"I was 12 when I heard Roundabout by Yes, and it floored me immediately!" Hasse Froberg's own musical companions

Hasse Froberg
(Image credit: Press)

The Flower Kings and Hasse Froberg And Musical Companion singer was basking in the glow of the former's By Royal Decree and looking to record a new album for the latter when Prog caught up with him for chat in 2022.

Where’s home?

Knivsta [close to Uppsala], in Uppland, Sweden.

Your earliest prog memory? 

I had a childhood friend whose dad was American and had all sorts of records – The Band, Mountain, Fleetwood Mac and Yes. I was around 12 when he played us Roundabout by Yes, and it floored me immediately. I started saving money to buy their records, and even bought guitar magazines to read about Steve Howe. They were imported, and cost me fortune!

 First prog album you bought? 

Yes’ Close To The Edge at BK Sound in Uppsala.

And the most recent?

A used copy of Adventures In Utopia by Utopia. You can never get enough of Todd Rundgren

First prog gig?

Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe in Stockholm, at Johanneshovs Isstadion, November 1989. Chris Squire was deeply missed but Tony Levin made up for it.

And the latest? 

Steven Wilson at Globen Annexet in Stockholm, during his Hand. Cannot. Erase. tour in 2016. The band were delayed because of a snowstorm – when we got there they were still doing their line check, but it was a really good concert.

Best prog gig you ever saw?

I’ll never forget seeing Jethro Tull at an outdoor show in Vigevano, Italy, held inside the walls of Castello Sforzesco, July 17, 1999. The Flower Kings opened the show, and after the change-over I found my place onstage beside Martin Barre (well-hidden, of course). It certainly was an intense experience.

Newest prog discovery? 

Perfect Beings are a really cool band, especially their album Vier. I also stumbled upon Wobbler some time ago and I truly respect they’re going all the way to capture the sound of prog albums made in the early 70s.

Guilty musical pleasures? 

How about Elvis Costello, The Jam, Marvin Gaye or why not Charles Bradley, to name a few?

Favourite prog venue?

I love to play at De Boerderij in Zoetermeer in The Netherlands. The theatre in Gettysburg where they held the RoSfest festivals was fabulous too [Majestic Theater]. In the UK, Islington Academy in London and The Robin in Bilston are two great ones of course, and let’s not forget Katalin in our hometown Uppsala. 

Who’s your prog hero? 

Jon Anderson. He’s truly something else.

Outside of music, what else are you into?

I’m really fond of sports, especially football, ice hockey and cross-country skiing. I prefer not to be disturbed during the World or Euro Cup or the Winter Olympics. Or the Summer Olympics, come to think of it.

Ever had a prog-related date?

I didn’t even know that they existed! There’s been a few in the Flower Kings camp, but I’m not included in that exclusive club…

Which piece of music sums up prog rock? 

It’s almost impossible to choose, but I’ll go for Yes’ Siberian Khatru. It has it all – even the title is prog for crying out loud!

Read a good book lately?

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is an utterly superb book. Ozzy Osbourne and Elton John’s biographies [I Am Ozzy; Me] were a funny read.

The prog muso you’d most like to work with?

If [Yes/Kansas keyboardist] Tom Brislin got [his 90s-/2000-era rockers] Spiraling back together, I might join them as their singer for some new songs, maybe an album? I doubt it’ll happen though – both of us are busy enough.

Which prog album lifts your spirits? 

Listening to Rain Dances by Camel makes life easy. It has a very airy and light sound that instantly makes you walk on the clouds.

Favourite prog album cover? 

I’m being uncharacteristically un-modest for a Swede here, but I’ll go for Kevin Sloan’s cover for The Flower Kings’ current album, By Royal Decree. It’s colourful, beautiful and different.

And what are you up to at the moment?

I’ve been invited to sing at a charity event for child cancer. I’ll be doing three hard rock/metal songs – it’s impossible to escape from your past, in my case the years in [Swedish 80s hard rockers] Spellbound! I’m also preparing for gigs and tours with Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion to follow up our album We Are The Truth, and with The Flower Kings, to promote By Royal Decree.

Grant Moon

A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Prog, Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.