New album – first sound clip

My new solo album, the follow-up to Lullabies in a Car Crash (2014), is announced for 2017. In the coming weeks and months, I will take you through the process of making this album. From writing the songs, to recording and eventually releasing it to the world.

As I write this, we’ve mixed 5 out of 7 songs and the mastering of the album is set for medio December. Still, there is a long way to go before the album is hitting the stores.

It’s been, almost to the day, three years since Lullabies. Since then, I’ve been busy with writing and recording with Airbag and we, as I’m sure you all know, released our fourth album, Disconnected, a few months back.

Most of the new album, was written simultaneously as the material for Disconnected, which was a new experience. While Lullabies mostly consisted of material I, for whatever reason, hadn’t brought into Airbag, the new album is all new songs.

The new album is very much a trip back to my roots and love of heavier music and movie scores. A strange combination, perhaps, but it’s always been there in what I’ve done with Airbag and on the last album.

So the question is, how do you make that to really be the main focus and not just a part of the whole sound? We’ll get back to that later. 



I can’t really tell you how proud I am of the new album. For me, making music is a very personal experience and there are periods that are just horrible, when you want to delete everything and start all over.

But there are also periods when I realise that I’ve managed to create something special. When you’re in that zone, or flow, it doesn’t really matter if you’re the only one who gets it or like it. It’s about pushing yourself and finding creativity and inspiration when you don’t think there is any.

So, I’ll leave it with that for now and a small taste in the clip below. I hope you will stop by once in a while and please feel free to ask me questions and suggest topics you want me to write about. 



New solo album out 2017!

Bjorn Riis new album 2017

I’m very excited to announce that I will release a new solo album next year! A follow-up to my highly acclaimed debut, Lullabies in a Car Crash (2014), the new album, again released on Karisma Records, will feature members from Airbag, Oak and several other guest appearances.

I’ve once again teamed up with long-time Airbag collaborator, Vegard Sleipnes, who also worked on Lullabies in a Car Crash. We have ventured back to my roots, exploring a harder and darker musical territory, with a strong focus on rhythms and sounds, as well as the more lush soundscapes of movie scores.

It’s still early in the process, so all I can say at this moment is – sometime by the first half next year. I’m proud and excited and can’t wait to share everything with you!

Please stay tuned and watch my Facebook page and here on the web site, for all the news and details.

Airbag “Disconnected” out now!

Airbag Disconnected

Finally! After nearly 18 months in the making, our new album is out!

Disconnected is available on limited edition digisleeve and standard jewel case CD, deluxe 180g double vinyl and digital download at all major stores (physical and online), iTunes and the official Airbag web shop.

See Airbagdisconnected.com and the official Airbag Facebook page for more news and details.

Oak “Lighthouse” out now – featuring me on guitar!

Oak Lighthouse

Oak is a band that I’m sure is familiar to many of you. They opened up for me on my solo shows in 2015 and Frontman Simen Valldal Johannessen and guitarist Ole Michael Bjørndal both played with me.

Oak has also supported Airbag numerous times and Ole is a regular rhythm guitarist for our live performances.

They’re new album, titled Lighthouse, is out on CD, vinyl and digital (Apollon Records). If you’re a fan of Airbag, Porcupine Tree, Tool and Opeth, or just great music, then be sure to check out this album!

Another reason to check out the album, is that I’m featured on guitar on the song Fire, walk with me. It’s a lovely piece, with a really nice atmosphere and lyrics.

Oak on Facebook

New Airbag album Disconnected out June 10th!

Airbag Disconnected new album

Airbag’s new album, titled Disconnected, will be released June 10th on Karisma Records.

After nearly two and a half years since The Greatest Show on Earth, a trip around the planet, solo project and other collaborations, we’re back with a brand new album that undoubtedly is our best yet. We’ve spent nearly a year writing, recording and mixing and we really couldn’t be more proud of the result!

