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Motorpsycho playing live at Studenten, Steinkjer, 2008-04-18
Motorpsycho playing live at Studenten, Steinkjer, 2008-04-18
Background information
OriginTrondheim, Norway
GenresPsychedelic rock, indie rock, alternative rock, progressive rock, hard rock, noise rock
Years active1989–present
LabelsRune Grammofon (2008–present)
Stickman Records (1994–present)
Sony Norway (1994–2007, Norway only)
Voices of Wonder (1990–1993)
MembersHans Magnus Ryan
Bent Sæther
Tomas Järmyr
Past membersHåkon Gebhardt
Helge Sten
Lars Lien
Morten Fagervik
Kjell Runar Jenssen
Kenneth Kapstad
WebsiteMotorpsycho official Website
Motorpsycho unofficial Website

Motorpsycho is a Norwegian rock band from Trondheim.[1] Their music can generally be defined as progressive or psychedelic rock, but they also mix in elements from alternative, jazz, post-rock, pop, country and many other musical styles. The members of the band are Bent Sæther (born 18 February 1969, bass/vocals), Hans Magnus "Snah" Ryan (born 31 December 1969, guitar/vocals) and Tomas Järmyr (drums). Until March 2005, Håkon Gebhardt (born 21 June 1969) was the band's drummer. A press release concerning his departure can be found on the Unofficial website. From December 2007 to May 2016 Kenneth Kapstad was the drummer of the band, being replaced by Tomas Järmyr, who joined in early 2017.


Formed in the late 1980s as an alternative metal band (they picked their name after seeing the Russ Meyer film of the same name as part of a Russ Meyer triple bill – there was already a band named after Mudhoney and a band named after Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! – the other two films on the bill), Motorpsycho soon developed a unique blend of grunge, heavy metal and indie rock, as well as incorporating the sonic noise experiments of associated member Deathprod. The hugely ambitious, progressive double album Demon Box (1993) followed a series of low-profile EPs and albums, earning the band a nomination for a Norwegian Grammy, and secured a loyal following in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands as well as in Scandinavia.

The 1990s was an extremely productive era for the band, releasing new material almost every year, and enjoying critical acclaim for each album—if not the massive sales the music press kept predicting.

With the 2000 album Let Them Eat Cake, Motorpsycho suddenly took huge steps away from their noisy hard rock roots, opting instead for a smoother, jazz-tinged approach to the songwriting and recording process. They kept this technique for the subsequent releases, Phanerothyme and It's A Love Cult.

The long-awaited double album Black Hole/Blank Canvas was released 17/20 March 2006 in Europe, but it was leaked on the internet before this date. The album has received great reviews, and it is considered one of their best albums ever, proving the skill of the arguably most innovative Norwegian band during the last decade. Today, their cult status and extremely loyal fans remains unmatched by any Norwegian band.

On 28 March 2008 Motorpsycho released an album entitled Little Lucid Moments, and on 16 March 2008 a DVD containing music videos, live footage and documentaries entitled Haircuts.

To celebrate their 20th anniversary, the band released a vinyl-only album, Child of the Future, recorded by Steve Albini at the beginning of August 2009.

In January 2010 Motorpsycho released the album Heavy Metal Fruit, their first album featuring an external producer, Kåre Vestrheim, and also their third album in under two years.

In October 2011 the Dutch venue Effenaar released a limited edition live album exclusively on vinyl entitled Strings Of Stroop – Motorpsycho Live At Effenaar. The album features four Motorpsycho tracks recorded during various Motorpsycho shows at Effenaar between 1999 and 2010. Only 500 copies were pressed and sold at the band's 14th show in the venue.

On 10 February 2012 Motorpsycho released the double CD/LP effort The Death Defying Unicorn in collaboration with keyboardist Ståle Storløkken from the free improv group Supersilent. The album is a reworking of an instrumental suite commissioned by and performed at Moldejazz 2010. During 2011, Sæther produced lyrics for a sweeping narrative, thus making the album version a concept album. As in its initial performance, the band and Storløkken are augmented by contributions from Trondheimssolistene, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and violinist Ola Kvernberg. The core quartet performed the album in its entirety on every date during a March/April 2012 tour of Europe.

