Rock Star: Supernova, this year's reality rock show talent search, is looking for a lead singer to front the newly formed Supernova, a band comprised of Gilby Clark of Guns N Roses, Jason Newsted of Metallica, and Tommy Lee from Motley Crue. The producers' travels took them on a global quest, which brought them to Iceland.
Magni Asgeirsson was one of the aspiring rockers who auditioned. Magni already had formulated his dream to be a rocker by age eleven; by fifteen, he was performing. His first album, cut in 1997, was with his band, Shape. Magni left Shape in 1999 to join the up and coming pop band, A Moti Sol. They toured all over Iceland, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Luxembourg, and the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool. They've released six albums – two went gold – and they have a new single in the Top Five in Iceland.
Vocally, stylistically, and interpersonally, Magni has demonstrated his preeminence over the other contestants. He's often in the role of 'house moderator,' the arbitrator of issues. I came across this interview video for Iceland TV. He talks about working on writing some music while he's been interred in the Rock Star mansion, conflicted about whether to write in English or Icelandic. He talks about his homeland – Iceland should be proud of their ambassador of music – he's gaining international exposure and interest in Iceland along with doing a good job of representing his country. During the interview he opens up easily, demonstrating a gentle humor, a depth and breadth; he comes across uniquely unaffected and natural. Magni doesn't drape himself with jewelry, layer on the make-up, have metal protruding from his face, nor does he cover his torso with body art. He is about the music, a trait currently lacking in many musicians.
He's gained the nickname 'The Iceman' for obvious reasons; this man's performing style mirrors the country he's from, a country formed by volcanic activity, yet for much of the time is covered with ice. He presents himself as cool and relaxed, yet underneath, there's fire in his veins. His performance of Coldplay's "Clocks" provides a glimpse of the man's vocal capabilities. He exhibits deep vocal range, power pipes – you feel the internal fire. The performance that completely sealed the deal for me was his stripped back version of "The Dolphin's Cry", performed with just his acoustic guitar. Icy-hot delivery, restrained, controlled, an intense performance he made seem effortless. I see brilliance in this man, his talent putting him on par with Bono with the right career navigation. He is just that good.
I am astounded and confused as to why Magni has struggled the past two weeks in amassing sufficient votes to stay out of the bottom three. One reason may lie in the fact that Iceland cannot vote until after 3:00 a.m., an ill-conceived time period. Fans in the U.S. may have thought he wasn’t in jeopardy, but will now have to step up the support. As was recently reported on Icelandic TV, he was a mere 100 votes short to keep him out of the bottom three.
This week, he performed Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" with passion, zeal, and fabulous vocals. Wednesday night's performance should put an end to his bottom three streak. In the elimination round, he blazed with "Fire" by Jimi Hendrix. This was the best performance of the season in this show. Magni played guitar, interacting with the talented house band guitarist, delivering a stunning performance, drawing attention to the band as a performing unit, not interested in having all eyes focused on him, but elevating the act like a great frontman should – all the while looking like he and the band had played together for years. I can't remember any contestants in either of the two seasons of Rock Star doing anything even remotely similar.
Witnessed in his performance of "Fire" was the essence of the molten power and promise of this man's talent. What will be a test of The Iceman in next week's competition is whether he’ll release that fire and provide another flamethrowing-caliber performance. Magni, with his magnificient voice, must magnify his efforts and show the world the fabulous gift he owns. Winning this would allow him to break through the window from local celebrity to international superstar.
Whether he wins this or not, the time he has spent on Rock Star can only help him in his career. The future of Supernova as a band is not written in stone to begin with; Supernova is already enmeshed in one legal battle, a lawsuit is pending regarding its name. Another Supernova, founded in 1989 in Costa Mesa, California is currently battling to retain sole rights. Someone within the Mark Burnett Productions group apparently neglected to check out the rights to the band's name in the beginning.
I'd like to see Magni gain enough from the experience to amplify, justify, and solidify his course. Supernova would be fortunate to have this man with his talent, heart. and courage to front them – it would only elevate them.