The Mighty Bulletbus!
Tales from the road and hymns from the highway.
Behind the Iron wheels…
We bought the bus after the release of our first fullength album “Heading for the top”. To buy a van wasn’t enough, the album was called “Heading for the top”. So there was no option, let´s buy a bus! Even if we didn’t have any money we would make it happen anyway. At first we were checking out the local coverband Zebra Kings that was about to sell their bus. It was a Scania bus from 1958. But it was a bit too expensive for us and the steering wheel was on the right side. We wanted a bus that had the round look and a bigger engine and the steering
wheels on the left side but it was not so easy to find. A man from the local pizzeria in Växjö was collecting Vespa and Lambretta. He contacted me because my father had an Vespa Grand Sport from 1964 he wanted to take a look at. We began to talk about buses and this man was a great
detective and contacted people all over Sweden to see if they wanted to sell bikes and cars. A week later he called me and said that he found the perfect bus for us. A Volvo B63508 from 1964, only 120km away in a small town called Alstermo. Some days later we went there.
It was grey and had been standing in the forest for 10 years. It had been used for transporting cars for racing. I think it was made for 2 cars. He
told us that it had been a postbus in northern Sweden for its first 20 years. No salt is used on the roads in northern Sweden so that’s probably the reason why it has survived. After that it was supposed to be used by a Swedish dance band but I haven’t found any info about that.
The inside was all gone and it looked like a rolling garbage dump. But the engine worked well.
We bought it for 10,000sek (about 1,000 euros). The trip home was a nightmare though. It was in the winter and it was -10 degrees and no heat in the bus. Of course no insurance or car inspection had been made. After some miles the bus stopped in the middle of the road and it was getting
dark. We called the seller and he said he never had any problems before and told us to clean the filters for the diesel. After some hours we
managed to drive the bus home, hungry and cold but happy anyway. But the feeling of “what have we done now” was big. I didn’t look at the bus
for about a month after that trip. I had to build up my self confidence to start the renovation cause none of us had any experience of old buses
Many hours was spent thinking about how the
interior should be. We began to welding the
back to get it ready for the upcoming wall of
Marshalls. A new floor and 4 beds were made. And of course a big bar and sofas. A
whole gang helped us out with painting the bus black white and red. And the guy that was printing stickers for us gave us these mega big logo
stickers to put on the side of the bus.
We were ready to take on the world!
Around this period we began the recording of
the Bite the Bullet album which became our
breakthrough album and we toured heavily the years after this album's release.
We thought the bus was really big cause it's
11.5 meters long, but when we we opened up
for AC/DC in Sweden for 50,000 people they
had sixty big trailers and buses and our bus suddenly looked like a small van.
We had always let people into the bus and
when we played at Headbangers Open Air in
Germany we were not allowed to use pyros on stage so we fired them from the bus roof when we entered the festival. That made a huge impact on the festival crowd. 10 minutes
later the bus was full of people we never met
before but they kind of felt like it was their bus too hahaha.
We toured so much during these years. A
normal week was shows on Weds, Thurs, Fri and Saturday. Home on Sunday and sober up. Mon and Tues, repair the bus and repeat cycle.
After a year or so we found out we needed
more than 4 beds so we built 2 more and destroyed the bar because it only took space and we always threw garbage behind it.
But this version of interior didn’t last for long.
The 2 beds stole too much of the party era so we rebuilt with 6 beds in the back and bigger
sofas to get bigger parties. If you're into Rock nRoll or Heavy Metal and live around Sweden
you've probably been in the bus. At the release
party for the Full Pull album there were so many people in the bus you couldn't get in or out. Must have been 60 headbangers inside.
Snickardanne our legendary bus driver.
He has a lot of life experience.
Beer is much cheaper in Germany so we
bought some with us on the way home.
Street art in Malmö.
There's so many fun stories from the bus, but this one is one of the worst…
When we should play in Wacken back in 2013. The sun was shining and the bus worked perfect and we were only 300 meters from the stage
when we met a police car that was holding his hand up and doing the Metal sign. The next police car we met, our driver pushed the horn and did the Metal sign. That wasn't a good thing to do. The cop hated the Metal lifestyle. He pulled us over and said that we were not allowed to drive this old junk in Germany. We said that were in the EU and it should be the same rules in Sweden as in Germany. He just laughed...Sweden-puh!
We played at 03.30 in the night just after Uli Jon Roth and we had a gig in Sweden the day after so we had to keep on going. We got a trailer taking the bus to the Danish border and we drove from there. We had to pay the trailer and the police about 2,000 euros, our beloved fan club Bullet Bastards paid the tickets and transport for us. Thanks a million times!!! We wrote about it on facebook and it just spread and we made it to the
biggest newspaper in Sweden. At least something good came out of it. When we stopped at the gas station in Sweden , everybody laughed and said we thought you we´re stuck in Germany.
Nowadays she's a bit dirty but still rollin' smooth. For me it's not just a vehicle, it's a symbol of freedom, the eternal young happy
wildlife. When you're on your way to a show, a beer in your hand it's one of the best feelings. When I die I want my ashes to be spread on the floor of the Bulletbus and I want Hell Hofer to clean them up. HAHAHAHAHhahahahahahah.
PS. All Japanese fans are welcome to visit us and stay in the bus as long as you want…