Metaltown, Gothenburg, Sweden

After an early morning flight from Stockholm to Gothenburg, i arrived at the backstage area of Metaltown Festival around 11am. I was completely alone in our backstage tent as David was already at stage rigging our pyro-stuff, Johan was still on the train from Helsingborg and the rest of the gang was still at the hotel, late after the endeavours with Hypocrisy the day before. So i started to check out the area, found some friends and then went to have lunch in the catering. Metaltown is a big festival nowdadays, and i must say it's also one of the better festivals! Now with over 25.000 metal maniacs it feels like Gothenburg is worthy a festival at this size and reputation.

This time we were playing at the main stage, which is the biggest of the four stages. It would be a great understatement to say that it is big - it is huge, 30m wide! I just love playing stages this size, we've done that before, like Wacken as an example, as you have so much space to run around and a great feeling of being free without have to be cautions of the other guys around. The bad side of the coin is just the same, that it's so big. You have to work your ass off to "fill up" a stage this size, especially in daylight where you cannot hide in the dark and/or in the lighting show. I believe we did our best anyway, as we opened up as the first band on the main stage this day. We had Pyro at this show, even though we nearly burned ourselves when the wind changed direction last time we played here in 2009. It was almost as windy this time though, but the stage was so much bigger and the type of pyro was different so it went all fine. The only funny part is that all confetti blew away in the blink of an eye after its blast, and all landed stage left in the backstage area, hahaha.

After the show we had a planned signing session in a record store tent at the middle of the festival area. "Bengans" is an old record store that has been around forever and it feels good to see they are still hanging in there! To my surprise it was loads of people standing in line waiting for our arrival, and it took us a long time to finish up all of them before we moved on. On a funny note, i signed more VINYL Pain albums than i have ever done before - it seems like the Painheads here wants the real deal, huh? During the signing session my daughter Jennifer was standing behind the barriers giggling with her friend, she obviously thinks her daddy looks silly :-)

The moment i had been waiting for since 1990 was Anthrax. Back in the 80's i was a huge Anthrax fan, and last time i saw them was in 1990 in Solnahallen, Stockholm, at the "State of euphoria" tour. I just love their music and attitude. Scott Ian must be one of the best riffing champs in the world and i must admit i looked up to him already in mid 80's together with Dan Spitz and Mille Petrozza. Now they are back and i am so happy. I enjoyed the show together with my daughter Jennifer and my long time friend Anders Mannio. I got everything i hoped for: "Antisocial", "I am the law", "Indians", "Madhouse", "Caught in a mosh" but also a short version of "I'm the man"! This made my day completely.

After the Anthrax show i went to the Slayer lounge with Anders Mannio and Danne McKenzie. We had the VIP passes to get in there and taste the new wine released by Slayer, called "Reign in blood red". It was a nice but smart marketing event of course, but we had a good time and the wine was exactly in my taste - as most Cabernet Sauvignon wines are... After a while the guys in Slayer also showed up in a very good mood, chatting with the people around. These guys are legends by now, and i have always loved their music, but i didn't see their show as i have seen them so many times now. Also, after Anthrax it felt like i need nothing more of this day :-)

The evening continued in the backstage area with good time among friends in a party that never ends. One of my best friends, Smirnoff Ice, was also there all evening. I met Anders Mannio, Danne McKenzie and André Warnie from Bandit Rock. Henric Carlsson from Jackson guitars, ex-HammeFall guitarist Stefan Elmgren. Magnus and Marcus from Engel. Pontus, Oscar and Joacim from HammerFall. Anders Ivers from Tiamat, Leif Edling from Candlemass and the list goes on and on and on... and then we had guys like Kerry King and Charlie Benante hanging around. It was a good day.

I took an early flight back home again the next morning and arrived in a rainy Stockholm. It was the same in Gothenburg with rain on and off, but we were one of the bands that didn't have any rain when we played! (it was raining during Anthrax though)
It was a very good weekend in general, and now we have a few weeks off again until the Rockharz festival in Germany, the Masters of Rock festival in Czech Republic and Bang your head festival in Germany is coming up!

Main stage at Metaltown is HUGE! Photo: Mattias Hedberg

Shut your mouth! Live at Metaltown. Photo: Anders Mannio

Backstage fridge looks good - all my friends are in there

Backstage area and Hede trying to reach for the sky

Painheads in a loooooooong line waiting for the signing session :-)

Signing session at Metaltown, including the table..

Our FOH Jonas Kjellgren in one of is best poses after show

Building my own pan flute - 12 notes in a full octave! :-)

Anthrax at Metaltown - fantastic!!!

Tasting the new wine "Reign in blood red" at the Slayer lounge

Danne McKenzie and myself happy with the Slayer wine

Slayer came to join at the Slayer Louge as well...

...and they were all in a very good mood :-)

Danne McKenzie outside the Slayer lounge

Backstage with my long time friend Joacim Cans

Gothenburg is beautiful - the view from my hotel room at 11th floor

My daughter Jennifer took this pic of me at the show - she was in frontrow

Danne and André found our confetti backstage :-)
Photo: Anders Mannio

Getting ready for Metaltown!

Metaltown in Gothenburg! Oh yez :-)

We played there back in 2009 and i remember it was a really good show, so i have really high hopes for our return this year as well. At that point we spent all our money on a massive pyrotechnique show and it almost ended up in disaster when the wind suddenly changed direction, hehe... The day we played there in 2009 was the same day Michael Jackson were found dead. I was sitting at the X2000 train to Gothenburg with David and Jens and read about it online and sending text messages to Peter and Johan. Peter wanted to show his respect and... ...he dedicated the song "Bitch" to him on stage that day. As usual, it didn't come out that well, but his intentions were all good and honest, i can promise you that.

We will play at the main stage on saturday and will be the ones who will kick off that stage that day at 14:30. I saw on the running order that besides all big internationals acts there will also be many cool Swedish friends such as In Flames, Engel, HammerFall, Opeth and Candlemass. But i also realized that Anthrax is playing the same day which made me very happy! I have been a very big Anthrax fan since mid 80's, as i was very much into thrash music, so i will not miss them for sure! I remember when i first saw Dan Spitz with his black Jackson Rhoads i was totally blown away. Knowing that Scott Ian is also still a long-time Jackson player - we have something in common! That brings my memory back to the Jackson advertising campaign in 2010 with me, Chris Beattie, Joe Duplantier and... Scott Ian! Cheers to that :-)

On Saturday morning i will be on the early morning flight to Gothenburg with my Eleven Rack and my Jackson guitar as usual. As Metaltown is the only Swedish festival we do in 2012, i just have one thing to say: Swedish painheads, are you ready?

The Jackson advertising campaign 2010

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