The interview from antimtv.com
Chris:The Berzerker seems to be more of an entity then the typical band nowadays. How many members are in the band, and who plays what? How do you feel when people try to break down the Berzerker collectively into parts?
The Berzerker:The live band currently consists of 5 members, but MANY more have and are currently involved with The Berzerker project. The Berzerker is viewed by myself as being very similar to a structure like a building, as far as their are many processes involved with the creation and continual maintenance of a particular structure. Included in this analogy would be the fact that 1 or more pieces (windows, doors, electronics etc.) would not amount a significant portion of the structure to justify themselves representing the structure alone.
What does The Berzerker draw it's inspiration from? (Music sources, movies, the media in general, issues of society, etc.)
Inspiration is not a term that I tend to be very familiar with. As I am rarely inspired by others. The music and lyrical content is draw directly from my mind, and contains things that I would (and do) enjoy listening and being involved with.
When and how was The Berzerker formed?
The original musical concept of The Berzerker was created in 1995 by myself. It was later named The Berzerker in 1996. it was some what of a hybrid style of death metal of speedcore. It was created in that way for the simple fact- I was involved in a horrific car accident in 1995 (all the experts said that I should have not survived) and due to the accident I was unable to continue with one of my only interests, playing drums. Around that time music itself seemed as if it would be something I was unable to participate in. I decided to sell almost all of my drum kit's and with the money I attained I purchased samplers and sequencers. My initial idea was to make some sort of electronic death metal, so I could program the drums and sample all the other instruments. It was intended to be a live group, but at that time there was only one, myself.
What drew all of the Berzerker together to form this entity?
I had to attract the correct beings, which took sometime. I have very strong morals and opinions when I comes to anyone's involvement with The Berzerker. I must have utmost commitment from other, and nothing short of that. Many well know musicians were spoken to about their involvement with The Berzerker, some of these included-
Vocalists - David Vincent of Morbid Angel,
Kevin Sharp of Brutal Truth and
Chris Valagao of Zimmers Hole.
Bassist - Danny Lilker of Brutal Truth/S.O.D and Byron Stroud of Strapping Young Lad
Guitar - Patrick Baldwin of Punchdrunk and Jed Simon of Frontline Assembly. Production - Devin Townsend, Collin Richardson.
Due to various reasons all of the above were abandoned in favor of self production and use of unknown musicians currently in Australia. The quote contained below will give you a small insight into my mind on this subject. "Embalming is essentially a process designed to present a dead human individual in the most natural, lifelike attitude and appearance possible. Anything which detracts from the appearance of naturalness will lessen the success of the embalming operation. And in the strictest sense of the word, any result which is not a complete success must be regarded as a failure." The Principals And Practice Of Embalming 1958 L.G. Frederick
The Berzerker takes a page for the books of a very well known death metal band, and their sampling of clips from horror films and darker forms of all media, Mortician. How do you go about finding a sample, and what to incorporate into a song?
All my samples are taken from mondo death films, or medical videos not horror films. I deal purely with reality not fantasy. I have never heard any Mortician tracks. I think the obvious comparisons would be to Carcass. The samples contained a track like Slit Down for instance is to show my appreciation to the band Carcass and for all they did for extreme music in the early nineties.
What is your general feeling about all of the following forms of metal readily available nowadays? -
Death and Black Metal (Cannibal Corpse, Cradle of Filth, Deicide...) -
Rapcore (Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock...) -
The founders of metal (Ozzy Ozbourne, Slayer...) -
New age metal (Slipknot, KoRn...) Hard Electronica (Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson...)
Death and Black Metal - uninventive
Rapcore - No comment
The founders of metal- not much. (slayer were once a great band. Like so many others in the early nineties.)
New Age metal - No comment
Hard Electronica Slow.
Some skeptics believe that the Berzerker is just death metals attempt to start it's own gimmick to get noticed, using masks such as Slipknot, and holding contempt towards the entire human race, such as Marilyn Manson. How do you feel when told that, and what would be your response to the nay sayer?
I did laugh (out loud) when I read this question. It is interesting that anyone could think that the entire Death Metal scene (bands and fans) would unite and form a supergroup with great marketing and merchandise in a feeble attempt to get noticed by the mainstream, but accidentally forget to make the music commercially friendly (a.k.a. Slipknot). I'm not overly worried about peoples views on The Berzerker. It was never intended to appeal to the masses, only to myself.
What collective force keeps the Berzerker together and helps you form this music?
The Berzerker operates under the banner of the Iron Dragon contained on the album cover. The dragon is a recognizable, cross cultural symbol of a sentient being more powerful than man. That is also why we were made to wait until the year 2000 the year of the Iron Dragon to unleash this record upon this planet.
How do you feel about not being readily available to people? I myself had to special order the cd, and friends of mine had to special request it from a local retail store. Not very impressed!
This question did prompt me to call Earache and find out what the fuck is going on. I have been informed the record has been available in all the major chains the U.S. for 2 weeks now. I hope this a problem the distributors intend to fix very quickly. The record has been available in Europe since the 10th of April and is selling surprising well. One of the main reason for singing with Earache was the ability to get comprehensive distribution across this shitty little planet.
