Sweden's Backyard Babies are really taking off big time. Riding on their bad machine's filled to the maximum with diesel and power, these subculture heroes are kicking up some serious dust! Guitarist Dregen recently played on Ginger (The Wildhearts) forthcoming soloalbum, on the song "If I was you, I'd Kiss Me". Backyard Babies will also open for Alice Copper on 24th-26th in London as well as appearing on Hultsfred and Roskilde festivals, the two biggest rockevents in northern Europe.
Due to the successful developement of Backyard Babies, guitarist Dregen had to leave his other band, Hellacopters. Hellacopters were formed in November 1994 for fun by Dregen, Nicke Andersson (Entombed. Ledfoot), Kenny Håkansson and Robert Eriksson (Sewergrooves, God Kills, Celleborn). The band built up a fanbase as Backyard Babies had to sit out their contract on Megarock Records. Hellcopters' debutalbum "Supershitty To the Max", a tremendous garage/punk affair, hit hard and suddenly Dregen played in two major bands.
As Backyard Babies rose from the ashes, the situation became a bit difficult. Hellacopters and Backyard Babies toured a lot together and Dregen played two shows a night (ouhh - that guy has to inject powder to manage). That wasn't a permanent solution however and as both band grew, Dregen's double-dealing became precarious.
On May 16th, the departure was official. There are no hard feelings between the bands. Hellacopters better start looking for a guitarist as they'll hit the road within a couple of weeks. This time without Dregen. Its a bit odd that Hellcopters vocalist Nicke Andersson recently left his former, and successful band, Entombed. I thought that Hellacopters had discussed this matter and that all members were going to put a lot of power in the project. Therefore Im a bit surprised that Dregen has decided to split. One can speculate how this will affect the Hellacopters. Musicwise there shouldn't be much difference since Andersson wrote the most. It might hurt them in some other areas though, Dregen was their face in the media and the posterboy of rock in Sweden.
Dregen has previously denied all rumours and questions that he will have to choose between the bands. He told Stardust Webzine (http://www.scuzz.com/stardust/) a couple of months ago on the case of double loyalties ... Ive never thought of it that way. It's like, who do you like most - mum or dad? It's all rock 'n' roll... it's not a competition about selling records. Everybody's huge friends.. I asked him, after a show, as late as this April if things werent growin to big for him to handle but he insisted that there was no problem. I guess it finally came to close.
I've heard some Hellacopters-followers calling Dregen an opportunist, choosing the biggest of the two bands. Forget it, he shouldn't be damned. Dregen has been in Backerd Babies since the beginning ten years ago. It seems like a logical choice to me. Both bands should benefit from this decision...
Dregen photo taken from: Backyard Babies official site