About

RAGNAR ZOLBERG BIO

 

Nanna Ubegg

I was born on december 2nd in 1986 which makes me a Sagittarius in the year of the Tiger.

I got my first guitar when I was 2 years old and I haven’t stopped since.
At 4 I was writing songs and doing “imaginery-gigs”, living the dream already (see image above)

My first favourite bands were: Metallica, Megadeth, Guns N’ Roses, Skid Row & Kiss.

I played my first real show when I was 7 years old, then playing the drums, that was my fathers last concert ever and he had me and my brother both playing drums on stage during the last song.
Signifying that he was retiring and his sons were taking his place.
My dad was a drummer and he really helped me grow as a musician. He and my mother always supported my interest in music as much as any parents could ever do and I will always love them for that.
By the time I was 11 I had written so much material that my dad thought that maybe it was time for me to make and album and so we did.
He had a studio at our home and a small indie record company and just like that we recorded and released my first album Upplifun. We had a couple of very talented musicians come in and guest on the album and it was engineered by the legendary Ken Thomas, a dear friend of my dad who happened to be in Iceland at the time in the midst of discovering and working with the Icelandic band Sigurós.

SIGN
In 2001 when I was 14 years oId I started the metal/rock band Sign. Later that year we released our first album Vindar & Breytingar and got nominated as “the brightest hope” at the Icelandic music awards.
The follow up “Fyrir Ofan Himininn” came the following year and gained us a good fan base in Iceland and we got decent radio play on several of our songs.

In 2004 my dad passed away from ALS. I got through it by writing songs about him and the whole concept of passing away.
While still grieving, we released our third album, Thank God For Silence.
This was the first Sign album to be sung in English and was partially produced by Mark Plati and Earl Slick both from the David Bowie band (the ladder also from John Lennon and Yoko Ono band).
Through luck and hard work (mainly from our manager Gis Von Ice, my uncle) we ended up touring the UK relentlessly with bands like The Wildhearts, Wednesday 13, The Answer and my long time idols Skid Row.

Kerrang! were very kind to us and featured us in several of their magazines, including some posters and a spread interview with me, done by Paul Brannigan.

The Hope followed soon after with more touring… including our first head-line UK tour and a 2008 performance at the main stage at Download Festival, sharing the stage with life long idols Kiss.

Great things were happening and we were asked to be a part of a tribute album called Maiden Heaven. A compilation put together by Kerrang! featuring bands like Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Dream Theater, Machine Head and some other less known acts like our selves. This gig got us our first golden disc for 100.000 or more sold copies which was given to us at the Kerrang! Awards in London.

SOLO Project
In 2008 I released my second solo album The Circle where I played all the instruments myself and I also did all the recording on my own, running from the rec button to the instruments. That really got me all fired up and since then I have release 3 other solo albums: The Circle-darker side, The Hanged Man and the latest addition The Hermit. All of which are made in the same manner as The Circle and released independently.

Pain of Salvation
In 2011 my wife sent an application to one of my favourite bands at the time, Pain of Salvation. They were looking for a new guitar player. I was unaware of it until their singer Daniel Gildenlöw called me up one day and asked if I could come over for an audition 2 days later! I was given a list of some fairly complicated PoS songs which I had to learn in the following 2 days.

The day after christmas eve we were in London at my brothers and Daniel called again to inform me that I had been chosen to join the band… and we were going on tour in 2 weeks. I was staying in London right until the pre-production/rehearsals started and I didn’t even have my guitar! But fortunately my wife and I had given my 1 and a half year old nephew a mini-guitar for christmas and I borrowed it to learn and practice all my parts.

2 years later I had toured in Europe, North and South America & The Middle East with Pain of Salvation. We released the acoustic album Falling Home, the title song is the first song that I brought to the table for the band.

Daniel and I spent some 2 years on and off to write and record the new album which was released on January 13th 2017. I managed to spread my influence and love for heavy metal music in the writing process as well as putting one of my very own songs in there. The first single “Meaningless” is a rework of a song I wrote and recorded with Sign under the name “Rockers Don’t Bathe”. The PoS version has slightly altered lyrics and a new outro part.

 

2 responses to “About

  1. Connie Wendling

    LOVE your story Ragnar, but I’m so sorry for your sorrow with your dad. Your wife shared a link on Facebook for a song you wrote about him. It’s beautiful. When we spoke in Buffalo you told us you wrote Falling Home, and here I read that you also released Meaningless with Sign! I love these tunes! I just listened to the original. You’re a very talented singer/songwriter/musician and on top of that one of the warmest and loveliest human beings I’ve ever met. I’m so happy we had the chance to spend some time talking with you. We will be watching and listening to your great music. Warmest wishes to you and your beautiful family -Connie and family from Buffalo, NY- we all love you : )

  2. Love your work (in PoS and your own songs). Great voice and guitar skills! Great writer (melodic- and lyrics-wise). Good mix between heavy and gentle/melodic parts. You’re a very talented and musical person. Keep on with making music! 🙂
    – Michel

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