Bigbang (Norwegian band)

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Background information
GenresRock, rock and roll, blues rock, indie rock
Years active1992 (1992)–present
LabelsGrand Sport
Warner Music
WebsiteOfficial website
MembersØystein Greni
Olaf Olsen
Nikolai Eilertsen
Past membersChrister Engen
Øyvind Storli Hoel
Karim Sayed
Stig Morten Sørheim
Kristian Syvertsen
Martin Horntveth
Erik Tresselt
Lasse Weeden

Bigbang is a Norwegian rock band led by frontman Øystein Greni. Over several years the band lineup has altered several times while remaining a trio, with Greni remaining the one constant member. Though the band name spelling is inconsistent, it is usually styled BigBang.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

BigBang has been described as "Norway's best live band",[9][10][11] with the recording Radio Radio TV Sleep holding the distinction of being the best selling live album ever to be released in Norway.[3] The song lyrics are all in English.


Øystein Greni grew up with a conviction that he was meant to create music, influenced not only by his own father's work, Thor S. Greni a performer in 1960—70s Norwegian language soul band Undertakers Circus and in 1968 an opening act for Led Zeppelin,[12][13][14][15] but also by other 1960s and 70s artists such as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Curtis Mayfield. As a skateboarder he was influenced by punk rock music such as The Jam, Dinosaur Jr. and Hüsker Dü.[12]

BigBang was formed in 1992 by Greni, Erik Tresselt and Christer Engen.[1][3][16] The group went on a month-long tour of the U.S. in 1993, and released their first album Waxed in 1995 on the own independent record label, Grand Sport.[1][3][5]

Drummer Christer Engen left the band to join Turbonegro in 1997, and was replaced by Martin Horntveth, previously with Jaga Jazzist. They released the single "How Do You Do", and remained together until January 1999 when Horntveth returned to Jaga Jazzist, to be replaced by Kristian Syvertsen.[2] Syvertsen remained with the band until April of that year when he left and was replaced by Olaf Olsen.[2] Bassist Tresselt left the band in August 1999 and was succeeded by Nikolai Eilertsen.[2]

Greni sold his Vespa to pay the final installment to finance the production of Electric Psalmbook[17][18] recorded during 1998 in Athletic Sound Studio in Halden,[19] and released on the own label Grand Sport in March 1999. The band's breakthrough came about following a highly successful 1999 by:Larm concert in Stavanger, when suddenly several record companies demonstrated great interest in signing them.[2][16][18] The band signed with Warner Music in 1999,[20] and immediately re-released Electric Psalmbook in the fall of 1999.[19]

For a period during 1999 as the song "Wild Bird" received considerable radio exposure and became established as a hit,[3] BigBang as a group was temporarily dissolved.[21] The BigBang song "Long Distance Man" is an English adaptation (with completely rewritten lyrics) of a Norwegian song by Undertakers Circus, "Nettenes Prinsesse" from 1973.[1][13][14]

The album Clouds Rolling By from 2000 was the start of commercial success for BigBang, as the song "Girl In Oslo" became established as a hit and had been released in several compilation albums by that time. In early 2001, BigBang was Launched in Germany, Switzerland and Austria with the EP release Girl In Oslo.[2]

Drummer Olaf Olsen in Kongsberg, April 2007

Drummer Olaf Olsen was absent from the band from May 2000 until he returned in May 2001. During this time, drums were played by Karim Sayed.[2] In March 2002, BigBang released Frontside Rock'n'Roll. The album features the song "Frontside Rock'n'Roll", which Øystein Greni dedicated to two skaters he knew that had died in their youth.[7][12] The title refers to a skateboarding trick requiring a high level of proficiency. The release was followed by a U.S. tour spanning five weeks.[2]

The live album Radio Radio TV Sleep was released in August 2003.[2] A double CD with half acoustic material, the album's title refers to a cheatcode often found on Norwegian hotel room TV remote controls to access pay-television.[22] National network NRK taped a documentary over these live sessions, which climax is a performance of "Girl in Oslo" featuring five drummers, one of whom being Thor S. Greni.[2]

In 2004 bassist Eilertsen departed from the band in order to focus on the group The National Bank,[1] and former bassist Erik Tresselt returned to the band. With the April 2005 release of Poetic Terrorism, the band again utilised their own independent label Grand Sport in Norway, maintaining the role of Warner Music was for international and not domestic use.[18]

Shortly after the release of the 2005 EP, Erik Tresselt left the band for the second time, and was replaced by Jarle Bernhoft, a former guitarist and vocalist of the Norwegian punk rock band Span. Bernhoft performed only one concert in Norway with the band. On the 2006 acoustic tour, former bassist and keyboardist Nikolai Eilertsen joined the band. During the concerts of this summer, Lasse Weeden played the bass.

Following their March 2007 album, Too Much Yang (2007), the band moved to Los Angeles, California in September 2007. Having employed several bassists during the year, Eilertsen did not wish to move to the U.S., and the role was filled by Lasse Weeden.[23] The 2008 album From Acid to Zen was their American debut release, which received complementary reviews from among others David Fricke of Rolling Stones who selected the album as his "Fricke's Pick" and compared it to "a shotgun buffet".[24][14][15]

As of 2009, the band released the seventh studio album Edendale,[25][26][27] with Nikolai Eilertsen returning as bassist.[2] In March 2011, BigBang released their eighth studio album, Epic Scrap Metal, .[28][29] and on exactly the same date two years later, in March 2013, the trio released their so far newest album,The Oslo Bowl.


