The name Stargazer first saw the light of day in September of 2008, and the core of this band consists of two creative forces, Tore André Helgemo (vocals) and William Ernstsen (guitars). Teamed up with session musicians Morten “Morty Black” Skaget (bass) of TNT-fame, and Steinar Krokstad (drums) of Stage Dolls-fame, Helgemo and Ernstsen have developed a product that appears musically independent and strong.
The story of the band has its beginnings back in the summer of 2001, when Helgemo - sick of his daytime job as a plumber and office manager in his little company - wanted to do something with the music he had composed while traveling around the bumpy roads of Norway, as a troubadour on the weekends. He started recording songs with session musicians in Trondheim, but wasn’t quite satisfied with the results, and decided to put together a band instead of continuing on the recording front.
Living in the mountains - a one and a half hour drive from the city - made getting serious musicians involved a little complicated, but somehow a band came together. A set list with half cover and half self-composed material, got them some local gigs in 2004 and 2005.
Meanwhile in the city of Trondheim, Ernstsen was sitting at his day-job as a guitar-instructor, wanting to do something more with his unique talent, and by a twist of fate, he happened to know the bass player who was playing with Helgemo at the time. Ernstsen had heard rumors that the singer in this band was an exceptional talent, so he caught one of their shows in Trondheim to see what it was all about. He first thought the band was a disaster, but the man in the middle, Mr. Helgemo, was a sensational front figure, with the voice of a god and the charisma of a true rock star! Some months later, Ernstsen replaced the guitar player in the band, and the drummer was also replaced. Some pieces of the Stargazer puzzle were starting to fall into place; Ernstsen and Helgemo found each other in 2005!
By now the band had the name F.R.I.E.N.D., and with Helgemo’s material they put together an EP in the summer of 2006, called “Window To The World”. This EP - recorded mostly in Ernstsen’s living room - was never signed to any label, but given the quality of the material and the artistic qualities of the compelling force of Helgemo / Ernstsen, legendary producer Rune Nordahl (from the classic TNT-albums and others), found interest in working with these two guys. They recorded a single “So Now You’re Leaving” and started working on a debut album, while broadcast radio in Norway put the single on the “A-list” for more than a month! After this things weren’t moving forward very fast, but eventually in May of 2008, the “album” was finished.
After listening closely to the completed recordings Ernstsen and Helgemo found the product lacked soul and direction. The sad truth emerged, that the sound was not quite what they hoped it would be, so they scrapped the whole thing! They both agreed “we can do much better than this, and we won’t put a record out before it’s damned good, as good as a true classic”
Dissatisfied with the recordings and the band name, Ernstsen & Helgemo decided to pull it together once again, this time without their two earlier companions, which were more or less satisfied with playing local taverns as a cover band. Ernstsen & Helgemo had higher ambitions. They changed the name to Stargazer and got in experts on hard rock grooves - Morty Black and Steinar Krokstad. By now Ernstsen & Helgemo felt comfortable with their roles as producers together with Rune Nordahl.
Their debut album "Stargazer" is issued by Avenue of Allies.