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When the music is over

{mosimage}In 2005, Swedish punk rockers The Hellacopters claimed that rock was dead with the album Rock & Roll Is Dead. Nothing close to reality and that album was a fine collection of fast-paced old-fashioned rock and roll tunes. However, three years later the band heads (off) to its end with one last album and tour. Guitarist Nicke Andersson and keyboardist Boba Fet visited Helsinki to promote the album and play some records at Bar Loose.

ince 1995, when the band released their first single, the emblematic Killing Allan, has delivered good doses of high energy punk rock, with MC5, The Rolling Stones and The Stooges as main influences. Head Off, out on 18 April, will be the band’s seventh and final album. Last week, before Nicke and Boba started spinning some records, Head Off could be heard in its entirety at Bar Loose. It is a strong set of songs that brings back some heavier guitars, while keeping the characteristic Hellacopters sound.

We asked Nicke Andersson (also known as Nicke Royale) how did the band feel while recording and releasing their last album. “We didn’t know it was going to be our last album”, he said. “We decided to break up after the album was recorded. It wasn’t planned. Now that we are releasing the album, it feels ok. It’s normal, like any other album”.

Over the years, The Hellacopters became one of the most popular rock bands to come up from Scandinavia in the mid nineties, along with Turbonegro and Glucifer, to name a few. The Hellacopters have successfully toured all around the world. Once Head Off is released, the band will start its final tour with some gigs at the summer festival and then a full tour in the fall. “Now we know when everything is going to end”, continued Nicke. “Of course, we’ll come to Finland. It is a major market for us”.

The artwork designed for Head Off will be quite striking. It features the members of the band dressed as combat pilots next to a helicopter. Some might say that such design is very similar to Black Sabbath’s album Never Say Die! from 1978. Nicke quickly clarified that they didn’t think about that album. “We just wanted to do something original and spend some time with the artwork. It was our idea to make a tribute to Hipgnosis [the design group responsible of the cover art of many albums by Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Yes, among others]. Bands don’t do this any more, with all the mp3 and so”.

Indeed, The Hellacopters always kept the tradition of  70s rock. Head Off will also be released on vinyl, and like with other Hellacopters albums it will include one bonus song. Vinyl is the preferred format for the band. They released a tremendous amount of limited 7-inch singles, ep, split albums, coloured vinyls… A true fan’s and collector’s dream. Some of those editions were limited to a few hundred copies. Nowadays those editions are really valuable in the second hand markets and many singles are sold for 20 and 30 euros, and even a handful of them can reach a price of over 100 euros.

Unfortunately, an outstanding rock and roll band will be gone soon. But still there’s one more party to celebrate. Head Off will be a very good last statement from the band.


The Hellacopters performing two new songs on Swedish television:

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