Bigbang has confirmed their first official U.S. studio release Edendale on January 19 from Oglio Records, a Fontana/Universal distributed label via the band’s own imprint, Grand Sport. Released internationally earlier this year to stellar sales and critical acclaim, the U.S. version of Edendale, includes three new exclusive tracks. Tour dates will be announced shortly.
Bigbang has been dubbed “Norway’s Greatest Live Band” and is major force in the Norwegian music scene. During the past two years, the band has spent time focusing on the American market. Based in California, they criss-crossed the country playing intimate gigs and promoting their North American debut, 2008’s From Acid to Zen. The album was very well received and resulted in great reviews; among others, from Rolling Stone Magazine’s editor David Fricke: “It’s a shotgun buffet, like those early U.S. LPs by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones that combined album tracks and singles from unrelated sessions, and it succeeds the same way: like an instant greatest-hits record.”
The new record has strong ties to Bigbang’s adopted home in California. Front man and founder Øystein Greni explains: “The area of Los Angeles today known as Echo Park/Silverlake used to be called Edendale around the time when the silent movie industry took off. Charlie Chaplin’s studio -now a storage place - is on my block, and Walt Disney’s first film studio was across the street from the local Trader Joes. In Europe we tend to romanticize things and people from the past; here it’s all about moving on to the next project. Ironically, as much as I wanted to get away from the stale museum-like atmosphere of Europe, I get here and start focusing on LA’s fascinating past!”
Edendale was recorded in Los Angeles at the legendary Sound City Studios (Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac, Johnny Cash, Metallica), with an impressive list of collaborators: Producers: Øystein Greni (Bigbang) and Greg Richling (Wallflowers, Black Flag), Technician/mixer: Bryan Cook (Queens of the Stone Age, Raconteurs, The Bird and The Bee), Mastered by: Gavin Lurssen (Robert Plant/Alison Krauss, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello) Guest guitarists: David Rawlings (Ryan Adams, Gillian Welch), Jared Nelson Smith (Hello Stranger).
Often garnering comparisons to the Allman Brothers, Tom Petty, Lynyrd Skynyrd and REM (in fact, the London daily newspaper The Sun once called them “Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young with balls”), Bigbang doesn’t fall readily into a neat genre or category. Greni (who started out as a skate punk with a love for Husker Du and Dinosaur Jr.) shrugs off comparisons with the exhortation “We’ve read too many books to be a jam band and, we’re too musical for the librarian-glasses crowd, can`t stop loving Rumors, Petty and Stax...and all this on a skateboard! ”
Bigbang was formed when Øystein Greni, a young skateboarder on the verge of turning pro, shattered his knee - and thus his chances at making a career on his board. Greni’s father, Thor, was a soul musician in The Undertaker’s Circus, who toured with the New Yardbirds (a.k.a. Led Zeppelin) in the late ’60s. This classic rock foundation was met head-on with the adolescent Greni's love of punk & alternative rock, forging the band's distinctive sound.
With several full-length albums released in Europe having sold over 500,000 units, Bigbang performs at up to twenty-five European festivals per year, rocking 20,000 seat capacity venues at a time. Their raucous live show is such a hot ticket that the band's 2003 double CD release "Radio Radio TV Sleep" is best-selling live album in Norwegian history. In 2006, Bigbang played the main stage at the Roskilde Festival with The Who, The Flaming Lips and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and in 2007 toured the UK with The Raconteurs.
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