What do you think it is that draws most people AWAY for heavy music? What do you think it is that draws some people TO heavy music?
Away - The fact that it deals predominantly with dark subjects. To - The fact that it deals predominantly with dark subjects.
Is there anything for fans of the Berzerker to look forward to soon? (Tour, merchandise, et al)
Yes, talks are currently under way about tours through Europe. Most of the press we have been doing has been concentrated on Europe. But we have definite plans to tour the record thought the US For now we have to wait to see how the record sells in the states. The live shows are a major part of informing the world of the sheer power of The Berzerker, and to increase it's global awareness. It is also our chance to manifest in the flesh, and to voice our disgust in the most forceful way possible onto an unsuspecting audience. T-shirt and merchandise designs are also underway. Even The Berzerker figurines.
Is there anything that the Berzerker is looking forward to doing, or would like to do?
If the Berzerker could do ANYTHING it wanted on any scale, what would it want to do most?
That information is currently unavailable.
When the Berzerker matures musically with their next album, albeit it far away, what can listeners expect?
Yes we already have a lot of material for the next record, and yes it will be more extreme. Music has still a long way to be pushed yet. But if I set out to make the heaviest and fastest album that could ever be recorded, where would I go from there? this album is the first installment with many more already in the planning stages. My intention was to make a record that would be brutal enough to surpass what is currently available, and to leave myself with enough room to progress forward for the next installment of The Berzerker.
An interview by Dario Fagiolater.
Hi there, the first question I'd like to ask is very simply: who are really The Berzerker? Could you give us a short biography of your band?
The Berzerker has been releasing records since 1995 and has had numerous releases on well known international record labels since then. The releases upto, and before the morbid angel re-mixes were predominantly speedcore records, a variation of gabba. Although with my death metal background I took the speeds well past where they were situated at that time an established quite a reputation with both, my recordings and with my live performances. The recording of demos for the current release originally began in '96 and production for MOSH 222 began in February '99 and was finally completed in January '00, after almost a full year of studio insanity. The seldom mentioned Berzerker curse destroyed everything in its path, including the lives of everyone involved. Constant human and equipment failure plagued every facet of the recording process. And every deadline that could be exceeded was.
What does represent the moniker "The Berzerker"?
The Berzerker is about musically fulfilling the statement 'He who makes a beast of himself, is free from the pain of being a man' The Berzerker is the most natural form of extremity known on this planet. (And being as no performance enhancing drugs are used at any time. Including the recording process, and in the live performances. This holds true to all sides of the debate on what is truly extreme.)
Surely your music is quite particular that puts together different technology and different musical genres. How would you define your music?
I view my music as the evolving face of death metal, and as bringing forward a new style that has been named 'industrial death'.
Which kind of audience do you think this kind of music can be addressed to?
The audience that I think this record will appeal to are those who are searching for something or someone to take music to another level, and not just heavy metal fans. I think majority of death metal fans are close minded, and un-excepting of technology. I am always attracted to extremity in music, be it extreme speedcore records or Japanese noise-core, they are all based on the same premise, and that is, in their own worlds they are doing something with a much greater intensity level then what currently surrounds them. This is also the type of thinking that I am appealing to with The Berzerker record. Not just to a death metal audience, or a Japanese noise audience, but to all who are attracted to pushing the extreme.
"The seldom mentioned Berzerker curse destroyed everything in its path, including the lives of everyone involved. "
Berzerker seem to be willing to transmit feelings like violence, desperation and disorder. What is in your intention the message you want to communicate to the listener?
The Berzerker has been unleashed to pronounce judgement upon all who are perceived as being extreme, it has given the world a yardstick for all to be compared to. We are that yard stick.
I'd be very curious to know what procedure do you follow in writing your tracks. Can you tell us something about?
I write very simply, somewhat like building a house. I usually start with a drum beat or a guitar melody. (Although I do write the guitars in my own way.) I have sampled over 250 individual guitar notes and chords from a local guitarist. And I program most of the guitar tracks on the computer. This allows me to adjust the tempos while Im writing. Now that Ive got drums and guitar down I work on vocal rhythms and lyrics, finally I will rearrange the track. Once thats done Ill get a guitarist into the studio to record what I have written (which usually means slowing my tracks down enough so they can physically play them), add the samples, vocals and bass. And there we have it a Berzerker track.
What are your favorite musical genres or the bands that you prefer listening to?
Early death metal and the original star wars soundtrack anthology. Bands such as Carcass, Brutal Truth or Frankenbok.
What are your main musical influences?
Early death metal bands like Carcass.
As far as lyrics are concerned, what are the main subjects you deal with?
Life on the planet earth, and the way different societies view various topics. I would like the lyrics to be interrupted through the eyes of the listener. I view the lyric as somewhat of a calling card to unite like minded beings.
Considering that the technological component is much present in your music, how will you be able to show it on stage?
