that Giant album. Did you have a metal crush? Who was on the sixteen year old Nilsson’s bedroom wall? “(more laughter), I guess my metal crush was
Mötley Crüe, you couldnt find a free spot on my walls, there where pictures of Vince, Nikki, Mick and Tommy everywhere!)

Anything else you’d like to reveal about your metal upbringing? “I´m so glad that I started to listen to hard rock and metal … what should I have been without it?

What indeed! Cheers! Thanks for taking part! “Cheers!”

Scott Adams
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