A Storm is Coming OUT NOW!

At last! My new album and fourth release, A Storm is Coming, is finally here! It’s always such a surreal feeling to have an album out after having spent months deep into writing, recording and producing.

The reviews and feedback has been quite overwhelming so far so it’s looking pretty good! Looking forward to hear what everyone think after a few spins and not least, to play the songs live this year!

I’ll be posting new updates and features on the album very soon! Stay tuned!

STORMWATCH – New single out now!

The new single Stormwatch is available on download and stream at all major platforms. The track is taken from my upcoming album, A Storm is Coming, which is out May 3rd.

Stormwatch is a dialog between two people who experience the violent tension and frustration in a relationship. To portray this, I’m sharing the vocal duties with the amazing Norwegian singer, Mimi Tamba.

Stormwatch also feature Henrik Bernan Fossum (Airbag) on drums and Simen Valldal Johannessen (Oak) on piano.

2 Days Prog + 1 Veruno, Italy

I’m super excited to return to one of the finest prog fesitivals out there, the 2 Days Prog +1 in Veruno, Italy September 6-8!

They have a strict policy on never having returning guests but the perk of having a solo carreer is that this rule doesn’t apply, ha ha! We had such a great time with Airbag back in 2016 – great venue, audience, food and atmosphere.

This is a no ticket required event. See you there!

Pre-order your copy of A Storm is Coming NOW and get it signed!

The pre-order is up and you can get your copy signed exclusively here at the offical site! Head on over to the shop now and order your copy!

A Storm is Coming is avaiable in te following formats:
– CD limited edition digi sleeve, with 8 page booklet
– Vinyl 180g black with printed inner sleeve
– Vinyl 180g limited edition grey marble, with alternate cover and printed inner sleeve

A Storm is Coming will be out May 3rd on CD, vinyl and download.

ICARUS – New single out now!

The new single Icarus is available on download and stream at all major platforms. The track is taken from my upcoming album, A Storm is Coming, which is out May 3rd.

Icarus is inspired by the classic Greek tale about Icarus flying too close to the sun. This hybris is translated into a relationship between two people, where one part is getting burned for always trying too hard.

Icarus feature Henrik Fossum (Airbag) on drums and Kristian Hultgren (Wobbler) on bass.

New album – Recording vocals and bass

I’m very proud and excited to announce that I will be releasing a new full-length solo album in 2019! You can follow the whole process – the writing, recording and mixing of the album right here on my web site. I’ll post news updates, in-depth written features and video clips from the studio.

At last! I’m finished recording the new album! There’s only a couple of guest appearances left but everything else is done. It’s always a strange feeling. You live inside this bubble on every project and it’s so incredibly consuming.

It’s a feeling of never wanting to let go and just hoping it will soon end. Strange feeling indeed.

Bjorn Riis - New album 2019

I did most of the bass tracks myself. I always play bass on demos. Both my own and Airbag’s but I’ve never felt comfortable with being a bassist. You can hear how safe I went with Lullabies and I wish I had someone better to do the bass. On Forever I felt that I managed to do a fairly decent job, which gave me more confidence to do the bass for this album.

I’m using an Epiphone Thunderbird. Hardly what you would call a high end instrument but it does the job and I think it sounds pretty cool. I like that fat edgy tone and the neck is really easy for a novice like me to play.

I tend to stick to the stuff that I grew up listening to, like Kiss, Sabbath and all of that classic rock stuff. I can hear a lot of that in my playing and perhaps that provides a nice contrast to the other instruments. And I’m a pick guy. Never really understood fingers on a bass. Unless you’re ripping it apart like Geezer Butler.

I record the bass at home. No amp. It’s fed straight into a Universal Audio Solo 610 tube preamp, which really makes a huge difference to the sound. I like a lot of grit and fuzz, especially on the heavier parts, so we’re re-amping using a UA Ampeg plug-in that sounds amazing. It’s all over Forever and it will be all over this album too.

Kristian Hultgren (Wobbler) has been playing with me for a while and I wanted him on one of the tracks. He has a very aggressive attack, which I think fit that song very well. We recorded using the UA 610 and one of his mid 60s Fender P guitars.

Bjorn Riis - New album 2019

All of my vocals are recorded in my home recording studio. I guess that’s the only place I feel comfortable and confident to lay down the tracks and try new things, which I think I have on this album.

I’m using a Rode NT2-A into the UA 610 preamp, which is for the most part set with a pretty high input. I love those close in-your-face vocals and there are lots of them on this album.

Next time we’ll go deep into how I recorded the guitars for this album. Stay tuned!

Terra Incognita Quebéc, Canada 2019

I’m excited to announce that I will be performing live with my band at the 15th annual Terra Incognita festival in Quebéc, Canada May 17-19 2019! Airbag will also perform, so this will be a unique chance to experience both bands in one weekend!

Terra Incognita 2019

Check out the official Terra Incognita Facebook page for all the details and news!

Tickets ON SALE NOW!

See you there!

New album – Recording acoustic guitars

I’m very proud and excited to announce that I will be releasing a new full-length solo album in 2019! You can follow the whole process – the writing, recording and mixing of the album right here on my web site. I’ll post news updates, in-depth written features and video clips from the studio.

This weekend I recorded all the acoustic guitars. It’s a fairly easy process and I’m always most comfortable with recording them in my home recording studio. Still, there’s always the challenge of mic placement and of course – being able to perform well and record quality tracks!

Bjorn Riis - New album 2019

I have a Yamaha LL16 that I’ve been using for a few years. It’s featured on all of my solo releases and Airbag’s Disconnected. Nothing over the top or super fancy but to me it has a really comfortable neck, it’s easy to play and it sounds great. It’s perhaps a slightly darker sounding acoustic but I’ve never been a fan of something that’s too crispy and bright.

I use Elixir 11-52 gauge strings and Dunlop Tortex .50mm and Jazz 1.00mm picks.

Bjorn Riis - New album 2019

The guitar is recorded with a Rode NT2-A condenser mic. I usually have two setups. For the darker single track sounds I place the mic about 5-6 inches away and for the lighter stereo stuff, I like it to sound as airy as possible and often sit a meter away from the mic.

The mic is fed into a Universal Audio Solo 610 tube pre-amp that sounds really nice and warm. It’s set very gently, with just a touch of the input gain or compression, but it makes all the difference and the tracks are very easy to mix in later on.

Acoustic guitar has always been important for me and my music. I mainly write on acoustics and I often build a song around that initial idea or demo. Hopefully that translates to the finished mix as well.

Next up is bass guitars. Stay tuned!