Latvia, one of Europe's forgotten metal scenes is alive and well in the underground, however it's on the surface that it lacks international recognition albeit for their torch-bearer's in the Pagan / Folk Metal band Skyforger. Focusing on the underground and you have bands like Stagnant Project, whose Modern Metal sound may be miles apart from the core Folk Metal sound that seems to engulf the national scene, but united they are with their fellow Latvian brothers and sisters. The quartet are not resting on their laurels having released their 2nd album "The Age Of Giant Monsters" back in 2018, they are in no doubt poised to release new material within the coming year, we will just have to sit and wait.
We therefore had to interrogate them, they elected Paul Rutkovsky to be the spokesperson. We spoke about the band's origins, the challenges that Latvian Metal bands face and have to overcome, their scene and what cool phrases fans tend to shout out at their shows.
For those who have not heard of Stagnant Project, could you explain how the band came into being and where the name came from?
"A long time ago in 2010, when we were teens we had a dream to play in a bad ass band without any metal sub-genre limits or something that can cut off our music ideas. We were rehearsing hard and took up a sudden Punk Rock festival participation offer. But we had no name for our band and so we decided to name ourselves Stagnant Project - almost like "just another music project without future". Right after the first show, the next day another gig offer came and we decided to leave it as it is."
Could you tell us more about your latest single 'Khuemraz'? Will it also be re-released in Latvian given it's in Russian?
"Actually, we had some thoughts about English version re-release in nearest future."
How would you describe your sound without the use of genre tags? What seems to be the more prominent metal genres in Latvia?
"The most prominent genre in Latvia is definitely Folk Metal, then Progressive Metal. But I would say we are influenced by bands from the Industrial, Death, Thrash, Nu and Metalcore genres, I think that it is one of the points why we are not really popular on the local stage. But our last release 'Khuemraz' made us really unique because of the Russian lyrics, that as far as we know, is one of the most popular languages in the world after English. And as we know, the Russian language has a huge poetry base that we can use to express ourselves from."
What has the band been doing at home during the pandemic? What other hobbies / interests do you all have?
"We are very careful under the restrictions and maintain all the distance suggestions, because we really want the live shows and touring to come back. So, the best way to reach the result is to be disciplined and begin with yourself. All of us are working from home and keep the distance. We are working on some ideas separately. Talking about myself, I found the isolation is a very nice time for my family and relationship, I dedicated a lot of time for my guitar tone, mixing / mastering skills and vocals. Also, I have found a lot of time for my comic book collection to be read. Talking about the guys - we have got a constant chat with memes and discussing our future plans and sharing thoughts on random thoughts. But nether the less we managed to print our new merch and continue to write music."
Are there some Russian or Latvian phrases fans tend to shout out at gigs? If not what are some cool Latvian / Russian sayings?
"Really cool question because we have got one like this. This phrase is "ebash", in the Russian language it is a swear word meaning 'working f**king hard', and actually our local fans scream the word during our live shows and to be honest it is more like a motivation word, no matter whether you are a pure Latvian or Russian, the spirit is the same. Also, Stagnant Project is to complicated to shout :)"
Tell us more about the Latvian Metal scene, when did metal arrive in Latvia? What is the public opinion of metal? What challenges do bands face?
"Actually we have got a lot of cool and unique sounding bands here and live shows are at a very professional level to be honest. But unfortunately the biggest part of them don't cross the borders of the country in meaning of international popularity. I bereave each of us, Latvian musicians, we try our best, but only a few names have got the popularity outside the country. But we, as Stagnant Project, really believe in ourselves and we will brake the wall saying "ebash" on our way."
For metalheads visiting Riga, what sights / attractions and bars / venues could you recommend?
"The first venue you should visit is Melna Piektdiena, there were a lot of shows by big metal stars like Meshuggah, Vader, Arch Enemy, Cannibal Corpse, Decapitated etc. and even Little Big were here. I don't mean the giant bands stadium calibre, but have to say, it is the legendary metalhead place here in Latvia. Also, Latvia is one of the most green countries in the world, I suggest visiting our castles, ethnographic museums, parks and I have to say Latvia is a very small country, you can cross it in 4 hours by car, but most part of the roads will be across the woods; we are proud of this. "
Do you have any thanks or greetings you wish to send to friends, family or fans?
