SWEDISH EROTICA

Country Sweden

Style Hard Rock

Swedish+Erotica+Laugh1Swedish Erotica was originally formed in 1985 by guitarist Magnus Axx and Norwegian singer Dag Ingebrigtsen under the monicker of Swedish Beauty. They teamed up with former Madison guitarist Dan Stomberg and drummer Jamie Borger. Ken Sandin handled the bass and later in 86 vocalist Goran Edman replaced Dag. They recorded some demos, but were unable to get a record deal. Borger left for Treat and Sandin joined Alien (the band mind you, not the movie). However founding member Axx didn’t quit, changed the name to Swedish Erotica and found new compadres in 1987. This outfit consisting of singer Goran Edman, guitarist Morgan LeFay, bass player Johnny D’Fox and drummer Pete Sanders, added a much sleazier look and sound, and recorded a demo that brought them the attention of Derek Oliver from Kerrang magazine. Soon afterwards they moved to Los Angeles where A&R representative Donna Simmons discovered their talent(s).

This led to a record deal with Virgin records in late 88 (quite a suitable label considering the band name, “Roll away the stone”, “Break the walls” & “Terri” are from these sessions). They finally landed under the Virgin Scandinaia-label in 89 but went through some major difficulties in the process. Goran Edman had via Vinnie Vincent joined guitarist John Norum (of Europe-fame) and they recorded an album and went on a world tour. This would definitely stall their own scheduled recording and Erotica therefore had to find a replacement. After recording a 7” (Downtown) with Tony Niva on vocals, they finally found local talent Mats Leven whom they knew well from previous collaborations. When he heard the new material he said yes without hesitation. The new line-up headed up to Oslo, Norway to record their debut album and it hit the stores that same year to notorious acclaim in both  Scandinavia, Germany and Japan. A true sleaze-act from Sweden living up to its name with a real  ‘tour de force’ in lead vocalist Mats Leven. After a successful Scandinavian tour (including a stint at the London Astoria) the band went into the studio to write material for their follow up.

Yet again problems arose, this time between the band and their own record label. The band weren’t exactly overjoyed with some of the songs on the first album where the record label paid their attention to the more poporiented songs written by producer Ole Evenrude (and released as singles). The band wanted a much more tougher and sleazier edge on their follow up, more back to basics so to speak (which can be heard on songs like “She drives me crazy”, “Love on the line” & “Rip it off” from the debut), but the record company insisted on a more FM-oriented approach, which also meant bringing in other song writers.

The band believed they already had songs on an FM-caliber, among them “Terri” and “Fire with Fire”. Erotica ignored the label and continued to write and record, but then they received the cold treatment from the label and things got worse. So in the middle of all this turmoil singer  Mats Leven had enough, quit the band and accepted an offer from Stockholm-based outfit Treat were his good friend and former Erotica-drummer Jamie Borger already handled the sticks. It took Erotica over a year to find a replacement for the powerful, edgy and personal voice of Mats. Finally they decided on Gothenburg-powerhouse Anders Moller and subsequently left the Virgin label for Empire records. This is one of the major reasons it took more than four years for the follow up to see the light. Ken Sandin and Jamie Borger the former of Erotica rhythm section returned to the band (BC Strike was currently occupying the drum stool for Shotgun Messiah in the US) and they all went into Bauhaus studios. Gothenburg to record what was to become “Blindman’s Justice” in 1993. Sound genius Michael Ilbert mixed it at PUK studios in Denmark during the better part of 1994. This time Erotica felt the need to put aside the old songs (recorded with Leven) and aim for a whole new formula with their new singer. All in all to get a fresh start. And then of course there was this band called Nirvana

Swedish+Erotica+01_jpg

While all this was going on another thing had emerged from Seattle and with its fury and impact it changed all the charts and shook the foundations of the rock community to the core. Grunge made Erotica caugh up and lost somewhere in between which is somewhat evident on “Blindman’s Justice” (released in Japan, 94 and in Europe 95). In the backwaters of grunge, Erotica found it hard to stay true to their original sound and survive without selling in by an extreme makeover to fit the changing market. So after touring through most of 1995, Magnus and the others packed it up in 1996 and went their separate ways. They didn’t quit merely parted as friends and slowly drifted off into rock oblivion.

In the mean time Leven had joined guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen (albums Facing the animal, Live!) and later on sang with various artists like Krux, At Vance. Borger went back to Talisman and Sandin became a solid gun for hire (Transport League, Kee Marcello’s K2 to name a few). Magnus Axx concentrated on his successful rock-club Sticky Fingers in Gothenburg (and promoter-agency), but also co-wrote songs, for instance Civil war for Motorhead’s Overnight sensation album and is currently working with Daniel Kifle (Green Jesus Saviors) who wrote Hardcore Superstar’s hit single Liberation. Morgan still writes, but now mainly scripts for Film and Television (although he wrote and recorded three songs with Moller & Sandin for two movie-soundtracks). But the one thing that always haunted and annoyed the band was the material, the embryo for the second album, that never got released due to their label. They always felt it contained some of their best work. It was a shame to let it go to waste. And this was also something that Magnus, Mats and Morgan discussed from time to time. And now here we are in 2005 Ad…

We are very grateful to EMI and MTV Music for giving us this opportunity to release this album, the 7-track demo with Mats Leven on vocals, along with the earlier demo tracks which is now part of Erotica history.

Times have changed, people have since then moved on, older (but perhaps not wiser), trends have come and gone, Hip Hop and docu-soaps rules the MTV, but VH-1 still holds the fort and along with the latest metal and glam revival down memory lane and resurrection boulevard this just might fit right in. Anyway, we hope that it pleases more people than just us.

SWEDISHEROTICA_ST SWEDISHEROTICA_BMJ SWEDISH_EROTICA_TDG

– Swedish Erotica [1989]
– Blindman’s Justice [1994]
– Too Daze Gone [2005]

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
SWEDISH EROTICA, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings