At age 10 Thorbjorn got his first guitar. Practicing was never in sight
at that stage as he just played it for fun. As time went by the guitar
began to take an even bigger place in his life, and at age 14 he formed
his first band "Endomorph" with some school buddies. Thorbjorn left
Endomorph in ´98 which had been the "ignition" for both him and the
drummer Tony, who also came to join Winterlong at a later stage.
The years with Endomorph were more or less successful and the
band recorded several demo tapes which received good critics from
listeners, and at the peak of their attempt to conquer, they got the
opportunity to perform as opening-act for John Norum. However,
Thorbjorn was playing bass in the end of Endomorph´s career since the
group couldn´t find a bass player suitable enough, and the guitar was,
so to say "put a side" for some years. - But only in the spotlight
After watching a video with the Swedish neo-shredder Yngwie
Malmsteen, Thorbjorn were so stunned by the beauty and furious
technique in the playing of Malmsteen that he decided that the guitar
was the right instrument for him, and now when he knew what one could
do with a guitar the struggle began.
He knew that hard practice was the only key to obtain the
skills that of a master and that there was no way around it.
Sacrificing almost everything, and with no interest and care about the
world outside, lost in the realms of the guitar he begun to unlock the
mystery of modes, arpeggios, how the notes where connected into scales,
and how every scale where connected to another, and suddenly, after
years of "blood sweat and tears" it all opened up, and there where no
longer any mental obstacles ahead, only that which you limit by
Inspired by Malmsteen he also learned about other masters such
as Joe Satriani, Kee Marcello, Marty Friedman etc. but seeking
inspiration outside the guitar genre, such as violin music and even
folk music proved also to be very stimulating, both in the sense of
composing and arranging, but also just plain inspiration in how the
improvisation of a virtuoso can contribute such a living feel to the
pieces, due to that emotional yet dramatic and fast style of wild
playing -regardless which instrument is chosen. And when he discovered
Vanessa Mae´s astonishing classical work there was just another push
into the classical direction…
During the dark years of practicing Thorbjorn gathered with
some old friends (Hussni, Erik and Tony) who shared the same taste in
music and so they formed Winterlong -a group with an energy and
"alive"-feeling so strong that it’s impossible to be left untouched!
Their rough edge melodic metal, spinal-shivering vocals, and roaring
guitars is something that will be heard all over the world.
In the Long winter of 2002 Thorbjorn took on the task of
composing a whole new sound of metal-style with the extremely talented
singer/composer Stella Tormanoff. This cd, which turned out to be a
very big step ahead for him as both guitarist and songwriter is
something very special and differs from every style of metal-music you
have ever heard. The results of the collaboration can be heard on the
"Starqueen -Faithbringer"- album, released by Lion Music.
In the beginning of 2002 Thorbjorn was given the wonderful
opportunity to play a quest solo on the solo album by keyboard wizard
Mistheria (Messenger Of The Gods) and was also asked by Lion Music to
make a cover-version of the Uli John Roth-song "Indian Dawn" which
appeared on "Beyond Inspirtation - A Tribute to Uli John Roth"-album
released in December 2002.
Thorbjorn also composed an instrumental song for the "Tribute to Jason
Becker II" album with guest appearance by Stella Tormanoff.
In the spring of 2002 the members of Winterlong dissolved,
leaving only Thorbjorn and his guitar to fight the battle on their own.
The second Winterlong album was recorded with a completely new line-up;
with Thorbjorn handling all the guitars and bass, as well as the vocal
lines and lyrics, Anders Johansson (Hammerfall, Malmsteen) and Andreas
Lill from Vanden Plas contributed drums, with the singer slot being
filled by the soaring voice of Mikael Holm, who is a very talented
musician with a somewhat Dio-style voice. The keys were once again
handled by Mistheria. Press reviews were excellent and this led to
follow up, the self titled “Winterlong” album which saw the same
stellar reviews. 2006 saw Thorbjorn create the fourth Winterlong album
with changes in line-up again taking place. The new sound of “Metal /
Technology” saw the band blend their neo-classical sound with more
modern metal practices.
2006 also saw Thorbjorn release his first instrumental solo
album on Lion Music entitled “Influences” which is home to 16 tracks
spanning the parts which make up Englund the player.