Posts Tagged ‘Borknagar’
Today I’m giving a presentation at the Norwegian Academy of Music talking about the same issues I covered with my Bachelor paper.
Because of this I choose to publish the summary of my paper here;
Whenever I tell people about the highlights of my 15 years in Borknagar I’m often asked how much money I’ve earned. I tell them that while I label myself as a musician, I need to make a living from a regular job. This is sometimes hard to make people understand, as Borknagar has achieved a great deal of musical success over the years, which to most people imply income.
As I started studying Entrepreneurship, I found some interesting new ways of seeing the historical development of Borknagar and how the musical success didn’t match the economic success. This had me intrigued and I decided to use this paper and the research involved to figure out if I could find any explanation to that. I was never looking for scapegoats, only explanations. I have also found some.
The first thing that backfired was bringing entrepreneurial theory into the metal scene. Artistic integrity and credibility doesn’t go well with commercial thinking. I found out that I had to take a step back and start this research by pointing out exactly how artistic venture is so closely linked to entrepreneurial theory. I believe I have succeeded.
The next step was to narrow the research down from explaining the music industry as it’s own universe, to search for key factors in the development of Borknagar. I eventually found that motivation seemed to be important. Motivation is the key to the persistence needed to keep working with your band through all the hard time, what entrepreneurial theory calls «The valley of death». I could see how Borknagar had been in this valley for too many years without breaking the surface, and how that had made the band give up and search for alternative careers. The motivation had depleted.
I also found indications that entrepreneurial research had neglected the motivation factor for some time and that it is seen as sort of a missing link between recognicing the opportunity and taking action. Exactly the staduim where I could put Borknagar. To explain this I had to point out how Borknagars KSA (knowledge, skills and abilities) are not what’s in question here. The band is undoubtedly able to make music and to make the music accessible to the marked and with that enabeling the action part of this equation. So why didn’t we? The easy answer is; because the motivation failed.
The next phase was explaining exactly how motivation influences a band in the same way as an employee or a firm. Justice is an important part of motivation and it’s not hard to establish that Borknagar felt their lack of reward was unjust. Where had the money gone? Through this process I became more and more aware that we had indeed not been scammed, if there’s anyone to blame it’s ourselves. Our ability to make the right decisions and react the right way in the crucial moments was not the same as for Dimmu Borgir which I used as a comparison. If I should make any complaint it’s that we lacked the awareness of this and we didn’t get any help from the outside like Dimmu Borgir did.
This phenomenon is in entrepreneurial theory called «product-focused» and can be explained like how a football-player is too focused on the ball and misses the situation. If an Entrepreneur is too focused on the product he’s making and not taking care of the other factors needed to be successful, he’s not going to be successful. In 2001 Borknagar released the Empiricism album, a very strong product. It seems like we were a bit too product focused.
With this research and my findings I have tried to suggest some helpful advice for bands being in the fase of establishing or looking for an audience. Motivation is a factor that’s important both inside a band and for the entire organization you end up building, including managers, labels, crew and agents. This advice will not give anyone a record contract, but give some points to how you should manage your band from the beginning to avoid conflict later on.
The 2012 version of Borknagar is much better suited to handle the different aspects of being in a band then the 2001 version. The release of the album «Urd» has also shown Borknagar at the peak of music production. The only drawback is that by now we’re all involved with families and careers and for everyone to give up this to act on the opportunity is a longshot. We have become «Weekend- artists»!
Yes, the rumours are true, the new Borknagar drummer is Baard Kolstad.
Baard was also presented as the new ICS Vortex drummer just last week and I already saw some speculations drawing the correct lines in here.
Baard is a bit younger then the rest of us geezers, but his entry into the music scene is quite amazing. Baard was “discovered” by Mr Vortex himself in the spring 2011 while recording in Toproom Studio with a band. Just after this both Borknagar and ICS Vortex were asked to participate in the anniversary recording of Metallica’s Black Album, and as Asgeir Mickelson was unavailable, Vortex called up Baard and asked him to play on the song.
Baard has a very well visited Youtube channel which I don’t think needs any explanation, just enter and have a look for yourself; Baard Kolstad Youtube
The last achievement Baard did was to win the World Championship in v-drums arranged by Roland in January 2012, have a look at this video:
And you can watch his winning performance here:
In these days with all the streaming debates, sharing, ripping, piracy and such I almost feel like a pirate myself asking people to buy the album to keep us going. I can live long on good reviews and feedback, but in the end that doesn’t pay studio bills, marketing, layout, production and all that. So, for you trusty ones who still buy albums I want to direct you to the places where you also directly support Borknagar with your purchase.
It’s very easy really, I simply want you to go through the featured shop on the Borknagar website. This is the current one; Borknagar webshop
Yes, I know it’s not up to date with the pre order stuff, but you can find that at the Century Media webshop and we’ll get it up at the Borknagar shop too.
