It all started back in 1979 when Magnus (guitar) first met Anders (vocals) and Tommy (bass) at the local music store where Magnus worked at the time. These 3 rockers formed a band called Hazy and together with drummer Rolf Holmström they began playing mostly covers by Rush , Judas Priest and UFO along with the first batch of original tunes. They spent most of the time in their rehearsal studio until the band called it quits in 1980.
While Anders kept the name HAZY and continued with a new lineup, Magnus and Tommy decided to stay together and start out anew under the the banner of Iron Haze an outfit which later evolved into Black Stone. They tried their luck with several musicians, but failed to find the ultimate match they were looking for.
Meanwhile Anders got to meet Michael (guitar) and Mats (drums) again in the music store. The agreed on joining forces with Hazy and where quickly seen playing gigs around their hometown. Hazy, however , went nowhere fast. These three men took the next obvious step and formed a new band luring Tommy into their ranks during the process. Both Anders and Michael were strutting their guitars at the time and in early 1981 they convinced Magnus into becoming a member of the new troop as well. Upon his arrival Anders only took over lead vocalist duties and Axewitch was officially
They immediately started writing their own songs, as well as playing various covers by bands like Trust and Judas Priest . Initially they mostly gigged in their hometown but later quickly built up a good reputation resulting in bookings all over Sweden
In January 1982 they went into a local studio to cut their first demo featuring three songs- two originals "Axewitch" and "Nightmare" and a remake of the Judes Priest classic "Beyond the realms of death". The tape recieved an encouraging response from both magazines and record companies though at the time none of the A&R men seemed to be willing to offer them the cherished recording contract.
Undeterred, Axewitch re-entered the studio in the summer of 82 to lay down sessions for their first 12" EP called "Pray for metal". As an entirely self-financed affair, it was soon released on the band's own label Axe Records imprint in a limited an highly collectable 500 copies pressing and sporting no less than 6 different colours of vinyl variations the red ones being the scarcest of the bunch. Suffice to say, these differing versions have since become very sought-after items.
Finally, in late 82 a Stockholm-based record company called "Web records" approached the band with the intent of re-releasing "Pray for metal" and while the ink on the newly signed deal with WEB subsidiary "Fingerprint records" was still drying another 1000 EPs were pressed. Shortly thereafter "Pray for metal" soared straight in at number seven of the heavy metal charts as one of the ten best selling import metal records in England
In july 83 Axewitch entered the legendary Decibel studios in Stockholm (Heavy Load, Yngwie Malmsteen) to record their debut album "The Lord Of Flies" with Torch producer Olle Larsson overseeing the proceedings from the mixing desk. The LP gainded great reviews and sold very well on home turf, crashing the Swedish charts with an impressive number seven.
In December of the same year Axewitch played their debut (the very first of its kind) Swedish heavy metal tour all around the country, combined with two other domestic hopefuls, Torch and Silver mountain. Despite bordering on the brinks of finacial disaster at the times, the tour turned out to be a successful promotional endeavour and was well recieved by both audiences and press - a highlight in terms of media coverage was without any doubt an extensive tour report by OKEJ magazine, Sweden's biggest music publication in the early 1980s. Plans were then set afoot for the trek to set sail for Germany and southern Europe as well, but the band's utter disappointment lack of monetary funding prevented this idea from ever becom a reality. On a more positive note, "The Lord of Flies"garnered licensing interest from abroad and was released by Megaton records and Discotto respectivly
Now the ball was rolling for Axewitch and the summer of 84 saw them returning to Decibel studios in Stockholm to record their follow-up album "Visions Of The Past" once agin with Olle at the helm and assisted by Robban Wellerfors and Tomas Sunnmo. In a smart move the band also released a 12" single called "Stand up" which quickly mutated into an unexpected success story when entered the Swedish Rock singel charts as a staggering number nine. Before "Stand up", a triumph like this was pretty much unheard of the exponents of music as heavy as Axewitch
The album itself settled for a solid entry as number 12 in the Swedish hard rock album listing, and on the back of its domestic prosperity Fingerprint records managed to negotiate license agreements for other parts of the globe. Neat records gladly accepted the offer to issue "Visions Of The Past" in the UK, Roadrunner records did likewise for continental Europe and Banzai records in Canada even gave the LP an official release in cassette format. However, communication between the band and Fingerprint records at the time was in some what inadequate, to put it mildly, and this may explain why AXEWITCH were well aware of the Neat deal but never knew about the other international releases until they learned the hard facts many moons later.
