Motorpsycho Goes to the Opera

510x388_Motorpsycho01In the last 23 years, Motorpsycho has released a number of conceptual albums with legendary status.

‘Demon Box’ from 1993 was their definitive breakthrough album. Every album tells its own epic story, and experiments with different musical genres: Hard-rock, prog rock, country rock etc. ‘The Tussler’ album from 1994, was the soundtrack for a made-up Italian ‘spaghetti-western’ movie released under the pseudonym ‘The International Tussler Society’. It is a country/western inspired record with music and lyrics by Motorpsycho, and additional cover material from American bands like The Grateful Dead and Gram Parsons. On their long musical journey, Motorpsycho has received three Norwegian Grammy Awards for the best rock album, and five of their albums have been voted into the Top-100 best ever Norwegian albums – three of them in Top-25.

In cooperation with Ståle Storløkken from Supersilent, Motorpsycho is now out with their new album: ’The Death Defying Unicorn’, yet another master piece in Norwegian rock history. It is an 84 minutes long adventure into the fables of ‘the dangerous unicorn’, Robert Hoftun Gjestad from Aftenposten writes in his review.

A pre-ordered musical work for Molde Jazz Festival in 2010 was the inspiration for this musical novel. The festival wanted Motorpsycho to perform their rock material along with a big band orchestra.  From that, ‘The Death Defying Unicorn’ was made. The whole ensemble contains of the three Motorpsycho members (guitar, bass, drums with vocal), Ståle Storløkken(keyboards), eight wind blowers and eight string players from Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and TrondheimSolistene. In November, ‘The Death Defying Unicorn’ will be performed in its full length in Oslo Opera House. The tickets are already sold-out.

‘It starts with an orchestral overture before the band gives a fuzz bass tone which introduces the main character: A young man, caught for sniping gets to choose between execution or going to sea. Motorpsycho’s Bent Sæther has written a real epic story in archaic English where he later on recommends us to read ’Moby Dick’ or ’The Odyssey’ (…)’, reviewer of Dagsavisen, Bernt Erik Pedersen writes. He continues: ‘Here are sea-monsters, sharks, Greek myths, the maelstroms from Poe and/or Homer, and the vision of a fantasy world (…). Our sailor goes through starvation, insanity, mutiny and his ship going under on his way to existential recognition. The music waves, storms and swirls until the listener gets dizzy and confused, lost at sea. (…). When the musical reaches its peak, when the whole ensemble lift each other to new levels, that’s one of the best moments in the history of Motorpsycho (…).’

Motorpsycho is known for their legendary stage performances. Their ability to convey the music to the audience and their endurance is remarkable – the band often plays for three-four straight hours during a gig. The band also experiments with different performing arenas. Recently, they held a glorious intimate concert in Oslo Cathedral, which included a musical piece specially written for the church organ. The summer of 2010, they performed at the Oya Festival, an outdoor festival down-town Oslo, playing the whole album ‘Timothy’s Monster’ which was chosen by the Norwegian people in a media poll. The concert was a major hit on the same stage where Iggy and the Stooges had played three days earlier.

ThorNews is exited to continue following Motorpsycho on their epic journey!

Who is: Motorpsycho
-Norwegian rock band, founded in the late 80’s
-Members: Bent Sæther (bass, vocal), Hans Magnus ‘Snah’ Ryan (guitar, vocal), and Kenneth Knapstad (drums) since 2007.
-Selection of Albums: Demon Box (1993), Timothy’s Monster (1994), Blissard (1996), Trust Us (1998), Let Them Eat Cake (2000).
-Upcoming concerts: Byscenen, Trondheim, March 14th-15th; Rockefeller, Oslo, March 16th; The Netherlands, April 11th and 14th; Germany April 17th.

Visit website here.


Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews

Photos: On top; Kim Ramberghaug; Below: Arne K. Gansmo (NRK)

Source: Aftenposten, Dagsavisen

Categories: Culture, Music

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