Tagged: H.E.A.T

My year in rock – 2013 retrospect

We’re a few days into 2014 already and I never really had time to do the usual look in the rearview mirror to summarize what 2013 was like for me.

Compared to the past 5 years, it was less eventful than usual, and a lot of it has to do with my father’s passing. I cancelled some gigs I had planned to go to and well, just wasn’t in the mood for anything really, but there were still a few highlights in 2013.

January started with Gothenburg Sound Festival where I met up with FIREWIND-drummer JO NUNEZ who was playing with NIGHTRAGE.

Shortly thereafter, I went to the US to see a few FIREWIND-shows and meet up with the new singer KELLY SUNDOWN CARPENTER for an interview at the Gramercy in NYC. Went to Atlanta and the Masquerade as well, pretty cool venue.

Got stuck in a blizzard the day I was supposed to fly home from JFK via Toronto, and made it home in the very last minute. Drama!

Swedish bands CRAZY LIXX & H.E.A.T played at KB, show got interrupted by the fire alarm and the club was evacuated.

Went to beautiful ICELAND with my friend Henny, that was a trip I won’t forget anytime soon – Iceland is a fairy tale country and I hope they never let the ways of the “outside world” change what they’ve accomplished. It’s amazing.

[This isn’t even Photoshopped – it actually looks like that!]

Gigs, there were a few. IRON MAIDEN played at Malmo Stadion, I spent all day in line to get a front row spot. Well worth it!

MEGADETH played at Vega in Copenhagen, they had just released Super Collider and played the title track from that album live for the first time. Dave Mustaine also brought a kid up on stage, not a usual sight at Megadeth shows. :)

STEVE HARRIS and his British Lion played at KB in Malmo, and although the attendance was low, to say the least, it was insanely cool to see a musician of his caliber that up close! I got dust from his sneakers in my face when he stomped on his monitor, he was THAT close. It wasn’t as bad as people say, the band had a good time and that’s what I remember the most.

Another memorable gig was PAUL GILBERT in Gothenburg, at Sticky Fingers. Been a fan since forever, Paul is amazing. There are some fantastic shredders in the world, but Paul is unique. I love his goofy style, his dry sense of humor, his playing, his way of interacting with the crowd… It was a great show.

After Apollo Papathanasio’s departure from Firewind, I decided to keep track of his other projects, so I went to Hamburg, Germany to visit my friend Su and see Apollo with SPIRITUAL BEGGARS. A few months later made a last minute decision to see the band in Thessaloniki, Greece as well.

Apollo also visited me in my home in Malmo for a video interview and a nice lunch. Awesome dude.


Of course, there were a bunch of FIREWIND shows this year as well. Rock in den Ruinen in Germany, SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL, and of course, the tour of AUSTRALIA. I opted out of all other shows because I needed the $$ for Australia.

SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL was a weird festival this year, it was only days after my father’s passing, but I had to go to fulfill my duties to Sweden Rock Magazine and also to my friend Su who was visiting from Germany, SRF was her bachelorette party.

Memorable interviews: DAVID COVERDALE (WHITESNAKE), love the man, he rocks!

[A short clip from that interview]

And finally meeting LITA FORD for the first time ever. She was great, I’m glad she didn’t turn out to be a bitch.

Also saw her shows in Gothenburg ad Sticky Fingers and Malmo, KB.
Went to the UK twice in May to see WHITESNAKE, Thunder and Journey. I could see Whitesnake a million times and it still never gets old. :)

GUS G came to Malmo for the SWEDISH METAL CONVENTION, had a great time with him and Andy R, thanks to Pontus for bringing him to the convention. Also met Tallee Savage and her sister Amanda, Jorn, Anders Johansson (YNGWIE, HAMMERFALL) and a bunch of other people.

(Anders Johansson (Hammerfall, Yngwie), Pekka and Gus in the VIP-room)

Gus G and Paul DiAnno:

Straight after that…business class with Emirates to Sydney via Dubai, went on a safari, met koalas, saw the first Firewind show of the Australian tour, continued to Brisbane, met up with Clint, flew to Adelaide and then finally Melbourne. Stayed there for a week after the band had left. Met a few more koalas and then some really nice people at his BBQ party.

The free BAR in business class at my Emirates-flight to Sydney. :) It didn’t suck. ;)

Came home, got another tattoo and saw BLACK SABBATH in Copenhagen.

An old friend, singer of the Swedish sleaze-band NASTY IDOLS, Andy Pierce, passed away at the age of 45, something that I still can’t quite grasp…


Finished my year in the US visiting friends and checking out two gigs that I wrote about in my previous blog, both Savatage-related.

That was it – in a nutshell. Less travel than usual 2013 but I’m already looking forward to the Steel Panther European tour in the spring and Gus G’s solo-debut! Welcome 2014!

MY YEAR IN ROCK – retrospect 2012 (part 3)

(continued from http://lita77777.posterous.com/my-year-in-rock-retrospect-2012-part-2 )


The Ozzy & friends gig in Dormund was a memorable experience for good reasons and bad. I got to know a new friend, Suuded, and we had a great time. Remember a fantastic dinner in a restaurant right behind the Westfalenhalle, but I also remember the sky just opening and it was pissing down all day! We were forced to stand out in the rain by a sadistic power-hungry security person who made sure nobody was under the long roof in front of the entrance (there would have been PLENTY of room there for a lot of people). Anyway, we got in the front row eventually. Both Steel Panther and Ozzy were well worth the wait and the rain!