"We wish everyone to take care of yourself and your relatives, the most important thing in your life are your family and your friends, because in hard times those are the closest people who will help you and care for you. Don't be lazy or too introvert, call your mum, dad or your best friend no matter what, just keep in touch with people who care for you."
"The best part is when the sun drops and it turns to night - down-town L.A. completely changes and so do the people haha... "
Swapping the back streets of London / Essex for the sun-soaked pavements of Los Angeles should be an easy task surely? Well for Joe Crudgington it's worked out alright, although for the time being he's back in London. Being the frontman of Industrial Rock / Metal outfit Drownd brings it's own challenges as he goes on to explain during our interview with him, but things on the other hand are sweet too - a label signing, an album release later this year and a full live show to come... Joe talks to us about this rollercoaster ride and why metal is close to his heart.
Hi guys so firstly how does it feel signing to Armalyte Records?
"Hi Rhys! Yeah man, it was a great thing to sign up to Armalyte at the start of last year. It's nice just for a bit of recognition that people are into your stuff and it's not just yourself grinding away thinking that you're writing good stuff. The guys that run it are great too - massive music fans that have been in the scene for ages so they know what they're talking about, plus their roster includes some pretty impressive artists (PIG, Cubanate, Chemlab, plus loads of others), so it's quite an honour to have my name, DROWND on there with them. They're just a really nice label to deal with and genuinely care about the quality and content of the finished product - the way to be as far as I'm concerned."
Given the nature of the band in terms of the line-up, you must be excited to finally showcase your music live at the end of the year?
"Ah for sure - DROWND did it's debut show on the 10th December 2019 at The Black Heart in Camden with Riotmiloo supporting. It managed to pull a decent crowd for a first show, as really, no one had any idea what to expect - people had basically just put a load of faith in me and hope haha... It could in theory have been a total s**t show, but alas, as a debut, I think it went really well - sounded great thanks to all the hard work programming the live set, rehearsing it up and visually I think it came across pretty well. Definitely plenty of room for improvement, but a good first show to get under the DROWND belt. There will be big changes to visuals, stage attire and line up changes in the future too, so plenty of exciting stuff for the DROWND live shows if this pandemic bulls**t ever leaves us to crack on and pick up the pieces."
Given you're into Marilyn Manson, NIN and Gary Numan, etc were they artists/bands you grew up listening to, or was your music landscape totally different?
"I've always been into heavy music since I was a kid - I mean I think I speak for a lot of people my age when I say that I was massively into the music that was on the soundtracks of games like Tony Hawks Pro Skater, Matt Hoffman's BMX, Dave Mirra's BMX etc... These tracks were like a gateway into Manson and NIN - I mean when I first listened to NIN and what Reznor was doing, it blew my f**king mind man - I'd never heard anything like it - the songwriting, the sound design, the production and engineering of the records, etc - just something else entirely.
I still listen to these artists literally everyday, alongside a lot of soundtrack / score work (the American Beauty score has been being played heavily recently) and also since I found out about him a while back, I've been well into an artist called Ghostemane - I love his heavy, evolving, genre spanning music and he's got the images and visuals as well as a savage live show to back it all up. Skynd are another one - again, great sounding original, well produced music but with concepts, visuals and a live show to back it all up - the full package."
Last year you moved to California, what was the transition like from living in the grey streets of London to the sun-soaked boulevards of Los Angeles?
"Whoa L.A. is a crazy ass place - that's for sure. It's worlds apart from other cities like London I think - people seem somewhat more inclined to help and collaborate out there. I mean I've been fortunate to meet some great and talented people in my time there and would consider to be good friends too. The weather out there helps massively, I mean, where I was, you'd get up in the morning, virtually guaranteed sunshine and crazy high temperatures, have a swim, have some breakfast and then crack on with writing music.
The alternative music scene seems a lot bigger out there too with plenty of different gigs going on all over. It's quite an inspiring place to be too - I mean, I love down-town L.A. - a lot of people hate it, but it's so f**king weird and scary in certain areas that you can't help but be inspired. The best part is when the sun drops and it turns to night - down-town L.A. completely changes and so do the people haha... At the moment I'm back here in London which seems like an absolute world away from L.A. what with the current pandemic sticking its teeth in nicely, but fingers crossed this s**t will be over soon and I'll be back out there asap."
