The Berzerker interview (12/2005)

With: Luke and Sam [Vocals and Bass]
Conducted by: Herzebeth
Published: 16.12.2005

Band profile:

The Berzerker

- Hello I'm Francisco from Metal Storm; first of all I want to thank you for allowing me to interview you, it's a great pleasure for me to do it.

no problem

- Now a mandatory part, can you please describe The Berzerker (band and music) to the people who are not familiar with the name?

We are one of the heaviest bands you can listen to. Our music is bastard fast, our songs are the catchiest and most brutal you'll hear, we mix the sickest death metal with the noisiest speedcore, and we all fuck like roman emperors at a toga party.

- Now let's begin with the questions, I'm sure you've answered this before but it's my job to ask, why did the band get rid of the masks and the mystical anonymity?

Well, we lost our anonymity when we did the Principles and Practises of the Berzerker DVD. We tried to work out a way to do that DVD and remain anonymous, but it couldn't really be done, not with the detail we wanted.

And the masks were hindering us more than anything, slowing our live shows down to a crawl. We were making some unique music and people were writing us off before even hearing the music, based on the masks. We persisted as long as we did because we don't give a fuck what people generally think - but with the new album we were happy to remain maskless after the DVD. We'll compete on the same terms as everyone else and still come out the craziest.

- Losing the masks adds professionalism to the band, right? How do you think and hope the press and the fans will react to this?

Fuck each and every single one of them. Screw professionalism. We lost the masks because we felt the time was right. If we gave a toss for what any fan or reviewer thought about anything we did then we'd cowering under our beds like everyone else, afraid that someone somewhere mightn't like us. If this CD doesn't piss everyone off we will be Angry. Angrier.

- Let's talk now about your new album World Of Lies. It was released recently this month, what should everyone expect from this album?

If you've heard our earlier albums, then expect a good mix of the debut and Dissimulate but with everything taken up another notch. The songs are better, the production's better, the cd rocks harder. It isn't an 'instant' album. You will need to listen to it at least 3 times to get what's going on, and then it will start making sense.

If you haven't heard us before then forget it, don't listen to us. We are too fucking heavy.

- I've heard the album myself, it's a really raw presentation of the band but it also has a more polished sound. World of Lies shows a huge progress in musical matters as well, how was the idea and concept for this album conceived?

Very different, this time around. Normally we plan ahead for an album by a year or so and laboriously put the concept, lyrics and music together before hitting the studio. This time around all the guitarists from the first album and berzerker caught up for a week of hanging out, playing xbox, and laying down riffs.

A lot of riffs for this album were conceived and performed on the first take. So the whole thing came together pretty spontaneously with having a fun week at the forefront of our minds, rather than making an album. We were surprised at the end of that week by the material we had.

The advance in production came about due to the berzerker's added experience in producing and recording albums between now and the previous releases. We have worked out the difference between what sounds good and what is merely a lot of expensive laborious work, and we're happy to find that the simpler techniques seem to be producing the best results.

- This new album has no human drummer again. Is it better to work with an innovative human being or with a machine that does exactly what you tell it to do?

No one believed we had a real on dissimulate anyway... Until they saw him live... So why kill ours selves trying to get the drums perfect when no one thinks it can be done.... IT CAN BE DONE

- The DVD "The Principles and Practices of the Berzerker" was praised by many when it got released. How did the band decide to make this kind of material? And how did you decide which takes were most suitable for it?

We actually wanted to show a lot more footage and events, but ran out of time and the DVD would have had to have been a double-disc release. We pretty much film everything we do as a band so we had a surplus of material to choose from. If you don't film what you get up to on tour you'll barely remember half of it. We decided to run with any take that would be of any interest, even if it wasn't flattering to us.

- Lets go back to the early days. You used to wear wicked masks back then, what was the band trying to transmit with that presentation?

Anything other than yet another four or five metal guys with long hair playing metal and doing windmills. We wanted to be different to everyone else. We figured the world didn't need another bunch of guys who looked and sounded like slayer up on stage. And you know what happens anytime anyone anywhere is different; all the dickheads come out of the woodwork and hate you for it. Fuck them

- Let's stay in those days for a little while. You did some remixes of some Morbid Angel songs a really long time ago, what can you tell us about this amazing information?

It was a great opportunity to see how the BIG guys sounded and where recorded... Blessed are the sick was very early in morbid's career... I had to do a lot of extra editing.... I did 3 mixes only 3 where release one was deemed "TOO FAST" hahah and is still unreleased

- "The Berzerker" seems to be a really crazy band overall and you've toured a lot as well. Can you please share with us the craziest experience you've had in a tour or in a concert?

There's really too many to relate. Skinless came onstage during our festival appearance at the new jersey metalfest, picked up Sam who was doing guitar and vocals at the time, and threw him guitar and all over the security barrier into the front row. Just as a joke, kind of thing.

The most intense touring experience would have been when Gary, our previous drummer, broke his foot near the end of the US Art of Noise tour and Luke filled in on drums for the remaining shows. We weren't even sure if he'd pull it off. We climbed up on stage in Philadelphia for our first go at it, and before we started playing I looked side stage and there were the guys from Strapping Young Lad, Nile, Napalm Death, all watching. Our musical idols were watching sidestage and we weren't sure if we were going to totally eat shit or what. It worked out, though, Luke nailed it.

- "The Berzerker" is, to many people, one of the most extreme, fast and brutal bands out there. How does it feel to be mentioned in those terms?

Good, it's what we're aiming for. Anyone who says we aren't heavy has no fucking idea...

- I'll ask my final question. From the albums you've released, which song is the one that will haunt you forever as the best song you ever played, the song that will make you say 'Damn I'm so proud of that song' the day you die?

Great question! February, I'm proud to have played on. But it's always your most recent material that has your heart, so at this point I'd go with Black Heart off World of Lies. It just has a couple of bits where I'm surprised that I actually wrote those particular parts.

- Thank you very much again for your time and words. Can you please add some lines for the metalheads reading this interview?

World of Lies will change the way you look at music. Stay Brutal.

-Pictures taken from Earache site and Band's Official website

-A big THANK YOU to Bryan from Earache for the contact.


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