Per & Erik – The Stage Series

This is a series of photos I took last year in an extreme metal festival in Helsinki, Finland. It depicts the Swedish twin brothers Per and Erik Gustavsson on stage, in their stage acts, where they call themselves Hellbutcher and Tyrant. The band Nifelheim was established in 1990 by Per (Hellbutcher) and Erik (Tyrant) in Dals Långed, Sweden.

Nifelheim is hence a Swedish Black Metal band and they play “old school” style of Black Metal. This series is a homage for the twin brothers, who do not anymore give out interviews to anyone. They have been ridiculed, made laughing stocks and they are called Bröderna Hårdrock in Sweden (The Heavy Metal Brothers). They are some kind of symbols, and as public figures, other people believe they can use them, for example as inspiration for a stupid comedy of brothers, who do not want to grow up. It is easy to misunderstand, make judgements upon things and phenomena one does not understand. The comedy in itself tells more about how the person perceiving the brothers see the world and how they understand it, than about the brothers themselves.

As I have been working within the community of metal music and together with metal musicians for almost two decades, I have found an understanding on how much courage it needs to cross and break the boundaries of systems and structures, for example on the notion how a life should be lead and what one might do as a profession.

Per & Erik – The Stage Series symbolises a resistance towards set rules and standards that tries to imprison you, and the brothers still seem to believe in their resistance that they have their own right to decide how they will lead their lives (my interpretation). Still performing throughout the world with Nifelheim, within the realm of metal, these twin brothers deserves a homage for their showmanship and resilience. It would be thrilling to dig deeper, and find out, who they are off stage – this is my quest further on...