Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen is a Norwegian guitarist, improviser and composer, born in Alesund and leader of the Hedvig Mollestad Trio (HM3) with Ellen Brekken (electric bass & double bass) and Ivan Loe Bjørnstad (drums). This trio published six albums on Rune Grammofon, their music can be described as
“outgoing & progressive instrumental rock”.
However, her trio is more..
likely Norway's bridge between heavy metal and jazz.
Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen graduated at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, where she founded her trio and where they started playing mostly jazz standards first, which somehow didn't work out for them. After she won a price as a young talent at the Molde International Jazz Festival in Norway, she directly started with really new sounds coming from hard rock and heavy metal elements, with influences such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Sonny Sharrock, James Blood Ulmer, Jimi Hendrix, Fred Frith and John McLaughlin. From that moment on her trio became a real thunderstorm.
Her most important teacher was the Norwegian guitarist Jon Eberson, with whom she also played and collaborated. Her father Lars Martin Thomassen was a professional flugelhornist who worked with Jan Garbarek in the mid-'70s.
The HM3's style is always moving between hard rock/metal and jazz. Which makes her sound extraordinaire and her volume giant loud.
I had the huge pleasure and honor to talk with Hedvig Mollestad backstage just after her arrival and before her soundcheck at Groningen's (NL) music club Vera, where she played October 3 – 2019.
Many thanks to Hedvig Mollestad and her crew, Danielle Oosterop, everyone at Vera, especially Peter Weening!
Cover picture: Still Image by Bernd Ihno Eilts/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2019.