After the release and tour accompanying the Unicorn, the band felt the need to return to more traditional, guitar-based grounds and with Reine Fiske as second guitarist, recorded two albums, Still Life With Eggplant (released in spring 2013) and Behind the Sun (released in March 2014). To coincide with the release of Behind the Sun, Motorpsycho launched their first-ever official website,

After years of institutionalising the band in Norway, Motorpsycho were inducted at Rockheim, Norway's rock music hall of fame, in a TV broadcast ceremony.[2]

In 2016 the band released the studio album Here Be Monsters, which evolved from a piece of music they wrote for the Oslo Teknisk Museums birthday. The band played that special songs in the museum, with the help of Ståle Storløkken, and then decided to work on it in the studio.[2]

In May 2016, after completing the European Here Be Monsters Tour, Kenneth Kapstad left Motorpsycho. Core members Sæther and Ryan spent the remainder of the year writing, rehearsing and performing a live score to the Carl Frode Tiller-written play Begynnnelser (eng. Beginnings) in a 38-date autumn run at Trøndelag Teater.

In a January 2, 2017 news update on their official home page, the band announced Swedish drummer Tomas Järmyr to be the third permanent member of Motorpsycho. Together, they have recorded The Tower in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree (at the famous recording studio, Rancho de la Luna), which was released on September 8 the same year.

Line up[edit]

Current line up[edit]

Previous members[edit]

Major collaborators[edit]




Spellemannprisen is often referred to as the Norwegian Grammy Awards in English. It is a Norwegian music award presented to Norwegian musicians.

  • 1993: Spellemannprisen nominated in the class Rock, for the album Demon Box
  • 1994: Spellemannprisen in the class Best album cover, for the album Timothy's Monster created by Kim Hiorthøy
  • 1996: Spellemannprisen in the class Rock, for the album Blissard
  • 1997: Spellemannprisen in the class Hard rock, for the album Angels and Daemons at Play
  • 2000: Spellemannprisen in the class Rock, for the album Let Them Eat Cake
  • 2001: Spellemannprisen nominated in the class Rock, for the album Phanerothyme
  • 2003: Spellemannprisen nominated in the class Åpen klasse, for the album In The Fishtank (With Jaga Jazzist Horns).
  • 2008: Spellemannprisen nominated in the class Rock, for the album Little Lucid Moments
  • 2009: Spellemannprisen nominated in the class Rock, for the album Child of the Future
  • 2010: Spellemannprisen nominated in the class Rock, for the album Heavy Metal Fruit
  • 2012: Spellemannprisen nominated in the class Rock, for the album The Death-Defying Unicorn
  • 2013: Spellemannprisen nominated in the class Rock, for the album Still Life With Eggplant
  • 2017: Spellemannprisen nominated in the class Rock, for the album The Tower
  • 2020: Spellemannprisen nominated in the class Rock, for the album The All Is One


