The Berzerker have come to rescue rock music from it's burning embers. Never before has a band so steeped in the theory of rock been so relevant. While sticking to the tried and tested methods of the past, Berzerker amplify everything by one hundred - 100 times louder, 100 times faster - until it is so far from the vision it become part of the new wave. Their masks, which they wore long before Slipknot were even underground names, are the sort of theatrical tools which all the great rock bands of the past used and again the band take it through to the next level. Berzerker have come for you children and the parents can do nothing about it!!!
Q: Berzerker have been through various stages and line-ups
since 1995. So just to fill our readers in could you give tell us the Berzerker
story up to the present day?
A: In 1995 Berzerker was put together as a solo act. Electronic based with sampled guitars and put out some 12" in the States, Germany and Austria up until about 98 when Earache records contacted me to do some remixes for Morbid Angel. We did them, they put them out on compilations and about that time I was looking to put together a band to record a full length album because at this stage it was all still a solo project. Earache then offered me a 5 album deal and that was the premise that I put together a live band , which I hadn't done for quite a while because I was in a car accident in 95.
We were just looking for band names and coming across the concept of The Berzerker which was viking warriors. They would have bear snouts and wolf snouts and attach animal things too them and I thought that was a good concept - not just as a name, but also as an act. So I started finding these masks and wearing them while I was DJ-ing and it would just freak people out.
It just heightened the experience of the performance rather
than me going up there rah rah rah and playing some songs. There was just
a little bit more mystery and intrigue to the whole thing and it seemed
to strike a chord with people. And then when the band came together we
just got more. I think out of a live performance, the music is only 60%
- the rest of it is obviously the lights, sound and the visuals.
Q: Before you started Berzerker you were a drummer
in your previous band. How was it going from sat at the back with your
sticks to frontman?
A: It's not the easiest transition. It was just the fact that with my back I couldn't play drums anymore. I did sing while I was playing drums so that wasn't the problem, it was being up front when you wanted to be behind the kit and getting emerged between the stage and the cymbals.
Q: You said before that when it comes to the Berzerker
live shows only 60% of is about the music. When it comes to recording and
writing the lyrics, how much of yourself do you put into them?
A: Lyrics, again one of these thing being a drummer i'm not really lyricist. It's not a job I really overly cherish or take on board - i'm not one of these guys that writes down notepads all the time. I basically sit down and get the vocal rhythms first and try to get words to fit in there - obviously I have a topic in mind, but it's definitely forced.
People interpret things everywhere from things you say
to obviously things you write down and sing about. I know it's a cliché,
but whatever the lyrics mean to a individual is fine. It's the same kind
of thing with music and everybody interprets it differently.
Q: But lyrically there is a kind of disenchantment
with the world. Is that why you joined a band - to find those few like
A: I'm not really a fan with the way people tend to run their life's or treat other people. There's too much talk in the world and no one can back it up. I'm just very unimpressed with the majority of people I meet. It's just like - Do the things you say? - and it's really but it's so rare to find people that do it. But it's kind of nice when people get what i'm actually talking about. This is why I don't want to say this is how it is because that way it limits the people I would meet as well.
Q: You're working on a Berzerker DVD for release later
in the year. As a band who always has tried to show fans a different side
to what happens on stage - what can people expect from it?
A: I've just been collecting a lot of material while were on the road. Like we said we want to show people what it's really like and even though were not going to people all the terrible things it will present it in a bit of a different way. We've got some killer shows, lot's of live stuff, behind the scenes and were recording a new clip when we get back to Australia.
The thing is I just have no interest in metal celebrity. Real fans know from the accent who we are at the shows, but it's nice to just be up on stage and be something different.
"Dissimulate" is out now on Earache
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