Graham Reid | | 5 min read
In 2012 I decided it was time for a massive change. I had spent so many years playing music in New Zealand and always seemed to get to the same place.
Through all the touring and traveling with past bands the one thing I heard a lot was, “I like your music but you live on the other side of the world”.
That always made it hard to break through. The one thing every musician wants is to play live and as much as possible.
So my wife and I made the decision to move to her hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden to start fresh with life in general.
We had six months before moving to Sweden and in that time I started to write music with a good friend of mine Kane Bennett. My old band had been on tour a few times with Kane (on the right in the photo with me, below) and his band Sonic Altar so we had build a good friendship from that.
We wrote and recorded almost an album worth of songs and called our project The Terrorhawks. When it was time to record the lead guitar parts for these songs we got Dave Hudson who was also in Kane’s band Sonic Altar, Dave had such a good style of playing and the songs really came to live.
That six months was awesome, we made these songs for fun and recorded them as demos.
And then I moved to Sweden.
I think the most craziest thing I’ve done in my life is move as far away as possible from New Zealand and start over again, by that I mean start over with everything.
I didn’t know anyone here in Gothenburg. I had no friends, no job and for the first time in years I had no band.
I was at the park with my kids and met one of my neighbors who were there with his kids.
I’ve always believed that if something is meant to happen then everything else will fall into place. We got talking and it turned out that he works for a company over here that brings bands and artists to Gothenburg. He sent an email out to some local promoters and a week later I was working as a stagehand for some awesome shows.
I ended up doing spotlights for Korn, set up drums for Slipknot, worked on the crew for Robert Plant and the list goes on.
I met lots of good people/friends doing this job and it started to feel like home.
One thing that was missing was the fact that I wasn’t playing music and it was killing me. The songs I’d written with Kane and Dave haunted me and I had planted the idea in their heads about moving to Sweden to start The Terrorhawks.
Of course it was an insane idea to move my mates over to the other side of the world to a place they had never been, with no job, no family and no place to live. Things weren’t happening with their band at home and this idea started to be taken a bit more seriously.
They decided to do the moved to Gothenburg and planned to be over here six months after their decision. So the work started for me here.
I found a place for them to live that had space downstairs for us to build a room to practice but there was a lot to think about with visas, jobs and even finding the rest of our band.
Kane is an amazing engineer so it seemed stupid for him not to continue recording bands. We ended up building a recording studio in our space downstairs. I started building the first two rooms before they got to Sweden and when they finally got here we started building the live room together.
We now have a full studio set up over here and called it Greyskull.
We have been recording local bands from Gothenburg including a band with a singer who used to sing for Nikki Sixx in a band called Brides Of Destruction.
Dave started stagehand work with me and I got Kane some more work doing lighting at our local bar/home called Sticky Fingers.
The first member we found for The Terrorhawks was John.
He was working at a music shop with a friend of mine and had actually asked me to play drums for his band.
In the end John ended up leaving his band and joining us.
We found our guitarist David not long after, we met him through some friends at a show in Gothenburg. Together we became The Terrorhawks (above).
We had the songs for the album ready and started to record with our new band. When it came to mixing the album we had one guy in mind.
We got in touch with Mike Exeter.
Mike has won a Grammy for his work on Black Sabbath's 13 and has also recorded the Heaven and Hell album and Judas Priest.
Kane had been friends with Mike for a few years as Mike had worked on one of Sonic Altars albums. We sent Mike over some of our songs and he was super-interested in working with us. Kane ended up flying over to the UK for a few weeks to start mixing with Mike (who is interviewed in the clip below).
Everything is in place now and we have been playing some good shows here.
Copenhagen has become a bit of a hot spot for us to play.
High Voltage is an amazing rock club and has had us there a few times.
A month ago we played their 2nd birthday with a turn-out of 900 people, Girls dancing on poles on top of the bar, free beer and a massive Jack Daniels cake to feed everyone.
It was almost like something out of a movie.
We have put out our first single You Can’t Take This and are getting ready to play Skogsröjet festival at the end of July with Skid Row and Europe!
It’s hard work over here as we are one in thousands of bands but we have taken the risk and are super proud of what we have done so far.
The future is both scary and exciting.
High Voltage images courtesy of Philip B Hansen. Band photo by Andy Hayball.
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