Maybe you have seen it in Sweden as graffiti painted on a cracked wall somewhere in a city, perhaps a friend of a friend has it tattooed on the leg, possibly you've seen it painted on the back of a skateboard, or maybe someone you saw in a club had it sewed onto the back of the jacket. The symbol, shaped as a grasping hand cut off by the wrist, has a mysterious status that brings to mind the secret army in 1995 science fiction movie "Twelve Monkeys". But this is not fiction (although the symbol has been seen in an indie shoot-'em-up video game). If you ask the people wearing the sign what it represents to them, some would say it represents an underground movement and a rock revolution, some would say it stands for music that is true and outside the mainstream. If you ask the Swedish experimental rockers Riddarna, they would say that it represents the best fans in the world.
Riddarna (Swedish for "The Knights") grew up in the 90's on the isolated island of Gotland outside the Swedish coast. During this period, the music scene exploded and new interesting albums like Refused's “The Shape of Punk to Come” changed history at the same time as the American label Sub Pop with bands like Nirvana paved the way for a new kind of skewed melancholic music, and heavy rock acts like Queens of the Stone Age opened new doors for heavy, experimental and dark music. Riddarna fed hungrily on the music revolution of this era and grew up to create their own brand of music: filled with frustration and angst, with a sound of new wave/post-punk and art/noise rock that reminds of Sonic Youth, Fugazi and that feeling of the 90's; all this combined with honest Swedish lyrics about the darker sides of the emotional spectrum, shouted out like the world is about to end or whispered in sweet falsetto harmonies.
Since their debut album in 2011, described by critics as an innovative mix between stoner, punk and garage or "indie metal", they have been playing stages on major festivals and clubs all over Scandinavia and have gained a reputation as a must-see live act. The (supposed) limitation of being just three musicians on stage is turned into inspiration and freedom to improvise when they merge in front of an audience, walking the same glorious path as bands like Hüsker Dü, Dinosaur Jr, Nirvana, Shellac and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
Long live the power trio!