Øystein Greni at Hamar Music Festival, June 2009
BigBang live in Kongsberg, April 2007


  • Øystein Greni – guitar, bass, drums, percussion, vocals (1992–)
  • Olaf Olsen – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1999–2000, 2001–)
  • Nikolai Eilertsen – bass, keyboards, backing vocals (1999–2004, 2009–)




Year Album Peak positions Certification
1995 Waxed
1999 Electric Psalmbook
2000 Clouds Rolling By 2
2002 Frontside Rock'n'Roll 3
2005 Poetic Terrorism 1
2007 Too Much Yang 1
2008 From Acid to Zen
(Released exclusively to the US market)
2009 Edendale 1
2011 Epic Scrap Metal 1
2013 The Oslo Bowl
(credited to BigBang)
2019 Glory Chord 4

Live albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions
2003 Radio Radio TV Sleep
(live, 2 CDs)

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions
2007 Something Special – The Best of Bigbang
(live, 2 CDs)

EPs and singles[edit]

Year Title Format Peak positions Certification Notes
1997 "How Do You Do?" / "Something Better" 7" promo Yellow & Brown/Black limited editions
2000 Girl in Oslo EP 3 Rereleased as an EP European edition in 2001
New Glow EP 12
2001 Smiling For EP 7
2005 Not A Rolling Stone EP 12
2007 "Hurricane Boy" 7" promo 12 US promo limited edition
"I Don't Wanna" Single 9
2009 "Swedish Television" Single 11 US promo limited edition
2010 "Cigarette" Single -
2011 "Everybody and Their Broken Heart" Single -
"Deserve Everything" Single -
"Field of Fire" Single -
2012 "Like Americans Do" Single -
2013 "The Oslo Bowl" Single -
2019 "Glory Chord" Single -
"Compensator" Single -
"BELLS" Single -


  • Radio Radio TV Sleep - (Live footage + bonus material) (2003)


  1. ^ a b c d e Bergan, Jon Vidar, Store Norske Leksikon BigBang. Kunnskapsforlaget. (in Norwegian)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Norsk pop- og rockleksikon (2005). BigBang. Vega Forlag. (in Norwegian)
  3. ^ a b c d e Musikkleksikon BigBang Archived 2013-01-12 at (in Norwegian)
  4. ^ Kultur-og-underholdning: BigBang (in Norwegian)
  5. ^ a b Grønneberg, Anders, (August 12, 2011). - BigBang er mitt liv (in Norwegian)
  6. ^ Henschien, Siren, TV2 (March 6, 2009). Grenis hyrdestund (in Norwegian)
  7. ^ a b Moslet, Håkon, Dagbladet (February 15, 2002). Skate or die (in Norwegian)
  8. ^ Ustad Stav, Torill, Adresseavisen (November 21, 2007). BigBang dropper Trondheim (in Norwegian)
  9. ^ Vatnøy, Lillian, (March 27, 2005). Bigbang - lyden av sommer (in Norwegian)
  10. ^ Torvik, Svein Terje, (April 12, 2005). Fulltreffer av BigBang (in Norwegian)
  11. ^ Melland, Milda C. VG (July 2, 2010). Halve Operataket tomt under sommerkonsertene (in Norwegian)
  12. ^ a b c Kemp, Anders, Dagens Næringsliv: D2 (August 21, 2008). Øystein Greni (in Norwegian)
  13. ^ a b Rakvaag, Geir, Dagsavisen (November 10, 2007). Ragnarock på ny Archived 2007-11-11 at the Wayback Machine (in Norwegian)
  14. ^ a b c Gjersøe, Jørn, (December 16, 2008). Gammelt sirkus blir som nytt (in Norwegian)
  15. ^ a b Gonsholt Ighanian, Catherine, VG (November 14, 2008). Rolling Stone hyller Bigbang (in Norwegian)
  16. ^ a b Jones, Michael, TV2: Side2 (March 10, 2009). -Vi er et utrolig privilegert band Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine (in Norwegian)
  17. ^ Sollie, Trine, Lydverket (March 9, 2009). Umiskjennelig BigBang (in Norwegian)
  18. ^ a b c Brækhus, Leni Aurora, (April 11, 2005). Bigbang - kreative terrorister (in Norwegian)
  19. ^ a b Andreassen, Johnny, (April 26, 2009). De unge og lovende (in Norwegian)
  20. ^ Gjersøe, Jørn, (April 20, 2009). BigBang feirer på Wood (in Norwegian)
  21. ^ Gjersøe, Jørn, (March 11, 2005). BigBang var oppløst (in Norwegian)
  22. ^ Paulsen, Torstein; Gjersøe, Jørn, (February 7, 2003). -En ny epoke (in Norwegian)
  23. ^ Gjersøe, Jørn, (March 6, 2007). BigBang fant ny bassist (in Norwegian)
  24. ^ Fricke, David, Rolling Stone (October 2008). A Better Bangalt Archived 2009-09-07 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Gjersøe, Jørn, (March 5, 2009). Nytt smell fra BigBang (in Norwegian)
  26. ^ Lønningen, Petter, Bergens Tidende (March 10, 2009). Hjemme bra, borte best (in Norwegian)
  27. ^ Fricke, David, Rolling Stone (January 2010). Edendale by Bigbang
  28. ^ Rønning, Øyvind, (March 20, 2010). BigBang tilbake i studio (in Norwegian)
  29. ^ Horvei, Maria, Lydverket (February 14, 2011). Bigbang på skraphaugen (in Norwegian)
  30. ^ Nyhagen, Alexander, VG (July 20, 2007). Spilte med sykemelding (in Norwegian)
  31. ^ a b c d " Bigbang discography page". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
  32. ^ "VG-lista – Topp 40 Album uke 20, 2019". VG-lista. Retrieved 1 June 2019.

External links[edit]