Quite simply, we trigger the kick drums, (as does almost 100% of all touring death metal bands.) and run the samples live. Everything else is standard 3 vocalists, 2 guitarists, 1 bass player, 1 drummer, and a samplist.
"The live show is a major part of informing the world of the sheer power of The Berzerker, and to increase it's global awareness."
The Berzerker are mainly a studio project or have you planned a tour to support your album?
The Berzerker has definite plans to tour this record across the planet. The live show is a major part of informing the world of the sheer power of The Berzerker, and to increase it's global awareness. It is also our chance to manifest in the flesh, and to voice our disgust in the most forceful way possible onto any unsuspecting audience.
Your album artwork is very curious, crowded of several curious weird creatures. Why did you choose it?
I gather you are talking about our identity. It will remain a mystery for the simple fact that in the existence of fleshy man there has never been a face to match the brutality of the malevolent unknown. The human form is far too common; too familiar. Adjectives that do not apply to The Berzerker.
Last question: what should be the ideal world according to The Berzerker's point of view?
It would be existing on a honest planet where people do the things they say they will. And existing where people take responsibility for their actions.
Interview from MetalHeadMusic.com
Metal Head: We would first like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview.
Metal Head: How and when did you guys form?
Berzerker: I created The Berzerker in 1995. the project has taken on many different forms since then. I have slowly acquired the right combination of musicians along the way. altogether I have gone through 13 guitarists, 8 vocalists, 3 bassists and 6 drummers up to this point. (that I remember) It has taken a very long time and I've had to teach a lot of people my music.
Metal Head: Was it hard at first to get shows and be heard? Stuff like
Berzerker: Yes, I think for all bands starting out it is difficult, especially if you
are doing something a bit different.
Metal Head: Do you feel you have matured since the beginning?
Berzerker: Most definitely, and we still have a long way to mature yet.
Metal Head: Where did you guys come up with the name "Berzerker"?
Berzerker: The Berzerker is a group of sentient beings more powerful than man. We chose
the name The Berzerker in relating to the "Berserk" or bare-sark Norse
warriors.'The physical appearance of the berserk was one calculated to
present an image of terror'. 'The berserkers was thought not only to have
assumed the ferocity of an animal, but also to have acquired the strength of
the bear'. 'By the twelfth century, the berserk with his Odinnic religion,
animalistic appearance, his inhuman frenzy upon the battlefield, and
terrorism within the Scandinavian community disappeared. The berserk, like
his patron deity Odinn, was forced to yield to the dissolution of pagan
society and the advent of the White Christ.
Metal Head: Who have opened for you and whom have you opened for?
Berzerker: We've yet to do any overseas touring with The Berzerker, and we don't play
very often. We've played with bands like Mortification, Alarum, The Wolves
and many others mostly Aussie bands.
Metal Head: Have you been in any other bands?
Berzerker: Yes. Mostly Death Metal.
Metal Head: Who writes your lyrics?
Metal Head: Do they have significant meaning to you or do you just write like
that? If so could explain some?
Berzerker: The lyrics deal with facts. Not fantasy horror. We use no coarse language
contained in the lyrics, I find it disappointing that majority of extreme
bands must resort to vulgarity to achieve any impact. The lyrics are about
life on the planet earth, and the way different societies view various
topics. I would like the lyrics to be interrupted through the eyes of the
listener. I view the lyrics as a calling card. Our philosophy is a simple one,
and that is to unite worthy, likeminded beings. Beings who are honest,
motivated and self-driven to do the things they say they will. It is to
create and sub-race somewhere on this planet where we can exist without
being surrounded by inconsiderate beings. And to be giving the rare
opportunity to have the utmost respect for the others who are chosen to
- Here is a brief insight into 2 songs contained on the record.
- Cannibal Rights - is a factual story about two men feasting on their
relatives, for the purpose of gaining the skills to hunt and generally live,
but not knowing of a law that had been recently passed stating that the
punishment for cannibalism had been changed from imprisonment to the death
sentence. these men were executed for carrying out one of their tribes
traditions, and the fact that they knew nothing of why they were executed.
- Pain - another factual story of a woman that had her face literally ripped
from her skull in a milking farm accident. her hair was caught in a machine
and slowly her face was torn from her skull. the only part of her face that
was left intact was one of her ears and part of her lower jaw. the song
deals with the agony of the injury and tries to draw the listener in to the
feelings that must this woman must have felt. it also deals with what it
must of looked and felt like for her husband, who found her lying in a pool
of blood some 20 minutes after the initial accident. with her face still
trapped and spinning in the machine. incidentally the woman lived and had
her face reattached.
Metal Head: I think all your fans want to know this one, including me: What
does your video mean? Or is it just meant to disturb peoples
Berzerker: The video was to give a rare glimpse of ourselves. The entire video filmed
and edited in 4 days, for a $320. I had a fair idea that the video would get
banned. Earache asked me not to put any dead people's faces in the clip, so
of course I did.
Metal Head: What would you say you act like on live shows?
Berzerker: Very physical, very powerful, very aggressive, sheer madness.
