Friday December 14th 2012
By Danny R. Phillips
Norway’s own Fridthjof Thorbjorn, known in outlaw country circles as SEXWOLPH, will be bringing his brand of down home awesomeness to The Rendezvous this Friday night at 9pm. The story of SEXWOLPH is a long and winding road filled with potholes, loss and redemption.
SEXWOLPH, the alt-country project of former Black Metal God Thorbjorn, began its life as a way to find peace and explore a foreign music genre while dealing with a chapter of his life he would just as soon forget. Following a concert in Vaxjo, Sweden and an incident that involved an inebriated goat, Cheez-Whiz, pickles and a police cruiser, Thorbjorn was charged and sentenced to five years in prison for felonious conduct with an automobile and endangering the life of intoxicated livestock.
During his incarceration, by chance Thorbjorn discovered the music of Hank Williams, Sr., Buck Owens, Manassas, The International Submarine Band and Waylon Jennings through bootleg cassettes that were circulating among the cellblock population. While still awash in the warm glow of his discovery and subsequent transformation from Black Metal demon to Country & Western aficionado, upon his release, Thorbjorn borrow some cash and headed for Nashville, a Stella acoustic guitar in hand.
After landing a job as a roadie and guitarist on a Garth Brooks tour, Thorbjorn came to the realization, after a night of whiskey and women, that the music he was supporting night after night was bullshit, a mere shadow of the true art form it claimed to represent. The stop in Omaha, Nebraska was his final show on the tour. Finding the Midwest to be welcoming and a good place to hide from the world, he decided to, like his heroes Gram Parsons, Ryan Adams and Waylon Jennings before him, make the music he wanted to make without concession or compromise.
While on a beer stop in St. Joseph, SEXWOLPH met local music mainstays Chris Clark and Corey Riley of Seven Mile Drive and 80’s cover band B.O.C.C. After many hours spent drinking and digging deep into their shared love of music, the trio formed Crash of ’29, a band in which they could share their music influenced by the alt-country movement and the acts that helped build it: Whiskeytown, Uncle Tupelo, Soul Asylum and the widely acknowledged creator of the genre, the late great Gram Parsons.
Crash of ’29 would build a steady following within the growing local music scene and play shows with such bands as Appleseed Cast, Blackpool Lights, Sun Ambulance and Old Canes before the members dismantled the band to pursue other interests. Riley raised purebred rabbits while Clark became brewmaster at Boulevard Beer. With ’29 no more, Thorbjorn formed Helping Hands and Sorry Sweetheart… with local scene giants “Sweet” Bobby Floyd, Colby Walter, Marcus Words and Zale Bledsoe.
Sorry Sweetheart… released a full-length album, “Trinkets and Treasures,” and several well-received eps on the @homerecords before Thorbjorn took a break to continue his obsessive need to collect vinyl records and perfect skateboard tricks.
Last summer, Thorbjorn came out of seclusion to sign a deal with local powerhouse label This Tall Records (a label founded by Zale Bledsoe) and this Friday will be SEXWOLPH’s first performance as a member of that stable.
A man progresses in life when he strives for what he loves. He moves past childish things & finds who he truly is. Fridthjof Thorbjorn has left his Black Metal childhood behind and has found peace and contentment in the country. Come to The Rendezvous this Friday night, buy SEXWOLPH a beer and be part of a man who has discovered, at his heart, who he is.