  • 2001: Alarm Award in the class Rock for the album Let Them Eat Cake



Year Album Peak positions Notes
1991 Lobotomizer Released as LP and CD
1992 Soothe Mini LP later issued on CD with two tracks from the "3 Songs for Rut" 7", see Compilations under)
1993 Demon Box Double LP and CD (omitting three songs due to space limitations)
1994 Timothy's Monster 7 Triple LP box and double CD, re-released in 2010 as 4CD-box
1996 Blissard 3 Double LP and CD, re-released in 2012 as 4CD-box
1997 Angels and Daemons at Play 2 Double LP, CD (omitting two songs) and three separate CD-EPs ("Babyscooter", "Have Spacesuit Will Travel" and "Lovelight"), re-released in 2016 as 6CD-box
1998 Trust Us 7 Double LP and double CD
2000 Let Them Eat Cake 1 83 LP and CD
2001 Barracuda
(mini album)
8 LP and CD
Phanerothyme 1 80 LP and CD
2002 It's A Love Cult 2 91 LP and CD
2006 Black Hole/Blank Canvas 2 85 Double LP, double CD and limited edition double CD with 2 track bonus single
2008 Little Lucid Moments 2 Double LP and CD
2009 Child of the Future 2 Vinyl-only LP
2010 Heavy Metal Fruit 2 96 Double LP and CD
2013 Still Life With Eggplant 2 93 79 LP and CD
2014 Behind the Sun 6 53 81 63 Double LP, CD, digital download
The Motorpnakotic Fragments Limited edition 4x 7" and CD
2016 Here Be Monsters 2[11] 55 LP and CD
Here Be Monsters Vol 2 Limited edition LP, CD
2017 Begynnelser 2 x 10" with CD, and DVD of the theatrical play "Begynnelser"
The Tower 3
56 2LP, 2CD. Part 1 of the Gullvåg Trilogy.
2019 The Crucible 4
43 196 88 LP and CD. Part 2 of the Gullvåg Trilogy.
2020 The All Is One 3 31 53 2LP and 2CD. Part 3 of the Gullvåg Trilogy.
2021 Kingdom of Oblivion 3
19 41 2LP, CD, digital download
2022 Ancient Astronauts LP, CD

As Motorpsycho & Friends[edit]

Year Album Peak positions Notes
1994 The Tussler – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 10 Original CD (1994)
Double 10" (1996)
Remastered and extended CD/double LP (2003)

As Motorpsycho & Ståle Storløkken[edit]

Year Album Label Peak positions Notes
2012 The Death Defying Unicorn Stickman Records 7 87 Double LP and double CD
2015 En Konsert For Folk Flest Rune Grammofon - - Live double LP and double CD

As The International Tussler Society[edit]

Year Album Peak positions Notes
2004 Motorpsycho presents The International Tussler Society 1 Released as double LP and CD, both came with bonus DVD
  • 2004: "Satans Favourite Son" (Promo-single)
  • 2004: "Laila Lou" (Promo-single)

Live albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions Notes
1999 Roadwork Vol. 1 – Heavy metal iz a poze, hardt rock iz a leifschteil 7 Live in Europe 1998
2001 Roadwork Vol. 2 – The MotorSourceMassacre: Motorpsycho, The Source and Deathprod Live at Kongsberg Jazzfestival 1995
2008 Roadwork Vol. 3 – The Four Norsemen of the Apocalypse Included in the double DVD release "Haircuts", re-issued on vinyl with cd/download 2018
2011 Roadwork Vol. 4 – Intrepid Skronk 26
Strings Of Stroop – Motorpsycho Live at Effenaar Limited edition vinyl, semi-official release by the Effenaar music club.
2018 A Boxful of Demons Limited vinyl/CD/Blu-ray of The Demon Box album performed live at Rockheim, Trondheim, 17.-19.10.2015 on C+C Records/Falck Forlag
Roadwork Vol. 5 – Field Notes: The Fantastic Expedition of Järmyr, Ryan, Sæther & Lo Live in Europe 2017
2020 Cloudwalkers - Freak Valley Festival, May 31st 2014 Limited edition vinyl, semi-official release on Devil's Child records


Year Album Peak positions Notes
1993 Into The Sun
(split release with Hedge Hog)
Split 7"/CD-single
2001 Go To California
(split EP release with The Soundtrack of Our Lives)
Split-EP, double 7" vinyl
2003 In the Fishtank 10
(mini album with Jaga Jazzist Horns)
7 Collaboration, 12" mini album
2020 Så nær, så nær
(With Ole Paus as Ole Paus/Bent Sæther/Hans Magnus Ryan/Tomas Järmyr/Reine Fiske)
1 Collaboration, 2 x LP/CD
2022 A Memory / Lue Lue
(split release with Sanderfinger)
Split 7"


