Eythor, Fridrik, Johann and Gulli were in their mid-teens when they started the band in 1977 and the initial unmistakable chemistry was hardly interrupted at all – the core of this enterprise has remained the same for 40 years. Who would have thought?Well, apparently recording executive Steinar Berg thought this could lead to something worthwhile. It took 4 albums to get to the point of no return. With the aptly titled Surprise Surprise in 1982 the ball really started rolling. Largely due to the unexpected hit Garden Party – the riff that nobody really expected to go on be included, the incomplete bastard that it was. But arranger Chris Cameron heard it and immediately recognised the potential. Lo and behold! A few horn and vocal lines later it was in the charts and on the dance floor. Surprise surprise!
Reaching number 17 in the pop chart is remarkable for an instrumental, and the unprecedented sales of the single and album led to a debate within the band and the record company about which direction was the proper one. The following years were spent playing an absurd amount of engagements all over the world, running from screaming fans in Japan and topping the bill at various international festivals (Steps Ahead, Passport and Spyro Gyra among the other bands opening – no big deal!)
It took Mezzoforte almost ten years to shed the baggage and – to no small extent; enjoy the benefits of early success.
The initial inspiration behind the band; of diving without reservation into an instrumental frenzy on stage -was strong, and eventually managed to trump the crossover-pop idea.
The band again gravitated towards the simplicity of the added saxophone, and – on occasion – trumpet and percussion as well.
The list of musicians to work with Mezzoforte over the years is quite the who’s who of exciting music. The list of artists that have enjoyed the services of Mezzoforte members over the years is equally impressive.
If it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger. Since Mezzoforte survived an attempt to cross over into the mainstream of music, there must be no limit (sic) to what the band is capable of bouncing back from.
The core of Mezzoforte has always been the blend of any and all exciting methods to play. To make music in a way that is inspiring to the musicians and interesting and entertaining to an audience. After all this time Mezzoforte remains a playground for individuals that have an almost extrasensory perception of each other.
That’s what forty years can do if you stick with what you believe in.
There is no re-union needed, this is simply a musical union built to last.