Do you feel that in recent years the Industrial - Goth blend has had a resurgence of sorts? Or has it been chugging along nicely?
"Hmm I'm not really sure - I think it's always been there and always will to a degree. I think every now and then an artist or two will make it big from kinda within that scene, but as far as my experience goes, the goth / industrial stuff has always seemed pretty insular - just my opinion. That said, the fans and people involved in the goth scene are HUGE supporters which is great and they are genuinely interested and care about the music that you put out."
Joe, you undertook red carpet duties at both The Heavy Music Awards and Metal Hammer Golden God awards - talk us through your emotions that night.
"Haha yeah that was great for sure - it was bizarre. I mean, we would be knocking about backstage and then Ozzy Osbourne would just casually walk past... It was also the first time I met Skynd too who were there and involved with the event which was great."
Given the state of the world as it is with COVID-19, do you feel it's more important than ever for musicians and fans to engage together in any way they can?
"It's a weird time to be in at the moment, isn't it? So much uncertainty. That's what is doing me in, the fact that I can't plan anything - we've already had one DROWND show pulled thanks to COVID-19 which was supposed to be at the Lounge in Camden which will be rescheduled at some point. The other band I play in, Sulpher, has had loads of dates cancelled and re-arranged which sucks - we literally played 2 shows in Toronto JUST before everything got shut down - we only just managed to get flights back to London haha! If I'm honest, I'm highly doubtful we're gonna be doing any live shows for the rest of 2020, I mean, I've basically resigned myself to it all kicking off again in 2021, but fingers crossed I'm totally wrong and we can get back to live shows and some sort of normality. But in the midst of this lockdown I have been writing like nothing on earth and it's the best sounding stuff I've written to date in my opinion, plus I've got tonnes of ideas for videos, images etc which we are currently filming and putting together as part of a real special release. Watch this space.
What are your plans for the forthcoming year? Do you have any greetings you wish to send out to friends, fans, etc?
"I think I kinda rattled on a bit with the last question and semi-answered this one. But yeah, my plans are basically finish what I'm working on (which I'm very excited about) and see what people think of it. Then I'd like to see where we stand with live shows and get some worthwhile gigs booked up. There's also some exciting Sulpher dates lined up too with a few festival slots and a couple O2 shows and maybe some small tours later in the year, but it's all a bit hush hush for now and just waiting to see where we stand with this current pandemic. Time will tell.
Thanks for your time mate, Joe."
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With the release of 'Hatrið Mun Sigra' and 'Klefi / Samed (صامد)' ft. Bashar Murad, will Hatari deliver an album for the fans in the foreseeable future?
"Yes. Relentless Scam Incorporated, or Svikamylla Ehf, will announce the album's release when the time comes."
What was the reception like for Hatari when arriving back in Reykjavik? Are you concerned that RUV could be banned from Eurovision next year?*
"The reception was encouraging and our tour around the country with Bashar Murad went according to plan.
We are no longer concerned with the dealings of the Eurovision Song Contest. It would, however, be hypocritical to enforce a rule that every contestant broke on day one, as participation was in itself a political action."
What is the fetish scene like in Iceland?
"The fetish scene in Iceland is vibrant and has much to teach us about many kinds of safe, sane, and consensual activities."
What plans does Hatari have for the year ahead? Will we see you performing in the UK in the foreseeable future?
"We will play shows in many places where there is currently no illegal military occupation taking place. One of these places is London, where we aim to perform late this August."
Hatari are currently doing shows in Iceland and abroad, check out their Facebook page for dates coming up and ones to be announced.
London show has sold out.
Halloween is once a year, or is it? Not according to American quintet Eternal Halloween whose demonic stature is sure to garner attention from overseas as arguably the States answer to the UK's Evil Scarecrow. Moreover this Los Angeles (or as they might call Los Hellos), California-based horde have only been around a year and are already causing a buzz across the American Metal underground, let's just hope their name is not a reference to the Aiden song otherwise things could get quite confusing. Eternal Halloween were happy to spare some time to answer some questions GMA had in store for them...
"There are bigger things destroying youth and humanity than Satanism don’t you think? Racism, hatred, greed, ignorance, stupidity, politics and the list keeps going. "
Hi guys, firstly your band name, is the meaning self-explanatory or is there a story behind it? Have you been in any bands before?
