Volume 92, Issue 53

Tuesday, December 8, 1998



Swedish band flies to London

By Greg Hubert
Gazette Staff

When one thinks of Swedish music, bands like ABBA, Ace of Base and The Cardigans come to mind. But like every ying, there is a yang and Sweden has also produced its share of heavy bands like Entombed, The Nomads and of course, The Hellacopters.

The latter, who are known throughout Europe for their incredible live shows, are currently on their first North American tour.

On the line from Stockholm, Hellacopters' guitarist/vocalist Nicke says he is looking forward to the upcoming tour. "The band is getting better all the time, playing wise. We just play as full on as possible. We want to play what we want to see. We just want to be the most full on rock show. If we had money we would have bombs and explosions. It's all about energy."

After listening to their first album, Supershitty to the Max, the band's energy is immediately apparent. Nicke is The Hellacopters' chief songwriter and he seems proud of it.

"I write all the songs. I get a guitar and sing at home, like a singer/songwriter. I present it to the other guys and maybe they fill in somewhere, like bits and pieces. All in all, they're my songs."

The Hellacopters have also toured Europe with such acts as the Dictators and the Nomads, a career highlight came when they opened up for Kiss.

"The experience was pretty strange. It was only four shows in the Scandinavian part of the tour," explains Nicke, in reference to his time with Kiss. "I still don't know why we got the slot, but then again I thought who else was going to be playing if there was going to be a Scandinavian band.

"It was really cool. Kiss was the first band I heard and they're the reason why I'm playing today. The scary part was that Kiss fans only like Kiss. We thought they were going to boo us out, but they enjoyed it. We had fun and we played in front of 30,000 people. How can you top that?"

The Hellacopters brand of punk/garage rock and roll and have also been influenced by such bands as MC5, the Stooges and Motorhead, as well as contemporary bands like Supersuckers and the New Bomb Turks.

Touring other parts of the world has also proven to be interesting for this hard working band. "We toured Australia, New Zealand and Japan," Nicke explains. "The Japanese were totally into it full on. We were like the Beatles there, we had like 30 screaming girls running after the van. We felt it was unreal, why are they screaming after us? It was like we were the Backstreet Boys."

By providing a kick ass live show, instead of five hyped-up marketeers, Sweden's next big import are a must see.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998