Introduction

I created this webpage as a reference and dictionary for the history and legacy of the hard rock band Genocide from my home town Gävle, Sweden. The reason was merely to write the history down before I forget. I was part of the journey for lots of years as a friend of the band members and also as their sound technician some of the years. Listed in chronological order as I remembered it.

Enjoy!
Mikael Sköld


Return

It all started in Bomhus, a suburb south-southeast of Gävle, around 1975. There was four classmates and friends who started the their first band ever - Return. The four guys were Kari Toppinen (guitar), Stefan Eriksson (guitar), Christer Sillén (bass guitar and vocals) and finally Paul Torstensson (drums). Very shortly after they started a fifth member joined on bass guitar, Kent Fernlund, which led Christer Sillén to concentrate on vocals only.

The music they played was mainly covers by likes of Status Quo, Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple etc. The guys in Return played together on and off throughout the school years until the end of 1979 when Stefan was approached by a band from Strömsbro, another suburb (north-east) of Gävle. Stefan joined them around 1980 and the band was called Thunderfly.

Stefan also participated in a school project musical band, which consisted of Stefan Eriksson (g), Richard Helmersson (g), Jan Karlsson (d) and Peter Eriksson (b).

The band line-up was the following:

  • Kari Toppinen (g)
  • Stefan Eriksson (g)
  • Kent Fernlund (b)
  • Christer Sillén (v)&(b)
  • Paul Torstensson (d)

Thunderfly

When Stefan Eriksson joined the band Thunderfly in Strömsbro, the lineup was complete to founder and lead guitarist Håkan Englund. They played a truly blues-based hardrock with strong influential roots in Deep Purple and Ritchie Blackmore's guitar style. Other influences was Thin Lizzy and Black Sabbath.

The lineup was Stefan Eriksson (g), Håkan Englund (g), Patrik Englin (d) and Björn Arnell (b). They were later joined by a singer from Stockholm, Peter Sjöstedt (v), who in a short while would be the start and foundation of the upcoming band Genocide. Thunderfly already had three of the founding members of Genocide.

The band line-up was the following:

  • Stefan Eriksson (g)
  • Håkan Englund (g)
  • Björn Arnell (b)
  • Peter Sjöstedt (v)
  • Patrik Englin (d)

Thunderfly

In 1981 Stefan and Patrik joined Kari Toppinen and Kent Fernlund for a pre-version of Genocide, at the time they had no name. Håkan Englund and Peter Sjöstedt was left alone after the departure of Björn Arnell, so they put out ads for a bass player and a drummer. At the time there was a "fight" between the two bands Thunderfly and yet unnamed Genocide. They tore down each others ads and concert posters in the city, until Peter and Håkan realized that this wouldn't lead anywhere. One day Peter and Håkan went up to Polhemsskolan where Kari, Stefan, Kent and Patrik had their rehersal studio. They discussed on how to work together and help each other instead of destroying. During this conversation Kent left for a toilet brake and during this short brake the others decided to have a jam. Stefan played bass, Kari and Håkan guitar, Patrik drums and Peter on vocals. They really liked what they heard, so by the time Kent returned from the toilet, he was fired/replaced.

The lineup was Stefan Eriksson (b), Håkan Englund (g), Patrik Englin (d), Kari Toppinen (g) and Peter Sjöstedt (v). This version of Thunderfly didn't last very long.

The band line-up was the following:

  • Kari Toppinen (g)
  • Håkan Englund (g)
  • Stefan Eriksson (b)
  • Peter Sjöstedt (v)
  • Patrik Englin (d)

Genocide
Genocide

After the short-lived second line-up of Thunderfly, Håkan was let go and Kent was back in the band as the bass player and Stefan once again back on guitar. This was set to be the most successful and most popular hard rock band in the region for the three years they were intact. Genocide was born.

Genocide initially played a lot of covers, but soon started to write their own material. The original line-up with Stefan Eriksson (g), Kari Toppinen (g), Patrik Englin (d), Kent Fernlund (b) and Peter Sjöstedt (v) only made one studio recording - The demo from 1982, recorded in Mora Träsk Studio with Gert-Ove "Prikken" Smedlund as producer.

