From The Hellacopters‘ Facebook page :

‘It’s hard to find words now, but it’s with big grief that we must announce that Robert ‘Strings’ Dahlqvist is dead.

In 10 years we traveled around the world many times together. Tour buses shared and recordings. Shows in clubs and festivals. It is extremely hard to describe with words what Strings meant to us – and how could we try? –, so we can’t explain how much he will be missed. Our thoughts go to all of the great memories we had together and, especially, to his family.  Until we meet again’

Just 40 years old, RobertStringsDahlqvist was the amazing guitarist of the Swedish garage rockers The Hellacopters from 1998 to 2008, where he had the difficult task to replace the original member Dregen, but he succeeded brilliantly giving the band his personal 70’s infused rock flavour to their earlier punk and Detroit garage influences.

Nicknamed “Strängen” (Strings), because when he started to rehearse with The Hellacopters he used to break incredibly amounts of strings, Robert played a leading part in four important chapters of the band glorious history : ‘High Visibility’ (2000), ‘By The Grace Of God’ (2002), ‘Rock & Roll Is Dead’ (2005) & ‘Head Off’ (2008).

In 2004 Dahlqvist, after a brief interlude in Diamond Dogs of bandmate Anders Lindström, founded and fronted as lead vocalist Thunder Express, a sort of Hellacopters side project, named after the MC5 song.

After the official split up of The Hellacopters in 2008, he continued a solo career under his name (and Strängen moniker)  and also reformed Thunder Express roughly renamed, in his native language, Dundertåget.

Under the new moniker in 2008 and 2010 he recorded two albums sung entirely in Swedish (‘Skaffa Ny Frisyr’ and ‘Dom Feta Åren Är Förbi’) and with a peculiar crossover sound mixing blues, rock and folk. At the end of 2016 he had just released as Strängen the new single ‘Bangatan’ written together with Björn Olsson (Union Carbide Production, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, etc.) and was planning a tour within the year, but then… fate unfortunately stepped in.

In an interview when he was asked about his earliest influences in life, he answered  ‘Johnny Winter, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, Kiss’ , and about his current ones he replied ‘Johnny Winter, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, Kiss’.

As an early ‘Copters fan and a younger inexperienced new member, he creeped into the band, in this regard he recalled how uncomfortable he felt  during his first US tour in 1999 where he met also a living legend like the MC5’s Wayne Kramer, early difficulties that he overcame thanks to the human warmth of his bandmates and the kindness of the much older The Nomads. It didn’t take to long to show his great personality and talent, gifting the group with his special flair and marking a new era for the band.

 1. Kiss – Rock and roll over
2. Johnny Winter – Live and…
3. The Stooges – Raw Power (after I saw Iggy 1993 Valerie)
4. The Cult – Sonic temple
5. Nirvana – nevermind
6. Bob Dylan – Street Legal
7. Beastie Boys – Check your head
8. Neil Young – Harvest
9. Ulf lundell – vargmåne
10. Stevie Ray Vaughn – Texas Flood

The list above consists of Robert’s favourite songs, the usual lists that the music freaks like us, use to compile on the social media just for fun.

Recently appeared on Facebook a recent picture of Robert not in good shape but always with his usual smile on in his face… the sound of his guitar was noisy and louder, but he was a nice, kind, humble guy of cultured tastes (and a great vinyl lover too) and a loving father…He’ll keep the fire of Rock’n’Roll burning on the other side.

Fabrizio Lusso