"The meaning is pretty self-explanatory for sure but it goes beyond that. We’re Halloween lovers as many people are out there, but don’t get me wrong, Halloween has a deeper meaning than just being a night of dressing up in costumes and kids walking around town asking for trick or treats. It’s the night where spirits from the underworld cross the portal to the land of the living to feast and celebrate while claiming their rewards.
Sadly Halloween has mutated to accommodate a society that gets easily offended by every single thing. Now everything is racist, everything is inappropriate or politically incorrect. Twenty years ago if you wanted to dress up as a Jewish refugee or a cross-dresser everyone would get it. Now? Pfftt! Good luck if you try to play that card… It’s so ridiculous and sad but people like weakness and conformity in their lives. We’re here to make you think deeper and to open some eyes. Everywhere we go we want people to enjoy that celebration the way they want with no restrictions so we invite everyone to the Sabbat. That’s why we are the Eternal Halloween.
Now regarding your second question, have we been in other bands? Yes we have been and we are currently in other bands but you won’t know which..."
How would you distinguish yourselves from the likes of Lordi, Evil Scarecrow and GWAR, all of whom have similar imagery?
"There are a lot of differences, not only visually but also musically. I think each of the bands mentioned and Eternal Halloween have their own personality. Some like Lordi and GWAR take it to the extreme and they look great. Evil Scarecrow is more like a comedy club with cool music. We’ve been compared also to Rammstein, Rob Zombie, Mushroomhead, Slipknot or Manson; I see us pretty different under a common line: We all have a concept, ours happens to be purely Halloween under the Devil’s command."
Are you worried that some states or countries might ban you from touring due to the Satanic connotations?
"No, not at all. You have to remember that society is ruled by humans and that is the main problem. If there is anyone dumb enough to get offended by us, our music or our videos there will be a hundred who will like them and will get our stuff somehow. Let’s take the example of Poland where most metal bands are not allowed to tour but Polish people are always travelling somewhere else to see these bands live, why do you think this happens?"
Given the history of metal in the US and it's court cases against censorship and 'Satanic support', are you simply mocking those who claim metal music is Satanic and destroying the youth?
"Absolutely! There are bigger things destroying youth and humanity than Satanism don’t you think? Racism, hatred, greed, ignorance, stupidity, politics and the list keeps going. As we said before, people like blaming what they don’t fully understand in order to feel safe or right. Good and Bad is a necessity in each aspect of life since it’s the natural balance. What I can assure you is that we’re already in hell so there is no need to worry about the devil any more, let’s just “sit back and enjoy the ride, it will get bumpy so you better hang tight!”"
Your debut album is out now, will you be touring in support? If so where? Could Hell in Norway be a future place to play?* Would you stream your album launch gig (if there was one)?
"We will be touring in support of the album for sure and we will play in as many places as we can since we want to share the Eternal Halloween with as many people as we can to wake them up so Norway, Finland, Poland, China, US, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Greece, Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Hawaii, Blah Blah Blah… all the places on earth and beyond must get ready for what is coming. Streaming or live you’ll have a chance to experience us, we’re coming for the kill!"
How long does it take to get all your gear on (make-up, etc)? Will there be variations?
"Our human faces take about two hours to take them off and put on. What takes the most is sticking the horns back inside your skull so we need to numb the pain with tons of Jager, Vodka or Scotch. About variations we don’t know what future awaits so stay tuned."
Many might see their latest photo as perhaps as Visual Kei, sure their Gothic-Glam crossover is one to admire and for the ladies to swoon over. But this quintet are no pushovers, in fact what we could see here is in fact the dawn of a new scene in Italy, as the guys in Beyond The Fallen go on to explain, hailing from the Vatican City (or Italy) is not as weird as it seems, or is it?
Hi guys, for those who do not know of Beyond The Fallen could you give us a brief history? Are you really from the Vatican?
"Hey there! We are Beyond The Fallen, an industrial metalcore band born and raised in the Vatican City, as odd as it may sound. We started the band back in 2014, releasing a full length album named "You Rise, We Fall". In 2015 we released a remix EP named "Re:Fall", while our latest piece of work is a single called "Anima"."
