Johan Piribauer och Gruvtolvan

Foto: Bjørn-Kåre Iversen

From Arvidsjaur in Lappland hails folk rocker Johan Piribauer. He delivered a powerful concert on Karlsøya in 2006, and we've wanted him back ever since.
In the meantime he has done nearly 150 concerts in Scandinavia, North America, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Austria, Iceland and even Antarctica. He also did a concert in Tromsø about a year ago, at Skarven.
He played at several festivals in Norway last summer, and got very good reviews:
«The ending concert with Johan Piribauer was probably the greatest musical experience of the festival», Adresseavisen in Trondheim wrote after the Frøya Festival where also Hellbillies, Mikael Wiehe and Åge Alexandersen played.
Johan Piribauers music is deeply rooted in the old Swedish progressive rock tradition, following the steps of for instance «Hoola Bandoola» and «Nationalteatern.» Sharp and socially conscious lyrics combined with catchy melodies and varied line-ups.

It's no coincidence that the Swedish magazine Fokus named him the foremost renewer of Swedish progressive music, ahead of artists such as Mikael Wiehe, Peps Persson or Doktor Kosmos.

After releasing 5 CDs, numerous singles and records together with other artists Johan Piribauer has established himself as a powerful voice coming out of Northern Sweden and the Northern Regions. Strong lyrics with critical perspectives from the rural communities, the wish to revolt against «the System» and consumerism puts him right in the spirit of Karlsøya:

”Jobba som fan tills man går i pension
Sen står det på gravstenen på kykogår'n
Her vilar en hjelte med stor konsumtionv
Vars innkjøp höll landet i gång
Men jag lurade välden! Jag lurade er!
Och ni får mig aldri mera med i ert system!
Jag lurade välden, jag lurade er
Och ni får mig aldri mera med utan problem”

(English: Work like hell until you retire
On the tombstone in the graveyard these words are written
Here lies a hero who consumed so greatly
His consumption kept this country going

But I tricked the world! I tricked you all!
You never get me back into your system!
I tricked the world, I tricked you all
And you'll never get me back in without a fight.)

Johan Piribauer och Gruvtolvans record with the short and descriptive title «Norrland» is a record where no song, not a single lyric, is indifferent. Protests against the impoverishment of rural communities is present in many of the songs.
Piribauer is angry in songs like ”Norrland” (The North Country, region in Sweden) and ”Jag kommer aldrig mer tilbaka” (I'm never coming back):

”Lyssna allihopa
Dom har fått oss dit dom vill
Vi lever här liknöjda
Ser på såpor och finns bara till”

Listen everybody
They got it the way they wanted
We live here indifferently
Watch soap operas and merely exist.)

After a few year in Stockholm Johan Piribauer moved back to Lappland and the small town life:

”Vi slipper trängselen och knarket och flummet
Oj vad jag har det bra”

We escaped from the masses, the drugs and the garbage,
Wow, I feel so good)

He presents beautiful visions of fighting for a better world in the Utopian song «Argaladei»

Last fall he released his latest album, with songs such as «Finns det en tanka» (Is there a thought):
”Hei herr president og grattis på 70-års dagen ...
- Men finns det en tanke på dom ska leva i mårrån,
- finns der en tanke frå dom som lever i dag?
Barnen skal leka och skratta och sjunga i solen
- medans presidenten ska rutna upp i sin grav”

Hello mr. President and congratulations on your 70th...
But is there a thought for those who live tomorrow,
is there a thought for those who live today?
The children shall play and laugh and sing in the sun,
-while the president rots in his grave.)

Other titles say a lot about what matters to him: ”Hembygdsvisan” (Home Town Shanty), ”Världen är blind» (The World is Blind), ”Aska och sot” (Ashes and Soot) and ”Undrens tid” (The Time of Wonders.)
And once again: Not a single indifferent tune!

He has been given wonderful reviews and strengthened his position as the renewer of progressive rock.
Right across the Swedish border there is an artist that is so in the Karlsøya Spirit it's hard to understand he's not from here.
We just can't wait for Johann Piribauer och Gruvtolvan!

Johan Piribauers homepage:

Foto: Bjørn-Kåre Iversen