Gothenburg Sound Festival

Just got back from a very quick trip to Gothenburg. Or, the actual stay was brief, but the hours on the train were a pain in the behind. But what can you do – when a friend comes to town and tells you to come to check out his gig, you get yourself over there – so I did.

This time it was Jo “The Hulk” Nunez, drummer extraordinaire with Firewind – and Nightrage.
He was playing with Nightrage last night at the Gothenburg Sound Festival at Trädgår’n.

(a little simple Photoshop-thing that illustrates how mr Nunez sounds)

Mind you, the type of bands/music is nowhere near my “thing” so it was rather bizarre for me to go to a “growling convention” like that. But again, I’d support a friend anytime, whether he’s with a death metal band or with Justin Bieber…! Sometimes you’ll be surprised. Like last summer at Bang Your Head in Germany when I ended up being totally fascinated by Primordial – which is so not my type of music either. But they were interesting.

[From Bang Your Head – Primordial]

Anyhoo… Met up with Jo just before they were about to do their sound check, to get my ticket. The festival opened the doors later in the afternoon, you could hear the sound checking from several blocks away!

One thing that I noticed was that there were quite a few girls there too. If this had been 20 years ago, there would have been NONE. Extreme metal has never really attracted females, but things have definitely changed a lot the past few years – to the better.

I remember back in the early 90’s, a festival called Clash of the Titans,with Suicidal Tendencies, TestamentMegadeth and uh, some more bands I forgot, and the event took place at the famous KB Hall in Copenhagen. There were ONLY guys, I spotted maybe 2-3 girls who looked like they definitely didn’t want to be there.

But Gothenburg Sound Festival had a very mixed audience. Maybe not a full house, but it’s still not a mainstream type of music (and the tickets were pretty expensive – who’s got that kind of dough in January right after the Christmas-spending sprees?!)

 1 of 4

Nightrage went on stage right on time, this time with Tomas Lindberg (At The Gates) performing the vocal duties. The band’s singer Antony Hämäläinen couldn’t make it from what I’ve heard, due to “scheduling conflicts”, but the band was able to do this gig anyway with this little extra, unusual “spice”. There is also only one guitarist in the band nowadays (I overheard several people asking Marios, where Olof Mörck was…).

Olof is working his butt off with Amaranthe so he’s no longer in the band. I bumped into him a few times during the evening, was great to see him. A very nice and super talented guy!

I’ll refrain from reviewing the gig, as I’m the last person in the world who’d be suited to review brutal metal (although Nightrage counts as “melodic” within that genre).

As usual, I was just checking out people in there right by the garbage can (what is it with me and garbage cans?!) when Jo came over for a chat. Briefly said hi to Marios also, seen him a few times when he stepped in for Petros (bass, Firewind) but never got introduced. He did know who I was though, after the Firewind gold record award-thing in Thessaloniki back in July. It IS a small world.

Jo took off, then came back a little bit later to get me to join everybody “in the bar” (which turned out to be outdoors on the smoking deck – but at least it’s outdoors, I can sort of live with that :) ).

Was good out there, talked a bit with Anders Hammer‘s (Nightrage’s bassplayer) girlfriend, when two guys came from out of nowhere and interrupted the conversation. One of them opened the conversation by blurting out: “Sooo…! Are you the groupie of this festival or what?” 

Why is it that people end up calling ME a groupie – the last person in the world who’d ever do anything like that – when there were far more obvious specimens from that genus there?! Anyway, I responded in a very civilized manner, but he got the message loud and clear. However, he didn’t understand that his best bet was to take a hike. Couldn’t get rid of him, and everybody else was gone.

Then I spotted Olof (Amaranthe) and his party of people and kind of whispered and made discreet gestures that said “SAVE ME!”. He immediately picked up on the situation, and grabbed me, put his arm around me and went: “Oh THERE you are! Where did you go?”  The Beavis and Butthead-types left to bother somebody else after that. Thank god, Olof saved my evening, haha!

I watched Gardenian – not my type of music (as stated previously..) but the singer was funny at least. :) And then last, but not least, Dream Evil. My only interest in that band would be that Gus G used to play with them.

But they were really good live – the only band that evening with a “real” singer, which is probably why I could buy that concept a whole lot easier. :)

Not bad at all.

Jo had met some friends – popular guy that mr Nunez ;). I left before Dream Evil were done. It was a short but interesting festival. I basically just went to see Jo kill those drums and he sure as crap did! :-)

And today I spent all day on a frikkin train back home that was delayed….
Screamo-fest or not, it beats staying at home in front of the TV anytime!

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