It’s still a few weeks before the album is out and all the products are not done and made just yet. I’ll make sure to update you when more stuff is ready to display. Until then, enjoy the first song here at this link; Borknagar – Roots – Urd
Here we are! Finally!
I’ve been waiting for this for quite some time now. After we went back home from Fascination Street I have been dying to show this to everyone and get some feedback on this. And the release date is still some weeks away, but at least we can now share one of the songs from the upcoming Borknagar album with you!
Below you can also see a new band photo and the statement from Century Media. The Statement also contains the link, but for you impatient ones you can find it here at Metal Hammer Germany: Borknagar – Roots – (Urd)
Let me hear what you think!!!
BORKNAGAR – Launch first new promotional song and new band-photo!
Norwegian Avantgarde Metallers BORKNAGAR are premiering a first promotional song off their much anticipated new studio album, “Urd”, today via the website of Metal Hammer (Germany). Go check out the enthralling track “Roots” here: Borknagar – Roots – (Urd)
BORKNAGAR’s mastermind Øystein G. Brun checked in to comment about the song as follows:
“In regards to the depth, diversity and magnitude of our new album, “Urd”, it almost feels painful to slice off just a tiny bit of the bloody roast for the very first official “starter”. I would argue that each and every song on the new album stands on solid ground, but as usual with our music, the songs empower each other in the context of a full album.
That said, “Roots” is probably the song on the album that gives you the most representative impression of “Urd”. Musically it contains most of the elements that framework the musical universe of BORKNAGAR, and lyrically this song is gnawing on the very spine of our lyrical tradition. Hope you enjoy this song, the first tiny glimpse into our new opus. The beast is about to be unleashed…”
“Roots” is taken off the album “Urd”, which to be released on March 26th, 2012 in Europe as well as March 27th, 2012 in North America via Century Media Records.
The album’s artwork was designed by Brazilian artist Marcelo Vasco (www.P2RDESIGN.com), who has not only already worked on the band’s previous “Universal” release but also with artists such as Soulfly, Belphegor, Einherjer or Keep of Kalessin. The mixing duties for the album were taken care of by Jens Bogren at Sweden’s Fascination Street Studios (Opeth, Paradise Lost, Katatonia, etc.).
The tracklisting for the album will read as follows:
BORKNAGAR – “Urd” / Tracklisting:
3. The Beauty Of Dead Cities
4. The Earthling
5. The Plains Of Memories
6. Mount Regency
8. The Winter Eclipse
9. In A Deeper World
BORKNAGAR Line-Up (from left to right on band-photo!):
Øystein G. Brun – Clean & Electric Guitars (Cronian, ex Molested)
ICS Vortex – Bass, Clean Vocals & Choirs (Arcturus / ICS Vortex, ex Dimmu Borgir)
Vintersorg – Grim Vocals, Clean Vocals & Choirs (Vintersorg, Fission)
Jens F. Ryland – Lead Guitars (ICS Vortex)
Lars A. Nedland – Keys, Clean Vocals & Choirs (Solefald, ex Carpathian Forest)
Drums and percussion on “Urd” were performed by David Kinkade (Soulfly, ex Malevolent Creation).
BORKNAGAR Live 2012:
04.-07.04. Oslo (Norway) – Inferno Festival / www.infernofestival.net
13.-14.04. Lichtenfels (Germany) – Ragnarök Festival / www.ragnaroek-festival.com
More dates will be announced soon…
More details and information about the album’s release will be issued soon…
Century Media Records online:
Century Media webshop:
A month or two back I presented the idea to Asgeir and ICS Vortex about getting engaged with a Youth-Club I’ve come in contact with. This club is named Volt and is located in Lørenskogs Hus which is only 6-7 minutes away from where I live, just outside Oslo. Funny enough they both responded far more positive then I expected and the reasons are very obvious. First of all we have all been connected to different Youth-Clubs in our early music career where we played with bands, learned some tricks and got to try some equipment and ideas. Secondly we now have kids and it feels natural to get engaged with the Youth and learn about the different organized activities our kids can get involved with in the future.
Our engagement is volunteer and without schedules, and we also get to use the facilities they offer which are very good. The whole building named Lørenskogs Hus is brand new and Volt includes both a recording studio, a media/ film workshop, an art/ paint/ graffiti workshop and a “black-box” venue with state-of-the-art sound- and light-equipment. Connected to Volt is also the Music-School organized by the county and the whole eight floors of this building is all about culture with a brand new cinema and a library over three floors! Volt even has it’s own cafe which is open all afternoon.
So far we have scheduled rehearsal hours for ICS Vortex at Volt, although we have not quite started up for real. We want to engage with the Youth here to inspire the music scene to grow, there are already a few rock and metal bands lurking in the corridors and there seems to be some very skilled young musicians taking solo classes with different instruments. We will most likely schedule workshops, advice the bands on different issues, help to produce demos in the studio, organize concerts and so on.
The bands who want to contact us can do so through the coordinator at the Volt Club. I’m thrilled with this, I’ve wanted to work with the youth for a while already and this seems to be a good opportunity.