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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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New album out 2019!

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.

Ok, so if you’ve been following me on my Facebook page I’m sure you’ve already seen me posting a couple of pics of me recording something new this summer.

Bjorn Riis new album 2019

The Coming Home mini album got released in February and I started to write for a new album and the follow-up to Forever comes to an end soon after.

The writing process for this album was a bit different compared to Lullabies and Forever. Lullabies was very much me wanting to finish a lot of the stuff I had laying around from not having used them with Airbag. Forever started out with the title track that was written while I promoted Lullabies and that sort of grew into a new album.

This album was written really fast, over a period of 2-3 weeks, and all of the songs are new. There’s no left over material or ideas that’s been laying around. I knew I wanted to make a new album and I pretty much picked up the guitar and started writing.

Now this might sound cocky but over the years I’ve developed some techniques that allows me to put down new ideas really fast. Ideas for a song can pop up at anytime and I use my iPhone a lot to write down lyrics, ideas for an arrangement or record a couple of chords and riffs.

When I get home I can pop into my home recording studio and within 30-60mins I’ve recorded a very basic draft of what might end up as a song.

I wanted to do things slightly different this time. I wanted to keep a lot of the initial ideas and recordings because they often have that nerve and spontaneity that’s often lost by trying to make everything perfect on the 54th take.

I wanted to have the feeling of a band and although I record everything separately with either myself or additional musicians, there’s something about not overdoing things. I’ve arranged the songs with the band in mind and what we’ve been doing live.

Is it possible to translate this song to the stage? That’s sort of been my goal but certainly no rule. Limiting yourself often generate new ideas and ideas that perhaps wouldn’t have emerged if you have too many options and tools available.

OK, so I think I’ll leave it with that for now. Be sure to stop by once in a while and keep your self up to date with all the latest news on my Facebook page.

We’ll record drums this coming weekend so see you then!

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Close to the Rain – Oslo edition 2018

I’m excited to announce that I will be performing live with my band at the Close to the Rain – Oslo edition festival, in Oslo Norway 31/8-1/9 this fall! We had a blast in Bergen last year and can’t wait for the first Oslo edition to happen!

Close to the Rain 2018

The first bands are already announced and there are more to come! This will also be the ONLY chance to see me and my band in Oslo this fall.

See the official Close to the Rain Facebook event for all the details.

See you there!

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