Discography and Story


Vapen And Ammunition
Discography and Story

If you think a band starting with an excellent album can't do others always better still.. then you might be wrong.

Kent - The Story
Kent was formed around 1989. Before that it was Jocke, singer, and Sami, guitarist, playing around together. By 1990 they had recruited Thomas Bergqvist as synth player, Martin Sköld as bass player and Markus Mustonen as drummer. Their name was Jones & Gifted.
In the autumn of 1990 they have their first gigs and in November they are played on swedish radio for the first time. It's a local radio station, Radio Sörmland, who plays their demo and interviews them.
The year after they win a rock band competition, Cult '91, in their home town Eskilstuna.
They were the only band singing in swedish.
After some time of sending out demos, EMI gets slightly interested. They comes with a suggestion. Why not write a rap song?
So Jocke and Martin writes some rap over a melody they already have.
EMI is not impressed.
And neither is Jones & Gifted.
'Den är stor, den är grön, den är hög' - It is big, it is green, it is high.
But they get a gig in Stockholm and they play the rap song. It sounded shit and they decide to never listen to what anyone says ever again. And until this day they have kept that promise.
Now it's time for Thomas Bergqvist to go into the military service and the rest of the members dont want a military guy in the band so they fire him and in comes Martin Roos as guitarist. The talk with Thomas was the hardest thing they had ever done and he took it very badly.
Along with the change they change name as well. From Jones & Gifted to Havsänglar - Sea Angels.
The name came from when Jocke and Martin sat and watched tv while drinking some beer and it was this nature show on. The name Havsänglar is mentioned and they believe it is the name of this big cool ray fish.
After a while Sami goes to the library to read a bit about it. What he founds is not exactly pleasant.
It was actually not a ray fish, in fact it was a tiny little fish with disgusting eyes popping out from the sludge. The fish is living at the bottom of the sea.
Happy and pleased, Sami confronts the rest of the band with the new facts.
But even with the new info about their name the band decides to stick with it for so long.
So in 1992 they record another demo with three songs: Håll I Mig - Hold me, Vintervila - Winter rest and Ögon - Eyes.
At the same time the swedish indie pop wave is starting with Wannadies and Popsicle breaking through.
They go to EMI again as well as MNW and it don't go too well. They learn that the people most uninterested in music are people working as A&R's in record companies.
During one gig in Stockholm they end up playing alongside Brainpool and Bob Hund. The latter had already impressed the band so much that they cover one of their songs during the gig.
During 1993 the band moves in sections to Stockholm. Now they want to really break through.
One day Jocke plays the demo to Stacka Bo (Johan Renck) and he goes totally quiet and later says that it is 'fantastic'. The word is starting to spread.
And then after a gig they suddenly change their name from Havsänglar to Kent. And they put on suits.
'We have always been very film interested. After we had seen "Reservoir Dogs" we felt we should have suits on" - Sami.
The name Kent was given by Jocke's brother, but they were quite worried about the name.
But they decide to stick with it.
'If a band's name is bad but the band is good the name becomes good.' - Martin Sköld
1994 was the year it all broke loose.
They record an 11 song demo which their friend, who worked at BMG, started playing for all the 'important' people. The A&R on BMG thinks it's too much indie. And the MNW boss started talking Radio Hits instantly, which Kent hated and left straight after.
But then after a gig with the Cardigans, BMG re-thinks and offers them a contract.
Later in the summer they play their first concert at the Hultsfred Festival. Although in a beer tent.
Liam Gallagher as well as the bassist of Blur are there watching.
They don't have pleasant words to say afterwards. Live they were still not too fit.
In the autumn they start recording their debut album. Placed deep in the swedish forests they were isolated and couldn't go outside if you didn't have an orange west on, due to the hunting season.
To kill the time they went to the local grocery shop and bought peas and pea guns and had pea wars inside the studio inbetween recordings.
'Nille Perned, the producer, refused to die. He was like a little kid 'No, I shot you first!'. He always cheated.' - Martin
After the recordings it is clear that only four of the demo songs will be on the album. The rest is newly written material from the summer and the weeks before recording.
15th of March 1995 the album is released. It is called Kent.
It gets great reviews and 4 out of 5 by both Aftonbladet and Expressen. The two biggest newspapers in Sweden.
And the first proper tour starts.
In the summer they play the Lollipop final in Stockholm. Alongside Paul Weller and The Stone Roses.
20000 people were there to see Kent. And in the crowd was Harri Mänty.
