Who are you, really?
Well, I'm Swedish (I live in Gävle, Sweden), I'm born in 1985, and I've made a bunch of YouTube videos and released a prog rock album. Full name is Fredrik Larsson, but as of now I call myself FreddeGredde.
What programs and instruments are you using?
Computer: Custom-built PC (Windows 7)
Audio: Cakewalk Sonar (Guitar Rig 4, lots of VST's)
Video: Adobe Premiere (and Avidemux)
Video camera: Canon EOS 550D (I borrowed different ones at first, then a Kodak Zi8 during 2009-2011)
Electric guitar: Ibanez s680fm (bought in 2008)
Classical guitar: Valencia CG180CE (bought in 2007)
Bass guitar: Yamaha RBX374 (bought in 2009)
Keyboard: Korg K61 (bought in 2008)
Microphones: Several, but an sE X1 more frequently than the others.
The Rest: Um, some cheap tin whistle, a green plastic kazoo (gift from a friend), red Granesso button accordion (I inherited it), Lee Oskar harmonica (gift from grandpa), I can't find more info on these things.
How do you do the layer effect in videos such as your Killer Queen cover?
Most decent video editing programs can add several video tracks to the time-line. (Like Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas, Final Cut Pro etc.) So, you just upload all the videos you want to have on screen at the same time, use a chroma key tool, which is used to make a certain shade of color transparent. And with a bit of skill, you can filter everything except the person you want to stay on screen. :)
What does Freddegredde mean, and how did you come up with that?
Well, a friend started calling me Freddegredde for some reason, most likely because Fredde (the name everyone calls me in Sweden) rhymes with grädde (which means cream, the FOOD cream, nothing else). So, it basically means Freddie Cream, hehe. It's just a unique name that is uncool in a mature way, so to speak!
Do you take requests?
No, sorry. I've got enough plans and projects to work on anyway, and I wanna focus on those when I've got time/inspiration to work with music!
Do you play any live concerts anywhere?
Honestly no, not at this moment. I like composing and arranging, coming up with ideas, but I don't really like playing the same thing again and again. That's why putting videos on YouTube is perfect for me! (But if I'd get an offer to perform for lots of money, I'd probably do it.)
How many musical instruments do you play?
That kind of depends what counts as "play". The only instruments I'm really comfortable with (and can play "anything" on and improvise with) are keyboards and guitar. But when I need to learn a simple melody, I could probably learn it on any instrument. It's just about practice. (The violin is really hard to sound good on though!)
So okay, um, I can "play" drums, bass guitar, all kinds of guitars, keyboards, accordion, some harmonica, some flutes and water glasses! Maybe I'm forgetting something.
How are you getting used to be a star? Do you live as a musician or do you have a different job as well?
Haha, I really wouldn't say that I'm a star. I live a normal life (maybe less social one than most though). Although, people come up to me sometimes and ask if I'm that guy from youtube, and that's pretty cool! (Interestingly enough, one of them was in NYC, so that's when I realized how... international the internet really is!)
And nope, no other job at the moment. I'm trying to make a living on my music.
Do you feel that knowing how to play one instrument has helped your development with the others?
Well yes, of course. Especially thanks to knowing music theory. All instruments work the same way, are using the same 12 notes etc, so if you know how to pick a chord on one instrument, you also know how to do it on others.
How much time a day do you spend practicing guitar and keyboard, and how long have you been playing?
First of all, I never play guitar and keyboard just to practice anymore. It's when I've decided what to play in a new video or in a song, that I start practicing those specific things, and that's usually 20-60 minutes at a time, a couple of times per day, for a week or so, depending on how difficult it is. And when composing, I'm basically learning while deciding how to play things.
I don't really know when I started playing. I've never taken lessons or anything, so I've gradually become better and better since I was a kid. We had a piano in our house at some point, so that's probably when I started playing a bit. And I got my first guitar when I was 14 years old. So, at least ten years for both.
Do you have perfect pitch? Because you seem like an incredibly natural talent!
Nope, not at all! I've no idea how people can hear one single note and determine if it's a C, C# or D, for example. I need some sort of context to figure things out.
And I don't know if I would call myself a natural talent, honestly. I've been practicing really hard, and I'm working hundreds of hours to be able to play and sing the things I do in my videos.
What is your favorite genre, and what are your favorite bands?
Well, I easily like progressive rock the most, because it has lots of variation and interesting ideas, compared to most other genres. Some of my favorite bands are:
A.C.T, Ajalon, Beardfish, Devin Townsend, Discipline, Dream Theater, Echolyn, Genesis, Glass Hammer, Hiromi Uehara, IQ, Jethro Tull, Kansas, Karmakanic, Liquid Tension Experiment, Magenta, Muse, Neal Morse, Opeth, Pain of Salvation, Porcupine Tree, Queen, Rush, Sieges Even, Spock's Beard, Symphony X, System of a Down, The Beatles, The Flower Kings, The Mars Volta, Transatlantic, Yes and Änglagård.
