Ian Haugland

Göran Danielsson Hjertstedt

The biography of Brains Beat Beauty

The story of Brains Beat Beauty is like a long and winding road. It contains some quite improbable coincidences and the formation of the group was certainly not a natural thing.

Göran Danielsson Hjertstedt and Ian Haugland got to know each other 1993. They had both enjoyed successful careers in their previous groups, Visitors and Europe, but both acts had a break during first half of the nineties. Through a mutual acquaintance they came to play in a small covergroup, a trio called Guitar Cash and Car. The idea for the name came out of the fact that they were all short of money at that time and used to borrow money, music instruments and other things from each other. They played covers in pubs and small clubs before a small audience but had a very good time together. Haugland and Hjertstedt were also members of the Peter Jeszewski group for a short time and toured in Sweden in the summer of 1994.

Synth pop and hard rock

At that time Hjertstedt and Haugland started talking about creating their own music together. Hjertstedt came from the synth pop business and described himself as a perfectionist, while Haugland had become a name as a colorful drummer in the rock group Europe, a strong character with an expressive, almost brutal sound. They were very curious about what the contrast would lead to. Haugland knew about a suitable demo studio in a small town called Bålsta and as soon as Hjertstedt had got some compositions together, they had started working early 1995. All lyrics for the group Visitors had been written by Englishman Roy Colegate so Hjertstedt found it natural to contact him for the Brains Beat Beauty project.

At that moment, the project still had not got a name and no one had any idea of what it was going to be. One day Hjertstedt was out on a car ride with his wife when they passed a dog kennel with a sign saying brains before beauty. And there it was. The phrase was reformulated and the group Brains Beat Beauty had suddenly got its name.

The musicians of Brains Beat Beauty

Roy Colegate was also a successful publisher at Warner Brothers and had good contacts in the music business. Through his mediation the group signed with the record company JVC Victor in Japan and started recording in Stockhouse studio at Stocksund, Stockholm. They worked intensively for three months the winter 1996-1997 and gathered some very competent musicians to create exactly the heavy live sound they strove for.

All drums and percussion were performed by Ian Haugland, the electric bass an acoustic guitars were played by Anders Olausson. On piano appeared Robert Wells and Europe keyboardist Mic Michaeli played the piano and Hammond organ. Micke Larsson played acoustic and all the electric guitars in a way that really sat character to the group sound. Live strings where performed by a quartet from Hovkapellet, Stockholm and where arranged by Göran Hjertstedt who also did all the lead vocals, various keybords, background vocals with Haugland and Olausson. Hjertstedt also produced the album in cooperation with the sound engineer Bosse Reimer. The album title First came Moses, now this – was one of Ian Hauglands many bright ideas.The album was released in Japan 1997 and hit number 16 at the top list Tokyo 100.