Magnus Öström was born on May 3rd, 1965 in Skultuna, Sweden as second son to local painter Arne and Siv Öström. His brother Tommy was three years older and influenced Magnus in his early years with his eclectic record collection including Jimmy Hendrix, Deep Purple, Almond Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
At the age of eight Magnus built his first drumkit out of his fathers empty paintcans and only a year later he started his first band together with a kid from across the street, Esbjörn Svensson.
Another year later he performed his first concert. The band was called ”Beware Of The Beginners.
In 1978 his brother took him to a concert of Billy Cobham with John McLaughlin. This experience turned his musical world upside down and got him into jazzrock.
Aged 13 to 16 Magnus had several bands simultaneously together with Esbjörn Svensson playing all different styles, from dance-music to punk.
From 1981 to 1983 Magnus studied at the music highschool (Gymnasium) in Västerås. During those years Esbjörn and Magnus had their first trio together.
From 1983 to 1985 he then studied music at Sjöviks folk high-school.
In 1985 Magnus moved to Stockholm to study at the Royal Conservatory of Music He immediately started to play in different bands on Stockholm´s jazz scene. Between 1987 and 1992 he was a constant member of Monica Borrfors band, a well-known Swedish jazz vocalist who played mainly jazz standards and together they toured extensively throughout Sweden and beyond. ”Playing live, especially with a singer is the best school in the world for a young drummer”, he says.
In 1989 after a break of a few years Magnus and Esbjörn hooked up again and started jamming together. They formed a band called ”Stock Street B”. The setup included - amoung other gadgets - samplers and octapads with sampled vocals. ”It was too early for that kind of thing. No one understood what we were doing, really. They thought we were playing to backing-tracks but everything we did was live."
In 1991 him and Esbjörn started the predecessor to e.s.t. and in 1992 Dan Berglund joined on bass. Together they recorded 12 albums and one concert DVD, toured the world several times over, sold hundreds of thousands of albums, and were titled the ”trio of the decade”. Nowadays e.s.t. are considered to have been the most influential band in jazz in the Noughties and their album ”Live in Hamburg” has been awarded ”Album of the Decade” by no lesser than the London Times.
During his life as a musician Magnus played with a selection of Swedish bands and artists such as Bobo Stenson, Lennart Åberg, Palle Danielsson, Svante Thuresson, Nils Landgren, Stina Nordenstam, Peter Gullin, Steve Dobrogosz, but he also played with a lot of international artists such as Michelle Hendricks, Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller, Mulgrew Miller, Buster Williams, Roy Hargrove, Stefon Harris, Pat Metheny, Alan Pasqua and others.
Magnus cites the following drummers as his favorites: Mick Tucker, Mitch Mitchell, Ian Paice, Billy Cobham, Roy Haynes, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones and Paul Motian – ”There are so many fantastic drummers and you can’t mention them all, but I like to remember all the great heroes whose shoulders we are standing on now, from Baby Dodds onwards.”