Metal Head: Do you have any touring plans to the US? If so do you have dates?
Berzerker: We are currently in talks with Earache about U.S. tours, but we have no
confirmed dates as of yet.
Metal Head: What would you say for advice to younger bands starting out?
Berzerker: Do not follow trends. Set your own. Get out and meet as many people in the
industry as you can. I myself have never heard of even 1 band getting a record deal from sending in a demo tape. in this industry is not what you know, it's who you know.
Metal Head: Was it hard for you to get where you are today?
Berzerker: Not really, in the early 90's when I was playing in death metal bands, we
would have never even thought of sending a tape to Earache, we didn't think
we were good enough. (although we did get an offer from Roadrunner Records)
In the mid 90's I started making gabba and speedcore, and met the right
people (the head of labels like Industrial Strength (U.S.A.), Id+t
(Holland), Shockwave (Germany) as well as many others), I also supported
many international acts. my music was MUCH more extreme then what they were
doing, but the labels gave me a break and put my records out. in 1996 Digby
Pearson (Earache) heard one of my records and voted it as one of the top 10
releases of 1996. and in 1998 I had a meeting with earache in the U.K. and
happened to have my demo's on me. (I was already well into talks with
Industrial Strength Records) And the rest is history.
Metal Head: Did you ever think you would become this big?
Berzerker: Big we are currently a tiny dot in the grand scale of the music industry,
you are witnessing the birth of The Berzerker. We will attain heights in the
industry that are currently unimaginable.
Metal Head: What do you think you would be doing if you were not with
Berzerker: Another music project.
Metal Head: What would you classify your music as? (Metal, Death, Speed, etc.)
Berzerker: Intense. The music is primarily death metal, but we have replaced the kick
drums with samples of distorted 909's. (or gabba kicks) This makes the bands
sonic impact much greater that traditional metal. we have also included a
lot of vocal samples, and plenty of industrial sounds for added impact. The
new style we have created is the ever evolving face of death metal and has
been named 'industrial death'
Metal Head: Now the most important question of all..Coke or Pepsi?
Berzerker: Neither they both rot your teeth.
Metal Head: If you were in a porn what would you use for a pornstar name? (We
have a girl working for Metal Head Music too!)
Berzerker: My real identity has been involved in the porn film scene for some time.
Metal Head: Any last shout outs?
Berzerker: "In the existence of fleshy man there has never been a face to match the
brutality of the malevolent unknown." The Berzerker. 2000 AD
Interrogation: The Berzerker
The press material for The Berzerker is rather uninformative, leaving an air of mystery about the band, I assume intentionally
So, since Im not very informed, give some brief history and mention who handles what duties in the band.
The Berzerker has been releasing records since 1995 and has had numerous releases on well known international record labels since then. The releases up to and before the Morbid Angel re-mixes were predominantly speedcore records, a variation of gabba. However, with my death metal background, I was compelled to take the speeds well past where they were situated at that time, and established quite a reputation with both my recordings and with my live performances.
The press release refers to the band as "monstrous super-human mutations" and the photos depicting masked beast-like creatures create a similar resemblance. Why do you find it necessary to portray this "image" as a defining characteristic of the band, aside from the music?
Quite simply, in the existence of fleshy man there has never been a face to match the brutality of the malevolent unknown. The human form is far too common, too familiar... adjectives that do not apply to The Berzerker.
How has this "image" affected the response to The Berzerker?
It gives people something greater than just music to focus on, it broadens The Berzerkers listening audience to other genres. People might have no interest in the music but find the image and processes used to construct the image appealing.
From what I understand, this is not your debut release
so what have you released prior to this CD, and how did you hook up with Earache?
4 and 6 track EPs... I was approached by Earache in 98 to re-mix some of their bands. After having trouble with certain Carcass and Brutal Truth master tapes, Morbid Angel was chosen. Three re-mixes were completed with only two released. The two in question were gabba style mixes with the third being very similar to the sounds of The Berzerker (present day). This re-mix of Morbid Angels "The Ancient Ones" is brutally fast and represents my view of what a re-mix should sound like. I was in the UK to catch up with Earache in 98 and upon hearing some early demos they offered me the record deal.
How would you describe your lyrical ideas? From what Ive been able to read of them, the topics range from violence to distaste for life, etc. While some of the ideas are straightforward, an overall premise is not, so talk about your concepts and ideas behind the tracks
The lyrics deal with facts: Life on the planet earth, and the way different societies view various topics. I would like the lyrics to be interpreted through the eyes of the listener. I view the lyrics as somewhat of a calling card to unite like-minded beings. The lyrics are designed to bring together self-motivated and honest people across the globe; they are also designed to keep certain people away from The Berzerker.
You classify your sound as "industrial death", which makes a lot of sense, but in the final tracks there is obviously a big influence from power electronics. What genres of noise and experimental electronics are you interested in, and do you plan to explore these further with The Berzerker?
The self-titled release is the first installment (with many more already in the planning stages) of The Berzerker. For us it is an ongoing process of gaining a greater understanding of the effects that sound can have on humans and the ways and means to control ithem.
