O-la-la! Taking a look behind the scenes of where Ola Englund creates YouTube magic
If you play guitar, you probably know the name (and stunning blonde mane) of Sweden’s Ola Englund. Ola has made a name for himself by becoming a trustworthy source in the world of gear reviews/demos, along with being able to make just about anything sound awesome. He is also known as the lead guitarist for Gothenburg-based metal band “The Haunted” as well as the founding guitarist of “Feared.” Amidst all of his great bands, and epic sounding gear reviews, there had to be a Sonic Space to make it all happen, and that’s where we’ll be headed today.
So, without further ado, *claps loudly* let’s begin!
If you ever had to do some online research to learn how a piece of guitar gear sounded, or perhaps you were about to buy some used gear that had a ‘bad rap’ - a quick video from Ola with your headphones on could quickly prove if the gear was worth it or not. Even if you thought you owned some gear that was hopelessly lame, Ola may be able to show you that, yes, there ARE indeed good tones inside! Like all gear, you just need to know where to look and what knobs to turn.
Ola’s guitar skills and career achievements have not gone unnoticed however, as he has partnered to create signature gear with some of music’s top brands (Strictly 7 & Washburn), and has even developed one of the very best signature amplifiers of all time with Randall/Fortin (the aptly-named “SATAN” in 2014). It wasn’t long after that (2017) when he launched his very own guitar brand built to his specs and according to his philosophies (founded “by and for the bedroom, studio and touring guitar player”) known as SOLAR guitars.
2020 was certainly a different year for everybody, and for Ola, it meant transitioning to his brand new “office”. There is a LOT more to operating a YouTube channel and music business than simply having a place to film, and this tour will show you just how well this new space can accommodate the dozens of needs for Ola’s creative and business needs. For instance, did you know that Ola’s brother also shares this office location and designs and develops video games? He also streams game development at his Twitch which can be seen HERE.
Upon entering the front door, you will find yourself in the main office (aka "the corporate asshole room"), where Ola, his wife Louise, and other staff sits to pay bills, send emails, and of course, game on a custom-made gaming PC. From the front office, Ola takes you to the soundstage for “Will It Chug?” (with the help of a lightweight sign-change, this same space doubles as the locale for “Coffee with Ola”). A direct 180 from the 'Chug-Stage' is Ola’s trademark blue gaming chair and a massive StudioDesk Beat where he he does all things creative: streaming/editing/recording/writing etc.
Next to this creative home base are racks full of awesome guitar gear, and of course, what creative space can truly chug without an oversized Mesa/Boogie 4x12 right next to it? This room is also home to several other cabinets from Hesu and Fortin, along with dual guitar boats that are chock-full of Ola’s daily drivers. Providing the backdrop to his creative area? None other than the ‘sexy curtain’ taken from his old apartment studio.
💥 FRET12 PROTIP – can confirm. We have used the sexy curtains from the Chicago Theater as the sound proofing materials for our own TSATS Soundstage since 2011!
So, while we all know the gear that Ola is known to play (Solar, Hesu, etc), as well as demoing just about everything on the face of the Earth; what gear does he use to film?
Lighting is provided by Lightdome, while cameras are the Panasonic GH5 (3x) and an S1H. Of note, is that Ola still uses his old Sony that he ‘hates with a passion’ exclusively for streaming.
Next on the tour is an adjacent room which serves as a combination of storage room, guitar photography booth, and an instrument repair area with a Swedish-sized tech bench. If seeing this wall full of amplifiers and dozens more guitar cases has you drooling, fear not, as it sounds like another video tour of all of his guitars and amps is in the works for a future release.
The final room on the stop is one you may never have seen, but is still important to the function of the entire operation. It is the room where ‘we basically just throw all the shit in.” Because as musicians, we all know what it’s like when you have too many cables, boxes, and music miscellany. This room is also home to where Ola’s wife Louise does all the order fulfillment.
“I don't know if you've noticed this, but since we moved herewith the office I just feel a lot better - because back when I was working in the apartment where we stayed it was really hard to kind of differentiate the work life and family life and private life. Well now there's a disconnect where I have to go to this office to work and I have nothing back home. I only have a guitar, but nothing else to do work or anything like that.” -Ola Englund
As parting words, Ola of course admits how fortunate he is to have this amazing facility, and how it can often be forgotten that it took him well over fifteen years to build up to this point. Something like this truly takes a long, long time to build. And we couldn’t be more stoked for Ola and what he has done for the world of guitar and music.
This only leaves us wondering: how many decibels are these walls rated for? If his neighbors don’t enjoy metal, we’re sure that having Ola’s chugs transcending the building will convert them! So grab some coffee, warm up your tube amp, and check out Ola’s STUDIO TOUR! (also listed are his old digs from before he moved to his new Viking office!)
OLA ENGLUND // YOUTUBE // INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // SOLAR GUITARS