MINDLESS

COUNTRY: Sweden

STYLE: Heavy Metal/Hard Rock
PhotobucketThink back 22 years. Four guys with dreams and ambitions are playing in a band. But there is one major problem: They ain’t got no singer. The group, comprised of Magnus Danneblad on lead guitar, Anders Karlsson on rhythm guitar, Tommy Johansson on drums and Magnus Van Wassenaar on bass, is called Purple Haze and they have been together for quite some time now. their rehersal room is located in the basement of Anders’ parents’ house.

The summer of 1981 was just great. Purple Haze were kinda like the local house band of this little gang of metal aficionados who spent all day cranking hard rockin’ music while downing countless beers. All of them grew up in a surburb called Ryd in Linkoping, Sweden, which is why they proudly called themselves “Rydbangers”. Then, one day, Magnus Danneblad’s older brother came up to Christer Goransson and said: “Hey man! You’re always singing along to all the stuff we listen to. Why don’t you give a try with my brother’s band?” Well Christer thought about it and they all agreed to set up a date for an audition.

The time came and it was a warm August day when they slipped down into the basement, doing a cover of the Judas Priest song “Beyonf The Realms of Death”. When all was said and done, the guys told to Christer that they wanted to think it over for a couple of days before they’d let him know of their decision. But, as it happened, Christer didn’t have to wait that long. They called him up the following day and said, “You’re in!”

After Christer joined they felt that they needed a new name for the band so they changed it to Genicide, inspired of course, by the classic Judas Priest tune. They immediately started writing own songs like crazy, eventually debuting in September 1981 as special guests for Axewitch, another local band that had already begun making a name for themselves. 1981 turned to 1982 and they were gainiing  enormous popularity in their hometown. The songs were getting better and better. But just one year after their formation Magnus Van Wassenaar, their bassist, decided that he didn’t want to be a part of the band anymore, so there they stood with a decimated rhythm section. Instead of looking around for a new member they opted to take the path of least resistance – Anders Karlsson hung up his six-string and switched over the bass guitar.
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And so they became a four-piece-band which, at this point, suited them very well indeed. Much better, in fact, than the Genocide moniker which they had grown a serious dislike for, thus changing it to Mindless Sinner. Under this new banner they wrote even more and better songs, playing gigs all around their hometown.

Around about January 1983 they were scheduled to play at a local band contest but their drummer Tommy was out of  town. So they hired Matte Johansson from Axewitch to fill in temporarily. He did a great job and helped them make it to the finals on the 13th of March, 1983. Incidentally, this also happened to be Magnus Danneblad’s 17th birthday. Tommy was behind his drum kit and the gig went down really well. They made it to the runners-up spot but were by no means disappointed that they failed to win. The most important thing for them was to do the show.

In early April 1983 they cut their first demo. It was recorded in Axewitch’s rehearsal room on a 4-track portastudio. The songs they included were “Mindless Sinner”, “Higher and Higher”, “We All Go Back”, “Heavy Metal Will Never Die” and “City Games”. At that point they had talked about adding a second guitarist to the band. Anders knew a guy who was a good player, so they arranged an audition and in May ’83 Jerker Edman joined the band.

At this point they had already toyed around with the idea of making a record but they didn’t have a record deal, which meant that they would have to finance the entire  project from their own pockets. So the first thing that they did was to ask Jerker if, besides joining, he was willing to not only invent his time and talent but also some of his hard-earned cash nito a slab on Mindless Sinner vinyl. Of course he said yes.

Money was a problem because they didn’t have an awful lot. What could they possibly do about it? Robbing the local bank was out of question so they entered another band  contest instead, with the hopes of winning enough price money to cover studio costs.
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The tragic thing about the whole epidode was that their bassist, Anders, was out of town. So Jerker ended up playing the bass on his very first gig for the band. But he rose to the occassion and turned out to be just great. They managed to win the semi-final and moved on to the final round in June ’83 where Lady Luck gave them an even bigger smile and let them leave the place as certified champions! Anders was back on bass and Jerker struck his six-strings like he should have done the first time around. The songs they played that night were “Broken Freedom”, “Key Of Fortune”, “Screaming For Mercy” and “Master of Evil”. The prize money was reasonable enough to finance a fair amount of studio time so that they could record the “Master of Evil” demo. This was August ’83, two years after the band’s initial formation.

Axewitch, hailing from the same towm as they did, had already won a record deal with a Stockholm-based label called Web Records and suggested they pass their demo to them to see if they were interested in signing them. Since they were good friends with all the Axewitch guys, they  followed their advice and submitted a tape to the powers-that-be. And guess what? Web liked it and offered them a deal right on the spot. It was a dream come true when they signed the contract, and the “Master of Evil” ep subsequently hit the stores in January 1984. But what was  supposed to be a glorious day for them turned somewhat sour and was, in hindsight, just the first in a long trail of trouble.

They simply hated the cover artwork, which Web somehow managed to hide from them until the point of no return. The first time they saw it was when they got a call from their local record store, saying that they had received the first copies of their debut record. They went to check it out and got bummed. Not only did it look rather uneventful, but Web Records has also got a few important things entirely wrong, such as relating the musicians names to their correct positions on the back sleeve pic. Even worse, they had gotten plural-crazy and turned one single Mindless Sinner into a whole bunch of Mindless Sinners! It was a  huge disappointment but they wouldn’t let this bring them down. The most important thing was that they finally had a record out on the market.

