Artist Introduction: Mando Diao

Well then… welcome to the very first artist introduction for this project. The album reviewed today, which will be revealed a wee bit later, is by a fusion of britpop sneer and hard garage rock Swedish sextet, Mando Diao. Mando Diao, based in Borlänge Sweden, is comprised of vocalist/songwriter/lead guitarist Gustaf Norén, vocalist/songwriter/rhythm guitarist Björn Dixgård, bassist/backing vocals Carl-Johan “CJ”Fogelklou, pianist/keyboardist Mats Björke, drummer Patrik “Patso” Heikinpiet (replaced Samuel Giers in 2011), and keyboardist/guitarist Daniel Haglund.

A picture of original lineup. (l to r) Haglund, Dixgard, Fogelklou, Noren, and Giers.

The band was founded in the late 1990’s around the year 1999. The original lineup  consisting of Norén, Dixgård, Fogelklou, Haglund and Giers until 2003 when Haglund left and was replaced by Björke. Their first album, Bring ‘Em In was release in 2002 through EMI Sweden.

The band hit international success in 2004 with their sophomore album Hurricane Bar. In 2006, the band release their third album, for which the international music press proclaimed their best album. For which we will see later today if the international music press is right in their claim. 2007 saw Mando Diao release their fourth studio album, Never Seen the Light of Day.

The lineup sans Haglund (from l to r): Bjorke, Giers, Noren, Dixgard, Fogelklou

In 2009 the group released their fifth studio album, Give Me Fire! In 2010, Mando Diao performed and recorded a live unplugged show in Berlin, Above and Beyond: MTV Unplugged. It was after this that drummer Samuel Giers left the band. He was replaced by Patrik Heikinpiet aka “Patso”. Last year (2012), the band released an album that was completely in Swedish, Infruset. All ten songs are poems from Swedish poet, Gustaf Fröding.

The current Mando Diao lineup (from l to r): Patso, Dixgard, Fogelklou, Noren, Bjorke, Haglund
The current Mando Diao lineup (from l to r): Patso, Dixgard, Fogelklou, Noren, Bjorke, Haglund

Mando Diao has toured all over Europe from their home town in Borlänge Sweden, to Germany, Austria, Italy, Russia, Hungary, Spain, the UK, Croatia, Czech Republic, the United States of America, and Japan. They have a huge fan base in Sweden, Germany, Austria, and Japan; although their influence seems to be spreading to Western Europe, most notably the United Kingdom.

They have played at various music festivals worldwide such as Coachella, Summer Sonic (Japan), Hurricane Festival, PinkPop, just to name a few. They even headlined the German leg of Live Earth in 2007.

Style of music: Mando Diao is a fusion of several different genres of rock. Here in the United States they would be considered Alternative Rock. But they are a very eclectic fusion of garage rock, blues rock, hard rock, and Britpop. I guess one could consider them Indie Rock, because of the fact they are not well known in the United States. That said: Mando Diao is a definite, HAVE to see live band to enjoy the full experience. The chemistry between Norén and Dixgård while performing is incredible.

Song Suggestion: “Sheepdog” from MTV Valencia Winter 09.


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