The classic lineup started by playing small gigs in Gävle and struggled some in the beginning. Reason for that was partly because Gävle was heavily influenced by the Punk Rock era and the later half of the Disco era. Giving up was never their intention, but facing another small gig in the Youth Club Café of Rotskärsskolan, Skutskär, they said to each other "If nothing happens in the near future, we might just call it a day!".

It turned out to be the turning-point for the band. They played before an ecstatic audience for over two (2) hours, even though their material was less than that. The audience wouldn't let them stop or even leave the stage. They played some songs twice, just to please the crowd. After that gig the crowd in Skutskär promised to attend the next concert, which was the gig in the basement club Cafe Q in Gävle.

On that Saturday night of April 17, 1982, Genocide took over the prestigious throne of the most audiences attractive act of Cafe Q. Before that night, more famous bands like Zeke Varg, Quiet and Utrikes Affärer was reigning the throne. The place was packed to the rafters.

As mentioned before, the band only made one studio recording (Demo from february 1982) in the classic line-up. There is however a couple of live recordings left from that classic line-up. The first one is a private (bootleg) recording done on a mono cassette recorder when the band played a gig in Stenebergsparken (Brynäs), Gävle. This was a normal Thursday evening July 15th 1982 on "Sommarrock". The setlist for that gig was the following:

  1. The Ideas Of March
  2. Fly High
  3. Star
  4. In Trance
  5. Gang Bang
  6. Running Free
  7. Solider
  8. Dreamer
  9. Hey Girl
  10. Horgalåten
  11. Hallowed Be Thy Name
  12. Helldriver

The other live recording of the classic line-up was aired on the local radio channel. Genocide attended a musical competition that was held at Folkparken, Gävle, and aired by Radio Gävleborg 1983. The setlist for that evening was the following:

  1. Dark City
  2. Flash Of Lightning
  3. Angel Eye

When Peter and his family decided to move back to Stockholm, the band started to struggle as they couldn't practice as often as before (as a whole band). Also the song writing process was damaged as they had to give Peter tapes that he wrote lyrics to instead of doing that together during practice. This lead to the split of the classic line-up in the end of 1984.

The classic line-up was the following:

  • Kari Toppinen (g)
  • Stefan Eriksson (g)
  • Kent Fernlund (b)
  • Peter Sjöstedt (v)
  • Patrik Englin (d)

Icarus (Genocide / Zircus)
Studio note

In the remains of Genocide Kari and Kent stayed on reforming a new band that would become Icarus. The name was never used outside the demo disc with the two songs "Free Me" and "In Love With You", but the studio note (studio log book) from that recording shows that they were not at all agreed on the name.

The band made only one studio recording under the name Icarus and the line-up on that recording was the following:

  • Kari Toppinen (g)
  • Kent Fernlund (b)
  • Michael Olsson (v)
  • Peter "Tjobba" Åsblom (d)

Scandinavian Skies

When Kent Fernlund left, Kari formed a completely new band - Scandinavian Skies was born. The line-up varied a bit during the years they were active.

The band made only one studio recording under the name Scandinavian Skies and the line-up on that recording was the following:

  • Kari Toppinen (g)
  • Jonas (Jonte) Ekwall (g)
  • Göran (Gurra) Westblom (b)
  • Micke Linder (v)
  • Jan Karlsson (d)

Scandinavian Skies

The second line-up was (I believe):

  • Kari Toppinen (g)
  • Jonas (Jonte) Ekwall (g)
  • Göran (Gurra) Westblom (b)
  • Anders Appelquist (v)
  • Jan Karlsson (d)

Scandinavian Skies

The third line-up of Scandinavian Skies was born when Jonas, Göran and Jan left the band. Kari once again was joined by Kent and a new drummer, Håkan Åstrand (d). There is no studio recording from this setting featured the now known drummer of Electric Religions. There might be a self-recorded tape from one of the bands sessions in the rehersal room. If I get hold of that - it will be on this site.

The band made no studio recording under the line-up:

  • Kari Toppinen (g)
  • Kent Fernlund (b)
  • Anders Appelquist (v)
  • Håkan Åstrand (d)
At this moment Kent Fernlund felt that he wanted more than just playing gigs around G�vle and making demo recordings, so he made a life-changing decision to take his bass guitar over the Atlantic Ocean and try his luck in the US. Along with him, making the same journey, came Anders Appelquist. They left during 1989 and this was the last time Kent Fernlund played in a Sweden based band.

Zircus

In the aftermath of Scandinavian Skies, Kari formed/joined a completely new band called Zircus. With this new line-up consisting of musicians from Gävle and Hofors, the musical direction turned a new corner. Zircus won a local musical competition, "Långrocken", held on "Brynjan" (a local youth club on Brynäs, Gävle), which titled them as the best rock group in Gävle at the time. The prize was a radio interview on the local radio station including a studio recording. During the interview they also got a chance to play the songs from the recording.

The band made, as far as I can remember, only this one studio recording under the name Zircus and the line-up was the following:

  • Kari Toppinen (g)
  • Lars Rosén (g)
  • Hans Rosén (b)
  • Michael Olsson (v)
  • Peter "Tjobba" Åsblom (d)
  • Mats Nygren (k)

New Clear Daze

This was basically the same band as Zircus, but they changed the music direction a bit. Speaking of the name New Clear Daze, Hans suggested the name that he got from The Vapors album "New Clear Days". They agreed to write Daze instead of Days. The music was more keyboard-involved than earlier which made the guitar sound suffer a bit more than on previous recordings. Musically however it was yet another hit-based recording with melodic hard rock.

The studio recording they made under the name New Clear Daze included the following line-up:

  • Kari Toppinen (g)
  • Lars Rosén (g)
  • Hans Rosén (b)
  • Michael Olsson (v)
  • Peter "Tjobba" Åsblom (d)
  • Mats Nygren (k)

Silent Knight

The last chapter in the original classic line-up of Genocide was set to be this line-up and band called Silent Knight. Kari ultimately choose to put his guitar on the shelf and focus on work. This lineup had a young drummer from Fagersta (Dalarna, Sweden) called Johan Kullberg who was the last "new" ingredient that Kari put in. Johan is still active and plays drums for the world wide famous Swedish Metal band Hammerfall and formerly in Therion.

The self-made (4 channel) recording they made under the name Silent Knight included the following line-up:

  • Kari Toppinen (g)
  • Hans Rosén (b)
  • Michael Olsson (v)
  • Johan Kullberg (d)

What do they do today?

I've tried to find all of the past members that in some way had a connection to the classic line-up of Genocide, and see what they are doing today. This is in no way the absolute fact, but this is what I know.

Kari Toppinen (g)Has his own company, KT Consulting (programming and analysis of PLC / DCS systems, and project planning and startup in the process industry.), and plays the guitar at the barbecue fire and some occasional events.
Stefan Eriksson (g)Co founder and Co owner of Project Competence Network (PCN). Stefan has put the guitar on the shelf.
Kent Fernlund (b)He lived on music in Germany but has returned to Sweden. Songwriter and bass player in the famous Boerney und die TriTops during his time in Germany.
Patrik Englin (d)Works as an electrician in his own company and plays drums on a regular basis, mostly jazz and other music.
Peter Sjöstedt (v)Works at Volkswagen Group Sverige (ex Audi Sweden) and sings in a tribute- and party band in Stockholm called Unclejam.
Johan Kullberg (d)Drummer in the band Hammerfall and formerly in Therion (a.k.a. Johan Koleberg).
Håkan Åstrand (d)Drummer in the band Electric Religions.
Anders Appelquist (d)Guitarist and singer in the party band Midnight Express Coverband.

(g) = Guitar, (b) = Bass guitar, (d) = Drums, (v) = Vocals, (k) = Keyboard