Swedish Bass virtuoso Bjorn Englen came to the United States in 1993. A year later he was already involved with the legendary group Quiet Riot doing not only pre-production studio work but also touring dates. Since then he has never looked back. Bjorn formed his own band, Soul Sign which also features vocalist Mark Boals.
Englen has contributed to literally dozens of albums and projects, and prominently spent years with guitar legends Yngwie Malmsteen and Tony MacAlpine respectively. Bjorn is also a vital part of Dio Disciples, and with more concert dates coming up, he was nice enough to take some time out for our 10 Questions with the Musical Mind feature. More than just an amazing player, Bjorn has the heart of a teacher. You can see it in how he stresses rudimentary techniques and the importance of learning the basics the correct way.
So without further ado, The Peter Principles gives you Bjorn Englen:
First off you are going back out with Dio Disciples , how is that going?
It’s going great! We’re doing some shows in the US this summer and then we’re recording an album to be released early 2019.
Going back, how was the music scene in Sweden? Had you already made progress in your career when you moved here?
Sweden was a very bad place for rock musicians and rock bands in the 80s in the early 90s so it was a good time for me to move.
Your resume’ is a who’s who of Rock and Metal. Who are some of the musicians you have not worked with yet that you’d really like to?
There are a few but not many And the few ones that are left I’d like to leave unmentioned. I just want to be happy playing music.
Is it hard to adjust to different guitarists and drummers styles?
I’ve done it so much so not for me, lol. But it’s always a challenge and it can be a lot of fun but also a lot of not so much fun. lol
It’s very black-and-white: Either people get it or they don’t get it. It is impossible to play great bass with a bad drummer no matter how good of a bass player that you are.
When touring for someone like Yngwie, does he stipulate what he wants played, or do you basically learn the song’s changes and play your own lines?
The ironic thing is that he never once complained about how I played and I played a lot of my own fills and things. I think the key thing is to work with somebody who respects you and that you respect. He was one and I always knew he would be.
What plans do you have for Soul Sign?
A new album in 2019 and shows coming up.
How are the clinics going? You seem to have a passion for teaching.
I do. I love teaching and every person and student is unique and different so that keeps things “fresh”.
Is it true that bass only sounds good when you use your signature Mari strings?
There are some other good string brands of course. But I like Mari strings the most.
What musicians inspired you to pick up an instrument when you were young?
I think it was more bands than bass players. And local bass players in my neighborhood. I just thought bass was great and that you can make one note sound so powerful.
What other projects are you working on that we need to check out?
I’m working on some solo pieces. I’m also playing with Tara Lynch.
Be sure to check out the official website to get caught up on the music and catch a show near you! http://www.bjornenglen.com/