Motorpsycho is a Norwegian rock band consisting today of Bent Sæther (bass and vocals), Hans Magnus Ryan (guitar and vocals) and Kenneth Kapstad (drums). Their most recent releases have also featured the Swedish guitarist Reine Fiske.

The band, which was started by Kjell Runar Jensen (drums), chose the name Motorpsycho in 1989, and recorded its first cassette the following year – Maiden Voyage (released on Knallsyndikatet). Their debut concert was a warm-up gig for the band Turbonegro (known as Turboneger in Norway) at UFFA in Trondheim in April 1990. In December of the same year, they went into Warehouse studio in Oslo to record their debut album Lobotomizer (1991) which was released on the Oslo-based indie label Voices Of Wonder. They then replaced their drummer with Håkon Gebhardt, who debuted at a concert at Fenka in Levanger (North Trøndelag) and who played on seventeen albums before jumping off the bandwagon the autumn of 2004 (officially March 2005). Music conservatory graduate Kenneth Kapstad (1979) started in the band in 2006 and has been with them ever since.

Others heavily implicated in 26 productive years of Motorpsycho include:

Cecilie Lykke (manager)

Helge Sten (band member from 1992 to 1994, producer until 2008, and subsequently advisor)

Kim Hiorthøy (has designed virtually all their record covers since Timothy’s Monster (1994) onward, plus posters, t-shirts and music videos)

Morten Fagervik (band member from 1994 to 1996, otherwise lighting technician and tour manager)

Lars Lien (musician in 1994, otherwise technician – particularly active between 1992 and 1994)

Pieter Kloos (sound technician on tours and live albums, and co-producer on Blissard (1996) and Black Hole/Blank Canvas (2006))

Ole-Henrik Moe (violin and musical saw)

Kai Ø. Andersen (technician on four studio albums between 1997 and 2008)

Baard Slagsvold (keys, strings, string arrangements and backing vocals

Øyvind Brandtsegg (piano/keyboards, strings, string arrangements)

Jacco van Rooij (drummer from 2005 till 2006, only one recorded song)

Audun Strype (mastering)

Thomas Henriksen (piano/keyboards, and mixing on their most recent releases)

Trude Midtgård (sound technician on “Maiden Voyage” and Lobotomizer, on one tour in Denmark and the band’s first European tour, 1990-1993)

and the record labels: Stickman Records, EMI (Harvest), Sony (Columbia) and Rune Grammofon

Motorpsycho’s music has predominantly been produced by the band itself (particularly Bent Sæther) and Helge Sten. The few exceptions are: Kåre Chr. Vestrheim, who was involved in producing Heavy Metal Fruit (2010) and The Death Defying Unicorn (2012), and Pieter Kloos who co-produced Blissard (1996), Black Hole/Blank Canvas (2006) and the live album Roadwork Vol 1.

Despite the fact that the band has not had many producers, their musical universe is hugely diverse and bursting with musical references. The core of the band, Sæther and Ryan, started listening systematically and closely to music at an early age. They have stated that their meeting with the Trondheim Academy of Fine Arts student scene at the start of the 1990s, and with Helge (Deathprod) Sten, expanded their field of reference even further.

Motorpsycho’s discography is a massive, diverse collection of about 150 releases – Norwegian, German, Italian, Australian and American. The various recordings were originally released in myriad formats – from vinyl LPs, EPs or singles to CD EPs, full-length CDs, double LPs, triple LPs or double CDs; there are different mixes, depending on the format; various versions of songs, book releases, exclusive editions, different cover designs and packaging; versions that have included posters, or buttons, or t-shirts, parallel engraving and etching prints – all of them with a different catalogue number and release year.

What binds all of these ingredients together is, first and foremost, the sound of sonic scientists in action.

Synnøve Engevik

Curator and project manager, Supersonic Scientists