In early 85 bass player Tommy Brage decided to part ways and was replaced by Magnus Hedin. This new AXE WITCH line-up toured Sweden for several months.
Between shows Magnus and Anders managed to write lots of new songs and around sprin time they locked themselfs in the studio to record pre-production demos for their third full lenght album. Things seemed to be moving smoothly when all of a sudden another shift rocked the band's very foundation, promting the Johansson brothers to pack their bags and leave in the summer.(Mats would later re-appear in Skinny Horse).
Despite this loss Axewitch commenced with the recording of their new LP, "Hooked On High Heels" at Stage and Music studios in Norrköping later that summer. The album was supposed to be completed in the familiar surroundings of Decibel studios but when Fingerprint missed paying the bills Axewitch had to go elsewhere.
The band now consisted of Magnus, Anders and Magnus Hedin on bass, with Klas Wollberg adding further guitar licks to some of the album tracks. Since they had failed to find a competent drummer, good friend of the band, named Per-Ove Johansson sat in as a surrogate musician and provided for a rock-solid rhythm. New skins-man Abbe "Abbey" Enhörning arrived a little too late to leave his own mark on "Hooked on high heels". By the time he joined AXEWITCH the recordings were already finished. Although his picture can be seen onthe back cover of the LP, he didn't play a single note on it.
When "Hooked on high heels" hit the streets it sported "artwork" that practically defied description. Take one look at the sleeve and you'll surely agree that this is one hell of a top contender for any "Ugliest cover of the 80s" competition. Axewitch asked to see the blueprint upfront but the record company claimd that there wouldn't be enough time to mail it out because manufacturing arrangements were imminent. It's hard not to imagine how shocked the band was when they first spotted the finished product in the stores.
After AXEWITCH Anders engaged in a few solo projects. Magnus continued playing with the remains of the band which they renamed SLEAZY ROZE. Under this new banner they released two singles and finally, years later, a full-length album entitled "Caution, the filling is hot". Magnus is heard on some of its basic tracks but had already left the band by the time the LP came out.
After that episode Magnus replaced guitarist Robban Persson in the band STRAIGHT UP who did good business in Sweden at that time, playing the Hultsfred festival and had one album out. The band was nominated to Best Hardrock act in Sweden that year. His old buddy Ralf Petersson was also in the line-up. They recorded an as-of-yet unreleased second record in 1996. Magnus then played drums in an outfit called TRASH CANS, which was a purely hobby-driven project.
Anders and Ralph formed QUEST which also featured Abbey's talents on drums. Later on Anders renewed contact with Mats and they started a new band called REGENT with Anders taking on keyboard duties and Ralph playing the guitar. Joined by a new bass player and singer they delved deeply into a more symphonic style of rock but failed to release any product.
Meanwhile Michael began a new career working as a sound engineer.
In Aug 1991 the original AXEWITCH line-up decided to play a tenth year anniversary show in there home town, at a big local music event called Nykvarn festival..
Klas Wollberg, guitarist on the Hooked On high Heels album sadly died in 1996 after years of drug abuse.
Ten years after Klas tragic death, Axewitch rejoined for a 25 years anniversary gig at the Ghost Riders MC venue in their hometown Linköping. All the guys from the original line up, except for Tommy Brage the bass player, got together for the event. Tommy was replaced by Lasse Fallman the former bass player in Straight up. The gig was a success and Axewitch decided to start rehearsing for a comeback.
A couple of gigs were made in 2007 and the breakthrough came when SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL called and wanted them to play at the event in the summer of 2008 along with mastodonts like JUDAS PRIEST, SAXON, ELO, TESLA and GOTTHARD to name a few.
Axwitch is for the moment writing songs for the new upcoming album (not yet named). The recordings are going to take place at the Velvet studios outside Linköping starting this winter. Hopefully the album will be released in the spring/summer 2008.