extreme metal combo The Berzerker will release their third
full-length album from Earache Records on the 30th of January (in
Europe – the album has already been released in the US). See
review of the CD elsewhere on this site.
Powermetal.dk’s Thomas Nielsen put a few questions to front man
Luke, a.k.a. The Berzerker.
“World of Lies” is my first experience with The Berzerker, and
it is in truth a brutal and powerful one. How would you describe
your music to those who haven’t yet had the pleasure?
Berzerker: I wouldn't describe it as a pleasure, for starters!
I would say that for most people it will be the heaviest and
noisiest musical experience of their lives. It is death metal with
speedcore and industrial music elements in there, and it is not in
the least bit subtle.
Thomas: How did you come up with the name The Berzerker –
what was the source of inspiration for the name?
Berzerker: The name describes the music and our live show
Thomas: Do you regard The Berzerker as a “proper” band or
is it a one-man thing with hired guns?
Berzerker: It's not a proper band, but it's not exactly a
one-man show either. The line-up often rotates from album to album
and tour to tour. When it comes to the albums all the recording
musicians contribute riffs, music and ideas. I should be seen like
an executive producer over a collective of people and ideas, and
the final say and direction on everything comes from me.
Thomas: How would you characterise the man behind the synonym
The Berzerker? Is he as brutal as his music?
Berzerker: We don't really like giving out information such as
that. We have no stories to tell, and feel no need to big-note how
hard we might think we are. There is always someone out there
crazier than you.
Thomas: I understand from your website that you until recently
used masks not unlike those worn by Slipknot. Why did they come
off? And will they come back?
Berzerker: The masks came off because they were rotting from
age and had become unhygienic to wear. We could have replaced them
but we saw it as an opportunity to run with our faces. The masks
were planned from the outset as a way to enhance the live shows,
but a few months before our first album
came out Slipknot became huge with their first album. People would
write off our music as nu-metal or gimmicky without hearing it. We
made “Dissimulate” which was ridiculously mercilessly heavy
thinking that would stop the comparisons, but it didn't. So this
time around it's just us and our faces and to hell what people
think. They have no excuse for not giving our music a try now.
Thomas: You have toured quite a bit in the States,
. What has been your best touring experience so far?
Berzerker: I'm fond of playing
, the crowds are always super enthusiastic there and we always
seem to have a great show. But the Art of Noise tour in the
in 2003 with
, Napalm Death and Strapping Young Lad was our best experience by
far. I mean, we got to see those bands play 30 times in a row.
What could be better?
Thomas: Any touring plans for 2006?
Berzerker: Keep an eye on earache.com and www.theberzerker.com
for details. It looks like we will be touring
in the second half of March.
Thomas: What would the bill look like on the tour of your
Berzerker: Carcass (OLD), Morbid Angel (OLD), Brutal Truth (OLD),
Vader and Obituary. What a great show that would be.
What is the recording process like for The Berzerker? Is the
writing of material done primarily by you or is it a band effort?
Berzerker: It's a tricky one to describe. All the
guitarists/bassists contribute riffs and semi arranged passages.
On previous albums Sam the bassist has contributed some vocals and
lyrics as well. From there I
change, arrange and chops all the riffs into songs and writes the
beats. On the latest album I did all the lyrics and vocals, all
the beats and arrangements, and produced and mixed the whole evil
Thomas: “World of Lies” concludes with a track that lasts
around 20 minutes (“Farewell”). And it’s the same riff
repeated over and over again. What on earth possessed you to do
Berzerker: The riff and synth create a mood, and this is the
kind of metal that can be comfortably played in the background as
opposed to most death metal which commands full attention in order
for the listener to get something out of it. Also most death metal
bands these days are almost competing to see how many different
riffs they can cram into a song and we love doing things
completely different to everyone else. You either understand it
fully or just don’t seem to get it... I understand it completely.
Thomas: I couldn’t help notice that the tracks on the promo
CD are chopped into pieces [the promo CD contains 99 tracks –
each of the 14 original tracks have been split up]. This is a
brilliant and I take it simple solution if you want to avoid mp3
ripping. What is your attitude towards the whole mp3 situation?
Berzerker: That is actually how most labels send out their
promos these days I believe. Amazingly enough there are still some
people out there dedicated enough to rip all those tracks and
stitch them into songs then upload them. We like the album to have
a fighting chance of getting released before everyone downloads it.
The only thing that annoys me personally about the whole mp3
ripping thing is that guys were posting links to our tracks before
'World of Lies' was released with notices saying that they think
we suck anyway, and they're only uploading the album for a friend!
That's out of line. We would probably be more bothered about it if
we'd ever received royalty payments. As it is, if someone
downloads instead of buys the album that's another £0 I won't
Thomas: I’ve read that quite a few bands are unhappy with
Earache’s way of conducting business. You go back some time with
Earache now – what’s your view on the matter?
Berzerker: No Comment.
Thomas: Let’s play a wee association game. First thoughts
when I say:
Drumming and singing simultaneously?
Berzerker: Fucking hard.
Berzerker: Exhume to consume.
Thomas: Thanks a million for answering my questions. Any final
thoughts you want to share with the readers?
Berzerker: "World of Lies" will destroy their world.
See you all in 2006.