The story can be found here: http://lita77777.posterous.com/ozzy-sweden-rock-festival-part-1

Photos from that are on my Facebook-page: www.facebook.com/intherearviewmirror


Only two days later, it was time for the next annual event: Sweden Rock Festival.
This time I was joined by Vera, my Russian colleague that I got to know after bumping into her several times at press conferences at Sweden Rock. She was going to camp with her friends though (wild horses couldn’t get ME to do that camping-thing).

The first festival-evening was one of those slow ones, where you just “get in the zone”, pick up your passes and all that stuff. I only checked out H.E.A.T and Dynazty before drivng home that evening. It was freezing, I remember that much… But Satchel (Steel Panther) was going to turn up the heat the next day!

The full story: http://lita77777.posterous.com/sweden-rock-festival-2012-part-2

The next day I ran like crazy to make it to the first signing-session of the day, which was Satchel from Steel Panther. I had found this great tent where musicians hung out and various guitarists were doing signing sessions. But it didn’t seem like it had been widely announced anywhere, so thank god there weren’t those insanely long lines as to the “regular” signings.

When I walked in, it was still Andreas Kisser from Sepultura who was signing. I was first in line for Satchel, and I got my hoodie signed, and some pics. The message he left was of course very “Satchel-style”…! ;)

Vera and I also met a nice dude from Adrenaline Mob’s crew, who invited us to be his guests, so we spent the day hanging backstage and on various stages. That was perfect, if for no other reason than because it was raining all day, and we didn’t have to be out there getting soaked. Watched Ugly Kid Joe, Motorhead and Twisted Sister up on the stage for instance.

Press conferences I didn’t want to miss included Steel Panther and Sebastian Bach – but then I happened to walk in on a few more by coincidence. There is activity 24-7 at Sweden Rock, it’s nearly impossible to try to sum it all up. But check out the pics on the Facebook-page (URL mentioned somewhere above), that will give you a quick tour of what was going on on stage and back-stage at Sweden Rock Festival 2012!

Way too much to mention, I think I kept updating in real-time on Facebook because I wouldn’t have time to write an actual blog. Busy summer! :)

Next up was my other favorite festival: Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium!

[to be continued….]

Sweden Rock Festival 2012 [part 2]

Wednesday, June 6 – Swedish national day.

After only a few hours of sleep, I went straight to the train station to pick up my Russian colleague Vera (who now lives in Gothenburg) and we drove up to Sweden Rock Festival.

It was pretty early when we arrived so it didn’t take long to get our passes. Vera was going to the camping with some friends so I went to take a look around the area. It had changed a little this year – the press/VIP area had been moved and the entrances were elsewhere so I had to get reaquainted with this place that has been my second home since the 90’s. :) I can’t imagine a summer without Sweden Rock.

I quickly found the VIP area and the press tent. The first person I saw was, like every other year, the photographer from Expressen, Rickard Nilsson – he was working in there on his Mac, very concentrated on editing a photo when I walked in. :) He later on helped me get my camera batteries and laptop charged when there were just no power outlets in the press area for instance. It’s nice to have old friends there year after year, we can help eachother out.

I spent all afternoon just checking out the area, the merch, the food, everything…. And noticed a music tent that was filled with musicians every day – amateurs and professionals. The staff in there was so nice that it ended up being sort of a little “sanctuary” during the whole festival. That’s also where they had musicians from some of the bands visiting.

The best thing was that nobody seemed to know about it…! The only info there was, was on a sign outside their tent, nowhere else, so luckily there weren’t that many people at the signings, which gave it all an intimate, cool atmosphere.

That first day I only had 2 shows that I wanted to see, both Swedish, melodic rock acts:
H.E.A.T and Dynazty (whose album is still one of my favorites this year).

H.E.A.T played in broad daylight but managed to really get the audience going. Just that one small detail that separated H.E.A.T from Dynazty for instance was that H.E.A.T’s guitarist walked out, went straight to the edge of the stage and took immediate contact with the audience – THAT’S how you create a connection between band and crowd.

Although it was a little bit too much melody for me, I still have to give them credit for handling the stage like real pros.

Went to see Dynazty later in the evening, and it got really cold by then. Met two ladies that I got to know at the Whitesnake-gigs last year. They were also die-hard fans and one of them show me a tattoo she got recently – of the WS-logo! Very cool.


Anyway, my friends Mari and Henrik showed up too and we ended up hanging at the barricades waiting for the show cause there was nothing else to do. Dynazty finally hit the stage.

Their gig was good – but not brilliant. And I was trying to pin-point exactly why. Cause the vocals were good, the playing was good and they obviously had a good time on stage… But – it still wasn’t magic, it didn’t give me the kick that separates a good gig from a great one. Then it hit me, it was pretty simple actually: They lacked the contact with the crowd that a band MUST have. If you don’t look at people and acknowledge their existence, you’re taking away the exchange of energy between crowd-band that makes a show memorable.

The very same thing used to bother me with Rob Halford when he went up on stage wearing black sunglasses, insisting on staring at his shoes. It was like…”helloooo, we’re here?!”

It was cold as fuck too, maybe that had a bit to do with it too, I don’t know. But for a first day this was perfect. I drove home to get a few hours of sleep before the next day when I was about to make a complete ass of myself in front of Steel Panther‘s Satchel, reporters and god knows what else…!

Stick around.

[to be continued..]