The Swedish four piece had the balls to marry two styles that grew up hating each other. We’re talking about Thrash Metal and Sleaze Rock. The former hard, aggressive and ugly, the latter catchy, melodic and decadent. So what should they name this bastard child ?
–We play ‘Street Metal’ with drummer Magnus ”Adde” Andreasson. Thrash and sleaze both come from the gutter. They wear big sneakers, they are a bit stupid and they both read pulp fiction. I can’t believe that nobody brought them together before.
HARDCORE SUPERSTAR did just that with the band’s fourth and eponymous album, released in 2005. But the quartet didn’t arrive overnight, rather paying its dues during a rocky but rewarding ride.
The roots can be traced back to the late eighties, when Adde was talked into playing the drums by older friend and neighbour Jocke Berg. –I played the guitar and we tried our best with songs such as ‘Paranoid’ and King Diamond’s ‘Shrine’, Jocke remembers.
The young teenagers, hailing from a small town just outside of Gothenburg, ended up in different bands, who in turn chose different routes from their Iron Maiden inspired beginnings. Adde opted for heavier stuff in Dorian Gray whereas the Jocke fronted Glamoury Foxx went in a glammier direction. Incidentally, Jocke took up singing thanks to one Thomas Silver, fellow guitar slinger in Glamoury Foxx.
Eventually Jocke and Adde ended up together again, this time in ‘Link’, a classic rock oriented outfit with grunge leanings. They were joined by guitar player Fredrik ”Fidde” Johansson and bass player Martin Sandvik, the latter having originally tried to lure Jocke away to his own band, ‘Wanted’. Link did the occasional gig and recorded a couple of demos before Adde headed west to pursue his dream.
– I kind of grew tired of Link, he confesses. I moved to Los Angeles to study at the Musicians Institute.
Link recruited drummer Mika Vainio and kept going until parting ways with Fredrik Johansson in the fall of 1997. The guitar player wanted to take the band in a psychedelic and arty direction whereas the other three just wanted to rock.
– I remember showing Fiddle the riff to ‘Hello/Goodbye’, Martin says. He turned his back on me and started to play scales on the guitar. He obviously thought the riff sucked.
The three remaining members were keen to forge ahead and adopted the name HARDCORE SUPERSTAR. However, there was one little problem. Jocke already was quite a frontman, but being the sole guitar player? As luck would have it, Thomas Silver had just left local rockers ‘Green Jesus Saviours’. HARDCORE SUPERSTAR had a club gig lined up in Gothenburg, so Jocke asked his old bandmate to help out. Things clicked immediately and Thomas signed up as a permanent member. His connection with Gain Productions helped HARDCORE SUPERSTAR get ‘Hello/Goodbye’ and ‘Someone Special’ onto a compilation album. The response was phenomenal and Gain duly offered the band a contract resulting in the boys setting out to record their debut album in early 1998.
– We were influenced by the LA metal scene of the eighties, says Martin. You know, LA Guns and Faster Pussycat and the likes. But we also dug Oasis, as can be heard in ‘Someone Special’. The result, ‘It’s Only Rock N’ Roll’, was released in October 1998.
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