How do you handle the use of electronic drum programming and extensive samples, etc. into your live performances?
Quite simply we trigger the kick drums live (as does almost 100% of all touring death metal bands) and run the samples live. Everything else is the standard three vocalists, two guitarists, one bass player, one drummer, and a sampler. The Berzerker has definite plans to tour this record across the planet. As of July 2000 we are currently searching for a new live drummer. We have three drummers currently working on the material, and as soon as the position is filled we will commence plans to tour the USA and Europe. The live show is a major part of informing the world of the sheer power of The Berzerker, and to increase its global awareness. It is also our chance to manifest in the flesh, and to voice our disgust in the most forceful way possible onto any unsuspecting audience.
Your website contains a "test of the iron dragons wisdom", reminiscent of some sort of childrens game. What is this all about exactly, and what significance does it hold for you?
It is to show how simple the human mind really is.
Recently your video for the "Reality" track was banned by MTV Europe and has caused some form of controversy. I tried to download the video to take a look, but it didnt work
so, not having a clue, what was it about the video that was deemed "too extreme" for TV?
Autopsy pictures and extremely fast strobing images. You can view that video at http://www.earache.com.
Did you intentionally make the video as graphic as possible, hoping to initially incite this form of trouble and cause problems with the media?
Why would I make it as graphic as possible? In life you must always have something much greater or more extreme waiting in the wings, or you will never succeed at anything.
Youve been revising the video in hopes that it will get at least some airplay
Basing your philosophy on utmost extremes, dont you feel that it cheapens your attack to have to censor the piece to get exposure on television?
The censored version was made so that more people could be exposed to The Berzerker. We hope that as more people are exposed to us through the edited version, then they will seek out the original version.
What should we expect from the future of The Berzkerker?
More than you can possibly imagine.
If theres anything else you feel is worth discussing, by all means do so
The Berzerker is about musically fulfilling the statement, "He who makes a beast of himself, is free from the pain of being a man." The Berzerker is the most natural form of extremity known on this planet.
Could you just say in a few words what The Berzerker is all about, because to me it seems to be a little more than just an ordinary band. Your record is rather like a statement, like a sledge hammer on the music scene of today
The Berzerker is about musically fulfilling the statement he who makes a beast of himself, is free from the pain of being a man. The Berzerker is the most natural form of extremity known on this planet. And being as no performance enhancing drugs are used at any time. Including the recording process, and in the live performances. This holds true to all sides of the debate on what is truly extreme. The Berzerker is a way for us to display our contempt for every other so-called extreme music in both the metal and electronic fields. Comparing us to other hardcore acts is like comparing drag-racers to children in go-karts. Nothing's hard enough anymore, nothing's fast enough, how extreme did it get back in the early 90's. Extreme these days is a makeup concept decades old. We are now faced with unreadable and unpronounceable band names with the impact and imagery of children's fantasy games. Metal was once intensely wild and dangerous. Now it's all damaged little boys with a vocabulary consisting primarily of the word fuck! This album fills a gap that the world wanted filled. The world wants, NO! the world needs the Berzerker album. The Berzerker style is the progression of the peak of the early nineties, when bands were serious about pushing the dark side of music all the way. the promise of the early nineties death & grind scene was high but remains incomplete. The concept of tradition in metal being the greatest tragedy of all. We still get people supposedly on the cutting edge of extreme music, telling us that other styles don`t mix with metal and vice versa. We will evolve past them, and leave them with their fading memories of a couple of years, when music actually seemed like it was going somewhere.
After I had read the Berzerker information given on your web site, I wondered if The Berzerker is the creation of one single mind. But it seems so, right? It´s one guy who is responsible for all the music, images and lyrics, and in addition there are a few others who play the stuff?
There is a single mind and that mind is mine. there are others who make up The Berzerker as a live act.
In the interview on your official web site you say that there are already several releases since 1995 on international record labels. Is it already under the Berzerker banner, what are the titles of these releases and is the music similar to The Berzerker record?
Bastard Loud , Speedcore , Unknown, Widerstand and others. It is similar but no where near as involved.
My dictionary says that a berserker is a warrior frenzied in battle, but you use this kind of dinosaur imagery. Is there any explanation for this discrepancy, or why don´t you wear furs and clubs like, maybe, Fred Flintstone (what I think would also be anything else than ordinary)?
Fred Flintstone! Grow up.
The Berzerker is a group of sentient beings more powerful than man. We chose the name The Berzerker in relating to the "Berserk" or bare-sark Norse warriors 'The physical appearance of the berserk was one calculated to present an image of terror'. 'The berserkers was thought not only to have assumed the ferocity of an animal, but also to have acquired the strength of the bear'. 'By the twelfth century, the berserk with his Odinnic religion, animalistic appearance, his inhuman frenzy upon the battlefield, and terrorism within the Scandinavian community disappeared. The berserk, like
his patron deity Odinn, was forced to yield to the dissolution of pagan society and the advent of the White Christ. Obviously in this age the concept of berserk applying only to pagan Scandinavian warriors is obsolete.