Year Album Peak positions Notes
1992 8 Soothing Songs For Rut - Vinyl Mini-album Soothe and 7" 3 Songs For Rut on CD
2015 Supersonic Scientists - A Young Person's Guide To Motorpsycho - 2LP compilation of one track from each album 1991-2014
2019 The Light Fantastic LP, digital download. Collection of single B-sides and studio outtakes.
2022 Salad Days vol. 1 - 4 disc vinyl box with "Lobotomizer" LP (1991), "Soothe" mini-LP (1992) and new 2LP compilation "Becoming Motorpsycho - Juvenilia, oddities and artefacts from the vaults, 1990-1993"
2022 Salad Days vol. 2 - 5 disc vinyl box with 2LP "Demon Box", "Mountain EP" (1993), Another Ugly EP (1994) and new live album "Live at Blitz '93".


Year Album Peak positions
1990 Maiden Voyage (Demo)
1993 Mountain
1993 Another Ugly EP
1994 Wearing Yr Smell EP
1996 Nerve Tattoo 8
1996 Manmower
1997 Babyscooter 14
Have Spacesuit, Will Travel 13
Lovelight 13
Starmelt 13
1998 Ozone 6
Hey Jane 8
2000 The Other Fool EP 1
Walkin' with J EP 6
2002 Serpentine EP 2
2017 California EP
2019 Terje Brekkstads kosmiske reise


  • 1992: 3 Songs for Rut
  • 1996: Sinful, Windborne
  • 2001: The Slow Phaseout (Promo single)
  • 2001: Go To California (Promo single)
  • 2006: Hyena (Promo-single)
  • 2010: X-3
  • 2010: The Visitant
  • 2014: Toys (Included with select copies of August edition of Trondheim magazine "Gatemagasinet Sorgenfri")
  • 2015: Psychonaut/Toys
  • 2016: Spin, Spin, Spin
  • 2020: X-mastime Is Here!
  • 2021: Ulv! Ulv!

Singles and music videos[edit]

  • Have Fun (1992)
  • Sheer Profundity (1993)
  • Nothing To Say (1993)
  • Another Ugly Tune (1994)
  • Wearing Yr Smell (1994)
  • Feel (1994)
  • Now It's Time To Skate (1994)
  • Watersound (1994)
  • Mad Sun (1996)
  • Manmower (1996)
  • Sinful, Wind-Borne (1996)
  • The Nerve Tattoo (1996)
  • Starmelt/Lovelight (1997)
  • Hey, Jane (1998)
  • The Other Fool (2000)
  • Walkin' With J (2000)
  • Go To California (2000)
  • The Slow Phaseout (2001)
  • Serpentine (2002)
  • Victim of Rock (2014)
  • On a Plate (2014)
  • Spin, Spin, Spin (2016)
  • Intrepid Explorer (2018)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Motorpsycho Biography". Norsk Musikkinformasjon
  2. ^ a b Interview with Snah,, received May 16, 2016
  3. ^ "2016/2017 › Motorpsycho". Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Edvardprisen til Motorpsycho". Norsk Musikkinformasjon
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Motorpsycho discography". Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Discographie Motorpsycho". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Discografie Motorpsycho". (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
  8. ^ "Discografie Motorpsycho". (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
  9. ^ "Discografie Motorpsycho". (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  10. ^ "Discografie Motorpsycho". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-15. Retrieved 2016-02-20.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "VG-lista – Topp 40 Album uke 37, 2017". VG-lista. Archived from the original on 16 September 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  13. ^ "VG-lista – Topp 40 Album uke 8, 2019". VG-lista. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  14. ^ "Album 2021 uke 16". VG-lista. Retrieved 24 April 2021.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Recipient of the Rock Spellemannprisen
Succeeded by
Preceded by
No Hard rock award
Recipient of the Hard rock Spellemannprisen
Succeeded by
Preceded by Recipient of the Rock Spellemannprisen
Succeeded by