A.C.T, initially formed in 1994 under the name Fairlyland, is a Swedish progressive rock band that has left an unforgettable mark on the music scene. The founding members, Ola Andersson (guitars), Tomas Erlandsson (drums), Jens Appelgren (vocals), and Jerry Sahlin (keyboards), came together and began crafting their unique sound. Their first notable composition was the epic 20-minute progressive rock song "Utopia of a Stepchild," written by Sahlin and Appelgren.
In 1995, A.C.T underwent significant changes, with Jens Appelgren departing and being replaced by Herman Saming as the vocalist. Additionally, Ola Anderssons childhood friend, Peter Asp, joined the band as the bassist. This lineup solidified, and the band officially adopted the name A.C.T.
A.C.T quickly gained recognition as a captivating live act, thanks in large part to the infectious enthusiasm of Herman Saming on stage. Their technically intricate music combined with Saming's charismatic performance style garnered them a dedicated following.
In 1996, A.C.T made waves in the Swedish music scene by reaching the final of a national music competition, although they did not win. Undeterred, the band continued to refine their sound and embarked on smaller tours throughout Sweden in 1997.
In 1999, A.C.T recorded their debut album, "Today's Report," at Underground Studios in Västerås. The album, engineered and mixed by Pelle Sather, showcased their musical prowess and was well-received by fans and critics alike. The same year A.C.T signed a deal with MTM Records for the European market and Marquee/Avalon for the Japanese market.
A.C.T's journey continued with a Scandinavian tour alongside progressive rock band Saga, which unfortunately did not materialize due to a promoter's shortcomings. This experience inspired the track "A Supposed Tour," featured on their subsequent album, "Imaginary Friends," released in 2001. "Imaginary Friends," also recorded at Underground Studios and produced by Pelle Sather.
In 2001, Tomas Erlandsson departed, making way for Tomas Lejon to join the band as the drummer. Lejon's familiarity with the band, having previously shared a rehearsal space with them, facilitated a seamless transition. A.C.T embarked on a European tour supporting Fish, solidifying their professional relationship with manager Graham Collins, who arranged the tour.
A.C.T's third album, "Last Epic," released in 2003, propelled them further into the progressive rock scene. The album's success led to an extensive European tour alongside Ray Wilson and SAGA, thanks to the extensive network of Graham Collins. Signing with Atenzia Records and maintaining their collaboration with Marquee/Avalon in Japan further solidified their global presence.
After a brief hiatus, A.C.T returned with their fourth album, "Silence," recorded in Malmö with producer and sound engineer Martin Hedin. The band's signing with InsideOut Records in 2006 led to the re-release of their first three albums as special editions, featuring bonus tracks and enhanced booklets.
While personal commitments and regular jobs briefly led to a decline in A.C.T's musical output, the band found inspiration and resumed their creative journey. They released their fifth album, "Circus Pandemonium," in 2014, marking a return to their independent spirit and joy of creating music.
Over the years, A.C.T delighted audiences with their captivating live performances, culminating in the recording of a live DVD (Trifles and Pandemonium) in 2016. The band embarked on several successful Scandinavian tours, further solidifying their reputation as a beloved live act.
In 2018, A.C.T shifted their approach and began releasing a series of EPs instead of full-length albums. This decision allowed for shorter turnaround times and greater creative freedom. The EP series, including "Rebirth" (2019), "Heatwave" (2021), and "Falling" (2023), showcases the band's commitment to exploring new musical territories. They are currently working on the final installment, set for release in 2024.
In 2023, A.C.T celebrates the 20th anniversary of their acclaimed third studio album, "Last Epic," with a special live show where they will perform the album in its entirety. This milestone is a testament to the enduring impact of A.C.T's music and their unwavering dedication to their craft.