Mårten Hagström

Mårten Hagström, (born 27 April 1971) is the rhythm guitarist for the Swedish progressive metal band Meshuggah[1]. He joined the band after the release of their first album, which allowed Jens Kidman to focus on his vocal performances and give up rhythm guitar duties. He and fellow Meshuggah guitarist Fredrik Thordendal are known for their complex rhythm guitar playing. Hagström has cited Rush, James Hetfield, Squarepusher, Autechre, Strapping Young Lad, and GISM as influences.

Mårten Hagström
Hagström in 2008
Hagström in 2008
Background information
Birth nameMårten Hagström
Born (1971-04-27) 27 April 1971 (age 49)
Örnsköldsvik, Sweden
GenresExtreme metal, experimental metal, progressive metal
InstrumentsGuitar, bass
Associated actsMeshuggah

In a Metal Injection interview he has said, "You can't play an instrument for the technicality of it. It's a tool you use it to get what's in here and here [heart and mind] out there." He has also stated that when he first started learning guitar, the prevailing trend was for increasingly virtuosic lead playing, and that he decided to focus on developing his intricate rhythm guitar style instead.

Although Thordendal plays most of Meshuggah's guitar solos, the two of them share songwriting duties more or less equally, with Hagström notably contributing "Nebulous" from Nothing, "Acrid Placidity" from Destroy Erase Improve, and "Neurotica" from Chaosphere. Hagström has also stepped out of his role of playing exclusively rhythm guitar with the release of Meshuggah's obZen album by playing the slower, melodic leads on the songs that he wrote, such as "Electric Red" and "Pravus".

In addition to this, he has contributed lyrics to some of the band's later releases, co-writing Catch 33 with Meshuggah drummer Tomas Haake and penning the entirety of the words for their abstract EP I. Hagström and Haake have been playing music together since they were nine years old.

Hagström, along with Thordendal, was rated #35 by Guitar World in their top 100 of the greatest heavy metal guitarists of all time.[2]



Mårten Hagström live, 2017

Hagström's main guitar is an Ibanez Custom 8-String M8M which feature RG-shaped alder or Iceman-shaped swamp ash bodies with 5-piece maple/Bubinga neck-thru necks (29.4" {746.76 mm}), rosewood fingerboards (no inlays), fixed bridge (actually an Ibanez FX-Edge fixed tremolo), one volume, one tone, and one Lundgren Model 8 pickup. He uses .9-.70 gauge strings, tuned down half a step. Up until the late '90s, both Hagström and Thordendal used Ibanez 7-string guitars (initially Universe models, then single-pickup variations of the RG7620 and RG7621 for Thordendal and Hagström respectively) before moving to Nevborn 8-string guitars during the Nothing era. The group found the Nevborns to be somewhat unstable while touring and when Ibanez communicated a desire to try building them 8-string guitars they accepted the offer.

Guitar Strings:
DR Strings, Tite-Fit,[3] LH-9 "Lite & Heavy" set: [.009 – .011 – .016 – .026 – .036 – .046], .052, .070[4] (stock gauges on the Ibanez M8M signature guitar)[5]

DR Strings, Tite-Fit,[3] TF8-10 "8 String Medium" set: .010 – .013 – .017 – .026 – .036 – .046 – .056 – .075[3]

Guitar Picks:
Jim Dunlop 1mm Nylon Standard[6]

Amplifiers and effectsEdit


  1. ^ Von Bader, David (24 January 2017). "Meshuggah's Mårten Hagström: A Higher Standard". Premier Guitar.
  2. ^ "GUITAR WORLD's 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists Of All Time". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
  3. ^ a b c "DR Strings | The Handmade String - Guitar and Bass". DR Strings | The Handmade String - Guitar and Bass. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  4. ^ Premier Guitar (2013-03-12), Rig Rundown - Meshuggah's Fredrik Thordendal, Mårten Hagström, & Dick Lövgren, retrieved 2016-02-08
  5. ^ "Electric Guitars Meshuggah - M8M Meshuggah | Ibanez guitars". www.ibanez.com. Retrieved 2016-02-08.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Jim Dunlop on Instagram: "#FredrikThordendal and #MartenHagstrom of the mighty #Meshuggah !! Fred is loving the 1.3mm #Primetone Standard w/ grip and Marten's live…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  7. ^ "Meshuggah's recording gear - once and for all - Official Meshuggah Forum". Tandjent.com. Retrieved 2011-11-04.

External linksEdit