Turbonegro (Turboneger in Norway) was a Norwegian punk rock band that was initially active from 1989 to 1998, and later reformed in 2002.
The group first formed in 1989 in Oslo, Norway. The line up was Thomas Seltzer a.k.a "Happy-Tom", Vegard Heskestad, Pål Bøttger Kjærnes a.k.a "Pål pot Pamparius", Rune Grønn a.k.a "Rune Rebellion", Pål Erik Carlin, and Carlos Churasco. Their first show was at Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen, Denmark in March of 1989. The group got off to a rocky start with leaving after only 2 releases (a single and a 12" EP), and in September of 1990 they left Norway to tour the U.S. However, Rune was beaten up in Minneapolis a few hours after their arrival and remained in the hospital. The band forged on without him but the tour was a disaster. Three weeks later Turbonegro returned to Oslo and broke up temporarily.
In late March '93, Pål Erik Carlin's replacement, Harald, played his last show with Turbonegro at Sentrum Scene in Oslo. He quit due to health reasons and was replaced by Hans Erik Husby aka "Hank von Helvete." With the new singer a decision was made to rename the band Stierkampf (the German word for bullfight), but by the winter of 1994-95, Turbonegro was back to the old name but with a new look referred to as the 'Al Jolson schtick'; fortunately, it didn't last long. The gag was long gone by May of 1995, when they debuted the denim and moustache look, the former becoming synonymous with the band itself.
In the fall of '95, things started to look bleak for them. Pål and Bingo left the band, the former beacuse he wanted to travel while the latter disliked the direction the group was heading in sound wise. However, the band's fortune changed for the better when they recruited Knut Schreiner a.k.a "Euroboy". Euroboy was a priceless addition to the band in the reshaping of their sound. The 'Prince Of The Rodeo' 7" was his recording debut with Turbonegro and a taste of the greatness to come. Also at this time Pål Bøttger Kjærnes returned from travelling in Thailand to open his famous 'Pamparius' pizza parlor outside of Oslo in Kolbotn. He decided to rejoin the band as the keyboard player and "dancer". Pål's return would be the final touch in the latest incarnation of the band. The new look, sound and album irritated and fascinated the European underground; people were starting to pay attention to Turbonegro.
In spring '97, Turbonegro had yet another line up change. Christer Engen, aka Chris Summers, from Big Bang took over on drums, leaving Happy-Tom to play bass. From there, they released the album Apocalypse Dudes. The album was a hit and they exploded onto the mainstream; unfortunately, this eventually led to their second break up owing to Hank's declining mental health. According to Happy-Tom, "Turbonegro broke up in the waiting room of a psychiatric emergency ward in Milan, Italy." Hank's mental indisposition became a real problem; thus, the remainder of the 'Darkness Forever' tour was cancelled. They bid their farewell December 18, 1998 at Mars in their home town of Oslo. Turbonegro's last words were "Yeah-Yeah! Yeah-Yeah!"
In the four years since their disintegration in an Italian psychiatric ward, Turbonegro (due to the popularity of Apocalypse Dudes) had grown from just another cult favourite to a worldwide hit. They reunited in 2002, with superstar fans ranging from Queens of the Stone Age to the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl to the cast of Jackass. They wasted no time getting back into the swing of things, releasing Scandinavian Leather and embarking on their "Res-Erection" tour, and then afterwards releasing Party Animals in 2005 and later Re-tox in 2007. Afterwards, Rune, Chris and Hank all left the band at various points in time (Rune in 2007, Chris was asked to leave in 2008, and Hank left in 2010). New vocalist, Tony Sylvester, debuted on 2012's Sexual Harassment.
Hank went on to front another band, Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult.
- Hot Cars and Spent Contraceptives (1992)
- Helta Skelta (1993)
- Never Is Forever (1994)
- Ass Cobra (1996)
- Apocalypse Dudes (1998)
- Scandinavian Leather (2003)
- Party Animals (2005)
- Re-Tox (2007)
- Sexual Harassment (2012)
- RockNRoll Machine (2018)
- Hank von Helvete: vocals (1993-July 2010)
- Euroboy: lead guitar (1995-Present)
- Rune Rebellion: Rhythm Guitar (1989-2007)
- Happy-Tom: Bass (1989-Present)
- Pål Pot Pamparius: Keyboard/guitar/dancing/etc (1989-present)
- Chris Summers: Drums (1997-2008)
Turbonegro embodies the following tropes:
- Album Title Drop: Apocalypse Dudes had one in the album intro, quoted above. Scandinavian Leather also had one in its album intro.
- Audience Participation Song / Battlecry : ERECTION!
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Their Stage Names.
- Badass Moustache: In the 90s.
- Department of Redundancy Department: From "F.T.W.": "That's what I say, that's what I say, and I just said it!"
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Guess what "Drenched In Blood" is about.
- Hard Gay: Deliberately invoked and turned Up to Eleven, then made Darker and Edgier.
- Hypocritical Humour: "Don't say motherfucker, motherfucker!"
- "I Want" Song: "I Wanna Come."
- Intercourse with You: Just not the kind you normally expect, especially with titles like "Rendezvous With Anus" and "Rock Against Ass".
- Kill 'Em All: "All My Friends Are Dead." Don't play with hand grenades.
- Large and in Charge: Hank.
- Mundane Made Awesome: "The Age of Pamparius" is them singing about the pizza restaurant their keyboard player opened.
- Nice Hat: Quite a few. Happy-Tom's sailor hat is probably the most notable.
- Pun-Based Title: One of their more cheeky titles (which is saying a lot): "If You See Kaye (Tell Her I L-O-V-E Her)."
- Punk Rock: Their own special brand, dubbed "deathpunk."
- Raging Stiffie: In "I Got Erection" (Turbonegro aren't the most subtle of bands), the protagonist gets a woody from just walking down the street, killing women, burying them, being a Pyromaniac and hearing Hard Rock.
- Red Baron: Tony Sylvester, aka "The Duke of Nothing."
- Refuge in Audacity: Pretty much all their albums. Just to scratch the surface, here's some notable song titles: "The Midnight NAMBLA," "Blow Me (Like The Wind)," "Shake Your Shit Machine," "Rendezvous With Anus."
- Self-Deprecation: "Turbonegro Must Be Destroyed."
- Surprisingly Good English: All the band members sing in and can speak very fluently in English, and most of their songs contain subtle and not-so-subtle plays on words.