Robert Dahlqvist

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Robert Dahlqvist
Robert Dahlqvist.jpg
Robert Dahlqvist performing with the Hellacopters, 2008.
Background information
Birth name Jens Robert Dahlqvist
Also known as Strängen, Strings
Born (1976-04-16)16 April 1976
Uddevalla, Sweden
Died 1 February 2017(2017-02-01) (aged 40)
Bagarmossen, Sweden
Genres Rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar
Labels Psychout Records, Razzia Records, White Jazz Records, BMG, Sweet Nothing Records, National, Universal Music, Wild Kingdom
Associated acts The Hellacopters, Thunder Express, Dundertåget, Stefan Sundström, Diamond Dogs, The Solution
Website Official MySpace

Robert Dahlqvist (16 April 1976 – 1 February 2017[1]) was a Swedish guitarist and vocalist best known for his tenure with the rock band The Hellacopters. He was also the lead singer and guitarist in Thunder Express, a band originally started as a side project to his work with The Hellacopters. At the time of his death, aged 40, Dahlqvist had nearly completed his second solo album, the first under the name of Strängen.


Early life and career[edit]

Dahlqvist was born in Uddevalla, Sweden, and got his first guitar at the age of ten and attended music school but quit after a month frustrated over not being allowed to play Kiss songs. Five years later, at age fifteen, his mother got him an electric guitar and he started to focus more seriously on his playing. Dahlqvist soon started playing in bands and worked at a bar where he got to know members of the Swedish rock band The Hellacopters.

The Hellacopters[edit]

After the departure of guitarist Dregen in early 1998, The Hellacopters brought in temporary replacements Chuck Pounder and Mattias Hellberg to tour with them. In 1999, The Hellacopters recorded Grande Rock with the band's pianist Anders Lindström on rhythm guitar and started to look for a permanent guitarist. When Dahlqvist heard about this he contacted the band and asked for the opportunity for an audition, and after a few jam sessions together Dahlqvist was chosen as the band's new guitarist.

During his time in The Hellacopters, Dahlqvist recorded four studio albums, four EPs, two split albums and many other releases. Bands and artists that The Hellacopters collaborated with during Dahlqvist's time in the band included Gluecifer, The Flaming Sideburns, Scott Morgan, Backyard Babies, Pelle Almqvist, Thomas Öberg and many others. In October 2007, The Hellacopters announced they would be breaking up after releasing their last full-length album Head Off and completing their The Tour Before the Fall farewell tour.

Thunder Express/Dundertåget[edit]

In 2004, Dahlqvist formed Thunder Express along with Robert Pehrsson (Death Breath), Jens Lagergren and Jesper Karlsson, the band being named after a MC5 song as a tribute to the band and their music. With the help of other musicians, songwriters, bandmates and close friends, the band released their debut album We Play for Pleasure in 2004. In 2007, the band followed up their debut album with Republic Disgrace. During The Tour Before the Fall with The Hellacopters, Dahlqvist revealed plans for a Swedish language record under the name Dundertåget - the Swedish translation of the bands name. In 2009, Skaffa Ny Frisyr was released – which was followed up with Dom Feta Åren är Förbi the following year. The bands final performances were in 2011.


On 16 April 2016, Dahlqvists 40th birthday, his first solo single "Rocken är inte död!" (Rock isn't dead!) was released under the pseudonym Strängen, one of Dahlqvists nicknames, alongside news of an upcoming solo album after a five-year hiatus.[2] In the following months Dahlqvist performed as a solo performer infrequently in promotion of his upcoming album whilst working in the studio. According to his manager, the album was nearly finished at the time of Dahlqvists death in February 2017, with some of the final sessions having taken place a few days earlier.[3] His final performance was in Motala outside Linköping on December 17, 2016.[4]

Other work[edit]

Dahlqvist has been a steady member of Stefan Sundström's backing band; Sundström also helped out with lyrics for the new Dundertåget record. Dahlqvist also recorded lead guitar for the song "Soulmover" for fellow band member Nick Royale and Scott Morgan's soul band The Solution on their second album Communicate!. He also recorded and toured with band member Anders Lindström's former band The Diamond Dogs in 2004.


On 3 February 2017, The Hellacopters announced via Facebook that Dahlqvist had died suddenly not long before[5]. While the cause of death was initially undisclosed[5], The Hellacopters' distributor Sound Pollution has since stated that Robert died accidentally at home, drowned in a bathtub following an epileptic seizure[6]. At the time of his death, he had several concerts and appearances scheduled for the coming weeks, and had nearly completed recording a solo album under the pseudonym Strängen.

Musical equipment[edit]

Dahlqvist favoured vintage guitars, effects and amplifiers.


Selected discography[edit]

  • 2001 The Hellacopters/Adam West – White Thrash Soul (guitar)
  • 2002 The Hellacopters – High Visibility (guitar, backing vocals)
  • 2002 The Hellacopters – By the Grace of God (guitar, backing vocals)
  • 2003 Wilmer X – Lyckliga Hundar (guitar)
  • 2003 Wayne Kramer – Adult World (guitar)
  • 2004 Thunder Express – We Play for Pleasure (vocals, guitar)
  • 2004 Stefan Sundström – Hjärtats Melodi (guitar)
  • 2004 The Diamond Dogs – Black River Road (guitar)
  • 2004 The Solution – Communicate! (lead guitar)
  • 2005 Stefan Sundström – Stolt Men Inte Nöjd (guitar, backing vocals)
  • 2005 The Hellacopters – Rock & Roll Is Dead (guitar, backing vocals)
  • 2006 Stefan Sundström – Fabler från Bällingebro (guitar)
  • 2007 Thunder Express – Republic Disgrace (vocals, guitar)
  • 2008 The Hellacopters – Head Off (guitar, backing vocals)
  • 2009 Dundertåget – Skaffa Ny Frisyr (vocals, guitar)
  • 2010 Dundertåget – Dom Feta Åren är Förbi (vocals, guitar)
  • 2010 Necronaut – Necronaut (lead guitar)
  • Stefan Sundström – 5 Dagar i Augusti (guitar, backing vocals)
  • TBA The Hellacopters – Upcoming live album (guitar, backing vocals)


  1. ^ Familjesidan - Funeral notices (in Swedish)
  2. ^ Press release (Swedish)
  3. ^ Official Facebook page
  4. ^ According to the concert schedule on his official Facebook page, which has since been removed.
  5. ^ a b Thiessen, Brock (3 February 2017). "R.I.P. Hellacopters Guitarist Robert "Strängen" Dahlqvist". Exclaim!. Retrieved 3 February 2017. 
  6. ^ "Comments". 9 June 2017. Retrieved 23 Jul 2017. 

External links[edit]