Italy has had a long-standing history with the industrial music sound, what makes it so popular there (if so)?
"Actually, metal bands and in general alternative music in Italy doesn't work out as well as it may seem from the outside. There's been probably one, maybe two alternative bands that actually "made it" in the alternative music scene, but truth is any metal band in Italy knows very well that the only way to make it is to gain attention from international labels and fans. "
You recently released your new video 'Anima', what makes the sound different in comparison to older songs? Is there a story behind the video?
" "Anima" was our first work with our guitarist Yuki, who entered the band after the release of our first LP. We wanted to evolve our sound from the very harsh, raw industrial of our first record to something more polished and modern, and it turned out to be very easy and natural thanks to Yuki's approach to songwriting and music in general, which was very different from what we've had with "You Rise, We Fall". The result was a more metalcore-ish song, with loud guitars and a lot of changes in the song moods. We kept some of our key elements though, like synths and drum-work, and the mix turned out to be an excellent starting point for us in our pursuit of a new sound.
About the video, we did something different this time around. In our first video, "Disconnected", we played a lot with dark and sick atmospheres, trying to achieve something that would confuse and impress the viewer. With "Anima" we did the opposite. The white background gives a sense of clarity, everything is bright and visible and while there are still some strange, confusing elements (thanks to our wonderful actors and costume designers) the action is quite clear so the viewer can focus more on the overall flow instead of wtf-ing about what's happening on screen."
How was it working with Utau Yume on the music video? Would you invite her on tour with you?
"We've had a great experience working with Utau Yume. It was our first time working with someone else, and her music is so different from ours that we actually were a bit concerned about how things could turn out. Instead, everything went extremely smooth. Songwriting sessions with her were very easy and fun, and everything came out naturally. Not to mention her incredible performance! We'd love to bring her with us on stage, it's something we already thought and talked about, and we can't deny that it could surely happen."
What has the international response to your music been like so far? Have you had any fans come from any countries that you were surprised by? What do people in your area think of your music?
"We've had a great support from both national and international fans. Most of them were surprised about how different "Anima" was from our previous work, but thankfully in a good way. With the release of the single we also printed physical copies of it and of our previous LP and EP, which were only digital at the time of release. We still don't know why but it seems our music gets a lot of love in Mexico.
We tried to reach countries like Germany, UK and of course the US, but the love and support we receive from Mexican fans is something we didn't expect at all and we're very happy and grateful about it. We also have fans from Japan, and our love for the people there and the country itself was what led us to write a song in japanese. About Italy, we played several shows around the country in the last 2 years, and we managed to reach a lot of people who supports us in a wonderful way."
With the popularisation of the 'Gothic Metalcore' movement inspired by Motionless In White, would you consider them and yourselves as pioneers of the said genre? Or what you describe yourselves as?
"MIW could totally be considered pioneers, but for us, we don't consider what we do pioneering at all. We had an idea, back then, to try and mix our love for the '90s industrial scene with modern metal music, and we're still working on it to get to the sound we have in mind. When we'll reach that point, fans and critics will say if what we do is pioneering or not, but for us it's just trying to express ourselves in the way we think best suits what and who we are."
Does each member have their own unique look in terms of clothing and make-up? Would it be safe to say that you're influenced by the Visual Kei scene?
"We are totally influenced by the V-Kei scene! We went a little overboard in the promo material for "Anima", but with it being a song in Japanese, mostly for japanese fans, we felt it was natural and we've had a lot of fun building our looks and outfits. Every one of us has a very different taste in style so we find ourselves talking (and arguing) about our looks often when we have to shoot a video or some promo pics. While writing and playing music are of course our favourites things to do, we surely think and work a lot about our image in order to deliver something that's carefully thought and realized from start to finish."
Where does Beyond The Fallen go on from here (the music video release)? Debut album? UK / EU tour?
"We have a lot of material for our second LP, that should come out sometime around 2017. We'll start working in studio in October, and thanks to "Anima" we have a clearer idea about what the album will be. We can't wait to let you guys listen to it!"
Finally do you have any hello's or thank you's you wish to send out?
"We'd like to thank you for this interview of course! And also thanks to all of our fans for their incredible support, we never thought what we do could mean so much for people and every one of our fans is a reason for us to keep working as hard as we can."