You name your kind of music industrial death, right? Are there any similar bands you got influenced by? I think of bands like perhaps the Swedish Overflash or the German Atari Teenage Riot
I don`t know of Overflash, but don`t ever compare The Berzerker to the weak and untalented ATR!
Do you know other bands that use drum machines in such an extreme way like you?
What do you think about other bands that use drum machines (like Godflesh, Son Of Crackpipe etc.)?
Is the reason for The Berzerker to create his music all alone that you couldn´t find band members who share your vision? Because I suppose it´s not quite easy to get to know people who like this weird and extreme kind of stuff and at the same time are able to play it.
The Berzerker is a live band.
You said that you believe your music to be the evolving face of death metal. Is the typical death metal thing still interesting for you today? What are your five personal death metal classics and what are your five favourite records right at the moment (not only reduced to death metal)?
Classics: Carcass - Necrotocisim, Morbid Angel - Blessed Are The Sick, Brutal Truth Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses, Deicide - dto. and At The Gates - Slaughter Of The Soul.
Now: Carcass - Necrotocisim, Morbid Angel - Blessed Are The Sick, Brutal Truth Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses, Deicide - dto. and At The Gates - Slaughter Of The Soul.
Could you tell us something about the remix work you did for Morbid Angel? Did the Morbid Angel guys ask you to do it?
Earache approached me to re-mix Morbid Angel, the band had nothing to do with it, although David Vincent (evil dee) told me it must have been a difficult task, as their playing on blessed are the sick was not overly good.
Can we expect more remixes for other bands in the future?
I doubt it.
Where do you get your samples from? Sometimes there seem to be exactly the same word samples which Carcass used on their Necroticism - Descanting The Insalubrious record, and I read that you´re a great fan of Carcass. But where do the other samples come from and why do you use so many of them?
Pathology is a common term used in medical circles. the other samples come from mondo and death films from the 60`s 70`s and 80`s from films like faces of death 1, death scenes 2, Affrica Ama etc ...
(you think there are a lot of samples? interesting!)
On your web site you give a very detailed description of the recording process of your record, and even the used equipment is listed. Do you want to help other bands to take a similar direction like The Berzerker, or is this just to report all the difficulties you went through during the creation of your record?
It is to help others interesting in producing their own records. As no-one bothered helping myself in learning the skills required, I thought I`d pass on the information that I have acquired by myself. is also let others know of some of the problems and you may encounter along the way, as I did.
Some of the guitar riffs on The Berzerker record sound very familiar to me. E.g. the Burnt riff. Isn´t it an old Death riff? To me it sounds anyway that you take already well-known elements and make them suitable for The Berzerker.
Is that a fact.
The Berzerker is (beside perhaps early Carcass) one of very few bands that have this Cannibalism topic. Are you fascinated by this kind of serial killer stuff like e.g. Macabre, is it pure fun, or what else? Perhaps you wanna shock your parents, or maybe you think it fits your sound?
Shock your parents!
You`ve obviously not read any of the lyrics. (das ist wohl so, andererseits hatten wir auch nicht die Möglichkeit, die Lyrics zu lesen, da wir sie schlicht nicht zur Verfügung hatten
, Anm. d. Verf.).
The lyrics one can read on your web site are somehow twisted and hardly readable. Why this?
Tell me why should everything be handed to humans on a platter??
What is The Berzerker himself (the one person who is actually The Berzerker) doing on stage? Does he play guitar, sing, or stand in the sound booth, or what else?
This information is currently unavailable.
Do you play any real instruments yourself or do you create all your music with a computer?
Who are the guys that play live with you, and is The Berzerker really a band or rather a one man project?
The Berzerker is a live band. Their names will not be revealed.
How, as Australian, did you get in contact with Earache in the UK and with Devin Townsend (der Chef von Strapping Young Lad, der eigentlich die Berzerker Platte produzieren sollte, Anm. d. Verf.) in Canada? And what where the reasons that the recording process for the record became that difficult in the end?
Earache approached myself. I spoke to Devin at a Strapping gig, and he was interested in producing it. The information on the difficulties of recording in Canada we remain classified as not to offend those involved.
Where do you live in Australia, and what is The Berzerker´s normal life like? Are you perhaps a farmer like the old guys of Australian rockers Cosmic Psychos?
No I`m not a farmer.
Are there any other innovative/extreme bands in Australia?
I don`t know.
Have you already been on tour with this exceptional and outstanding record, and what were the reactions of the people? ´Cause I can hardly imagine a typical Berzerker audience. Ok, there are for sure thousands of Berzerkers in an AC/DC audience, but it´s probably another kind of berserker than at your shows
We`ve toured somewhat in Australia. We are currently replacing our live drummer, as soon as the member is replaced we will commence touring the USA and Europe.
Are there any plans for a Germany/Europe tour?
