Marten Hagstrom & Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah about their Ibanez guitars

Marten Hagstrom & Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah about weird hobbies

Guitarists Marten Hagstrom and Fredrik Thordendal of the Swedish metal band Meshuggah told TopGuitar magazine about their weird hobbies…

TopGuitar: With Sweden being one of the most pleasant countries to live, where do you get all your anger and aggression from that you pull off in your music?

Mårten: Have you been up north? It’s dark six months of the year where we come from, on Christmas Eve the sun comes up this much for half an hour, so go figure! People coming from other countries who live up there, who are not used to it, they get depressed. We’ve got the highest suicide rate outside of Japan. That’s not where we live now, but I live there still. I guess we’ve been depressed growing up and pissed on our parents for having to live there, so now we got to get back at someone [laughs]. I don’t know, man. We’re not angry.

Fredrik: It’s just a taste in music, just what we think sounds cool.

Mårten: We like threatening stuff. I guess we liked threatening music growing up, and movies, and books. We were like horror freaks.

You used to collect snakes, right? What happened to them?

Mårten: Yes, I had them for a while. I bread a lot of snakes for twelve years, but I sold them. Before I met my wife and got a kid, I had a lot of both venomous and non-venomous snakes – I had a 120 snakes in a 28 square feet apartment, which is not really healthy neither for me or the snakes. It was insane, I had cobras and rattlers and everything you can imagine, I really got into it. But the thing is, I’m in a band, so if I get bit and have to amputate my hand, that would be a bad thing, I think. So I thought that maybe that wasn’t the smartest thing to do anymore. But I love it and still want to do it, so if stop playing music tomorrow, I’d probably get snakes the next week. Maybe not that many and not that kind, but you know, I’m a touring guy, so I can’t tell my wife to take care of my 120 snakes and make sure that our five-year old son doesn’t touch them. That doesn’t work.

Fredrik, do you also have some hobbies like this, besides playing guitar and drums?

Fredrik: No, I just like inventing stuff, like all kinds of gear and software. I’m working for Toontrack, actually being one of the product development guys in the company doing drum samplers and stuff. I’m always coming up with weird things – that’s my hobby.


Published since 2005 as a printed magazine, TopGuitar is a magazine of opinion for professional and amateur musicians. Since 2020 on a digital platform. Contain reviews of various guitar-related musical gear, interviews and original articles on world’s most popular artists, music reviews, event reports, guitar workshops and tips, the latest products and artist news. The Editor-in-Chief is Dr. Dariusz Domanski, a guitarist and academic teacher, doctor of musical arts.