This album serves as a nice springboard for the band as they approach their 15th anniversary next year, so this album will be an interesting one. We believe it will gain the approval from the masses. But for now, GMA managed to catch up with front-man Whiplasher Bernadotte and ask him what the future holds, why they are not a metal band, revisiting past events such as the well known 'Blitzkrieg Boom' music video and how they 'nearly' represented Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest via Melodifestivalen.
Interview by Rhys Stevenson
Whiplasher on Deathstars celebrating their 15th anniversary next year:
"15? That's when people started having sex, now we will have to try even more now"
Hi Whiplasher, how are you doing?
I am very good.
It's been five years since you released the album "Night Electric Night", so what has the band been doing during this time?
Well we started recording our fourth album around three years ago in Los Angeles and we felt like we were 'stressing' it, so after that we ended up on doing some more tours and everyone was tied up with projects, and wanted some changes and stuff, so all these things added up, so hence it took such a long time. So yeah we kind of stalled ,but we wanted to get this done, but hopefully it won't be as long next time.
Since "Night Electric Night" you have had a line-up change, Cat Casino left the band, how did this happen?
Yeah Cat left us because he was tired with all of the touring and missed his family more, he was tired of just traveling and we were all tired so, we respected that decision and he still remains our friend, but we're continuing as a four-piece now and also Ole Öhman our drummer started to have problems around like 6, 7 years ago and so he left too in time.
What is different between your new album "The Perfect Cult" and "Night Electric Night"?
I think "Night Electric Night" was more outgoing and this one is more futuristic, dark and much more massive and assuring in a nutshell. It's got pop music in it, it has more rock music in it and as such we've never been a metal band. It's more varied in that sense so, there's a darker story in "The Perfect Cult" in a bigger sense.
So you're not a metal band?
Noooo, that would be stupid. A metal band for me would be something like Darkthrone so we never claim to be a metal band, so let's just call it more of a 'Dark Rock' band.
It seems that throughout the Deathstars discography the band has changed their image in accordance to the albums, would you agree with this or not? What are your thoughts?
We never really discuss what kind of album we want to make, like we never say 'ok let's make an album that sounds like this', because Nightmare and I started playing Black Metal in the early 90's so we've been working in the same way always I guess, so we just listen to each other, so we can have an idea on what direction we're going, so when it comes to the album writing we can visualize what we may do imagery-wise AFTER the album is done, this is usually what happens. So we go in a direction as a band and not just by ourselves.
It seems that Industrial / Gothic music hasn't really been in the limelight in the last few years (that is not spoken well about), so with Deathstars do you feel that you bring something new to the table?
Yeah, I think we always have since when we started off in the underground metal scene, then we met Ole and Jonas so for us it's kind of an ongoing experiment and hopefully we brought something new to the genre (I'm not going to be the judge of that), so for us it's more like it's getting better and better as a band and looking over our career we feel we have been successful, so it's more about continuing to do what do we best.
Your original tour dates for the UK have been pushed back to November, could you perhaps shed some light on this? (Plus this won't be the first time you've played here, more like your 3rd or 4th?)
This was because the album was not done, our booking agency wanted us to go on tour without the album being released and to us that did not make sense, we felt it would be better for people to have heard the album before going on tour so that's the reason. So there was some communication problems.
Yeah I can't remember I mean we've been there so many times, I think we must do about 200 shows in a year, but with England we've been there many times. It seems that this was the best for us because for us and the UK it has always been kind of special.
With the November tour are you playing alongside bands from Sweden or bands over here?
We have a support band this year, The Dead & Living will join us for some weeks during the European tour and as for the rest of the world, I don't know as it's very different. We're going to South America and so will probably just play by ourselves and then we're going to North America, again not sure about that one and also Asia, so this year is going to be different. So I can't really comment on that, but everyone should check out the support band we have, in fact we're very happy that they are going on tour with us - they are a very good band.
Would that be your first time playing in South America? If not what was the crowd reception like?
Oh no, nope, we've been touring there before and the crowd reception was very good, we've noticed that some fans sleep outside the venues the night before, it's so different from Europe and they're so much more passionate and dedicated. You'll even find them meet you at the airports and so on, it's another thing and of course in Russia it's kind of the same thing, but we're really looking forward to going there - I just gotnews that we're probably going to be starting there with 5 shows in Mexico now, before the European tour. It's a lot of touring again...