Yes. The Berzerker has plans to tour this record across the planet. The live show is a major part of informing the world of the sheer power of The Berzerker, and to increase it's global awareness. It is also our chance to manifest in the flesh, and to voice our disgust in the most forceful way possible onto any unsuspecting audience. The live band currently consists of 5 live members, these include 3 vocalists, 2 guitars, 1 bass player, 1 drummer and 1 samplist.
Any final words?
"Embalming is essentially a process designed to present a dead human individual in the most natural, lifelike attitude and appearance possible. Anything which detracts from the appearance of naturalness will lessen the success of the embalming operation. And in the strictest sense of the word, any result which is not a complete success must be regarded as a failure."
interview by Envenomed
Why did you choose to name the band Berzerker? If you don't mind me asking, just what is a "Berzerker" and what's the significance behind the name?
The Berzerker is a group of sentient beings more powerful than man. We chose the name The Berzerker after the "Berserk" or bare-sark Norse warriors. The physical appearance of the berserk was one calculated to present an image of terror. The berserker was thought to have assumed the strength and ferocity of the bear. By the twelfth century, the berserk with his Odinnic religion, his animalistic appearance, his inhuman frenzy upon the battlefield, disappeared. The berserk, like his patron deity Odinn, was forced to yield to the dissolution of pagan society and the advent of the White Christ. In this age the term 'Berzerk' has acquired a more general meaning.
Interestingly enough, the music comes across more or less as Industrial Deathgrind. Yet to the average Death Metal purist, using industrial elements would be totally unheard of. However, taking into consideration that Berzerker is your one true artistic vision, what purpose does combining the two serve for you?
Death Metal is my background. I have always been into death metal, and I always will be. I did not see it as a fad, and I was not attracted to it to shock others around me in a desperate cry for attention. But towards the mid 90's the death metal scene seem to die out somewhat, and almost all of the bands from the late 80's and early 90's seem to lose their direction. Around the same time I was exposed to hardcore gabba, and was attracted to the violent forces that are in play when gabba kicks are fed through a large p.a. I am always attracted to extremity in music. Be it extreme speedcore records or Japanese noise-core. They are all based on the same premise, and that is, in their own worlds they are doing something with a much greater intensity level then what currently surrounds them. Utilizing industrial sounds with more sonic impact then acoustic sounds can only serve to highten the level of intensity.
What about the visual concept? What I'm referring to is of course the video you put out that was banned by MTV Europe due to its harsh content. Is there a specific message you're trying to get across to the media brainwashed masses by way of these violent images depicted on screen?
Your line of questioning seem to suggest the words publicity stunt. This is a misjudgment. The images in question are part of everyday life of this shitfull planet. They are not images of murder or rape. Many bands in the metal genre like to use these types of images as a way to gain the attention that they seek. I find it very disappointing that majority of extreme bands must resort to vulgarity to achieve any impact.
I have to say that some of the tracks on this disc are noticeably more industrial in feel and texture than Metal. The song, "Chronological Order of Putrefaction" would serve as one shining example. In fact, the more I listen to it, it tends to remind me of Godflesh but sped up to 50 beats per minute. Do you suppose that Berzerker will be progressing farther into that sort of direction? Or what will you be doing differently that'll perhaps expand Berzerker's already versatile sound further?
Chronological Order Of Putrefaction is just one part of the The Berzerker's sound. The Berzerker's sound will never cease to progress.
Considering the heavy use of sampling and other electronic elements used in the production of this recording, how would you perform these tracks live? What would would the live setting be like or rather what type of atmosphere would you try to convey and how would you go about achieving that?
We trigger the kick drums and play all the samples live via a keyboard. The Berzerker has plans to tour this record across the planet. The live show is a major part of informing the world of the sheer power of The Berzerker, and to increase it's global awareness. It is also our chance to manifest in the flesh, and to voice our disgust in the most forceful way possible onto any unsuspecting audience. The live band currently consists of 5 live members, these include 3 vocalists, 2 guitars, 1 bass player, 1 drummer and 1 samplist. Currently (as of the end of July) we are without a live drummer. We have 5 drummers currently learning the material, and as soon as the slot is filled we shall comence touring both the USA and Europe.
Do you suppose that one of the many reasons why more and more musicians are relying on drum machines and sampling because it's simpler and more convenient as opposed to forming a real band? What do you feel specifically has lead you to follow the path you are on now?
As opposed to forming a REAL band? I was unware that having a real band must consist of using a live drummer. I was a death metal drummer in the early 90`s, and due to a horiffic car accident (that I should not have survived) I was left unable to continue playing the drums. I was forced into selling my various drum kits and purchasing samplers and sequencers to continue making music. I was unable to find a suitable drummer for the recording of the Berzerker album and chose to program a lot of the beats that I used to play when I was drumming. It was only after the record was released (through Earache Records) that I was able to cull suitable drummers from other established bands.
How much of the "music" you create is actually improvisational? For instance, how do you go about taking various sounds and effects and putting them altogether? Is there a blueprint formulated way before you go into the studio or do you sort of spontaneously piece things together as you go along?
I usally write the song first and add the samples last to fill out the rest of the song. But there is no blueprint to speak of. Sometimes I might create a sound that inspires a song, but the creation of a song is definitely NOT improvisational.
