Norwegian outfit AIRBAG refer to 2005 as being their formative year. These high school friends have been playing together under this moniker before that as well – they were actually formed in 1994, and the current line-up has ben in place since 1999 – but for the band 2005 heralds the start, or perhaps fresh start, as a band.
They released their first EP the same year, Sounds That I Hear. Blending influences from acts such as a-ha, Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd, they managed to create a sonic expression defying normal genre convencions – and allowing the release to be freely downloadable from their website was a smart move: In the first few months more than 10.000 people got the EP, and Airbag established a good-sized, international fanbase.
In 2007 a second EP was issued, Safetree. Like the previous production this one too was freely downloadable, and further extended their popularity among a internet-savvy fanbase. 2007 also saw Airbag’s debut as a live outfit, opening for acts like Pineapple Thief, Gazpacho and Riverside.
In 2009 they were signed by Karisma Records, and their debut album Identity was issued. This time as a regular commercial production. The release of their debut effort saw the band withdraw their previous EPs, as many of the tracks on those efforts found their way onto their first full length venture – albeit in more or less refined versions.
The current line-up is Asle Tostrup (vocals) Bjørn Riis (guitars, vocals), Jørgen Hagen (keyboards), Anders Hovdan (bass) and Joachim Slikker (drums).