What video games do you like?
Well, I really like Nintendo games the most, but I rarely play new games these days. But when it happens, it's usually multiplayer games like New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Smash Bros. Brawl with friends. Last non-Nintendo game I played was Portal 2.
What are your favourite books?
The thing is, I never wrote what I thought about the books I've read (which I do with everything else), so now I don't remember anything! My memory really sucks... I know that I really liked "A Thousand Splendid Suns" though, and the Swedish "Millenium Trilogy" was better than expected. But I've enjoyed lots of books from all genres. I just don't remember. :S
Ouch, that's impossible to say, because there are so many good ones. But uh, some random ones I come to think of:
Apocalypto, Vanilla Sky, Kill Bill 1, Wall-E, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Seven Pounds, The Reader, The Wrestler, Pleasantville, Titanic, Definitely Maybe, Casino Royal, The Air I Breathe, Reservoir Dogs, The Iron Giant, Finding Nemo, Sweeney Todd, 3.10 to Yuma, No Country For Old Men, Little Children, The Holiday, The Green Mile, The Butterfly Effect and The Jacket.
Favorite tv shows?
Lost is undoubtedly number one for me. :) Dexter is probably second. Hmm.. I like comedy shows too, but it's so hard to compare them.. Blah, I don't know! I like lots of things.
How tall are you?
179 cm. (5'10½" supposedly.)
Do you get told a lot that you’re very gorgeous?
On the internet, sure. Hmm.. Basically never in real life. Well okay, sometimes, but not by strangers. :P
Do you have a girlfriend?
Do you have a boyfriend? ;-)
Hehe.. Nope, not that either. :P (I am straight though, if you need to know.)
Why don’t you have a girlfriend?
Well.. Because I'm not in love with anyone.
Are the soles of your feet ticklish?
Uh. Actually I don't know, no one has tried to tickle me there for years!! And it's just not the same when you tickle yourself, so I can't answer your question. I'm sorry!
Would you rather be poked in the eye with a very sharp stick or have your hand nibbled on by a cannibal?
I'm really scared of getting things in my eyes (and still, I always manage to get things in them, like elbows, or potato chips), so, I'd prefer option number 2!
CAN YOU DO A BACKFLIP??!?!?!?
Of course I can. (I would die though.)
How many languages do you speak and how many countries have you visited?
Well, I obviously speak Swedish and English. I also speak a bit of French, although I rarely use it, so it's getting rustier and rustier. Started learning Spanish for a few months, and can understand it pretty well. And yeah, that's kind of it! As for the different languages I sing in my videos, I just mimic the originals. I don't know Romanian or Japanese. :)
Me and my family were traveling a lot when I was young, so I've visited lots of countries. But, The US, Canada, most of western and southern Europe, and some north African countries. Hong Kong and the Philippines. Basically.
Are you on Facebook?
Yes, here's the official FreddeGredde page!
Do you have twitter?
Yes, I started tweeting in early 2012. That's how hip I am. Here it is.
Why aren’t you signed?!
"Signed" is a weird word these days, because anyone can produce music by themselves these days, and if they want physical CDs, they can just pay a company to make them for you. So, labels aren't really needed anymore!
On the other hand, they can help out a lot with marketing and distribution and paper work and all that (and of course take most of the money), but I really want to stay independent, and decide for myself what I want to do with my music.
Unless someone gave me a really good offer, of course.
Do you auto-tune your vocals?
No, I don't, but I agree that it sounds like that sometimes. I'd say it's because my voice is quite.. sharp, and not very deep, and I never do vibrato. (I basically can't. =/ ) So when I hit the notes "right", it sounds sort of emotionless, and maybe digital.
Do you record all the audio first and lipsync to it later, or do you record everything live?
Honestly, it's different for different videos.. :) But you're definitely on to something, I'll admit! It's easier to sync the videos that way, and the sound quality gets better. It's all about the finished product, right?
Which video is your favorite in your collection?
I like the more busy and intense ones, like the Mega Man Rock Medley, Lonely Starlight and The Video Game Rock Medley! Beside Me has some parts in the middle I really like as well.
As for visuals, I think the Video Game Rock Medley probably looks the best. As for specific moments, I'm glad I could include a tiny bit of animation into the Cartoon Medley, around 4:24. I've always wanted to use animation in my videos somehow.
UPDATE 2014: And wow, since I wrote that, I've used animation in The Star Song, Song For MariLu, A Classical Fairytale and the upcoming The Autotelic Self as well! That's nice.