TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with Andreas "Whiplasher" Bergh of Deathstars was done face to face by Juliane John on October 30th, 2006.
ďThey've been topping the TV-charts in Sweden and Germany, they've made Hollywood-themes, they've been banned from TV-stations and are among the best selling rock acts in Sweden.Ē Ė so it says on the uprising Swedish bandís homepage. Promising words that were convincing enough for me to catch Deathstars for an interview on their current headlining tour through Europe. When I arrived at the venue, I found a tired-looking and bored band. While singer Andreas ďWhiplasherĒ Bergh got ready for my questions, we were entertained by some yet not fully refined piano play by guitarist Cat, the bandís latest addition.
Your headliner tour is half way through. How did you enjoy it so far?
Itís been good so far. Iíve never felt so not-worn out so far. I stayed pretty healthy for onceÖ and yeah, I enjoyed it. Itís a three months tour so thatís a long way to go (NOTE: Deathstars will join Cradle of Filth as a support act right after their own headliner tour finishes).
What are the positive and the negative sides of touring for you?
Oh, thereís a lot of both of them. Of course lots of things are great but itís very [boring] like today. Weíve been sitting here since 12 oíclock not doing anythingÖ (weíre interrupted by the tour manager)Ö Yeah, it can be very boring but usually we find women. Itís not fun waiting but itís great to play.
Whatís the most embarrassing thing thatís happened on stage?
We donít get embarrassed. We played in Zagreb two weeks ago and I fainted on stage. That was pretty scary because I smashed my head on the floor and I could only see with one eye for the rest of the show. That wasnít that good but there were no embarrassing things. We do everything with style (grins).
How would you describe your music to someone that has never heard of you?
Itís a mixture of different genres: We call it death glam. Itís hard to label us because itís pop, rock, industrial, gothic, black, death metal and everything.
I heard in the early days of the band you played some death metal. Is that true?
Yeah because we all come from death metal bands where weíve released our first albums already in the early 90ís - and the demos even in the 80ís. So thatís an important point of our lives. The first few tracks which we did [with Deathstars] were ďThe Revolution ExodusĒ, ďOur God the DrugsĒ and ďGenocideĒ, which were more death metal influenced than we are today.
So, how did you change to your current sound?
Oh no, it wasnít that different. Itís pretty much what you hear on [first] album.
You are often compared to Marilyn Manson due to your look but it seems to me that these people havenít really listened to your music. Why do you think people always want to compare or label bands?
Because they want to know what to expect. Marilyn Manson is of course a very commercial artist and we come from the underground where bands have been looking like this since 1980 or so. So it tells more about the ones who think like that than about us because we [Manson and Deathstars] have two totally different themes: We come from the more satanic, extreme underground and Marilyn Manson is a commercial artist. Many people donít know about this underground where he got his inspiration from. Itís two different things really.
I canít really think of a band that somewhat sounds like Deathstars. So to give our readers an idea, can you please tell us your musical influence?
Just our lives! We criticize ourselves and our music is just about weaknesses. Itís not about fiction, itís only about our own thoughts and lives. You know, weíre trying to face the dark sides and really progress from it. I mean I donít listen to any other bands which people would put in the same genre as our music. Iím not up to date on the scene in general. Iím actually not that interested in it.
Is there a main songwriter in the band?
Me and Nightmare do everything.
Can you explain the lyrical content of your current album? What is for example your new single ďBlitzkriegĒ about?
Every song has a different topic but as I said, itís about criticizing yourself. Itís about weaknesses and facing your weak spots or your dark sides. ďBlitzkriegĒ is about the war inside, the total conflict.
From the 1st to the 2nd album, your singing has become more varied. Did you take any singing lessons for that or did this develop naturally with the music?
It developed naturally I guess. When I write a song I know what kind of vocals it should have. Maybe other people think about that more than I do.
Deathstars seem to care a lot about looks and you guys use a lot of make up. Arenít you afraid that you or your music are not taken serious because of that?
Hopefully they do because we donít see ourselves as part of the metal scene. Weíre not here to please other people. We make our music and we have our image. We like to visualize things. We donít preach music, a lot of bands do that but we donít. If people find our music interesting, fine, but I will never try to talk someone into coming to our shows.
You obviously have many female fans. So honestly, how close is the contact to them?
Itís to the skin (grins). Of course we have a huge crowd of female fans and I guess weíre becoming more and more the Backstreet Boys from hell (laughs).
One last question: If you guys drink, who passes out first?
(asks Cat) Who passes out first?
Yeah, I go to bed first every night. Nightmare is the one who drinks the most but he never goes to sleep.
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