Deathstars’ Soundwave Scene
Interview by Mary Boukouvalas
Despite his industrial metal ‘Whiplasher Bernadotte’ persona on stage, Deathstars’ singer Andreas Bergh prefers a rock-art scene.
Now residing in Italy, Bergh enjoys the art and history of his surroundings, whilst still listening to old school bands that he was enjoyed as a teenager. Bergh’s musical influences seem somewhat unconventional and he states that many people wouldn’t “expect him to listen to the albums [he] likes”.
KISS is his ultimate band. Bergh even took his stage persona title “Whiplasher” from a KISS song. Bergh felt “things came full circle when Kiss came to a Deathastars’ concert. They went to the VIP seats”. As for other influences, “there were other bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest but when I think of albums now, I listen to the old ones. People around me get bored with it, I don’t. I listen to rock bands and also Rolling Stones. It is more MC5, Kiss and Iggy Pop … I don’t listen to any industrial metal. It’s more like Velvet Underground; all very old rock bands. I enjoy rock; I enjoy the scene”.
Bergh comments that Deathstars is probably classified as a gothic-metal industrial band due to the content of their material rather than their live performance. “Live-wise I guess Deathstars is more of a straightforward rock band like MC5”. Formed in 2000, Deathstars’ name arose from the thought that “there are porn stars, rock stars…so there had to be Death Stars”. Bergh continues: “We used to be part of a more extreme metal underground in Sweden, black metal as teenagers and got fed up with it. Deathstars was something where we wanted to keep the nerve, the emotional spine of that [black metal] scene and start writing songs more with a pop structure and dynamic; more of a different approach to music”.
With the band’s latest release, The Perfect Cult, the band has certainly done this as they examine “internal matters and dark aspects of different topics”. Deathstars gave themselves time to be in control with their latest release. Bergh states: “Last time it was stressed and got too unorganised – we started to record in New York, we were there for a couple of months, on and off, and just in the middle of touring. We went on tour with Korn and we continued with Korn in Stockholm. So it was not optimum. We wanted to lean back and relax and take more control. Every piece of the chain is better in this production”.
As for hidden stories on songs in the Perfect Cult, “there is a lot of different stuff…there is a lot of reflection because of during the recording of it, I got some perspective on it. It seems like every song is about situations taking place in the crazy side of life of Stockholm, it is a lot about Stockholm and Scandinavia. It is really like challenging all the morals in the nightlife of Stockholm. It is a dark personal album”.
Still, as with many musicians, Bergh considers touring “much more rewarding than recording”. With Soundwave “I don’t know what to expect myself but I have some friends who played on the Soundwave and said it was great”.
“We are a straightforward pop band playing pitch, black action dark rock music. We always have a good time touring in Australia. I hope it will be the same this time”.
Deathstars tour Australia as part of the SOUNDWAVE festival:
Saturday 21 February & Sunday 22 February, 2015 – Bonython park, Adelaide
Saturday 21 February & Sunday 22 February, 2015 – RAS Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne (location moved from Flemington)
Saturday 28 February & Sunday 1 march, 2015 – Olympic park, Sydney
Saturday 28 February & Sunday 1 march, 2015 – Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane
The Perfect Cult is out now on Nuclear Blast.