Bio of Fire!

Mats Gustafsson – saxophones, Fender Rhodes and live electronics
Johan Berthling – electric bass
Andreas Werliin – drums and percussion

Out of the seemingly inexhaustible treasure chest that is the Scandinavian experimental scene comes this latest Swedish supergroup

Fire! is a trio from Sweden with members from The ThingTape andWildbirds and Peacedrums. They create a mix of slowed down – speeded up, distorted versions of contemporary experimental music.

With inspiration drawn from mining, large lorry engines, electro acoustic music from Sweden and a large variety of creative garage rock and free jazz, Fire! is building up a new language and new models for how improvised music can be approached.

The idea for Fire! came from enigmatic concert promoter Conny Lindström, who booked the trio for the small bar of restaurant Riche in Stockholm. The sheer volume made the bar personnel hold on to the glasses for fear they would crack from the sound pressure. Everybody had a good time, so later on time was booked at Tape’s small studio in the industrial parts of Stockholm.
The sound that came out of those sessions was a mixture of the backgrounds of all three members, who didn’t shy away from overdubs and other methods.

The first album, You liked me five minutes ago, was recorded in Stockholm and released on Rune Grammofon in 2009. In the summer of 2011Unreleased? came out, recorded in Japan with Jim O´Rourke playing electric guitar.

After the release of the first album Fire! started playing concerts in Norway and Sweden and at festivals throughout Europe. In 2010 they toured Japan together with Jim O´Rourke. In 2011 they played festivals and venues in Brazil and Europe, partly with multi-instrumentalist Oren Ambarch. In the mouth – a hand, an album from the quartet with Ambarchi was recorded in London October 2011 and came out on Rune Grammofon May 2012. In August of that year they got together again for another European tour.

The Fire! Orchestra is another project the trio is involved in. In January 2012 the 30-piece orchestra performed in Stockholm, conducted by Gustafsson. January 2013 saw three more concerts in Sweden. A smaller version of the Orchestra played at Les Rendez-vous de l’Erdre in Nantes in 2012, together with Oren Ambarchi.

Mats Gustafsson
Born 1964 in Umeå, Northern Sweden.
Saxplayer, improviser and composer. Solo artist and international tours and projects with a.o. Peter Brötzmann, Sonic Youth, Merzbow, Jim O´Rourke, Barry Guy, Otomo Yoshihide, Yoshimi, and in working groups The Thing, Sonore, Fire!, Gush, Boots Brown, Swedish Azz and Nash Kontroll. Large ensemble work with Barry Guy New Orchestra, Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, The Ex Brass Unbound and the NU – ensemble.1600 concerts and over 150 record productions in Europe, North America and Asia. Collaborations with contemporary dance, theater and visual arts as well as projects with noise, electronics, contemporary rock and free jazz.
Producer of international festivals and concert tours as well as work with his own record labels Slottet, OlofBright Editions and Blue Tower Records.

Johan Berthling
Born 1973 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Plays bass (double and electric) as main instrument but also uses guitar and other instruments. Active on the Swedish improvised scene since the late 90’s but doesn’t stay true to any genre: he works in all kinds music. Has worked as producer and arranger for many Swedish and some international artists. Works with his own group Tape, new group Ohayo, the Sten Sandell Trio, Fire! and Boots Brown, amongst others.

Andreas Werliin
Born in 1982 in the vast snow of northern Sweden and raised in the small west coast village Strömstad. With improvised music at heart and drums as main instrument he is currently part of some well acclaimed and award-winning bands like Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Dan Berglund’s Tonbruket and Loney Dear. He has also written music for theater and film.

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