Sweden Rock Festival 2006 - Behind The Scenes
Written by David, July 2006
When working as a journalist at a festival like Sweden Rock you meet a
lot of more or less famous people and catch up a few anecdotes, news and
comments. I have tried to make a compilation of what I have seen and heard.
The guys in Sabaton were all over the place, although they didn't play
themselves this year. They seemed to be very pleased about the outcome
of their new record Attero Dominatus (of course). Bass player Pär
Sundström made no attempt to deny that it sounds very much like the
previous breakthrough release Primo Victoria. That was clearly the plan.
But for the next record Sabaton hopes to present an extraordinary concept,
he told. What that is, is not yet official, so we all have to wait and
He also told some anecdotes about when the band was making the video
to Attero Dominatus. After a long day of filming they all were so tired
that they literally fell asleep on the floor during the small breaks.
When woken up for yet another complementary take, they immediately had
to be on fire for a sparkling performance. As soon as the taking was over,
they fell asleep again, and so it went on and on until the early morning.
The concept of the video will be "Sabaton is a hell of a live band",
according to the bassist.
Singer Joakim Brodén told about the making of the lyrics to Metal
Crüe, a song made up of well-known band names. As with Metal Machine
on Primo Victoria (made up of song titles) he wrote it when sitting on
the lav. He said that when making the next album, the band will lock him
in there until he comes out with a new "shit song".
Bullet's singer Dag "Hell" Hofer had some problems with a throat
infection the days before the gig at Sweden Rock. He cured himself with
some vodka and Coke, which he drank separately, right before the concert.
Apparently it worked.
Hampus Klang, guitarist in the same band, regretted that the bus (read
the history behind it here) was
not finished in time for the festival.
- It is some week's work left to do. We had gigs
the two last weekends before Sweden Rock, so unfortunately we did not
have the time to finish the bus.
I also got some time to talk with Bullet's legendary bassist Lenny
Blade. He told me about the essence of being a true hard rocker.
- I'm not a musician playing metal, I'm a metal
head playing music. That is a big difference! I would never consider playing
anything else. Some idiots think that Bullet is a joke, but I tell you
that this is for real, this is how we look when we go out in the city
a regular weekend. Well, except for "Hell" Hofer's giant rivet
armlets perhaps. Bullet is all natural for us, there is nothing fake about
it. Long hair, jeans, leather, rivets
that is heavy metal if you
ask me. These are all important stuff.
He continued with telling how he became a metal head. It all began in
1985-87 when hard rock was a trend.
- I jumped on that trend
But the thing
is I never left it when it became un-cool. I started with Kiss and W.A.S.P.
and continued with Slayer, Kreator and Sodom.
- I remember when I played Metallica's Ride The Lightning for the first
time. When I heard Fight Fire With Fire
I got this kick: "This
doesn't sound like Dio?", you know
I miss that feeling in music
today. I don't mean just: "oh, these guys play fast and praise Satan",
but that kick you get of something you've never heard before. Now it feels
more and more like we have run out of genres and everybody is copying
But Bullet is not that original either?
- I admit that we said that we wanted to do classic
heavy metal, but we never said that it should sound "79-81".
Can you name any good Swedish classic heavy metal band that has started
between 1996 and 2006?
When talking about what the band will do the rest of the festival, Lenny
put up a list of bands that he planned to see.
- Thursday: play
then Deep Purple. Friday:
Gehennah, Metal Church, Venom and W.A.S.P. Saturday: Crucified Barbara,
Sodom, Onslaught, Obituary
But then you always have to consider
some time for drinking and camaraderie, he guards.
He also told me about his passion for playing Game Boy in the tour bus.
The favorite games are Double Dragon and Prehistoric Man.
- When everybody is sitting there with hangover
for seven hours, it is better to take your Game Boy and feel good for
a while. Not that we are game nerds or so, but when you can buy games
for 10-20 Swedish Crowns on e-bay
Finally he reluctantly admitted that he has some underground fans.
- I know the guys in Nifelheim, and such real
satanic asses. Therefore some of these fans are listening to Bullet, because
I play with them. They love Lenny Blade
Johan Sohlberg, bassist in The Storyteller, told me a bit about the timeout
that the band will have from now on, until an unspecified future.
- We felt that this concept had been taken to
its end. If the band reunite after half a year or more, we will probably
start up with a new concept and probably a new name. We want to do some
harder stuff, more like Metallica's Ride The Lightning.
A taste of the harder sound can already be heard on the band's latest
(and last?) album Underworld, where a cover on Ace Of Spades is included.
That was also performed live in the concert at Sweden Rock.
Carljohan Grimmark, guitarist in the christian metal band Narnia was
very pleased about the new record Enter The Gate being appointed "Leader
Of The Pack" in Sweden Rock Magazine. However, he was less impressed
about Venom's show at Sweden Rock, and certainly not about Cronos' hate
- What is the point about that? Why is he still
so uptight after over 20 years? It's the first time I've done "fuck
off" to a stage, Carljohan demonstrated.
Many of the German artists (unlike the Americans) took some time to stay
a couple of days at the festival to enjoy the overall festivities. Tom
Angelripper (voc/bass) and Bobby Schottkowski (drums) from Sodom were
seen watching W.A.S.P. on Friday evening. The drummer was also seen enjoying
Whitesnake last on Saturday. The guys in Gamma Ray and Edguy with staff
were seen watching the soccer world championship game between Germany
and Costa Rica in the backstage bar on Friday evening. Kai Hansen and
Tobi Sammet held the German flag high still late on Saturday night, when
they were seen stumbling around the backstage area, holding up each other
somewhat standing. Mike Terrana, the German-based American drummer in
Rage, was as always seen here and everywhere on the festival.
David - July 2006