A country of Fjords and Vikings, of salmon, trolls and fairy tales. A country
of oil seepages, high prices and cross-country skiing. A place where
traditionally German tourists traveled the countryside with their enormous caravans.
those icons seem to be replaced by foreign music producers, bands and artists
seeking inspiration and ideas.
is the country with the most varied music scene in the whole of Europe, ranging
from Dub Step and Folk to Jazz. In former days the nation has only been known
for its black metal bands. Scary,
long-haired men shrieking their vocals to the sound of high-pitched guitar
sounds. No one ever associated genres like Funk, Soul or Reggae with
in the last couple of years musicians in Norway have tried to prove that black
is white. Multi instrumentalists like Jarle Bernhoft or newcomer bands like
Megaphronic Thrift give Norway’s music scene a new image. Countless festivals
every summer, new emerging bands every year and vinyl record shops at every
corner – Norwegians all seem to be avid music lovers.
has traditionally been the epicenter of Norwegian music. Over the last few
decades it was the place to be. Artists were mixing up different music genres, and
made that little town (well, for Norwegian standards it’s pretty huge) a true
recently, things seem to have moved away from the west coast and toward the
eastern region around Oslo. A capital with hidden treasures and beauty, yet
slightly unpopular among many Norwegians. Thus, it is nice to see that some of
the art elite is now focusing on Oslo as well.
as small and isolated as Bergen, Oslo had been struggling to establish its own
significant music community. People seem to be shattered and isolated in their
specific area of the city, and unable to find a common place to get together
and make music.
“That has changed a lot,“ says Øystein Olsen
Eggen from the band The Slanting Brackets.
“I certainly have the feeling that Oslo now takes the lead in Norway’s music
for the very-expensive Scandinavian countries, most concerts in Oslo are free
and attract huge crowds, even on normal weekdays. “Groups
like us might have had a hard time pushing our success in places like Trondheim,
where the city is ruled by an tight circle of music students. Here in Oslo it
is very democratic and open to beginners as well,“ Øystein says, sitting on a
couch while sipping on the Norwegian beer Frydenlund.
It is his birthday, he is turning twenty-two.
group started off as friends, knowing each other for years, just doing some jam
In the last year, they recorded a few tracks and
played at some of the numerous music venues now emerging in Oslo. “It is hard
to play at the really good places, you actually already have to be a
professional to get a gig there. But there so many new places opening all the
time!” In the last five years, the number of music venues in Oslo’s city center
has tripled, and famous institutions like the new opera house attract musicians
from all over the world. Øystein
is real change and opportunity in this city for bands like us. “