Norwegian melodic metallers NERGARD have announced live members Runar Grimstad and Magnus Johansen as permanent members of the band. This finalizes Nergard’s lineup after being an all-star project for ten years. After spending several years under the radar, Nergard resurfaced in 2021 with a permanent lineup and the critically acclaimed third album “Eternal White”.
– After releasing “Eternal White” I noticed quickly that the interest in the band was very different from the all-star days, explains band leader Andreas Nergård. – After making three albums with guests I felt that Nergard needed a new and more tangible identity by having a steady lineup. Back in the day, Andi Kravljaca’s voice was the closest Nergard came to a proper identity. As for bands like Nightwish, where the band’s identity lies in Toumas Holopainen’s songwriting, that wasn’t the case with Nergard as I was still trying to find my “voice”. I think people picked up on that and felt that the new album and lineup finally gave Nergard what it needed, Andreas says enthusiastically.
Left: Runar Grimstad – Right: Magnus Johansen
The band played their first show in four years this fall. – Seeing how well-received the new album and lineup was among fans and press, I decided to push forward towards doing concerts in order to really establish the new lineup, Andreas points out. – It was evident that we needed more people in the band to make that happen as I’m the one playing drums, bass, and keyboards on the albums. Runar and Magnus were the perfect fit for the band. I’ve known them for years and always loved and respected their respective styles. If they had turned down the offer, Nergard as a live act wouldn’t have happened. Therefore, I’m very happy to have these two amazing musicians joining as permanent members of the band.
– I’ve known Andreas for a long time, and I can still remember when he sent me the first sketch of the song “Requiem” many years ago, says drummer Runar Grimstad. – I was amazed by the songwriting, and it’s been so cool watching Nergard grow into what it now has become. Therefore, I felt very honored when Andreas approached me asking if I’d like to join the band. It’s a very daunting task to take over the drums, especially since he is an absolute master behind the kit himself! I’ve got some big shoes to fill, but I’m beyond excited to see where this journey will take us!” Runar is known for his incredible technical abilities and aggressive drumming style which is the driving power of the bands Strandhugg and Chontaraz.
Magnus Johansen has been a busy live musician for the past ten years, putting his mark on the sound of bands like Withem, Maraton and Hex AD. The experienced keyboardist shares his thoughts about joining the band. – We grew up playing together in various bands and early incarnations of Nergard, says Magnus Johansen. – It’s great to be back under this banner after ten years! I’ve always been a fan of Andreas’ clever, intricate, yet melodic and dangerously catchy songwriting with hefty arrangements. Nergard has had a lengthy list of amazing talents and musicians over the years, and I feel humble being part of this next chapter of the band, bringing symphonic metal to the masses.
Nergard is currently in the studio working on their new album, due for release in 2024.
More information at https://www.facebook.com/nergardmusic