I first spotted Hedvig Mollestad on YouTube in 2011, playing grooving rhythm guitar and singing in Jarle Bernhoft’s funk band. With her platinum hair and limited edition white 335 she was hard to miss. At first I didn’t make the connection when her 2013 trio record, All of Them Witches, came across my desk—the mix of metal, jazz, and Scandinavian ambience was a far cry from Bernhoft’s blue-eyed soul, but in videos of the band that hair and guitar was unmistakable. Two releases later, on Black Stabat Mater [Rune Grammofon], Mollestad’s trio music has coalesced into a harder-edged sound that still leaves room for atmospherics. I have been trying to get an interview since that first record and am happy to announce it is here.
If modern guitar has its own Jeff Beck or Jimi Hendrix it is Stian Westerhus. Like those iconic guitarists, Westerhus explores the outer reaches of sonic possibilities available from an electric guitar, an amplifier, and some effects (okay, in his case, a lot of effects), all the while exhibiting what can only be defined as star quality.