Enslaved's Ivar Bjørnson: "Euronymous got me into prog!

Ivar Bjornson
(Image credit: Press)

Norwegian prog metal band Enslaved's founding member Ivar Bjørnson has explained how he got into progressive rock, and it's from a seemingly unlikely source.

In the new issue of Prog Magazine, Bjørnson is the subject of the career-spanning The Prog Interview, in which he discusses how he got into music and his career in music developed. Naming his earliest influences as Pink Floyd (from his father's record collection), Kiss and UK metal band Venom, he also states that his deeper knowledge of progressive rock comes from none of other than Mayhem's Euronymous

Euronymus (real name Øystein Aarseth), co-founded controversial Norwegian black metal band Mayhem and also ran a record shop in Oslo named Helvete (Norwegian for 'hell') which a teenage Bjørnson and his fellow Enslaved founding member Grutle Kjellson would visit. 

Euronymous was murdered by fellow musician and former band mate Varg Vikernes in 1993, who played bass on Mayhem's debut album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.

"Euronymous was the guy who showed me prog," explains Bjørnson. "He gave me Klaus Schulze’s Time Winds, Tangerine Dream, all this stuff I liked. It blew my mind, every second listening to those albums. I was 14 or 15 when we would go to his record shop Helvete in Oslo with a packed lunch on the bus.

"He was a mentor musically and as a guitarist. The single most important thing as a guitarist was his masterclass. He stopped by our house, he had his guitar, I kept asking him all the time how do you get that sound. We were listening to the demos and he decided to take the guitar and show me. Everything good shaped from that."

You can read the full interview in the brand new issue of Prog, which is on sale now and you can buy it here.

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.