Jørn Viggo Lofstad

Published on March 2nd, 2012

As a restless youngster, Jørn Viggo went to a rock concert at a local school-club, where he heard the sound of a fuzzy guitar. “I totally got bitten and knew that I just had to play in a band.” At the age of 13, a friend of him bought an electric guitar, and a year later Jørn Viggo began to play. The strings were snakebites to his hands, and the poison has yet not dried out.

On October 14 1974, Jørn Viggo Lofstad was born in a small town called Mosjøen. At the age of three, his family moved south to Skien, where Jørn Viggo lived for many years, before he moved to Trondheim.  In primary school, the teacher wanted him to take piano lessons, but Jørn Viggo refused. Even though, Jørn Viggo played some tunes on a very old keyboard at the age of 7 or 8. He later dedicated his fingers to the six-string. When he was between 14 and 17 years old, bands like Dio, King Diamond and Metallica were huge inspirational sources. Later on, David Gilmore, James Hetfield, Vivian Campbell and Richie Blackmor, Steve Lukather and Randy Rhoads have, and are still making an impact on Jørn Viggo, both as a musician and guitarist. It is impossible to write about Jørn Viggo’s influences without mentioning Eddie Van Halen. The album 1984 is one of his favorite albums and he is also very pleased with the latest album A Different Kind of Truth. “Van Halen was a great inspiring element for me during the time I developed my playing style and my musical expression.”

Jørn Viggo’s first instrument was the bas, which he played at the age of 13. His mates had a band, and the only member they needed was a bassist. They played in a garage at Åfoss, Skien. “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” was the first song they played together: “It sounded like shit, but it was awesome.”

Jørn Viggo’s first guitar was a Marlin.“If I remember correctly the last thing I did [with it] was painting it pink.” 16-17 years old, Jørn Viggo played his first gig with a band of high school friends, called Mortification.  His first real band was Cry Free that later turned into Cabo Wabo. Cabo Wabo started out playing original music, but turned into a great cover band doing bands like Van Halen, Deep Purple and Whitesnake. “Beer drinking music.”

During his music career, Jørn Viggo has played with a lot of band projects, in studio and on stage. Dan Hagen & The War Babies, Beautiful Sin, An Evening With Toto Music and Jorn are some of them. In the late 90s, he played in An Evening With Toto Music along with keyboarder Ronny Tegner and bassist Steinar Krokmo. The Toto cover band paid tribute to the LA-rockers.

Stian Kristoffersen, Nils K. Rue, and Thorstein Aaby formed Pagan’s Mind in the summer of 2000, and were shortly after joined by Steinar Krokmo, Ronny Tegner and Jørn Viggo Lofstad.

When Pagan’s Mind released Enigmatic: Calling in 2004, it was the first time Jørn Viggo was the sole producer and the sole guitarist. He also produced God’s Equation (in cooperation with the boys) and Heavenly Ecstasy. In vocalist Nils K. Rue’s own words: “He is the conductor securing the quality to the last chain of the production. He is the one in the band that puts the most blood, sweat and tears into this.”  And all the blood, sweat and beers have paid off. He has become an attractive name in the metal world and, is also sponsored by Peavey.

“On a personal note I have to say Jørn Viggo is one of my favorite guitarists!” Frederick Thunder from Neonfly told Suicide Scriptures. Lance King wanted to cooperate with Jørn Viggo on his album A Moment In Chiros: “I would’ve really liked to work with Jørn Viggo Lofstad from Pagan’s Mind. Jørn was on tour the moment I sent this out, though. That I think would’ve been a lot of fun.”

“The fist time I held a guitar in my hands, I knew that this was going to be a big part of my life.”