Short Description: Vitne is a solo rock artist located in Norway, playing a type of 80s-influenced Melodic Rock with a punk, slightly gothic edge. Vitne gained the attention of music critics and fans worldwide with his debut album Neon in 2013, and his follow-up 2015 EP Endless Blue went on to win “Best Rock EP” and “Executive Top Pick” from the Akademia Awards. Weaving together elements of glam metal, Japanese rock, punk and even RPG soundtrack music, Vitne creates a personal style of hard rock complemented by the addition of flute on many of his songs. During his time as frontman for the Norwegian glam metal band SEKS, Vitne met hair-metal guitarist Julian Angel of Beautiful Beast, leading to their on-going collaboration. The combination of Julian’s first-class guitar solos and Vitne’s punkish vocals has led to their camaraderie being likened to that of Billy Idol and Steve Stevens.
The Details: Born Joseph “Jo” Kimbrell in Charleston, SC USA, he relocated to Norway in 2010 and adopted the name Vitne (meaning “witness” in the Norwegian language), starting his solo career after his band activities were put on hold. Vitne has gone on to embrace Creative Commons, becoming one of the few hard rock artists of his type to release all his music under the Creative Commons (CC-BY) license.
“I love albums. My aim with my records is to take the listener on a journey, not just give some one-night-stand kind of quick fix. A good record is a statement, a story, like a book. It is something you fall in love with and adore and become a fanatic about.”
Vitne’s debut album Neon is greatly influenced by the 80s glam metal movement and gained him critical acclaim from music critics, with SleazeRoxx saying “Think of Vitne and Julian Angel’s relationship like a modern-day incarnation of Billy Idol and Steve Stevens….” His follow-up EP Endless Blue continued that legacy with fans calling it a “little EP with a lot of heart,” as well as music critics proclaiming “His vocals are intoxicating and the music is like a drug…” (VENTS Magazine) and “…thank you for those few moments in your company which reminded me that sometimes the world is a fabulous place” (Metal-Impact).
“I want my records to have a soul, to have feeling and atmosphere. A personal quality I suppose you could say. My songs aren’t intended to be pop hits, and I don’t do fillers. Every song has a purpose, no matter it’s length.”
A multi-instrumentalist, Vitne sings and plays guitar, bass, flute and some piano. His flute work reminds the listener of his love for Jethro Tull most notably heard in his latest works. Vitne casually pursues an acting career as well, having been an actor in multiple music videos, an extra in the Hollywood feature film Dear John, as well as an actor in multiple episodes of the Norwegian TV series Hotel Cæsar. An avid language learner, Vitne speaks both English and Norwegian, and is learning Japanese, Russian and Mandarin Chinese.
Vitne recently released a DVD video compilation on April 12th, 2016 and has a new single “Masquerade” coming June 21st, 2016.