Fielfraz was a Danish band, which had its heyday between 1990 and 1996. The band members were Claus Hempler on guitar and vocals, Nils Brakchi on bass, Kenneth Priisholm on guitar (lead) and Jens Langhorn on drums. The band's name stems from the German word for "wolverine" - possibly taken from south danish dialects.
After several years of building up a fine live reputation in Odense, Fielfraz broke through in Denmark with their very first record Shine- a record that gained good reviews, a large young audience, as well as a big hit with the title song. Shine was a Beatlesque rock record that had a broad pop/rock appeal and hit a dry spot on a Danish rock scene that had very few mainstream guitar bands at the time. 1992's Electric Eel also included big radiohits like Surfer and Naked but the album as a whole was a lesser success. The difficult third album "Slick" came late in 1996 and although widely critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored by the public.
Hereafter the activities of Fielfraz gradually clinged out,[clarification needed] although they never officially broke up, and continued to perform live on spread occasions. However Priisholm eventually left the band for good, leaving Fielfraz as a trio, that worked on the album, that was released as Hempler in 2004. The album introduced Claus Hempler as a solo artist in 2004, instead of keeping with the Fielfraz moniker, and gave him a significant comeback on the Danish scene.
Fielfrazs songbook ranged from indiepop to mainstream rock, from garagedrive to ballad croon, and their heterogeneous style were their strength as well as their weakness. Their albums are very different: Shine is a joyous energetic album influenced by The Beatles and blues, Electric eel took flavour of madchester and grunge. Slick stands out with a Blur/Bowie-esque tinged sound - that nevertheless blatantly reveals the genre tension, within the band.
Fielfraz have been cited as an influence on Danish rock and grunge bands that broke through in the early 1990s like Kashmir and Dizzy Mizz Lizzy. However Fielfraz´ influences were primarily British; Priisholms guitarplay was influenced by new wave like XTC and experimental rock like King Crimson and Claus Hemplers lyrics and vocal talent rendered Elvis Costello and Frank Sinatra, much more than hardcore punk and hardrock.
Fielfraz' time took place in a transitional period in the history of danish rock, that broke the pop hegemony established by acts like Gnags, TV-2 and Sanne Salomonsen, in the 1980s. Alongside a few other British influenced 1990s acts like The Sandmen and Simcess, and the American influenced rock of D-A-D, they probably made the commercial breakthrough for the danish grunge wave possibly in Denmark, by getting airplay on the dominating pop station, the national Danish radio (Danmarks Radio, P3).
- Shine - Genlyd/BMG, 1990
- Electric Eel - Genlyd/BMG, 1992
- Slick - Virgin, 1996