[a rough intro]
The following was written by Mats Johansen and edited by Karl Morten Dahl and Vegard B. Havdal, for possible inclusion in the book Rock - A Rough Guide.
Thanks to: Petter Flaten Eilertsen.
Formed October 1989 in Trondheim, Norway
"..introducing the best-kept secret in the music industry."
Motorpsycho has its humble beginnings in Trondheim, Norway's third biggest city. Bent Sæther (bass/vox) met up with Hans Magnus "Snah" Ryan (guitar) and Kjell Runar "Killer" Jenssen (drums) after having played in a variety of local hardrock bands and they formed Motorpsycho. They found the name after having seen a triple-movie Russ Meyer showing at a cinema. Since the two other titles ('Mudhoney' and 'Faster Pussycat') were already taken, they settled for Motorpsycho. This line-up released the a mc demo called MAIDEN VOYAGE (1990) and the by then vinyl-only album LOBOTOMIZER (1991) before Killer quit and Håkon Gebhardt joined. Gebhardt had met Ryan some years earlier at a folk high school, and now called him up saying that the band needed him badly.
He decided to join and the band had formed the nucleus they've kept up until present day. After having released LOBOTOMIZER on CD, the vinyl-only ep SOOTHE (1992), the vinyl-only 7" 3 SONGS FOR RUTH, and putting the two latter releases on a CD-only release called 8 SOOTHING SONGS FOR RUT, they got better aquainted with Helge Steen (audio noise, keyboards, theremin). Helge would join the band for the next release DEMON BOX (1993) contributing with experimental sound collages to their prog-inspired hard rock. This album marked their 'breakthrough' in underground environments and set up Motorpsycho as a force to be reckoned with. Norwegian music press claimed this album to be one of the best rock albums ever. The band were nominated to the norwegian Grammy's were Bent turned up in a dress, contributing to the underground vibe already established.
The band released two EP's through the course of 93-94, MOUNTAIN EP (1993) and ANOTHER UGLY EP (1994) which marked the start of Motorpsycho's reputation as a creative force. This fact were to be proved with TIMOTHY'S MONSTER (1994), a release which not only proved monumental in format (2CD/3LP), but also in style. Motorpsycho shifted focus away from the modern progrock of before, and towards more indie-oriented material (but still with instrumental excesses). Helge Steen had quit the band to concentrate on his education, but still managed to contribute to some tunes on the album. He have also joined the band on stage on several gigs (sometimes with the band, and sometimes as a support act playing his contemporary muisc).
The band were joined by two other people during this period as a replacement for Steen. Both Morten Fagervik and Lars Lien were two technicians who joined the band on stage on several occasions playing guitar and keyboards.
The band took a "year off" in 1995, playing at various festivals and supporting the TUSSLER (1994) release, a soundtrack album from a western movie by Theo Buhara. Neither the film nor the director exists, but the soundtrack is a blistering countryrock album playing tunes of both Gram Parsons and Neil Young while translating existing Motorpsycho tunes into the country format.
The band had by this time established themselves as a serious and efficient live and studio outfit. As they soon had established themselves a loyal fan base in Norway and Europe, they proved themselves as the allrounder band they really are. In one short summer of 1995 they played festivals all over Europe, visiting not only rock and metal festivals as the danish Roskilde festival, the dutch Dynamo Open Air and norwegian Isle of Calf (Kalvøya) festival. But they also played shows at a country & roots festival ('Down on the farm' in southern Norway) and jazz festivals (Kongsberg Jazz in Norway) playing improvisational gigs.
Of later years they've continued to release records with BLISSARD (1996) and ANGELS AND DAEMONS AT PLAY (1997). Both records have shown the band from the indierock side, but introducing more experimental tunes together with a seventies vibe. The fan base continued to grow causing sellout gigs all over Europe. They are presently about to release their 8th real album, not counting the dozen or so of singles and EP's, TRUST US (1998) and find themselves in a position where they're cheered on from both critics and fans.
The band has so far been distributed by small, independent labels in Europe and the US (Stickman Records and Bird Cage), but time will show.
We all wait in utter, excited silence...
Demon Box (Voices of Wonder, 1993) [LP/CD]
The underground breakthrough album which set the band up as a force to be reckoned with. Here the dark mood of goth rock and samples are mixed with progressive hard rock; as on the epic 'Plan # 1' or the angstridden 17-minute title track.
Timothy's Monster (Harvest, 1994) [LP/CD]
Trust Us (Stickman, 1998) [LP&CD]
Let Them Eat Cake(Stickman, 2000 [LP&CD]