Hell On Wheels

Rickard Lindgren, guitar and lead vocals
Åsa Sohlgren, backing vocals and bass guitar
Johan Risberg, drums

There is an aura with Hell on Wheels that has not yet been seen or heard with other bands. Straightforward, relaxed and inviting – a band that simply want to play and play.

Hell on Wheels was formed in Stockholm by four people from Nyköping and Oxelösund. The singer, Martin Nordlöf, soon backed out and Rickard took over as lead singer. The very first gig was at a private party on New Year’s Eve 1994.

- This was the start of a period with glitter theme that went on for about a year, Åsa tells. Since then Hell on Wheels has experienced six eventful and active years: About a hundred gigs, seven demos, one EP which was given out in the U.S. by the American Sid-Sawder’s company Urinine Records, participation in a celebration record for Supertramp from the same company, a song on a split-single from Labrador Records and a vinyl single from Make it Happen Records.

1998 was a kind of break-through year for Hell on Wheels. It started with a gig at the Swedish Emmaboda Festival which got lots of attention and continued with playing support to Belle and Sebastian at their visit to Stockholm. The trio also had two gigs in London. After the gig at the biggest Swedish festival, the Hultsfred Festival,1999 the record company North of No South (MNW) got hold of Hell on Wheels.

The band spent ten days last winter in the Silence-studio in a small village in Värmland. Åsa, Johan and Rickard found it really thrilling to be there and work, even if it all got off to a shaky start when their bus got stuck in the snow getting them there. Fredrik Norberg, who used to play in the band Popsicle, and Linus Larsson were the producers.

Fredrik also cooked “pitepalt” (special food from the north of Sweden) for them. When asking Hell on Wheels to describe their music, they first go silent.
- We have extremely many influences, Åsa means that the critics usually say that their music is impulsive and energetic. Before everyone thought that they sounded like the Pixies, but they do not any more. The music is varied, but the special sound that you know to be Hell on Wheels is coming from Rickard’s very unique voice, they believe.
The Pixies will always be important to the band members but, right now, they listen to and are inspired by Magnetic Fields, Neutral Milk Hotel, Built to Spill, Honey is Cool, Fint Tillsammans, Doktor Kosmos, Grand Tone Music, Ny Akustik and a good many of other bands.

Apart from Hultsfred, Emmaboda and a great number of places in Stockholm, Hell on Wheels has played in many places, from Umeå in the North of Sweden to Gothenburg and Oslo, and at the Malmö Festival. The band has, together with a friend, formed their own club, Hellmut:Jr. Every Friday different DJ’s are invited to their tiny premises in the Old Town part of Stockholm. Today Hell on Wheels also has, together with their manager Stina Lorentz, their own publishing firm, Odd

Rickard, who is the one to draft the lyrics, longs to make new songs again after all the work with the record. Ideas are saved, texts on scraps of paper, and melodies recorded on tapes. The band is of course also hoping to get many gigs in the near future. The previous mascot, an elk head, has been banned after protests from close vegetarian friends. Now a plastic robot and the teddy giraffe Sören are accompanying the band.