Raw. Charming. Abominable. Genius.
The band Mustasch sure can be be described in many ways. With their straightforward and uncompromising attitude they provoke many, but their music is loved by many more. And no matter what people think, Mustasch is one of Sweden's biggest hard rock bands of all time.
But let's go back in time some odd 20 years. In the late 90's, friends Ralf Gyllenhammar and Hannes Hansson decide to form a band. The idea of the band is crystal clear - they're just going to play the kind of music that they like themselves and will completely ignore whatever ́s topping the charts at the time. After one boozed out night, their collective vinyl collection is found scattered on the floor. The sleeves are adorned by Hannes' and Ralf's music heroes such as Tony Iommi, John Lord and Freddie Mercury. All of the legendary powerhouses have one thing in common - they all wear the typical 70 ́s mustache. Thus, the band name is given.
Gothenburg natives Stam Johansson och Mats Hansson not only share Ralf and Hannes liking for the band name, they also share their idea of what good music is. Mustasch becomes a quartet, and a very productive one. In the following years, the band make a name for themselves by playing the local stages and release their music on small, borderline obscure, labels.
The dream of a real record deal contract come true in 2001 when Mustasch releases their first EP "The True Sound Of The New West" on major label EMI Music Sweden. The band quickly establish a name on the Swedish metal scene and when the debut album "Above All" is released the following year, the road already is paved and leads to their first first Grammy nomination. The album, likewise the EP, is produced by Roberto Laghi.
Mustasch has now established themselves outside of Sweden. They are on the radio as well as visible on MTV Europe - one of the biggest marketing channels at the time. Word of the controversial band is spreading across the continent and Mustasch set sail to tour on a scale never experienced by the band to this date.
In 2003, they follow up on the success of their major label debut with "Ratsafari". At the helm this time is producer Jacob Hellner and the successful collaboration leads to another Grammy nomination for Mustasch. Together with bands such as Motörhead, Rose Tattoo and Gluecifer, they live the rock ́n roll myth to its full extent around Europe.
On the album "Powerhouse" Roberto Laghi is back as producer. However, the relationship with EMI has begun to crack after various disagreements between the label and the band. The single "Dogwash" becomes a hit though and it will be the last Mustasch releases on EMI before the band decides to leave the label.
And that decision will be one of the most important in Mustasch's history. Via the EP "Parasite!", which the band release in 2006 in collaboration with Bohus
Entertainment, they end up on Regain Records. The record label gives Mustasch much needed creative freedom and the result can be heard on the album "Latest version of the Truth", produced by Tobias Lindell. The band now gets their real breakthrough, which they have worked so hard for. The single "Double Nature" is played on almost every radio station and in 2007 Mustasch finally brings home their first Grammy.
Mustasch is now one of Sweden's largest hard rock bands with the entire continent of Europe as their natural home market. Where one tour ends another start and the band finds themselves on the road most of the time. Like many rock ́n roll brethren before him, guitarist Hannes Hansson finally has had enough road time and decides to leave Mustasch in 2008 to focus on his family.
Hannes is eventually replaced by David Johannesson. However, it won't be long before Mats Hansson announces that he will also leave the band. Mats suffers from chronic arthritis and it is simply not possible for him to continue. The choice of the new drummer naturally becomes Danne McKenzie, who previously
have replaced Mats when the latter ́s been too ill to play.
Despite the changes of the band members, the victory train continues. In 2009 they once again win a Grammy in the category Best Hard Rock Act of the Year, this time for the self-titled album "Mustasch", produced by Tobias Lindell. Mustasch continues to tour, opening up for legends such as KISS.
Mustasch goes from clarity to clarity, but the record industry is shaking. Regain Records goes bankrupt and the band find themselves on a new label once more. While at it they also decide to try a new producer. The album "Sounds Like Heaven, Looks Like heaven" is released in 2012 on Gain/Sony Music with none other than Ralf himself with the producer cap on. Not only that, Stam and David pick up engineering duties resulting in an album where the band truly gets full creative control. The video "The Challenger", directed by Patric Ullaeus, becomes a super success and so is the new album - Mustasch finally get to hang their first gold record on their wall.
In 2013, Danne McKenzie hands over the drumsticks to Jejo Parkovic who hammers away on the resulting seventh studio album - "Thank You For The Demon", released in 2014. Rikard Löfgren and Gustav Ydenius are brought in to co-produce, and it all turns out to be a successful move. The album receives brilliant reviews, especially in Germany and Finland where Mustasch further strengthens their position by headlining several festivals and tours.
Few bands are as productive as Mustasch. Already in 2015 they release their next album "Testosterone". But shortly after, it's time for another change of membership - Jejo Parkovic leaves Mustasch and is replaced by current drummer Robban Bäck.
"Silent Killer" is released in 2018 and becomes Robban's first album behind the drums. A the same time the bands relationship with label giant Sony comes to an end when Mustasch start their on record label - Tritonus Records. The following year marks the first release on their own label with the single "Blood In Blood Out", which receives lots of airtime on Swedish radio.
Which brings us to present day and Mustasch ́s latest effort. Not afraid to take a stand, the band has teamed up with the Swedish aid organization Mind who combats suicide among young men. The result is both the release of a new single - ”What is Wrong” as well as the launchof the aptly named campaign #whatiswrong - the purpose being to highlight the fact that more and more young men are driven to end their own lives. The campaign seeks to help these very young men to find help and support before it is to late.
The latest single are also featured on Mustasch's upcoming album, which will be released in the fall of 2019. In connection with the new album, the band is going on a longer European tour.
And those who have seen and heard the band over the years agree - few hard rock bands deliver as Mustasch. With an energy, raw strength and a song treasure beyond the ordinary, Mustasch is a band that simply has to be experienced live. At least once in a lifetime!