Artist Information

Hoven Droven

Hoven Droven's music is a unique and powerful blend of traditional folk and fierce hard rock, where violin and electric guitar duel for the audience's attention. A diverse background created by sax, drums, percussion and bass complements this combination. Keywords: power, finesse and playful virtuosity.

The band's name is a slang phrase which means "whatever" (at least in their home province of Jämtland in northern Sweden). In their case, it could just as well mean; "things will take care of themselves." Despite sometimes chaotic organizational methods, none of them are able to explain how they have managed to perform on almost every major Swedish television and radio program and in North America. Looking at their individual schedules, it's a wonder that the band can get together to play at all.

Hoven Droven is:

  • Björn Höglund (drums and percussion) worships Peter Criss, drummer of KISS, and has been playing drums since he was three years old.
  • Guitarist Bo Lindberg claims he is a star in Japan with his former avant-rock band Myrbein. If the truth be known, he's a music teacher who's been in almost every band to come out of Östersund in the past 10 years.
  • Saxophonist Jens Comén is often seen in rock-pop-jazz-big band-punk bands around town displaying his natural gifts (with his instrument).
  • Pedro Blom is the band's bassist, and plays in other roots music groups. Otherwise, he's a big fan of AC/DC and Mötorhead.
  • Hoven Droven's violin-playing front man is Kjell-Erik Eriksson. His original interest in Swedish folk music has taken on a stronger bite and higher volume with Hoven Droven. He also plays traditional acoustic music in the band Triakel.

Their first Swedish album Hia Hia was released in 1994, recorded at Peak Studios with engineer/producer Erik Benholm. Early in 1996 they got together again to record Grov. Selections from both of these releases are included on NorthSide's 70+ minute compilation titled Groove - their first North American record release and one of NorthSide's first releases.

Summer 1999 saw the band at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, where they had 8000 people on their feet, hands raised high above their heads, doing an ancient Swedish mosquito-killing dance. On their return home to Östersund, they began recording their next album.

More Happy Moments with Hoven Droven marks a number of departures for the band. Trumpet player Gustav Hylén left the band to spend more time with his family and set up Home Studios in Revsund, where the disc was made. (You can see a "home movie' from the recording sessions on the NorthSide enhanced CD). Janne Strömstedt's organ work now underpins the band's sound, making it heavier and more elegant all at the same time. For this release also, the band decided to work with vocalists. On three tracks they are joined by the lovely female voices of Ulrika Bodén and Sofia Sandén (from Rosenberg 7). Swedish music legend Stefan Sundström can be heard with the band on two of the MP3 tracks that are included on the enhanced CD.

The closest English translation for "Hoven Droven" is "helter skelter" or "whatever." Hoven Droven breathes new life into old Swedish tunes, while lovingly preserving the tradition at the same time. Hoven Droven's commitment to brain tickling arrangements and head-banging grooves is infectious, and they routinely rock your socks off.

Discography

1994 Hia Hia Xource/MNW (Sweden) XOUCD 110
1996 Grov Xource/MNW (Sweden) XOUCD 114
1997 Groove compilation of "Hia Hia" and "Grov," NorthSide NSD 6002
1999 More Happy Moments with... Home (Sweden) 013, NorthSide (U.S.) NSD 6043
2001 hippa Home (Sweden) 020, NorthSide (U.S.) NSD 6062


The Word on Hoven Droven

  • "...Music to twirl, stomp, and generally make mischief to. If there ever was such a thing as heavy metal folk, this might be described as acid reindeer music..." - Dirty Linen
  • "These sunlight deprived miscreants pump up the galloping fiddle tunes of their homeland, making a giddy, sweaty mess of centuries-old tradition." -Barnesandnoble.com
  • "The sum of their musical parts easily proves that this band are highly skilled and mean business." - Goldmine
  • "Waltzes and folk tunes for a Scandinavian country wedding as interpreted by Jimmy Page! Head-banging Swedish fiddle tunes! What's not to like?" - Pop Matters
  • "... the most bone-crushing specimen of the Scandinavian folk revival. Imagine if Black Sabbath or Megadeth used Swedish fiddles inciting a mosh pit at the Renaissance Festival." - Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • "Here's a band who can take old polskas and waltzes from the dark corners of early Sweden and make them sound romantic and sweet, or like Edgar Winter's 'Frankenstein.'" - Rootsworld
  • "Warning, this album eats conifer trees and granite boulders. Sheer class." -Folk Roots (UK)
  • "... their sound is an inscrutable brew that blends stalwart Swedish folk with feisty in-you-face rock." - Duluth News Tribune
  • "the sextet rocks the house, taking their traditional Swedish melodies and bolstering them with a powerful rhythm section and a wailing front line of violin, sax, Hammond organ and electric guitar." - CDNow
  • "This release by Hoven Droven is called Groove, but Monster Truck Groove would be a better title." - The Seattle Rocket
  • "...the music is as beautiful, powerful and dangerous as a full grown bear." -All Music Guide
  • "(Hoven Droven) give their traditional homeland folk and hard rock a kick in the pants." - New Age Voice
  • "Ear opening winner that never lets you down." - Midwest Record Recap
  • "The electric guitars, blistering fiddlework, and Höglund's power-house drumming shake the walls and rattle the windows ...like surf-rock interpreted by crazed Vikings." - Pulse of the Twin Cities
  • "This musical goulash works even better than the heated seats of a Saab on a blustery day in Duluth." - Ripsaw
  • "Hoven Droven violently rubs different traditions together, building intensity in the shower of sparks that results." - Siren
  • "It's like open mic night at the most diverse tavern in the world. It all comes miraculously together, though the waltzes make you want to bang your head, and the all-out rockers demand a reflective pause." - Pulse of the Twin Cities
  • "Hoven Droven detonates the power of traditional fiddle tunes combined with electric guitar, drums, sax and Hammond organ." - Budgeteer News
  • "You might think that such a mixture of music would cause chaos, but the band pulls together the common elements of both genres to give us a unique and original style." - Northland Reader
  • "The clashing of these musical sensibilities not only makes sense when the music starts, it actually seems perfectly normal and natural." - !*@# Exclaim (Canada)
  • "The overall feel is Erik the Red sets sail for Electric Ladyland, retaining one foot in Scandinavian prehistory, but rocking as hard as hard rock can rock." - Vmag
  • "...precision, finesse, and virtuosity." - Rocklove
  • "You might think that such a mixture of music would cause chaos, but the band pulls together the common elements of both genres to give us a unique and original style." - Northland Reader

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