Oslo - Don't Turn Your Back
1. Don’t Turn Your Back
2. Stranger’s Eyes
3. Every Time She Cries
5. Running Out Of Time
6. Take Your Time
7. With Every Beat Of Your Heart
8. Why Can’t This Night Last Forever
9. Kiss Me
10. No Way Out
11. Play With Fire
12. Why Can’t This Night Last Forever (Alt. Version)
13. Night After Night
Lars Kolshus (DE STRESSLESS) was twenty years old when he moved from Oslo, Norway, to the United States of America. Lars flew into New York City’s JFK Airport in the summer of 1986 and spent his first night in the USA at the local YMCA. Lars then traveled to Boston, Massachusetts, where he attended Berklee College of Music. Lars was a multi-talented musician who played bass guitar, keyboards, and drums. Lars saw an ad in a Boston music paper by guitarist/songwriter Mike McManus (UNCLE MOONDOG, QUEEN NATION, BOOGIE NIGHTS) who was looking for a band. Lars was hesitant to call, but his wife encouraged him to contact Mike. By the time Lars called, Mike was already in a musical project. Lars explained his desire to put out an AOR CD to bring back to Norway. Mike agreed to start a side project with Lars, but after jamming together, this project became Mike’s main focus. Lars suggested that they call the project “OSLO” to honor his Norwegian roots. Mike thought the name fit and the band OSLO was born. Mike and Lars found vocalist Paul Gregory who was currently singing in a blues band. Paul had the style of voice they were searching for. He agreed to sing on the record but was not willing to leave his current blues project. OSLO entered Jeff Downer’s Save Tyme Studio in early 1991. It was an eight- track basement studio but fit the band’s current budget. The ceiling of the recording room was too low for Paul who was 6’ 3”; he had to stand in the washroom to record his vocals. Though it was tight quarters in the studio, the recording came out quite well.
Lars decided he wanted to move to Los Angeles, California, where the hard rock music scene was still producing many acts that were going national. During this time, OSLO picked up fellow Norwegian Per Tvedt who took over on keyboards. Lars convinced Mike to join him and Per in bringing the band to California to find new opportunities, but not before the band played their CD release party. A week after the release of the CD, the band packed up and moved to Burbank, California. After the band arrived, they ditched the current album cover (featuring Mike and Lars on the cover) for a plain white cover with the band’s logo on it. OSLO still needed to find a drummer and vocalist to keep the band going. Lars began working at a local record shop where he met fellow employee Mat Diaz. The pair quickly bonded on their similar musical tastes. Lars found out that Mat was a drummer and he invited him out to jam. Mat quickly gelled with the band and was added to the ranks. OSLO added Tony Gerace on vocals and was ready to get moving now that each of the positions in the band were finally filled. The band found themselves as a small fish in a very big pond, but they didn’t let the new challenges discourage them. The band pushed forward lining up gigs and rehearsing as much as their combined schedules would permit. After several months, Tony and the rest of the band were having creative differences. This led to the departure of Tony and the band was back on the hunt for another vocalist. OSLO took out a local ad and received several responses, with one coming from Alaskan Brian Nuss (CHINA, SNOW WHITE, TOWN CRYER). Brian was more of a heavy metal vocalist, but was willing to adapt to the more AOR/melodic rock style of OSLO. The band was very happy with Brian and what he brought to the table. OSLO continued playing out at such clubs as Coconut Teazer, The Roxy, and The Troubadour and started to gain a following. The fans always got extra loud when OSLO would play crowd favorites like “Crossfire” and “Don’t Turn Your Back.”
With the new lineup, it was time to put some new songs together. The band wrote a few more songs and entered Rainbow Sound Studios in Granada Hills California, to record their four-track EP. Oslo continued to play out the remainder of 1993 where they still got a decent draw, but the music scene was changing in L.A. and the melodic rock bands were finding themselves on the radio less and less. The club scene was also shifting. The band looked at the styles of music that were still receiving attention, but remained determined to stay true to the guitar-based rock that the band had become accustomed to playing. OSLO changed musical directions more in the wave of bands like KING’S X and ALICE IN CHAINS The band entered Rainbow Sound Studios once again and recorded a 2-track cassette that was a bit heavier than their last output and that included the songs “1919” and “Sanctuary.” With the music scene completely changing, Brian decided to leave the music business to become a pilot. This left the band looking for another vocalist. OSLO performed at a Phil Lynott (THIN LIZZY) tribute show in Hollywood where they played as a three-piece with Mike handling lead vocals. At the show, the band met fellow rocker Tony Oros (SOMA, METAL GODZ) who sang a few songs with another band in tribute to Phil as well. A week later the guys in OSLO went to a KING’S X show where they ran into Tony once again. They complimented each other on the show done a week earlier and became friends. Tony came out and jammed with the band and was given the invite to become the new vocalist. Tony could sing many different styles of music and was very adaptable to whatever the band was wanting to do. Tony liked the passion and the talent level the band brought and joined as the new frontman of the band.
OSLO continued to play out and write music, but the scene itself was ever-changing and by the time 1997 rolled around, the band found themselves moving in a new direction. Per had left the band and they dropped keyboards altogether. The band’s producer suggested a name change and Tony came up with the name EGODOG and the band adopted the new name. EGODOG revamped the old OSLO song “Sanctuary,” and titled it “World of Illusion.” EGODOG released one album before Lars and Mat left the band. Lars moved back to Norway. The band continued on and released two EPs in 2000 and 2001. The band played for two more years, but broke up in 2003. During the early to mid-2000s, melodic hard rock underwent an underground resurgence and many of the late 80s and early 90s indie albums were sought after as collectibles. The “Oslo – self-titled” CD was one of the top collector’s pieces on the market with the album fetching over one thousand dollars on more than one occasion. Thirteen years had passed since Lars had departed the band and moved back to Norway; he found himself moving back to the USA in 2014. Lars and Mike got back together and it was as if no time had passed between their last meeting. Lars and Mike have created a brotherly bond through their love of music and the songs they created together. And in 2021 they were contacted by Metallic Blue Records to reissue the band’s music and give the fans a chance to buy these amazing songs at an affordable price. OSLO is happy that their music is out there and that they have fans who still love to listen to the songs they created so many years ago.