After the gig the band starts rehearsing for their second album. And suddenly Martin Roos tells the band he has had enough. He decides to leave and concentrate on a record company career instead.
They find Harri Mänty, a friend of Roos', and asks him to join. He hesitates not even for a second.
Before the first concert Harri is about to throw up, but makes it. Afterwards he is dragged into a photo shoot and the band tells him 'Now you are stuck with us!'.
Kräm - Cream/Yoghurt, is released as a single and on the same day Kent gets their first Grammy for Best Swedish Band.
Verkligen, their second album is released and gets even greater reviews than their debut. 5 out of 5 in Aftonbladet, for example.
Kräm enters as number one on Tracks, the swedish radio top list.
A massive swedish tour starts again. Kent is taking Sweden by storm.
After the tour they take two months off. And the suits are put in the closet for good.
The two months passes fastly and it is time to record the third album. They go to Belgium for doing so.
It is decided Nille will produce again but they feel that maybe they should try another one, so Nille suggests the sound engineer Zed. And he accepts.
In Novemeber Isola, their third album, is released. And the praise is once again in the newspapers and by the fans. 'Their greatest effort so far!'
In April it is released as an english version as well.
'Why in english? I don't know. To be able to play abroad. We didn't have to prove anything there. All was ahead. Nothing to lose.' - Sami
'We hadn't have a free time for several years...And then we decide to record the record in english. It wasn't healthy thinking.' - Markus
'Almost all believed it was the record company pushing us, but they actually said it probably wouldn't give anything. Lyrically it was awful. English against swedish is a fucking job. Nothing to recommend. ' - Jocke
After the release of the swedish album they head out for yet another massive tour. And straight after they go out to take Europe in May 1998.
'Some idiot sent out a PM in England saying that we were Sweden's answer to Radiohead. That was a neck shot. All wrote that and suddenly we were less interesting in the british eyes. And to play in London is to play in Stockholm x10. Incredibly stale.' - Martin
They do a bunch of gigs in England and then in February 1999 they go across the ocean to USA. As support band to their old friends the Cardigans.
Radio stations in USA has started playing 'If You Were Here'. The 2-3000 people they play to every night responds well to Kent and they feel it is going their way.
Martin Roos is back in the band. He has gone tired of the record company buisness and Kent asked him to be their manager.
'The problem in USA is that they expect a cigar smoking fat bastard. Due to me looking as one in the band I had to dress up in a suit again.' Martin Roos
During a stop in Minneapolis Harri goes out late in the night for buying a pizza. After eight hours of driving someone looks into Harri's sleeping booth in the bus and finds it empty.
He meets up with the band two days after.
'The Harri incident? I can not take care of him sleep walking. They are adult people.' - Martin Roos
After a few weeks in Sweden they go back to USA as support band to Papa Vegas.
This time the tour wasn't fun at all. They were tired and worn out. They then understood that America is rather big.
'Most people in USA have no idea. 'So you're from Sweden. That's up north right?'
But it's also nice when they don't have any before made opinions from where you come from.' - Sami
'I would never want to go back there if it means my private life gets lost.' - Jocke
The tour is anyway rather succefull and the major cities have their ears and eyes open for Kent.
Most likely they should have gone back in the autumn. But then Kent would probably be no longer.
Instead, they are back in Sweden and plan their fourth album already. While playing lots of festivals in Sweden. They discussed what they should do and due to it going so well they didn't wanted a vacation. Even being so tired and messed up.
So Kent goes to Denmark and records 25 songs, most which had come out from the touring in USA.
The goal was to make it dancey and easier. It turned out to be the opposite.
The mixing and selection of songs are made in a Stockholm studio.
The album, Hagnesta Hill, goes straight into the number one spot in the swedish charts. Again they get raving reviews.
And again they make an english version of the album, along with some bonus songs.
They are ready to really take USA this time.
They think.
The tour starts fairly good. But then suddenly the american people stops calling.
Probably realising it will be cheaper to break through with an american band that didn't have any demands on equipment, instead.
'In USA we should have chosen an Indie Company. Then you can be played on different college radiostations who might dispise a band being on a big company.' - Martin
'What went wrong? Who knows..maybe Kent should have had an american manager? We met a few people but it didn't work. RCA didn't really know how to promote the band.' - Martin Roos
9th March 2000.
The high point on the Hagnesta Hill tour. In an outsold Hovet in Stockholm they play a rousing gig with the Ark as support band.