Disconnected feature six songs reflecting on the theme of alienation between the individual and society, what society expects from us as individuals, and our resultant failure to live up to those expectations. Each of the six compositions depicts the state of feeling on ‘the outside’ and out of touch with oneself and those around us.

Musically, we’ve explored new sounds and ventured deeper into creating soundscapes, textures and dramatic arrangements.

Disconnected will be available on limited edition CD, double vinyl and digital download.

Stay tuned for pre-order information, cover artwork and more details.

Recording the 4th Airbag album!

New Airbag album

It’s exciting times! We’ve started recording our 4th album and the follow-up to Greatest Show on Earth. I’ve been writing new songs since last fall, starting in the middle of releasing my own album, and we’ve spent the winter and spring rehearsing and sorting out the arrangements.

Henrik, our drummer, tracking drums this weekend at Subsonic Society in Oslo, with engineer and long-time Airbag collaborator (and bass player in my live band) Vegard Sleipnes. We plan on wrapping up the sessions this week and the rest of us will be laying down bass, guitars, keys and vocals throughout the summer and early fall.

Be sure to follow the recording process on my Facebook page and on Instagram.

Live at John Dee, Oslo Norway

Bjørn Riis - John Dee Oslo 2015

The first show as a solo artist was a huge success! We all had a great evening and the crowd – packed house – was magical and gave us all the inspiration and energy we could possibly wish for!

Oak (Norway) started the night with a great set. This was a first for many in the audience and they liked what they heard. After a quick change-over, we started with A New Day and played the whole Lullabies album. It was an amazing experience to play the new songs and listen to the awesome band behind me!

We did Airbag’s Greatest Show on Earth and Never Coming Home as well. The latter in a slightly different version than what we usually do with Airbag, featuring some beautiful guitar work from Ole.

For the encores, I’d invited Jørgen Hagen and Anders Hovdan from Airbag to join me on Colours and Homesick. The crowd went nuts and I think we played the longest version of Homesick ever!

A huge thanks to my band mates Henrik Fossum (drums), Ole Michael Bjørndal (guitar), Simen Valldal Johannessen (keys) and Vegard Sleipnes (bass) for doing a great job! Now we’re looking forward to play in Helmond (Holland) in a month!

My home recording studio

Bjorn Riis - My Home Recording Studio

I write all my music and record the demos in my home studio. Most of Lullabies in a Car Crash was also recorded and mixed here. It’s a pretty basic setup in a small room but it serves its purpose. The simplicity of it allows me to focus on the important things.

In this feature I’ll let you into my home recording studio and share some tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years. I’m by no means a professional record producer. I’m constantly learning and I think what’s important, above anything, is to spend a lot of time experimenting and exploring the full potential of the gear you own. All sorts of fancy mics and plugins won’t make your songs better.

Please feel free use the comments field under the article for sharing your tips and experiences.

Read the My home recording studio feature now.

Lullabies gear guide

bjornriis.com

I had great fun recording guitars for Lullabies in a Car Crash. I got to explore new sounds and write stuff for guitar that I hadn’t done earlier. Most of the guitars, both electric and acoustic, was recorded in my home studio. The bigger sounds, mostly the solos, were recorded in the Airbag studio, where I have the big setup. I also used a POD a lot. I don’t really care how I get the tones and long as I get what I need for that specific part.

In this feature I’ll share some insights from the sessions and you get to see all the gear used on the album. There’s also a detailed list of all the pedals and effects used on each song and part.

Read the Lullabies in a Car Crash gear guide now.

Live in Oslo, Norway February 27 2015!

bjornriis.com

We’ll be performing Lullabies in a Car Crash in my home town in February! Can’t wait to get back to John Dee – a venue I’ve played at several times with Airbag.

The evening will be very special indeed, with the fantastic Oak (Norway) opening the ball and I’m also extremely excited to announce that there will also be a small Airbag “reunion” so DON’T MISS OUT!

Tickets are available through billettservice.no