It's a small wonder that the name Robert Pehrsson (born 13th of December 1975) is not as yet familiar to a broader (rock) audience. He has worked for such diverse bands such as Runemagick, Thunder Express, Death Breath, Dundertåget, Imperial State Electric, Slingblade and also Dagger. Robert Pehrsson picked up his guitar around 1987/88 and started his (professional) career in around 1994, then concentrating mainly on playing extreme music like thrash and early death metal.
Pehrsson has now completed his first (solo) album for High Roller Records containing songs such as the guitar-driven “Haunt My Mind”, “Who Else Is On Your Mind” with its UFO-like lick or the soft rockin' “Can't Change”. “Can't Change” is probably the softest number on the album. Robert agrees: “Yes, it’s the softest one. I wanted to do a minor blues song. But it ended up being a little more atmospheric then a regular blues. I’m really happy with that one.” “Who Else Is On Your Mind”, on the other hand, features some classic Michael Schenker licks. Robert Pehrsson: “I wanted to have a song with the drive and beat of 'Lights Out' by UFO or 'Achilles Last Stand' by Zeppelin. That driving drum beat, you know. I really like UFO and think highly of Schenker as a guitarist, especially in that band. I like all the old guitar heroes basically. They don't make ‘em like that anymore, what a shame!” Well, maybe Robert Pehrsson himself will turn out to become the next Scott Gorham, Jimmy Page or Michael Schenker …
The term classic rock describes the album very well. Usually it's a very broad term but in the case of Robert Pehrsson's Humbucker it fits well ... “I think it’s an okay description,” he comments. “I love all the old acts that these days go under the classic rock moniker. I guess it’s a mix of rock, hard rock and also pop. I did not want to make a hard rock or heavy metal album, that was for sure. Usually when I write songs they turn out this way. I also write some acoustic stuff. But that would not have been suited for this album.”
With Robert's recording career going back to the mid-1990s it's highly likely that he has written more than the nine songs which ended up on his first (solo) album. Robert Pehrsson: “I have a bunch of songs. For this I tried to select a good mix and songs that would suit what I want Robert Pehrsson's Humbucker to sound like. I had to stop at nine songs. That was what I was able to finish this time. But I definitely have more ideas and songs. From the very beginning I did not even had a plan to record an album. I thought I might do a 7" with these two new songs I had recorded. But High Roller Records thought otherwise. So when they offered me a contract for a full album I thought, maybe it is time for me to do this now. I did tell High Roller Records that I don't have a band, this will be a solo effort with me getting help from my friends on drums, bass, backing vox and so on. I then have been recording on and off, I’ve been on tours, done other recordings, joined other bands etc. I also separated from a long relationship and my mother passed away from cancer. So what normally would have taken two weeks to record took almost a year. During this time a LOT of people have been telling me I have to play live with this. So I’m thinking about that. I don't know, but it might happen. Maybe I get a band together and go on tour with Imperial State Electric opening up for them in Germany. That would be great!”
Recorded at Gutterview Recorders, the nine songs feature guest spots by well-known musicians such as Nicke Andersson, Dolf De Borst and Tomas Eriksson from Imperial State Electric, Peter Stjärnvind (Nifelheim, Black Trip), Joseph Tholl (Enforcer, Black Trip), Robert Eriksson (ex The Hellacopters), Olle Dahlstedt (Entombed), Johan Bäckman (Necrocourse) and Johannes Borgström.
As mentioned above, Robert Pehrsson does not classify Humbucker (who so far have not appeared live) as a conventional solo project: “No, it's not. I did of course get a lot of help from other friends recording the album. They all contributed greatly to it. They are all close friends. I probably played with all of them in other bands and projects. In the rock and metal scene you pretty much get to know everyone if you are a touring band.”
Times have obviously changed, in the 1980s or 1990s it would not have been possible for a death metal or black metal musician to appear on a classic rock album. Today, there do not seem to be such boundaries of style any more ... Robert Pehrsson agrees: “No, and most of them, including me, would not have been able to play this kind of music I'm performing today during those years anyway, ha, ha. I don't really care much for boundaries. I love rock, blues, country, pop, hard rock, heavy metal and death metal. I do whatever I feel like! I’ve played live with Slingblade so far. I also play with Dagger, another High Roller Records band, and I also play with Nicke's band Imperial State Electric. I started out playing mainly extreme music like thrash and then early death metal. But then I started playing rock, powerpop and regular hard rock and even country and pop. So I have a pretty broad musical spectrum. I like guitar-driven music a lot. I’ve been in a lot of different bands but they have all been guitar-driven. I’ve put out albums with black and death metal, hard rock and heavy metal but mostly good ol' rock’n’roll.”