Hellsingland Underground – A Hundred Years Is Nothing
For those of you who might remember: the bio written for Hellsingland Underground’s 2016 album “Understanding Gravity” contained some hair-raising tales of psychosis, bad mental health and getting ripped off by evil managers/booking companies and other misfortunes in an unholy soup of utter chaos. A story of a band falling apart. I won’t bore you with the details again, and it’s probably still out there somewhere if you’re urging for some feel-bad-reading. But I can tell you this much: things even got a little worse after that. Before it got better.
But as the King of Sweden would say: Now it’s time to turn the page and move on.
There were some great highlights after that dark period though, that stands out. And most of them were spelled: SPAIN. First up, we got to play Spain’s biggest rock festival Azkena Rock in the summer of 2017. It was a huge success in all kinds of ways. That festival show led to some sort of breakthrough which we followed up with a very successful Spanish tour in January 2018, with some sold out- and almost sold out shows, all over the country. And since most of us are dreaming of relocating to Spain someday, this new found mutual love suited us just fine. We love the people, food, wine, and the lack of snow and darkness.
In October 2018, we did another successful festival show at the Calella Rockfest, which would become the last show ever with guitarist Mats Olsson. For quite some time we had noticed his increasing lack of interest of being in a band. Or at least being in this band. And we understood him on some level. This life is not for everybody. And he just didn’t seem to be as devoted as the rest of us. So no hard feelings.
Shortly after that, in December, the band entered the SubMob Studios in Stockholm, once again with Martin Karlegård, producer of all previous HU albums at the mixing board. The only difference this time, is that he came up with the idea that I should produce the album instead of him. “You always have the last word anyway, you stubborn fuck, so let’s try it and see how it works.” After 4 previous albums, I figured I had a pretty good clue about what kind of album we wanted to do, and how to achieve it, I could sort of visualize it all in my head. I had some key words that would work as a guiding light for this record.
The list I scribbled down were:
• More atmosphere and space
• 70’s synthesizers instead of only Hammond and Rhodes
• Mellotron, MiniMoog and more piano.
• No limits!
I also wrote down four band names: Pink Floyd, The Doors, Queen, and ABBA. Not because I wanted the album to sound like any of them, but more because of the way they seem to think about music. We all love Pink Floyd and The Doors for the atmosphere those bands could create, by adding less instruments and leaving space in the songs. And we love Queen and Abba for their sense of melodies and crafting of arrangements.
The sound of “A Hundred Years Is Nothing” is pretty different from all our previous albums. We have gotten pretty sick of being seen as this retro-southern-country-rock-kinda-band. We understand where it comes from, since our first two albums was probably in that genre. But ever since then, we have been on a path of new discoveries and about re-inventing ourselves. We don’t look back. All this experimenting with band echoes, reverb, analog synths and Mellotrons and stuff has been adding a new dimension to our sound. We have worked a lot more on creating an atmosphere compared to previous albums, which were a little more rootsy and down to earth sounding. We have now lifted from the ground and are heading to outer space. We have no idea where we will land, and it feels great.
During the recording of the album, we recruited a friend of mine, Jerry Ask as our new guitarist. Since all the guitar tracks had already been recorded by Peter Henriksson, Jerry does not play guitar on the record, but he sings fantastic backing vocals on all the songs, which we recorded in his own Sawmill Studios in Skästra, Ljusdal. He have also been as participating as the rest of us in the post production of the songs. Being such a multi-talent, and the positive force that he is, he immediately felt like a breath of fresh air into the band. We are so looking forward start creating new music with him in the future.
Charlie, June 2019
Charlie Granberg – Vocals & Synthesizers
Peter Henriksson – Guitars and vocals
Jerry Ask – Guitars and vocals
Thomas Petterson – Keyboards, piano and synthesizers
Martin Karlsson – Bass & Vocals
Patrik Jansson – Drums, percussion and vocals
Madness & Grace (2010)
Evil Will Prevail (2012)
Understanding Gravity (2016)
A Hundred Years Is Nothing (2019)