With the release of the album Too much Yang, Øystein Greni’s Bigbang announce that they leave for California after the summer. -In search of Yin, equilibrium, sunshine and musical belonging. After more than ten years at large, and established as a pillar of Norwegian rock, the band has decided to start afresh in the city that perhaps more than any has played host to the mindset that permeates Bigbangs’s music. We’ve been thinking about settling in America for a while since our debut says Greni to the Norwegian daily Aftenposten. We’ve been over many times and actually done a lot of work there. Now it feels right to get into the vibe of just playing all the time, and trying to build a name that way.
Actually there’s quite a bit of American buzz surrounding Bigbang already, not least after their recent frantic activity at the SXSW festival in Austin, where they played no less than six different concerts. All outside the program though, since they were kicked out of the official roster due to exaggerated extra-official activity.
-Our manager works like that, says Greni to Aftenposten in Austin, which is the only way to go about it over here. He also relates that the relocation to LA, despite being based on a down- to-earth desire to play music seven days a week, is preceded by substantial interest from several record companies. Thus it seems that Bigbang’s move is a kind of project with two possible outcomes, which are both of them good. Either they break through in some way; on some scale, or they get to spend time in LA, just playing and living the lives of active, “living-the-music” musicians.
And the timing seems perfect: Too much Yang is the band’s best record to date, most critics seem to agree, and the recurring emphasis has been on the mature quality of all aspects of the music; the easy sophistication of the song writing and the calm, subtle performance of an album that is highly energetic. “Greni now masters the diverse aspects of his music to such a degree that he can down-play to maximise the effect.” These traits of the band -and the music- are of course a matter of experience and years of commitment, but at the same time Bigbang has always been representative of something fresh and vibrant, and of a desire to keep moving. And that is what makes going to California a natural thing, one would concede. The sunburst hue of their songs; whether suave or energetic, and the free, open and arresting melodies seem to suggest that there is a place of greater belonging than the snows of Oslo.
As mentioned, things are already in motion for Bigbang in LA, the band has acquired some fervent fans, some of them of the really influential kind, and of course; when your music is quintessentially American –like a celebration of the warming and tingling aspects of the heart of American blues rock- then the probability of striking home is above average. Until then, Bigbang will tour Norway and say a long and heartfelt goodbye to their Norwegian fans, -a goodbye for now.