Prodigious, prolific and instinctively rebellious, Jørgen Munkeby is the unique creative force behind Norway’s legendary jazz-metal warriors Shining. Active in the amorphous musical underground since 1999, the band began life as an acoustic jazz ensemble before morphing, repeatedly and wilfully, into a wild variety of new shapes and sounds, always driven by their leader’s restless spirit. After releasing four albums of esoteric and enigmatic left-field jazz, Shining edged fully into the world of extreme metal for 2010’s epoch-shattering Blackjazz album. A cacophonous but irresistible blend of wonky riffs, shrieking sax and deeply progressive sonic ideas, it firmly established Munkeby’s crew as a major force in the metal world, while drawing in fans from all manner of obscure and perverse cultural enclaves.
Emboldened by the success of his most far-out experiment to date, Munkeby then grabbed Shining by the scruff of the neck and dragged his band into ever more unexpected areas, harnessing futuristic precision and bite for the streamlined and snotty One One One album in 2013 and then bringing the Blackjazz project to a deafening, explosive climax with 2015’s widely acclaimed International Blackjazz Society. Increasingly feted as an exhilarating live act, Shining’s steady but sneaky assimilation into the rock and metal mainstream was almost complete. And then, in 2018, with latest studio album Animal, Shining blew the doors off and reinvent themselves as the most insanely thrilling rock band on the planet.