In the summer they make a mini tour with Teddybears STHML and Sahara Hotnights. After that they decide to take as long vacation as possible.
The greatest decsion they have made 'til this day.
In November 2000 they release a double B-side collection though. But no concerts or anything. Kent is out of the media circus. The album gets amazing reviews 'as usual'.
Kent plays two concerts in 2001. A Globen special for companies. And a special concert at the Hultsfred Festival. But other than that, nothing.
Until the autumn of 2001. Jocke has started getting down songs again. It's time to think about a new album. Their fifth one.
Kent is hungry again.
So in April 2002 they release Vapen & Ammunition.
A 10 song album with all potential hit singles according to the band itself.
'In some ways it would be nice to make a real flop even here at home with this record. It is starting to get a bit awkward with all these good reviews. We can't have slept with all journalist could we? - Sami
'We have talked about that it should be time to even flop here at home because it has gone too good before. But totally honest - the record is fantastically good. If the swedish people doesn't like this - then it is the ultimate proof that all others are completely dumb in their heads.' - Jocke
He has not to worry. When the record was released and reviewed it was called the greatest swedish rock album ever. As the band is praised as the greatest swedish rock band since Ebba Grön.
They are currently starting a tour which will take them through Sweden and parts of Europe this summer.
Ironically alongside the old lead singer of Ebba Grön, Joakim Thåström.
The future looks only bright.
Kent has always been compared with Radiohead. Especially in their early years. Because strangely enough, their first three records have all been very similar. Even though beeing made around the same time.
As Kent, their debut, was angst youth pop-rock, so was Radiohead's Pablo Honey.
As Verkligen, was the perfection of pop-rock, so was Radiohead's The Bends.
As Isola, was a further step in the spaceiness and refined work inside Kent, so was Radiohead's OK Computer.
But where Radiohead slipped deeper and deeper into their own self observed minds and hatred against 'the mainstream', Kent refined and polished what they had made with Isola. They go slowly towards perfection of their sound and their spirits and thoughts about music.
And as Vapen and Ammunition fades out in your ears, you realise that Kent has found their meaning.
When Radiohead has in some ways lost the plot.
With Kent, Verkligen, Isola, Hagnesta Hill and Vapen & Ammunition, Kent have made the strongest consecutive list of albums in a row in swedish rock history. And all the albums would be able to fit in a top 10 list of swedish rock albums.
So what is there more for Kent to do now? Well, to make the list even longer.
Being alongside Ebba Grön as the two bands who refined and made swedish music what it is today.
And for a very, very long time to come.


Kent - 95
The first album by Kent. It has the youth spirit and raw feelings as only debut albums can have. In the blossoming years for swedish indie pop they came into the scene with music sung in swedish. A mini revolution was made and Kent was praised by most critics and gain themselfs a very devoted fan base which still is as strong as it was at the start.
With songs as Blajeans - Blue Jeans and Nar Det Blaser Pa Manen - When It Blows On The Moon they got into the spotlight of the casual listener as well and the entire album was filled with potential hit singles. Young people took Kent to their hearts for the way they sang and described the angst of teenage years and all its problems.
This record is about heart. The knowing that what they do, will take them somewhere else.
They would never be able to make an album as this today, just as they would not be able to debut with Hagnesta Hill.
Verkligen - Really - 96
Released on the exact same date as their debut album the follow up was even darker in its lyrics and the atmosphere was filled with darkness. But in the darkness there were the occasional pop songs such as Halka - Slide and with Kram - Cream they truelly got their 'hit'. It topped every chart imaginable on radio and tv. And with their constant touring they just widened the fan base and popularity.
Gravitation was another single from the album and the video to the song became a little scream at society. It got critisied for its violence and female brutality. Which, in reality, that was what the video was criticising.
At the release it was ranked by most journalists as one of the finest moments in swedish rock. With the maginificent mixture of strings and melodies it was truelly a landmark. And Jocke Berg had started to find his voice and what he could do with it. Though the production sounding slightly dated today it is still among most people's favourite Kent album. Maybe for what Jocke did lyrically.
As with the chorus to the beautiful 10 Minuter (For Mig Sjalv) - 10 Minutes (For Myself), Jocke reached a high point. But definitely not the last one.
Allt jag ville saga - All I wanted to say
glomde jag ikvall - I forgot tonight
Allt jag ville vara beholl jag - All I wanted to be I kept to myself
alltid for mig sjalv - Always for myself
A sum up of what most Kent lyrics are about. Cowardness, fear and anxiety. Never any connections to images, just right on the spot. As every heart feel sometimes.
