E.F. Band

E.F. Band: Logo

I will not tell you a lie if I tell that E.F. Band was one of the most original and sadly one of the most underrated NWoBHM bands of all times. I guess they were also the most unusual band as they are originally from...Sweden! They also had guys from Denmark in their line-up. So, are they really a NWoBHM band? Yes, no doubt! I had the honour to ask my questions to Andy Goodwin, the main man behind the band...

Hello Andy! E.F. Band lately released the fantastic double album titled "Their Finest Hours". But do guys still have any unreleased material in your archives?

Hi there Bart. Well there is still a fair amount of demo material about which I have not listened to yet so you never know what the future brings.

You once mentioned about planned live release from E.F. Band. Any details?

This is to be my next project which is in the very early stages of planning. I have an entire live concert from 1983 which was recorded in Gothenburg 1 week before we went out on the road with Saxon. I am hoping to go into the studio with the material and see what can be done.

Didn't you think about making some vinyl reissues as well?

That was an idea but it is no longer in my plans as it cost far too much and vinyl, although produces better quality than a CD, is not popular any more.

Sadly Bengt Fischer and John Ridge will never have a chance to listen and see those releases... How do you think, would they like to reunite E.F. Band once again? I'm sure t hey rock like crazy on the other side...

I am sure they would in some form or another but I sure they are having a great gig together where they are now.

Heavy Metal fans used to call E.F. Band "Swedish NWOBHM band". Can you explain the whole situation?

Well when the whole thing started when the E.F. Band had an English drummer called Dave DuFort (his sister Denise plays in Girlschool). Because of this we qualified for the NWoBHM and as all of our touring was in the UK we were accepted into crowd although we were the only European band to do so.

I also know that Anders Alhage (better known as Andy La Rocque), mainly known from cooperation with King Diamond and Death was one of your axemans back then. Is that true?

Yes this is true. Anders came into the band as 2nd guitarist on the bands last recorded record, "One Night Stand". This was after we tried out a few other musicians and Anders was the one that fitted the bands requirements the best.

In what other bands E.F. Band members played before or after leaving?

We have had a few members that have been in other bands both before and after the E.F. Band apart from Anders. The 1st drummer Dave DuFort had been in many bands before he joined us. He had worked with Alex Harvey, Mike Oldfield and Lord Sutch and after he left he went on to Angelwitch, Tytan and Nevada Foxx to name a few. John was fairly well known in Europe already before he came into the band and had played in a few bands in both Germany and Holland. After he left us he continued as a solo artist in the USA releasing 5 records under the name of "Ridge". He also had his own publishing and record company in Florida. Roger Marsden who replaced John was in a couple of bands before he joined us. They were Deep Machine (with the guitarist from Angel Witch) and also Nevada Foxx(with Dave DuFort). After the band ceased to play, Roger went back to those bands for a couple of years.

How do you remember the first steps of the band? Was it hard to take off the ground, to make a demo recording, play first gigs?

The early days were very tough. First to get a gig with a band that came from a non-EU country was not easy. Before they could enter the UK working permission had to be fixed with both the government and the Musicians Union. This took about 6/8 weeks and then an exchange system had to be arranged with the UK and Sweden whereby a group from the UK had to do some gigs in Scandinavia. We fixed this with the main concert promoter in Sweden who took all the major acts over. As soon as we started one set of gigs I had already started booking the next tour. In the beginning it was not easy getting gigs without a deal and the ones we got did not give us any money because at that time there were many bands around who would play for nothing. The first gigs were in and around London because that is where all the record companies were. In the beginning we took whatever was going and sometimes it was not the best. Once we played support to a Reggae band with a lot of Rasta folk in the audience. Making demos in the beginning were not too hard; these were done when we were on the road.

How did you place on the legendary "Metal For Muthas" LP?

As we spent most of our touring time in the UK we built up an incredible underground following. The music papers were writing great gig reviews and we caught the attention of some of the people at EMI records who invited us to be part of the now legendary "Metal for Muthas". Not only was this record a chance to present some of the leading groups in the NWoBHM but also a chance to present Iron Maiden who had just signed a recording deal with them. We accepted, and the rest is history.

