Formed in Oslo, Norway in 2004, Airbag's brand of rock was variously described as epic, scenic, and neo-prog, and reminiscent of late-night Pink Floyd. The quintet -- consisting of guitarist/vocalist Asle Tostrup, guitarist Bjørn Riis, keyboardist Jørgen Hagen, drummer Joachim Slikker, and bass player Anders Hovdan -- recorded their first EP in their first year together. Entitled Come On, it was followed by 2006's Sounds That I Hear and Safetree in 2008. All three EPs were initially offered for free on the band's website, and they went on to register over 230,000 downloads, paving the way for incoming interest from Karisma Records, with whom the band signed a deal in 2008.
Their debut full-length album arrived in 2009. Entitled Identity, it featured remixed versions of songs from their second and third EPs. The album was very well received and the lead single, "Colours," managed the top three on Polish radio. Their follow-up, 2011's All Rights Removed, saw the band adopt a more conceptual approach, favoring longer pieces and a more dramatic instrumentation. For its release, Slikker left the band and was replaced by Henrik Bergan Fossum. It went on to receive numerous plaudits from the world of prog rock, and featured on many end-of-year lists.
After opening for rock giants Marillion during their Scandinavian tour in 2012, Airbag's third release, The Greatest Show on Earth, landed the following year. The band adopted a heavier, more guitar-driven approach to their music, a feeling echoed in the darker and more destructive content of their lyrics. Their fourth effort, Disconnected, was released in June 2016, after which Hagen and Hovdan left the band. The remaining members decided to press on as a trio, releasing their fifth album, A Day at the Beach, in 2020. ~ Simon Spreyer