Again, considering your unique approach and sound, how far ahead of the pack would you consider Berzerker to be musically speaking?
Far enough, for now.
Judging from the various songtitles, spoken word samples, lyrics, etc. it obviously appears that you have a very pessimistic view of the world. With that in mind, would you say then that some of the more noisier abstract tracks like say, 95 and Ode to Nash are merely abstract interpretations of a world gone mad?
Ode To Nash - Luckily Nash is free from the limits of being a man and is the only being that I will ever make any real time for. There are frequencies contained in the track Ode to Nash that have assisted in opening the lines of communication with him, and therefore I view this track as somewhat of a dedication.
Given the choice and unlimited responsibility, would you rather cure the ills of this world or destroy it completely thus negating our entire existence as we speak?
The Berzerker is not designed to add, it is designed to take. Take the diseased shell of the mundane human rituals and habits that exist on this planet and destroy them to reveal a being with a greater purity than man. Some achieve this via self mutilation, drugs or violence. We achieve a more intense result in the form of music.
interview by Krepuskulum
Krepuskulum: What is the meaning of the name THE BERZERKER?
We chose the name The Berzerker in relating to the "Berserk" or bare-sark Norse warriors.'The physical appearance of the berserk was one calculated to present an image of terror'. 'The berserkers was thought not only to have assumed the ferocity
of an animal, but also to have acquired the strength of the bear'. 'By the twelfth century, the berserk with his Odinnic religion, animalistic appearance, his inhuman frenzy upon the battlefield, and terrorism within the Scandinavian community disappeared. The berserk, like his patron deity Odinn, was forced to yield to the dissolution of pagan society and the advent of the White Christ. The Berzerker (band) that exisits today is a group of sentient beings more powerful than man.
The band invests a lot in the visual aspect. Where does come from the inspiration to create the monstrous masks that you use? Will they always be used by you, or are they alone for the promotion of that first album?
(It has always been the opinion of The Berzerker that ideas and images are as central to a band as its music, correct?)
Visuals are a very important aspect of musical entertainment that is all-to-often overlooked. In the existence of fleshy man there has never been a face to match the brutality of the malevolent unknown. The human form is far too common; too familiar. adjectives that don't apply to The Berzerker. The Berzerker emcompasses more then just the simple aural senses. We will encompass all the senses. (including smell!!!)
You express disgust for the human race, and they reveal that disgust through your aggressive music and visual gore. Why so much hate for our species?
Do i have to give you an answer? Surely i'm am not the only one that thinks that the human race is a race not worthy of being a part of. In your everyday dealings with people how often are you cheated and lied to, just because people are too selfish, precious or insecure to deal with you otherwise? And don't get me started with how humans treat other species. Homo sapiens are worthy of the greatest disrespect.
Where do you think that the technological progress will take the men?
Hopefully further than what the world has currently to offer. And with some luck it will take them far, far away from their humanity.
Can the genetics create monsters like you?
In the light of recent developments, yes, it is possible. However, 'monster' to me descibes more one's psyche and interactions with society and you don't need genetics to get where I am.
Which is the future of the human race?
Unknown. i believe we have 2 options. the first being the continual downward spiral of society and the planet as we currently know it. The second being the awakening and formation of a new piece of land on this planet governed by a greater power (a Berserk perhaps) where we can unite worthy, likeminded beings. Beings who are honest, motivated and self-driven to do the things they say they will. to create a sub-race somewhere on this planet where we can exist without being surrounded by inconsiderate beings. And to be giving the rare opportunity to have the utmost respect for the others who are chosen to surround us.
Do you believe in the existence of a god? And in the demon?
Whether you view something as one or the other depends on your perspective.I know that we have been called both, Gods and Demons
Your first CD is a masterpiece of INDUSTRIAL -GORE-POST-APOCALIPTIC-DEATH METAL. Where does
come from the influence to compose so brutally ?
Musical influences are from early '90's death metal bands such as Carcass, but they are only influences. For instance inspiration is not a term that I tend to be very familiar with, as I am rarely inspired by others. Deep within the depths of my mind lies my own form of inspiration. I am self-motivated and self-inspired. I can not explain to you the reasons why my brain functions on this level. All I can tell you, is that it does. It was not my intent to form the world's most extreme band. (although almost
all say that I have.) If that were my intent, things would be very, very different.
The music " 95 " & " ODE TO NASH " are feeble and strange noises, talk us about its concept.
Sound is a very powerful force. Its affects are unknown to most of the human population. We have a greater knowledge of the concept of sound and it's effects upon humans. So I must decline to answer that question.
VIDEO CLIP of REALITY is a true post human nightmare and it was vetoed by MTV. Talk us about the creation of that video and what wanted to represent in him.
The video for Reality was produced very quickly. It was filmed and edited in the space of 4 days for the incredibly low budget of AUS$320! If you have only seen it on the internet or on a CD rom, you have missed the full impact and some of the hidden images. (the internet or CD roms does not display fast enough for you to view it at full speed.)