They spent the spring of 1984 playing as many shows as they could possibly get to support the ep. Naive as they  were, they figured that Web Records would help them out  with getting gigs and maybe even a tour. But nothing happened. There they were with fan mail pouring in from all over the world saying how much people liked the record and the band but they could hardly get a gig outside their hometown.

They spent the summer preparing new material for their next release and studio time was eventually booked in early October, 1984. Just two weeks before they were about to go in their bassist Anders Karlsson, had an accident and cut up his hand so badly that he couldn’t play anymore, throwing the Mindless Sinner camp in total turmoil. They knew that Anders would never return to the band but instead of trying to find a new member on short notice Christer Goransson decided to take over the bass duties temporarily to play on the “Turn on The Power” album. Christer knew all the songs anyway so ot was the best solution at the time.
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Once again back in the studio with their producer Tommy Ljunggren the recording sessions turned out just fine, even though Christer had to play the bass. They had a really strong seat of tracks for the album and they sounded great. When they reached the mixing stage of the album they had found a new bassist by the name of Christer Carlson. His picture can to be found on the back sleeve of “Turn on the Power” but the only thing he actually contributed was the horror voice on the song “Voice of the Doomed.” The LP was mixed and finished by the end of 1984. Christer then played his debut gig with Mindless Sinner in January 1985, and it was a kind of comeback for them ’cause they hadn’t performed live since summer ’84.

Most of 1985 was spent waiting for the “Turn on the Power” album to be released. However, instead of doing their job, Web Records reared its ugly head once again. They found out that they had financial problems, and at one point it seemed as if the album would never see the light of day. Yet, somehow, they managed to get their act together and “Turn on the Power” finally hit the streets in January 1986. Things were rosy for a split second only though, since Web went bust right after the release, leaving them  out there with a new album and no backup. It was another devastating setback, so the only thing they could possibly do was to move forward and leave it all behind.

In the spring of 1986 they hooked up with a local record label called Delta Recording. They entered the studio in April to start recording their third album. It was the two brothers, Micke and Matte Johansson, who ran the label. They also had their own studio so they just went in and  recorded ten songs. But, somehow, it didn’t feel right. The material didn’t turn out as they had anticipated. So they decided to give it a rest and do some road work instead.

1986 slowly faded into 1987 when they started another attempt at laying down tracks. This time the songs sounded just as they wanted them to sound. Most of the year was in and out of the studio, with numerous live gigs between sessions. At this point they decided to change their name from Mindless Sinner to Mindless. By the end of ’87 they did a special Christmas show to test the new material in a live situation and it turned out really well.

In 1988 the album “Missin’ Pieces” was mixed and finished around summer time, and by the end of the year they put it all together for the release. The single from the album, with “Heaven Will Know” on the A-side and “Caught Up in the Action” on the flip, gave a first impression of what was to come in January 1989, and with the longplayer following hot on its heels just two weeks later they immediately went out and began gigging in support of the album. But it was an uphill struggle from the word go as they didn’t have backing from a booking agency. And, to make things worse, distribution for the vinyl was almost non-existent.

During the summer of 1989 they made a trip to Denmark and visited a Danish record company called Bums Records, who had expressed interest in producing and releasing the new Mindless album. Fortunately for them, they quickly realized that they were just another Web Records-type of company that should not be trusted. So they flushed the idea of  working with them down the toilet. Later that year they recorded what was supposed to become their fourth LP. It consisted of 12 very strong tracks, perfectly blending their previous work. They didn’t have any label supporting them at that point, so the recording remained unreleased, destined to catch dust in the vaults for all eternity. But luckily this fate wasn’t to be – we can now find the tunes on the bonus disc of the “Missin’ Pieces” reissue.

They spent most of 1990 playing as many gigs as possible but most of the times they had to resort to playing cover songs in order to get booked. Finally, their drummer Tommy decided to call it quits. They figured it would never be the same without him so Mindless played their farewell show in Stockholm, December 1990.

After disbanding Mindless, the remaining members hooked up with former Axewitch drummer Matte Johansson and formed a band called Skinny Horse. They recorded on album, “No Pain No Gain”, and played gigs around Sweden for a couple of years. In the summer of 1994 Magnus Danneblad and Christer Goransson left Skinny Horse to form a new band called Fluff. Back on the drums was their old comrade Tommy, with the bassist being another old friend called Hard-Per. They later changed their name to Everlone, managed to score a  record deal and released an album “Second Hand Stars” and a couple of singles before they played their final gig in March 2001.

During the summer of 2001 Christer Goransson spoke to a  friend who is the president of a local MC club, Ghost Riders. They were about to celebrate their 20th anniversary, which was coming up, so they talked about having Mindless Sinner play at the party. This was a cool idea because Mindless Sinner was also turning 20 at the same time. They did their first rehearsal in September 2001 and thta was the first time that they played together for almost eleven years. After the first song it felt like they had never been apart. Mindless Sinner was back!

The reunion gig took place on November 3rd, 2001. It was great to play again and even though the plave only held 150-200 people there were 400 people packing it way beyond capacity. After the show two friends of Christer, Micke and Patrik from TPL Records, invited them to play The Motala Metal Festival 6. It was an easy decision to make. So on the 16th of February, 2002, they played together with Iced Earth and Blitzkrieg, to name a few. They did a ten track set which they recorded live. All ten songs are spread all over the three remestered Mindless (Sinner) CD releases.

ALBUMS

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– Master Of Evil [1984] EP
– Turn On The Power [1986]
– Missin’ Pieces [1989]

By Christer Goransson

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