How do you think, what went wrong that you guys didn't become next Iron Maiden or Def Leppard?

There were a few factors that played a big part in the non-success of the band. The first one being that the band were based in Sweden and at that time you had to get a recording contract in your home country, and Sweden was not interested in Heavy Metal. When we did get a contract they did not know what to do with us. Iron Maiden were the only band that really made it big. Bands like Angel Witch and Samson never really made it big time and Def Leppard first made it big in the US. When we started getting things together we had bad luck with the record companies we were signed to. They did not reach the demands we wanted to be successful so we started to get disappointed with the whole scene and finally called it a day.

I know you played common tour with Rainbow an Saxon. How do you remember those days? Any special road stories?

Like all bands that get to support the great acts we thought that we were on the verge of the BIG BREAK and the chance to open for Rainbow was fantastic. Playing in front of 10000 people is one hell of a feeling. When we went out with Saxon, although we really enjoyed ourselves, we found that we were not really popular with Saxon not only because we because we had such a big following but because we had a very strong show. A couple of "Road stories" that come to mind are with Rainbow. We were just coming to the end of a visit to the UK when I received a call from Sweden asking us to support Rainbow which I said yes to. I decided to play a joke on the band by not telling them the good news because when they were back in Sweden they were going to work on one of the shows as the "local crew" and a couple of days day before it was to happen I broke the news to them. It took 2 bottles of whiskey before they believed me. Another story was just after the gigs with Rainbow the guy who ran our fan club received a letter from Los Angeles from a drummer looking for a band to play with. He was originally from Denmark and was thinking of moving back and had heard about us. As we already had one of the best in the country we said no thanks. The drummer who wrote the letter was Lars Ulrich. E.F. Band

If I'm not wrong, you are from Scotland. Are you Clansman...? Do you think that tragic history of Scotland influenced you and changed as a person? What kind of child were you?

Yes I am from Scotland, a true Highlander from Fort-William and I belong to the Clan Fraser. Living in Scotland a great deal of my youth taught me how to live a basic life. As a kid I was always interested in music. I grew up with The Who, Stones, The Kinks and Hendrix, who was my favourite. As a hobby I got involved in promoting bands to the Highlands. Bands like Priest, T-Rex, and Sweet. Lizzy played some of there first gigs through me. I am also very sports interested. In my youth I was a Judo instructor. I moved to London when I was 24 years old because that is where you needed to be if you wanted to make it in the music branch.

And how did you become manager of... a Swedish-English band!?

This came about when I was still living in Scotland. I was manager of a local band who was going through changes. I answered an advert in the Melody Maker magazine for 2 musicians looking for work. A bass player and a guitarist from Sweden were looking for work in the UK. By the time I got a reply I had already moved to London. During one of my visits back home I received a tape from the 2 guys in Sweden. When I heard what they could do I was blown away. I contacted them again from London and found out that they had started the E.F. Band. I offered my services and they accepted.

What can we expect from you in the nearest future? What are the forthcoming plans for E.F. Band?

Well, as I have mentioned already, I have started a new project with some live material which I am hoping to get released some time in the future. The band will also be featured on a compilation cd with 12 other bands. This record will be released around October time and is being put together by another NWoBHM fan called Mike Grindstaff, also known as Grinder. You are also involved in that, are you not?

Well, yes, I am... All right, thank you for a great talk; it was great honour for me to ask them. Take care, keep on rocking! Last words to all the NWoBHM muthas are yours...!

Thank you very much Bart for letting me do this interview. To keep a dream alive takes a lot of work and with your help the NWoBHM will live for ever more. The New Wave of British Heavy Metal has been around for 25 years now and although many of the bands that were featured then have come and gone it is fantastic that so many new fans have discovered the music that was created then. Although the E.F. Band will never reunite with the original line-up again, it is my goal to help keep the NWoBHM alive by letting as many people listen to there music as possible. Thank you.

Interview done by Bart Gabriel in July 2004.