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Kenny Håkansson Interview about Kebnekajse, Baby Grandmothers and Mecki Mark Men


Thank you very much for agreeing to do this interview! Kebnekaise is really an amazing band and I'm really honored we can talk about your music. 

I know you were in bands before forming Kebnekaise. T-Boones was your first band then you formed Baby Grandmothers back in 1967. You released with this band Somebody Keeps Calling My Name / Being Is More Than Life in 1967. You also opened for some very interesting bands....
Can you share the experience you had with this band.

This band existed for a short period, but is yet one of the most important in my time as musician. Not because we were sub - sub for Hendrix, but because this was a period of experimenting and exploring possibilities of how to play for two - three hours without any written songs.

Few years ago the album, that was never released in its time was finally released. It contains a lot of live stuff. What can you tell me about this. I need to say that I absolutely love this releases!!! Baby Grandmothers was one of the best underground psych bands in my opinion.

As I said in the first Q, we didn´t have any songs, so we just played on.

After that you went to join Mecki Mark Men for 2 or 3 years. What happened there. I would like if you can share an experince you had there.

Yes, this was also a very good and interresting time of my life. Mecki was a very special musician, with his own way of handling the Hammond.


He could create some space sounds with the organ no one had ever did before him. And he had songs. With melodies and lyrics. With him put in our B-Gm we became a psychedelic dream band, you could say. Mecki with his spaced out organ, and B-Gm with our ability to freak out musically, was a group of that time.

So here we are, after Mecki Mark Men you formed Kebnekaise. Can you tell me how did you started playing together as a band.

After MMM broke up, we sort of stagnated, I wanted to form a rock band with songs i Swedish and instrumental music. I contacted a guitarist that was also a good singer, hoping this would be a good formation.


You released several albums in the 70's. The first one was called Resa mot okänt mål. I would like to know what are some of your strongest memories from the recording sessions and the production of the LP?

We had a lot of fun in the studio, playing with the tape recorder, changing the speed and overdubbed a.s.o. New for us, but it had been used before us by i.e. Les Paul already in the 50´s.

Kebnekaise II was your second album from 1973. Its probably the most well known album from the band. Would you like sharing a few words about this release?

This album had another sound, but actually not so very different in music from my intentions with the first album. The most significant difference was, there were
no vocal tunes. And as I had just been aware of the Swedish folk fiddle tunes, we used some of those tunes here. This did put us into the group of bands that were called "proggbands", meaning "progressiv music band". This album also helped starting growing a new interest for Swedish folk music all over Sweden.

Later you released Kebnekaise III in 1975, jus från Afrika in 1976, Elefanten in 1977 and Vi drar vidare in 1978. You also recorded your solo album in 1978 called Spelar springlekar och gånglåtar. What can you tell me about this?

Kebnekajse III is like the number II, just some more tunes, but "Ljus från Afrika" is with an African touch kind of music. Our percussionist was born in Guinea,
and arrived in Sweden late 60`s, and joined Kabnekajse some months before Kebnekajse II. He brought with him a lot of cassette tapes with African music that he played constantly in our bus during tours, and we all loved it. Elefanten was an attempt to move forward. It had a lot of influences from Mahavishnu Orc. with McLaughlin, Ponty and Stanley Clarke and such, but it didn´t come out as good as we intended. Kabnekajse was in a time of insecureness and changes, which were more significant in the last album, were no one from the original Kebnekajse any longer were present. "Springlekar & Gånglåtar" were tunes that Kebnekajse didn`t play, but was in my system, and had to come out. It was recorded between 8pm - 9am one week in -76, on an eight track tape recorder with nothing but guitars plugged into the mixer board.   

You were involved with many other music project. In the late 70's  you were involved with band called Dag Vag. Another project was called Bill's Boogie Band. Can you share few words about this projects.

One member of Dag Vag called me september -79 asking me if I would consider starting playing in their band, I said - "Yes, with pleasure"- I didn´t have anything going on at the time, so I was really pleased to be asked. This was a good chance for me to be active again, after being a bit off track for a while.
I stayed for two years, Aug -79 until Aug -81. I felt I had to do something else, something to make me go further. I guess that is one of my "problems", I get bored if I feel I can´t develope my music "skills".

Bills Boogie Band was a kind of blues band. We did play blues, but not "by the book". The singer and bandleader, Bill Öhrström, was more or less brought up with pure, original blues, being a son of a purser flying all over the world already in the 50´s. He saw and heard original jazz and blues artists as a nine years old boy, and he just couldn´t resist the power of that music. Any way, he made us play blues genuinely, with the "right" feeling, if it is possible to say so. 

Around 2009 the band Kebnekaise was born again. Recording new album called just Kebnekajse. What can you tell me about getting together again, how do you like it?

It is like being with your family. You don´t have to introduce your self. Everybody knows eachother, for good or bad.
We had our first gig 2001 since the last, 1977. That gig gave us a hope for the future, for Kebnekajse that is. Since our reunion it took eight years to produce this album. Much of the prework for this was my doing. I don´t really know how the others feel about it, but for me it was as we had to find our musical direction. One of the reasons we quit -77 was loss of direction, as I saw it.

In 2010 you released your new solo album called Psychedelic Dream. What can you tell me about this?

This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I started approximately ten years ago, not with any album intentions, but merely as a live band.
This band never actually was "a band", but rather a group put together for every specific occasion. The songs in the cd have been growing and changed with every change of member. The final result is a combination of the drummers, also co-producer and studio owner, and my work in his studio. And also I came to the conclusion that if this album should ever be released, I had to start my own record company. So I did, and so it was. My record company's name is "Bluecolorstone". And this is my first release, but not the last.

This year you released brand new album called Idioten. Can you present the album?

Yes, with Kebnekajse it is. Now that our direction is set, folk fiddle tunes of Sweden, we broaden our view a bit. This cd contains also a Bosse Hansson tune, "Tax free", and a jam-like African-like tune, "Senegal beat" where Hassan Bah has been given a little more room for his Jembes. Else there are mostly tunes from our Swedish soil.

I'm really happy you are together again. What are some future plan for the band?

Oh, thank you for that. Our plans for the future are simple - keep playing for as long as we can. If you mean more specific... a new album as soon as possible, try to reach outside of Sweden, and of course play as much as possible in Sweden..

Thank you very much for your time and effort. Do you have anything else to say about the band or yourself, that I didn't ask?

No, I think you have asked good questions, and I hope you or pleased with the answers. Thank you for being interested in my/our music life.

Best wishes

Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2011
© Copyright 2011

1 comment:

Heavypsychmanblog said...

Good interview Cool to hear from Kenny in a underground setting

MMM rocks for ever on