Mattias Hellberg, born & raised in Karlstad, has been part of the Swedish music scene since the late 80’s. His love for and obsession with music started in the pre adolescence years, and at the age of 14 he started his first band Ugly Jake in 1987. This band transformed into Nymphet Noodlers in 1992. He has played guitar in several rock bands like The Hellacopters and Soundtrack of Our Lives, but it is as a solo act Mattias reveals the sad soul of Scandinavian despair, which also describes the new album High in the Lowlands.
Nymphet Noodlers released 1 EP & 1 album and toured around Scandinavia until they broke up in 1996. The year after Hellberg moved to Gothenburg where he became an important part of a vibrant music scene. Besides working on his own material he sang in short-lived furious boogie rock band Hot Love and played guitar in alternative country band Alimony for a short while. 1998 included a stint as guitarist with The Hellacopters, recording and touring with the band.
In 1999 he and one of his fellow musicians from Nymphet Noodlers, Martin Hederos, recorded 8 cover songs meant to be a demo to get gigs in bars. Old friend Niclas Stenholm released the songs on the album M. Hederos och M. Hellberg in 2000. Hederos & Hellberg turned out to be a totally unexpected success. Critics went nuts about it and all of a sudden they were a "band" playing sold out theaters all over Scandinavia. Ryan Adams discovered the duo when he was playing his first concert in Gothenburg, and he brought them with him on a European tour as Hederos & Hellberg's second album, Together in the darkness, was released in 2001.
However, at the same time Martin was also busy touring with his other band The Soundtrack of Our Lives, which got a major contract with Universal in the US. Eventually two international careers were too much to endeavor and Hederos & Hellberg had to go separate ways. In January 2003 they did a last performance in a sold out Gothenburg Concert House.
Mattias focused on his own material and recorded songs written between 1996 and 2003. The self-titled, first solo album was released in 2004.
In 2005 he was asked to sing with legendary Swedish rock unit Nationalteatern’s RockOrkester for a summer tour. He has been a full member of the band since, touring with them every year.
He also toured & recorded with Swedish artist Stefan Sundström as guitarist during 2004-2005. Sundström is an acclaimed Swedish singer-song writer, which has been releasing albums and touring Scandinavia since 1991.
Mattias curiosity and openness has made him seek out and get inspired by music from all over the world, from Nigerian funk to classic rock-n-roll. As he states it himself, "I love all music with soul and feeling, not as a genre but across genres and continents. Music that convey depth and understanding of human beings, both their moments of happiness and those of despair." This manifested it self- among other things- in reggae/dub/rock project, Kanzeon, which released their self-titled album in 2006.
In 2007 he wrote, played and recorded songs with Ugandan/Swedish soul bird Jaqee for what became her album ”Nouvelle d’amour”. The album was a huge success and Mattias toured with Jaqee for the Nouvelle tour. The collaboration has even resulted in Mattias’ own stripped down version of the song Nouvelle d´amour on his new album.
2008 was the year of Mattias Hellberg & The White Moose and the album Out of the frying pan into the woods. The album was written and recorded in only 2 weeks and reflected Mattias urge to revisit more energetic and out going rock-n-roll with inspiration from psychedelia and rough grooves.
The new album High In The Lowlands is an intimate collaboration with longtime friend Mattias Areskog (Brothers of end). Only the two of them stuck in a cabin for just a week High in the Lowlands is the beautiful result of yet another Hellberg masterpiece.
Throughout his work Mattias Hellbergs sad souled songs of Scandinavian heartbreak, be it with Hederos & Hellberg, Healing Hand, The White Moose he always did have a somewhat rootsy approach to the ancient troubadour tradition whose linage Hellbergs music clearly represents.
The album High In The Lowlands is to be released in Europe, the US & Canada. There will also be a release in Jan 2012 of a live album from, what supposed to be, Hederos & Hellberg's last concert. There will be tours, there will be fun and what else?....
Stay high in the lowlands, folks!!