Dan Berglund was born in May 1963 and grew up in a small village in Sweden called Pilgrimstad near Östersund. His father played accordion in an amateur band and his elder brother played guitar. They introduced him at an early age to very different styles of music including Swedish folk music, pop and rock.
Dan started to play the guitar when he was ten and soon after formed a band with his local friends. The band was made up of three guitar players and one drummer, so they were missing the bass player. Dan took over the bass part, first of all playing the bass lines on his guitar, then later his father bought him an electric bass and Dan was immediately fascinated by playing it. Together with his father´s band he had his first public performances at different kind of events: weddings, birthday parties, funerals ….
During his High School years Dan continued to play in his own rock group with his friends. They named themselves “Dizzy” and, besides playing cover versions of Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple songs, also composed their own music. They played together a lot.
One day his High School music teacher, Ceasar, brought a double bass to Dan´s home and although a double bass was not a cheap instrument his father bought it for Dan. Roughly a year later Dan started his professional music education at Birka Folkhögskola in Östersund. It was a difficult time for him –he would have much preferred to play his electric bass in a rock-band rather than the double bass in a conservatory.
His music teacher, Ceasar, then also suggested him as bassist to the local state-run orchestra, whose leader was very skeptical about engaging Dan. This rejection fuelled Dan´s ambition and he went into a phase of never-ending practice sessions and rehearsals until he got the post. Whilst playing with the orchestra he had many concerts and TV-engagements.
In 1990 Dan got tired of playing with the orchestra and wanted to improve his musical skills, so he moved to Stockholm and registered with the Royal Music University. He immediately got to know all of the capital´s great musicians and due to his abilities was soon engaged and played in many different bands like the “Fredrik Norén Band”, “Lina Nyberg”, “Louise Hoffsten”, and “Per Texas Johansson”. It was during one of the tours with Lina Nyberg that Dan met Esbjörn Svensson for the first time.
Esbjörn had composed several of the songs that Lina sang during her set and one day when Dan and Esbjörn were sitting in the sauna after one of the shows, Esbjörn asked Dan whether he would like to join the Esbjörn Svensson Trio.
The first years were very difficult. The band was travelling from small gig to small gig, from village to village in Sweden. To play music together with Esbjörn and Magnus was fantastic, but it hardly earned the money to survive.
The break came after 7 long years with the albums “From Gagarin´s Point of View”, “Good Morning Susie Soho” and “Strange Place for Snow” and tours outside of Sweden. Finally e.s.t. – as they had named themselves in the meantime to document the collective group character of their collaboration - was playing worldwide to an ever-growing audience. They were selling six-digit figures per album release, winning lots of awards and were heralded as the “Trio of the Decade” (London Times) and re-inventors of jazz.
One of the keys to the band´s success probably was: the different influences in their musical backgrounds, that all of them brought - equally-weighted - to the table, and melted into a unique band sound and concept. While Esbjörn Svensson´s background was classical music, and e.s.t.´s drummer Magnus Öström was firmly rooted in the electronica and drum’n’bass world, Dan was legendary for his deep and full “Mingus-like” bass tone and his “Jimi Hendricks-like” solos, using all sorts of effects to make the double bass sound like screaming electric guitars. This has made him the sensation in many of e.s.t.´s concerts.
Esbjörn Svensson´s untimely death in the summer of 2008 put an end to Europe´s most successful jazz outfit. Dan confesses that at first he didn´t know how to continue, but then he hooked up with some of his musical friends from the pre-e.s.t. era and during lots of sessions in rehearsal rooms found the joy and happiness in the creation of music again: “e.s.t. is part of my history, it influences my music making and composing right now. I was in it, it was in me and it will always be with me – just like my hard-rock history has always been part of me”.
His new partners are Johan Lindstroem on guitar, who he had met during his time at the “Per Texas Johansson” band, Martin Hederos from the pop-band “The Soundtracks of our Live” on piano, and Andreas Werliin on drums. For their new band and debut-album they have composed, arranged and produced all songs together.