Introducing: Greybeards

Swedish rockers Greybeards have honed a sound that takes you back to the good old days of rock’n’roll. Engaging vocals from frontman Olle Westlund are complemented by delicious guitar riffs in a rocky sound fuelled with positive vibes.

The Gävle quartet began life when Olle and Simon Mojtahedi (bass) formed a cover band when they were 13. Guitarist Ingemar Mårtensson also began playing around the same age in a punk band called Solid Overdose, met Olle watching a legendary local band Meleeh, then they all met drummer Niklas Nironen in high school, formed a band to cover Foo Fighters’ Best Of You in a school concert, then won a local talent show.

They haven’t looked back since, as they put it: “From that point there’s been Greybeards first. Monday after graduation most of our classmates began job-searching. We rented a motorhome and went on tour.”

The band release their second album For The Wilder Minds on Friday (4 May), on which they told us: “Writing this album has been an incredible journey, but also a very challenging one. This album didn’t only need to be a hundred times better than Longing To Fly, it’s also carving the ground as our first album written as a complete piece of music. So comparing the first album to the new one is pretty easy.

“LTF is a collection of songs written from high school to basically a week before we entered the studio, with influences from Nashville Country to Metalcore. The new one started out as a blank page in mid-2015 with an aim to one, Contain 10 suuuuper-good rock songs and two, be a continuous album that forms the Greybeards-sound. And we would say we completed both goals. You can expect a hell of an album!”

The latest taster of what’s to come is the excellent One In A Billion, which opens up with a light jumpy riff then bursts into a funky darting heavy guitar riff. A verse of raw vocals supported by lively guitars follows, then drops into a big singalong chorus “One in a billion, Oh you lucky one, Don’t throw away the chance that you got” followed by a big smash of rockiness. A second chorus is followed by a screeching guitar solo that flows into another chorus, then repeats of “One in a billion” through to the end of the track. Check it out in the video below:

The new album was created with the help of fellow countryman Chips Kiesbye, who has previously worked with the legendary The Hellacopters, of whom there’s more than a little similarity in the sound of Greybeards, and Millencolin’s Kingwood album, as well as being the frontman in Sator. And, on working with Chips, the band tell us: “Yeah he’s done loads of great albums! And damn what a great guy. He knows exactly how to fit in the band-chemistry and what to say. He felt like a fifth member immediately and first and foremost motivated us to be better, to work a little harder until the songs were as good as they could be. We’ve learned a lot, and we really hope to work with him again!”

On this special combination of sounds, the band summarise: “As if the coolness of Billy Talent, the power of Architects and the musicality of Foo Fighters created an offspring that was raised in a garage with only oil to drink, rats to eat and NOFXs autobiography to read and then got a guitar for its 13th birthday on which it began to create music, then that would sound just like Greybeards.”

And on what inspires them to write music, they tell us: “We try to capture the sense of being a growing human being. We write about separation, about capturing the time we are given and about fighting for a better future. There’s anger and sorrow, but also love and hope.”

The band are heading to the UK to support the album next month, beginning at Underworld in Camden on 11 May, then taking in 14 more cities across the country. More info on all their upcoming gigs is here. On the tour, the band tell us: “British fans can expect four playful and super-happy guys rocking places we’ve dreamed about playing for years. The shows are gonna be energetic, well-rehearsed really intense!”

For The Wilder Minds is out on Friday (4 May). You can follow Greybeards on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, and check out their music on Spotify.

 

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