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Биография : 220 Volt


How it all began in 1979

220 Volt would never have existed if it wasn´t for miniature golf! One summerday in 1976 Mats Karlsson and a friend played a game of just that in Östersund, Sweden. Mats being in a competetive mood that day was much annoyed about the way the game was going. This resulting in a swing which would´ve been better suited at a real golfcourse. The ball landed a good 50-60 meters away from the course. A young man noticed what happened and threw the ball back to Mats. Unfortunately the catch was bad and the ball landed on his hand and he was slightly injured. The guy throwing the ball back was Thomas Drevin. He came over and asked if Mats was O.K, which he was. The two young men started talking and found out that Thomas (who lived in Nyköping at the time) was visiting his sister who was living in the same area, only a100 meters from Mats. Later that same night, the guys got together and started to get to know each other.

The guys stayed in touch and were penpals for about two years and then Thomas moved to Östersund. Both were really interested in music and used to listen to a lot of stuff together when Thomas was visiting. Once Thomas had moved to Östersund the guys started to talk about forming a band. Both of them had been learning to play the guitar and kept on practising together. At first they wanted to play cover versions of other bands material, but soon they started to have their own small riffs and themes that they pieced together to complete songs. Exactly how they did this is not something they understand today, but they claim to work very much in the same way now….

The hunt for additional bandmembers and a place to practise began. A rehearsal place was found at school (Vallaskolan, Frösön). The guys good friend Christer "Frille" Åsell was engaged in another local band but he was still asked to sing. He said yes and moved his P.A over to the new rehearsal place. Pelle Hansson was recruited as drummer. The band had a bassplayer for two weeks or something, but he never turned up for reheasals, so he was out before he joined. Another friend, Tommy Hellström was asked to join as bassplayer and accepted. Tommy was nicked from the same band as "Frille", so the guys in that band were a bit upset for a while. Well, the first line-up was complete and started to play and write together. The guys were very young, so it seems tough to try and only play original material, but that was the choice they made.

The guys were offered a gig at a school dance and needed a name. Loads of suggestions were thrown around, but no name seemed to make an impression. Mats or Thomas was changing battery in a stomp box when Tommy asked: -Hey, why don´t we call ourselves 9 Volt ???? And someone else said (probably "Frille"): -well, what about 220 Volt? That was taken on the spot, and since April 1979 the band has kept the name.

The first ever gig was in April 1979. The set included 3 songs and they also played one of the songs again as an encore. The experience they made had the guys jumping of excitement and more gigs were offered to them. The first year saw the band playing at numerous schooldances and youth clubs. It was decided after a while that Tommy wasn´t quite the guy they wanted on bass, so Mike "Larsson" Krusenberg was asked to join. Known to be a fine musician even at this age (14), the band was glad he accepted. The story continues with gigs at schools and youth clubs. The band also played in Stockholm for the first time in the fall of 1980 on a national convention for youthclubs. The Old Theater (Gamla Teatern) in Östersund was also a place where lots of concerts were arranged and 220 V played there on many occasions. On June 4th 1980 they played there on a live radio broadcast. Their coolest thing so far.

Since they performed so many gigs and also because singer "Frille" was such a great frontman, the band developed somewhat of a reputation. They promoted their own shows and also double bills with other bands at Gamla Teatern and gradually built an audience. By the turn of 1981/82, Peter "Herman" Hermansson joined the band on drums. The first recording line-up was now complete. It wasn´t until then that the band really started to sound like a band. The first experience in a studio was in June 1982 and resulted in a 7 song demo. A few songs, among them "Woman In White" survived and was recorded for the first LP about a year later. The second attempt in a studio was in September 1982 and 5 songs were recorded. The boys now had some help from a local recordshop owner. Kjell Björk from Guntan´s Records sponsored the recording project. 2 songs "Prisoner Of War" and "Sauron" was picked among the 5 songs and it was decided that they were going to be the bands first single. (Read more about Kjell Björk´s recollections of the early years here)

A limited edition of "Prisoner Of War" / "Sauron" hit the streets in November 1982. The single sold out very fast and has since then become a collectors item. The band played a lot of shows and media interest was big. The guys began to experience what it was like to be recognised and things were looking good. On December 12th, the band played two shows in their hometown Östersund. The second one was together with the band Heavy Load, quite popular in Sweden at the time so the show was well attented. Reports say that 220 V blew them off stage and the majority of the 1200 people crowd left after 220´s gig. The same night, a band called Europe, won a national rock contest in a nationwide televised final. That had an enormous effect and shows just how big hardrock was in Sweden at the time. This opened the door for new acts to get signed. The next band that got signed to a major label was 220 V.

Source : www.220volt.se