[Andrew Epstein is a frequent contributor and this site’s designated metalhead. Here’s his latest interview.-AC]
The Norwegian group Shining (not to be confused with the Swedish band of the same name) began their life as an avant-garde jazz quartet. Over the course of four albums the band began to blend elements of prog-rock and heavy metal into their sound. This experimentation culminated in a collaborative headlining performance at the Molde International Jazz Festival with fellow countrymen Enslaved in 2008.
Two years later they released their signature album “Blackjazz” and performed live on Norwegian national television. On stage the band is a force of nature, effortlessly switching between pop hooks and metal riffs to acid-jazz freak-out jams. Their matching haircuts, custom black dress shirts, and ability to produce copious amounts of sweat evoke thoughts of bands like Refused.
At the centre of it all is frontman Jørgen Munkeby, who ferociously tackles vocals, guitar, and saxophone often within the same song. I had a chance to sit down with Munkeby before Shining’s first ever Toronto gig at the Wreckroom, so I could find out more about the band’s unique evolution, as well as their latest surprisingly accessible release “One One One”.