Music was always my first love; it is where my career as an entertainer and performer began.
Both my parents are creative and musically inclined and my Father was my first musical inspiration. I remember him playing guitar while Joel [Rapi], his oldest friend and my self-appointed “god father uncle figure”, would sing obscene lyrics at dinner parties. As I got older I began joining in and was fascinated by the pure joy of creating and riffing off of each other.
When I was 8 my mother bought me my first real acoustic guitar and started taking me to weekly lessons. I found them an utter drag. Elephants-And-Donkeys-Grow-Big-Ears was not what I wanted to be learning, I wanted to play solos like Slash and write songs like Lennon & McCartney. Needless to say I quit, put that guitar in the back of my closet and continued my boyhood adventures with my focus elsewhere…
Then puberty hit, Girls became interesting, and girls like guys who can play the guitar. So out came my old dusty friend and my evenings became hours of out of tune, bad form D, Em, G and A chords until I was able to struggle through “Love is All Around” before learning the C chord and adding “Knocking on Heavens Door” to my repertoire. Those were also the first 2 songs I ever performed in front of a live audience at an outdoor summer festival at my old high school in Stockholm, Sweden with my first band, “The UpKeeps” – (I went on to use that band name for all of my musical constellations throughout my teen years).
Before that debut gig I knew I needed to get myself an electric guitar and I had my eye set on my father’s custom SIGMA Les Paul from the 70’s. And, after months of working part time jobs at my uncle’s kitchenware store, delivering newspapers and saving up my allowances I was able to buy that guitar from him. That guitar is still in my possession and was the one I used on The Self-Titled EP with Our Untold Story in 2012 and in the music video for our first single “Hell House”.
Starting OUS was the biggest leap of faith I have ever made in my musical career and one of the biggest in my life, period. I was working a high paid job in the financial sector at the time, wearing a suit and tie to work at an upscale office in the Stockholm city centre. I had just broken up with a long term girlfriend and written my first song since I was 17 – “Devil Woman” (Which is the second track on The Self-Titled EP) – and decided it was time to get the band back together.
Not long after that I bumped into my old friend from high school and original drummer in “The UpKeeps”, Oscar [Magnuson] in Stockholm Old Town. We got to chatting and I discovered that he was currently studying music full time and was not currently playing in a band so we decided to make plans to hang out and jam some time.
That evening I went to the birthday dinner of another high school friend, Philip [Ohlsson], at our favourite Asian buffet restaurant near his place on Östermalm [Stockholm], RICE. I was slightly late so joined the end of the table. As we were about to start eating someone else arrived and joined our group sitting at the empty seat opposite me, his name was Johan [Weidenhaijn].
Apparently his reason for being so late to the party was far better than mine, in fact he wasn’t even supposed to be there at all. He had been sitting in the registration ceremony for the Uppsala University Medical Program when he had received a call notifying him of his acceptance into Karolinska, the top ranked medical program in Sweden and one of the best in the world. He literally got out of his seat, left the room saying “C ya Bitches!” and then came to the restaurant. During our conversation we got onto the topic of music and found that we had several influences in common. I mentioned my meeting with Oscar and our plans to jam later that weekend. But it wasn’t until the end of the evening, just as we were saying goodbye that Johan asked if we needed a bass player because as it just so happened, he played.
Now all we needed was a name...