In December 1984 "Breaking the spell" the debut album by Uppsala Hard rockers Spellbound saw the light of day. Prior to this the band had also participated with two tracks on a Sonet compilation, suitably entitled "Swedish Metal". Spellbound was actually signed by Sonet after having won a band-competition where a record-deal was first price.
But let's start from the beginning...
In May 1983 the bass-player Thomas Thompson and singer Hasse Froberg met in the northern Swedish town Boden. They decided to form a band, found Alf Strandberg and his brother Ola. As a four-piece they recorded their first demo. In December 1983 guitarist Jocke "JJ" Marsh was added to the line-up. The year after, in April, they participated and won the band-competition that lead to the deal with Sonet Records. In the summer of '84 the aforementioned compilation-album featuring Spellbound, Universe, Motherlode and Shed was released. After having spent three weeks in Studio Park the band's debut "Breaking the spell" saw the light of day in July 1984. The album was highly praised in English metal-bible Kerrang! Magazine and received great reviews in the influential Japanese magazine Burrn among others!
The band's second album was recorded in Riverside Studios, London. Producer Vic Maile (Girlschool, Tygers Of Pan Tang) went to Sweden to spend some time with the band, work on material and help out with the arrangements, before bringing the band over for three weeks to work in the recording-den. The album was entitled "Rockin' Reckless" and was released on July 2nd 1985. On the release-party the record-company brought over Motorhead's Lemmy Kilminster and Kerrang!-writer Paul Suter. The album was a step forward in the sense of the fivesome. Two singles were released, the title-track and "My Kinda Girl". Despite the great reviews the band, by some sick twist of fate, never received any greater success.
On December 14, 1986, Spellbound recorded a new demo live in the studio with the intention of getting as many songs as possible on tape. The style had now changed a bit more towards the Van Halenesque territory, with a bit more party-attitude and more emphasis's on the guitar. Unfortunately the demo didn't lead to a new deal and in March 1987 guitarist Alf left the band. They now tried working with a keyboard-player for some months, but as it didn't work out as planned he was asked to leave in May 1987. The group now continued as four-piece and in December 1987 another demo was recorded. This demo showed an even more guitar-oriented and musically experimental side of the band, still in the party-mode of course. These songs are some of the best that has ever emerged from this band, which might show in the selection of material for this CD. Despite the top-class material, sound and performance the band surprisingly enough didn't get a deal. With a never-creasing flow of song-material, the band went into the studio again in 1989 to record yet another demo. This time the material was not as party-oriented, but more similar to what was later found in bands like Mr.Big: great musical performance, well-arranged songs, great melodies and lots of nice musical twists. In April 1989, after having received some interest from a record-company they did a re-recording of ""Paradise Ride" (taken from 1989 demo). The record-company however wanted them to to appear on a compilation-CD that comes with the book "The Encyclopedia Of Swedish Hard Rock And Heavy Metal 1970-1996" (Premium Publishing).
In June 1989 Spellbound made their last live-appearance at Barowiak in Uppsala. The Foursome now lost their hope and interest in continuing and found it was now time to put the band to rest. Hasse went on to the more pop/rock-oriented band Solid Blue, who won the 1991 Swedish Rock championship. First price was the recording of an album, which was later released on Roine Stolt's Foxtrot label. Hasse is now also part of Roine Stolt's symphonic/progressive band The Flowerkings. He had also made some gigs with the party-cover band Highway Stars. Thompson continued doing cover-gigs and also played with Jocke for a few months, Jocke recorded two album with symphonic rocker Simon Steensland and is now part of Glenn Hughes backing-band. Jocke, Ola and former Crawley bassist Sampo Axelsson are also working with their new band Frog. Alf is now writing music on computer, working mostly with keyboards. Alf and his brother Ola are also playing jazz.
On October 7, 1995, the five members from the original line-up made a highly memorable reunion gig at a party in Uppsala. The reason was partly because the bands albums had now been re-issued on CD.
This text is taken from linernotes of Spellbound-CD with permission. Tack sa mycket Janne !
Present SPELLBOUND (2001- )
In the early 2001, the band met up at JJ's studio to work on some new songs.
6 songs were recorded, a couple co-written by Hans Froberg.
In 2002 a promo CD was released including 3 songs: "Drowning","My poor brain" and "Psychonaut".
The band are currently working on an album to released in 2004.
SPELLBOUND are :
Hans (Hasse) Froberg - Vocals
(also working with Swedish progrock ensemble "The Flower Kings")
Jocke "JJ" Marsh - Guitar
(also working with Glenn Hughes and Joe Lynn Turner)
Thomas Thomson - Bass guitar
Ola Strandberg - Drums
L to R: JJ Marsh, Ola Strandberg, Hasse Froberg, Thomson (2002)