First things first: a quick introduction. The group comprises Hedvig herself, Ellen Brekken (electric and upright bass), and Ivar Loe Bjørnstad (drums). They formed after meeting at the Norwegian Academy of Music.
Hedvig had a brief spell in prog metal band EL Doom & The Born Electric. Then she formed the eponymous trio that combines the improvised fluidity of jazz and melds it with the visceral excitement of hard rock, even metal.
Hedvig Mollestad Trio, also known as HM3, is technically brilliant and has a collective sense of imagination, subtlety, and wit. At times on stage, they whip up a hurricane-like wall of sound created with effects pedals and everything and sundry amped up to 11. Further proof that no rock band ever needs more than guitar, bass, and drums (As Kurt Cobain once remarked.) Fortunately, there are no vocals to detract from the peerless musicianship on display.
Prodigious talent spotted early on
She began playing the guitar at ten years old and famously translated a Jimi Hendrix biography into Norwegian while at school, which allowed her to study his technique closely.
In 2009, she received the Young Jazz Talent of the Year at Molde International Jazz. In 2020, she released her first solo record Ekhidna, which received a Spellemannprisen (Norwegian Grammy). Her second solo release, Tempest Revisited, received the same award and her 2021 release with the trio was nominated in the Rock category.
Hedvig Mollestad Trio: best not categorise … just listen!
Apart from Hendrix (obviously), influences include Zeppelin, The Melvins, Bitches Brew electric-period Miles Davis, and fellow Trondheim label mates Motorpsycho. But for this writer, the heavy riffs of Black Sabbath meets Mahavishnu Orchestra-prime John McLaughlin accurately describes their sound. Indeed, McLaughlin personally invited the group to support his penultimate appearance at the EFG London Jazz Festival week.
That said, and all influences aside, there are few current bands with such a unique sound.
A short run of gigs for HM3
Last year, my mate Bob and I saw them at Club Inégale and luckily met them post-gig. So began our ongoing Hedvig journey!
Fast forward to now, and I am honoured to showcase this phenomenal band at Chelmsford’s Hot Box (21 Sept). It’ll be one of only three UK shows HM3 will play this time around. Please book your tickets here. Do it soon to avoid disappointment. With a middle finger pointed at the economic crisis, tickets are only £7.50. Hedvig and friends play solo sets at Café Oto (19 Sept); HM3 perform at Electrowerkz (20 Sept).
Hedvig says, “Hopefully I have more than 20 years left of making music.” Well, this writer certainly hopes so! Miss this incendiary live band at your peril!
Hedvig’s latest solo project Tempest Revisited is out now as is the trio’s latest album Ding Dong You’re Dead. Both are available via Rune Grammofon. Don’t forget to click this blog’s logo at the start of the article to watch the video interview and hear about Hedvig’s (and the trio’s) future plans.
As mentioned in the video interview, these are the players that are impressing Hedvig right now: