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Biography

The history of Pouppée Fabrikk:

In 1987, Leif Holm and Henrik Stahl formed a band giving it the name POUPPÉE FABRIKK. The name is a combination made of the French word „pouppée“ (engl.: doll) and the Norwegian word „fabrikk“ (engl.: factory). It has to be said that the name has no deeper meaning but being a band name. Magnus Hellqvist and Peter Sunström joined and left again the band, while Henrik Björk eventually replaced Henrik Stahl in 1989 and that was the duo that finally got into public.

While living in Karlskoga, Sweden, they‘ve been knowing each other since childhood. Both sharing the same passion for synth bands like D.A.F., Die Krupps or Nitzer Ebb, whose early sound is characterized by repetitive bass-synth-sequences, they followed their inspirations and recorded a pretty similar sound. They played in the cellar of Leif’s parents‘ house and recorded on a usual cassette recorder. A first 4-track-demo-tape was recorded and first gigs were being done at friends‘ parties..

1989 saw POUPPÉE FABRIKK recording their fine songs „Needs“ and „Die Jugend“, which deals with the topic of children being suppressed by their parents. The songs firstly appeared on their self-produced split-7“ single with also Karlskoga based synth artist ATER KOMA on Cock Productions. In a total of only 500 copies (440 came in a white sleeve while 60 came in a brown sleeve), the single sold out very quickly and the young Swedish label Hot Stuff started paying attention to the boys. A contract followed pretty soon. They already finished their debut album „Rage“ (HOT 003/Re-issue: ER 045) in February 1990. The material was recorded at Holken’s, who then was a cool guy in the mid-40‘s, who had established his own recording studio in the woods. „Rage“ compiles older and until then newer songs that found friends fast among the hardcore-electro listeners. The album cover was designed by Henrik himself with a little help by his father.

The first official gig happened at a festival in Jönköping together with Cat Rapes Dog and Dead Eyes Open. Here, Leif and Henrik were supported by Jouni Ollila from ATER KOMA. They were very proud when realizing that the audience was going mad to their very own music. After several gigs in Sweden and Norway, POUPPÉE FABRIKK played in a couple of cities in Germany together with Scapa Flow. Starting at the popular Technoclub „Dorian Gray“ in Frankfurt, they played in front of audiences counting 150 to 200 people.

Back to Sweden, Leif and Henrik immediately started recording a 12“ with new material: „Summoning“ (HOT 007). It also comprises „Die Jugend“ from the deleted 7“. As „Death“ from their debut album had become an underground-club-hit, the German label Last Chance offered to release the new single for the German market (LCR 034). At this time, their popularity increased also in Sweden as the radio actually gave them air play.

Meanwhile, the Swedish labels Hot Stuff and Energy Rekords had merged, which resulted in future releases under Energy Rekords. The first release was then the sampler „I sometimes wish I was famous - A Swedish Tribute to Depeche Mode“ (ER 001), to which POUPPÉE FABRIKK contributed their interpretation of „Photographic“.

In September 1991, their second album was released: „Portent“ (ER 007). Jouni now was an active member of the band playing synth, bass and guitar and thus giving especially the songs „Neophyte“ and „Whatweare“ a more harder sound. In „T.O.T.D.N.“, Cat Rapes Dog singer Joel Rydström can be heard „in duel“ with Henrik. „Portent“ already indicated the future development of the band to a more guitar oriented sound, which could be explained by the three listening more and more to bands like Ministry, Metallica and Hardcore stuff.

For the title song „Portent“ even a video clip was produced. Again they toured through Sweden, Norway and Germany, of which the concerts in Germany attracted the greatest audience. Besides the album, a demo version of „T.O.T.D.N.“ was contributed to the German limited Edition sampler DLP/DCD „The Official Technoclub Compilation II“ (NEZ 2).

In March 1992, POUPPÉE FABRIKK went to Duesseldorf, Germany, where Die Krupps had built up their very own Atom-H-Studio. Together with producer Chris Lietz, they recorded their new 12“ „Betrayal“ (ER 017). The cover was designed by Alexander Hofman who is well-known nowadays for being in the Space-Pop band S.P.O.C.K .

Also in 1992, the compilation „Crusader“ (ER 019) was released. Originally intended for the US-market, it was also issued in Europe as it comprises a couple of previously unreleased remixes.

In July, the official POUPPÉE FABRIKK-Fan-Club was founded in Germany.

In March 1993, the guitarist Jan Arvidsson joined the band for a short time. In June, they played at the New Music Seminar in New York, USA, as Energy was trying to promote the label in the States. In August they played in front of 2.000 people at the Hultsfred Festival in Sweden.

In October, the third album „We have come to drop Bombs“ (ER 035) was released. Here POUPPÉE FABRIKK have had a face-lift: the good old sequencers melt with powerful metal guitars. So it’s not a wonder that the album wasn‘t recorded at the Atom-H-Studio as planned but in the Sunlight-Studio in Stockholm, where especially Death-Metal-Bands such as Entombed prefered to record.

As Energy Rekords had to face some difficulties with their German distributor, the album couldn’t be sold before the „Virtual Energy“-Festival, which featured POUPPÉE FABRIKK, Elegant Machinery, S.P.O.C.K and Devoid. A second video clip was shot for „I want Candy“, which was also released as a CD-Single (ER 048) in the same version as it appears on the album (by the way, Energy wanted this CD to be released ...).

After the recording sessions, Jan left the band and was replaced by Jonas Aneheim who also played in the Death-Metal-band Goddefied. After several gigs, they started to record a couple of new songs which were supposed to be released as „Your Pain - Our Gain“ mini-CD. Although the recordings were finished in spring 1995, Energy Rekords kept on postponing the release for an indefinite period of time ... among the arguments was the guitarish sound itself and then even the small number of seven songs. Instead of letting the band make its way, Energy blocked their career by wanting too much money for the recordings. (Obviously they haven’t made enough money until then while selling up to 5.000 copies of each album or the „Summoning“ album ...)

The long time stress with Energy Rekords and the resulting disappointments followed by internal quarrels regarding the future sound of POUPPÉE FABRIKK led to several solo activities or activities in other projects (please see member pages for details).

Finally, after nearly having destroyed the band, Energy Rekords did release „Your Pain - Our Gain“ (ER 096) in 1999 (!). The sound on the album is more than ever dominated by the heavy guitars played by both Jonas and Jouni. As no further songs had been recorded during all this mess, the album was filled-up with five live songs that were recorded at Hultsfred Festival in August 1999. Among the live songs is another cover version: „Beers, Steers and Queers“ originally by the Revolting Cocks. The cover shows Henrik’s inner mouth part with the tattooed PF-logo (perhaps showing that POUPPÉE FABRIKK won’t ever let Energy Rekords destroy the band ?!).

Before the release of „Your Pain - Our Gain“, like out-of-the-dark and without advertisement, a new POUPPÉE FABRIKK album appeared in the mail-orders. The album „Djävulen“ (ERCD 128), which is limited to 500 copies only, comprises the accompanying soundtrack to a theatrical piece after the British cult-writer Clive Barker. The Swedish producer Erik Wernquist just spoke unto Leif’s answering machine and the four guys didn’t hesitate to record the suitable music. Regarding this background, it isn’t surprising that the sound is dominated by dark drones and gloomy atmospheres. By the way, it seems that Energy has released the album as they wouldn’t have liked the idea of POUPPÉE FABRIKK releasing it by themselves ...

More or less recognized by the media, POUPPÈE FABRIKK were then working on their comeback. A new maxi-single called „Elite Electronics“ was planned to be released while they were finally looking for (and fortunately finding) a new label. One might say, that the motto of the new material was back-to-the-roots, but as Leif said: „It’s the only right thing to do ... we are not a guitar band ... so why pretend to be one.“

A new album is planned to be released until the end of 2001. The story goes on ...