HEAD BACK by Henrik Dahlqvist
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HEAD BACK: Henrik Dahlqvist (ex-TOTEM SKIN) introduces new project!

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Three years after disbanding of one Sweden’s most vicious and mind-blowing metal/hardcore hybrids TOTEM SKIN, vocalist Henrik Dahlqvist emerges with a new interesting project, exploring less extreme and intense soundscapes of alt rock infused post hardcore. Dubbed HEAD BACK, the new project has 4 new songs under the ‘Somewhere, Anywhere But Here’ EP, and today we’re thrilled to give you its first listen, along with Henrik’s first hand commentary and special ‘Top 2020 Swedish 

“The EP is essentially about finding a way back to something you used to love but have lost.” – comments Henrik. “Currently a one-person-project, HEAD BACK was created as a way for me to challenge myself.”

Words by Henrik Dahlqvist

𝐻𝐸𝐴𝐷 𝐡𝐴𝐢𝐾 π‘π‘Žπ‘ π‘–π‘π‘Žπ‘™π‘™π‘¦ π‘π‘Žπ‘šπ‘’ π‘‘π‘œ 𝑏𝑒 π‘Žπ‘  π‘Ž π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘ π‘’π‘™π‘‘ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘π‘’π‘π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘ π‘ π‘–π‘œπ‘›.

“After my last band broke up in early 2017, I fell into a rough patch and every time I would try to write a song, there would be something telling me that it wasn’t good enough and that I should abandon it. This feeling wouldn’t leave me, even as I was doing better otherwise, so I more or less put making music on the shelf.

Then, in the summer of 2019, some friends of mine started organizing punk shows in a nearby city, and I began helping them out. Being in that environment again made me realize just how much I had missed music, and it inspired me to finally start making my own again.

I decided that I needed to get out of my comfort zone, so I started writing a type of music I had never written before. This EP is the result. It has been challenging, especially singing cleanly which is something I had never really done before, but it felt very refreshing at the same time.”

HEAD BACK by Georgios Maxouris
Henrik with TOTEM SKIN, by Georgios Maxouris

The lyrics

I have a tendency to overthink when writing lyrics. For this EP, I set out buck that trend, so each song is simply about something I had on my mind or was working through at the time of writing. I don’t wish to go into too much detail, but in short:

1. Rend:

Rend is about abuse and how it can go ignored by those around telling themselves that someone they know couldn’t possibly do such a thing.

2. Fresh New Hell:

Fresh New Hell is about depression, feeling like your mind is getting the better of you and the hopelessness that comes with that.

3. Fight Forever:

Fight Forever is about addiction and commodification. Specifically, addiction TO commodification.

4. Another Troy:


Wanting to keep things as DIY as he felt he could to start out, everything on β€˜Somewhere, Anywhere But Here’ was recorded and made by Henrik himself in his home, aside from mixing and mastering which was done by his talented friend Alexander Backlund.

“The EP definitely wouldn’t sound the same without him!” – continues Henrik. “The cover art was made by me, but is based off of a photo of some wallpaper, so I suppose whoever designed that wallpaper deserves credit too, haha! I originally set out to getting in touch with a couple of labels, but ultimately I just want to put this out there so I decided to do so myself.

While I’m open to the idea of a label getting involved, I have enjoyed doing things on my own terms too.”

𝐴𝑠 π‘“π‘œπ‘Ÿ π‘“π‘’π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘π‘™π‘Žπ‘›π‘ , π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘ π‘œπ‘šπ‘’ π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘›π‘”π‘  π‘”π‘œπ‘–π‘›π‘” π‘œπ‘›.

“While HEAD BACK is currently a one-person project, I’d like for it to become a “proper” band and there’s been some minor talk of that happening. I’d love to get out and play shows, although the idea of singing these songs live makes me nervous.

It’s one thing to record in your bedroom where you can do a hundred re-takes if you want, and another to do it live in front of a crowd. But I’m excited about that challenge too!

Obviously there’s also the question of the pandemic; we haven’t been able to organize shows with our group since March, but there’s been talk about getting it going again so you never know. Either way, I’ve started writing on a full length album that I hope to release next year, if all goes to plan.”

Extra: Some swedish 2020 releases that deserve more love:

HEAD BACK by Sebastian Weiss
Henrik with TOTEM SKIN, by Sebastian Weiss

Vardagshat – VintersΓΆmn

These guys are the best and are all part of the organizing group that inspired HEAD BACK. Relentless hardcore punk.

Spunsugar – Drive-Through Chapel

lt rock / shoegaze.

Glummer – It Follows

Emo punk.

To Languish – Sown [see special IDIOTEQ feature HERE]

Emoviolence, originally released late last year but released on vinyl in 2020.

Socialstyrelsen – Med RΓ€dsla FΓΆr Livet

D-beat punk

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