Interview with Jorgen Munkeby of Shining: A lot of people were angry with Blackjazz album!

21/07/2022 Video Interviews Share

Minions! We were honored to interview Jorgen Munkeby of Shining (Norway) at Exit festival! We started the discussion with the upcoming Shining release:

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We have been releasing single songs in the last year, so they are going to be a part of the album but right now,  I don’t know when that’s gonna be. For today, we are actually playing some of that new stuff, of course, but we are also playing a song from 2018 that  we have never played before, Take Me” and it’s one of our more popular ones, and it’s kinda weird that we haven’t played it before but this is the first time.

When asked why their latest album Animal has a lot more vocals when compared with the previous releases, he stated: I wanted to do that. That’s it. It’s as easy as that…It took some time for people to get used to us doing something new, but we’ve been doing new sh*t our whole career. We’ve been going from 1999, starting with acoustic jazz music and then some artsy rock stuff and then blackjazz, and then Animal, and they just have to get used to the bumpy ride…that’s what’s fun, you know…

Then we had a discussion about the band’s change of music direction on the release In the Kingdom of Kitsch You will be a Monster on which the band started incorporating more genres of music, instead of relying on jazz only:  I grew up with metal music when I was a kid and then I started jazz music for a long time, 10-15 years and I just felt like jazz music was music for different generation, music for older generation than myself, it was from a different continent, from the US, it was made by African Americans who were from another culture…I wanted to try to make something that was more my own stuff, more me, you know…that’s the beginning of it.

We then had a talk about the infamous Blackjazz album: Blackjazz came out in 2010.  And that was, something clicked, it was a clear direction and clear mix of energetic free jazz and hard metal, and was produced with industrial kind of production. So that was something unique. But to tell you the truth, a lot of people were pretty angry about that too. It’s not… When I’m looking back at it, you think people were happy about it, but they weren’t. The people who liked us as a jazz band they were angry that we kind of left the jazz world and the people in the metal world they were angry that fucking jazz people came into the metal world, playing at Wacken and sh*t. So we got sh*t reviews, people were angry and now they just think it’s cool…I don’t know what to say, I am glad that people like it but it’s about fucking time, right? It was something unique, I would say, I don’t know ahead of or behind…it was different so people haven’t heard that stuff before and some people took 10 years to like it and that’s fine.

When asked about the meaning of Blackjazz Jorgen explained: I wanted to combine jazz and metal in my way. I wanted to combine the kind of jazz that I liked, that I played and kind of metal that I play. You know, there’s a lot of different metal and a lot of different jazz. So there’s a few parts of metal and few parts of  jazz that felt it worked well together. It’s not technical metal, it has more of a atmospheric vibe to it and the same with jazz part that’s involved. It’s more of the late 60s free jazz kind of stuff, that is more spiritual and more atmospheric, so those things work great together. While If I taken completely different type of jazz and completely different type of metal I don’t think it would worked that well. So that was the idea. I think it worked really well. We were kind of lucky or whatever. All the planets kind of aligned. The music was good. We managed to work with the producer that really put his fingerprint on it, Sean Bevin who used to work with Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails. So he really, that record wouldn’t have been that special without him. So that was really cool. Everything was… great drummer that approached that playing in a way that nobody else could have done. That was really good.

Then we talked about the saxophone solo in the song “Admittence” from the album International Blackjazz Society. Jorgen explained: It was written kind of like jazz song. You got some melody, and you got some chords and some improvisation going on, based on that. It’s the thing I wrote, but it’s loosely based on a song by a guy called George Gerzon from New York with his trio or quartet called The French. They had a song that was kind of a tribute to John Coltrane, and like there are some melody parts that I stole from that, so this is how I would have envisioned John Coltrane would play if he had a metal band.

We then talked about the cover of King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man”.  And from there we moved on to discuss about his music influences. He also explained that he liked more modern sounding metal, like Metallica’s Black Album. He mentioned Entombed, Sepultura, Death and Pantera as his metal influences and John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Michael Brecker and other jazz musicians. In the final part of the interview, we talked about his collaborations with famous musicians such as Marty Friedman, Ishan, Amorphis etc.

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00:00 Start
02:18 In the Kingdom of Kitsch you will be a Monster
03:20 Blackjazz
06:37  Admittence
07:44 King Crimson and influences


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