This might be a bit of an obvious question, but does the heat really affect you guys?
Yeah I guess it's always tough even when it's hot, so we take care when out in the warm weather even though I now live in Italy and heat is not really my favorite thing, nope you know I'm from Scandinavia; I like that kind of weather (laughs) - dark and cold and permafrost.
Regarding some of the music video's you've done over the years, which one was / is your favorite?
Videos... yeah I mean it's hard with videos as I think it's something that is kind of outside to what the band is doing, in one way because it's the director, the one person putting the visual theme on a song, so it's more like kind of a spectacle (music videos).
But I think maybe, I like 'Blitzkrieg' a lot because I wanted it to be on a graveyard for airplanes - that was even my plan - and we humored on the idea of a graveyard of planes a lot, but planes from the war in Serbia but didn't seem to cut it into the final video so there was this other stuff, but yeah I'd say 'Blitzkrieg'.
And what of the meaning behind the music video?
(Laughs), people shouldn't ask me because they can look at it and place any interpretation onto it however they want and really, they should ask the director of the production company we used. In the beginning we have like screens and on the set during a couple of days, there's a lot of scenes that we kept doing, then when it was edited we wanted it to be re-edited for several times so in the end it comes out as something different that we originally was looking for. So it's more like a spectacle...
However it would be nice to direct a music video of our own sometime, maybe it would be completely different (laughs). Probably, probably when we might just get bored and then we're like 'it's a wrap, we're done' (laughs).
Now as "The Perfect Cult" is coming out in June, and you have already done one music video "All The Devil's Toys", will there be any more music videos?
We've been discussing it and this was just a couple of days ago, so probably hopefully we will do more music videos for the album, I think everyone want's that.
Now since Deathstars will be turning 15 next year, [interrupted by Whiplasher]...
OHHHHH!!!!!! YEAH! Officially 'teenager', 15? That's when people started having sex, now we will have to try even more now and that's a good thing you mentioned it - we haven't had a life of getting into girls pants (laughs)... [GMA: And that's what the delay between the last album and this album has been all about?], (laughs) yeah I mean when we started out, yeah I guess the girls... I mean you can look at it in the aspect that the girls were pedophiles because they were so young, like kids...
So with the 15th anniversary coming next year, will you be doing an anniversary release compilation?
Nah, we haven't yet thought about that, we did a compilation "The Greatest Hits On Earth" for the Rammstein tour (2011), also because it was we kind of wanted to wrap up that chapter and Ole stopped playing the drums in the band, so it was kind of wrapping up and starting fresh on this album (The Perfect Cult). But as for another compilation I haven't really thought about it, so we wish we will have more sex with the girls, that's how we will celebrate it.
Do you feel that metal and rock in Sweden is more appreciated than any other genre?
Everyone I know in Stockholm plays in a band, it's like they're in more or less famous rock bands, sometimes in metal bands so of course it's very appreciated, especially when now everyone plays it's considered a big thing. But of course we've always got a history with successful music, in Sweden there are so many people working in the music industry and I think it gets into a spiral, which is where everyone looks at each other and wants to be inspired by others so I can't it decreasing, but there's different kinds of scenes in Sweden like in Stockholm but also in different cities where there are different music styles. Like in Gothenburg for example it's all about Death Metal bands and metal music
Check out the new Deathstars music video here, taken from their forthcoming album "The Perfect Cult"
So we wouldn't see Deathstars in the Eurovision Song Contest next year in Austria?
Well the thing is, we got asked this year to appear in the 'Melodifestivalen', which is the competition for Eurovision in Sweden and is like the biggest television show there is, I cannot believe they actually asked us, because we would never do something like that. But it was a kind offer and I said that they don't have enough blood so. [GMA: although would a rock / metal style Eurovision be appealing?]... yeah, I can't really stand all these competitions, but yeah those getting into the finals must be quite a big thing.
Finally any hello's, thank you's, greetings you wish to express?
Well right now I'm isolating myself for a while, from everyone because I moved to the North of Italy so, I think it's nice to have a break some time and so I will say hello to everyone when I meet them again, see you in Stockholm and also on the tour.
"The Perfect Cult" is out 16th June 2014 via Nuclear Blast Records
For a list of tour dates click here.
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