Isola - 97
Jag lyssnar efter regn - I listen after rain
Elektricitet i luften - Electricity in the air
& det var sa langesen - And it was so long ago
att Jag glomt bort hur det kanns - That I have forgotten how it feels
att komma hem - To come home
Snow and rain mixed in a grey slush. It is December and you wake up to darkness. It is cold and you hear the wind outside. You are preparing yourself for going to school or work. But you have no will at all.
That is Sweden during the winter. For a lot of people. Surely the mood comes and goes.  But in 1997 everything was quite dark for most people. And suddenly you get the feeling what music can do for you.
When you thought Kent couldn't possible get any bigger they released their most succeful album to date. Another landmark in their history due to that they also released the album with english vocals and lyrics.
But also that as an album Kent truelly found their soul and how they wanted to sound in this record. If the debut was raw and the follow up a bit too polished and grey they did genious strokes on Isola, of painting landscapes so vivid and so powerful resembling the mood of most swedish small towns, it was as important to the 20 something people as the debut album was for the teenagers. As mentioned earlier this became the soundtrack to probably ten thousands and ten thousands of swedes during a very cold and dark winter year.
As a whole the album flows extremely well and what makes it so great is that even with it flowing as an album you can pick any song to be a single. Wether it was the romantic Celsius, the dooming mood and soundtrack of Sweden as 747 was (they lyrics above are taken from the first verse) or the twisted pop jewel Elvis.
It made people with scars in their souls find a companion. But it made the darkness look so beautiful.
A classic album if it ever was one.
Hagnesta Hill - 99
Kent's fourth album and definitely their most difficult one. Both for them to make but also for the public to take in. The first single, Musik Non Stop, from it came as a slight shock to the public with it's catchy bass line and funky disco beats. But it was definitely as great as anything they had released. But also a very big fooling. On the album it was nothing close to the same sound as the first single. Except Musik Non Stop and some other it was definitely their darkest and scariest album. With the lyrics circulating around the home town, Eskilstuna, it has the paranoia feelings and the frustrations of not coming anywhere. But it also has the love of coming home. If that makes sense. But it was mostly written on the road, while they were touring for over a year. As you can read by these lyrics it shines through.
Och sa gar hjartat mitt sonder - And so my heart breaks apart
Det har varit ett ensamt ar - It has been a lonely year
Jag ska aldrig ignorera dig igen - I will never ignore you again
Jag ska aldrig ignorera karleken - I will never ignore love
Det ar mitt nyarslofte - That is my New Year's resolution
It is taken from the weakest track, Cowboys, on the record but lyrically as you can see, probably one of the best ones.
But the best song on the album, and also the best Kent song ever is Stoppa Mig Juni (Lilla Ego) - Stop Me June (Little Ego). For me personally the most astonishing song and most beautiful one. Again about cowardness...about fears..and about loneliness.
Den har kanslan som Jag har - This feeling that I have
Ar inte min - Is not mine
Den blev kvar, ar den din? - It was left here, is it yours?
Den smakar som Du... - It taste like You...
Det ar tarar - It is tears
Kan man grata som en karl? - Can you cry like a man?
Snalla Du forlat mig - Please You, forgive me
Jag glomde vem Jag var - I forgot who I was
snalla sluta lyssna - Please stop listening
Glom allt Jag sa - Forget all I said
Jag mar bra - I am fine
Du maste lamna mig i fred - You must leave me alone
Still ranked by some of the fanbase as Kent's most distinguished and most soul aching record.
People can say the record is a bit too long, it has one or two songs that is a bit sub-standard. But that doesn't matter at all. Hagnesta Hill is a mood. Hagnesta Hill is a living thing. Inside that plastic thing you have a world breathing and shining and giving hopes and crashes.
Hagnesta Hill is is very much a masterpiece.
B-Sidor 95-00 - 2000
While Kent was taking a well deserved break from the music scene and all its meanings, they released this double compilation cd of out takes and B-sides. Including two of Kent's best songs they have ever made. Namely Rodljus and En Helt Ny Karriar. Which was the b-sides to the hit single Kram in 96.
Kent has always been known as a very solid B-side band so the cd was welcomed and rated very well.
Maybe not a solid album, but are compilations ever that?, it had its highs and its lows.
But it proves that Kent never waste any energies on recording crap songs. Wether it is for a single or for an album.


"When art has got to sell itself, it cease to be art and it become a commerce like anything else."