Interview mit Whiplasher [Deathstars], 09.03.2009, Köln/Underground
Sie haben sich ein wenig Zeit gelassen für ihr drittes Studioalbum, dafür ist „Night Electric Night“ von den Deathstars auch umso lohnenswerter geworden. Seit Januar 2009 steht die neue Platte mittlerweile in den Plattenläden und aktuell sind die Schweden mit den Kollegen von Sonic Syndicate auf gemeinsamer Headliner-Tour unterwegs. Am 9. März statteten die Herren dem Kölner Underground einen Besuch ab. Vor der Show traf ich Sänger Whiplasher aka Andreas Bergh von den Deathstars zu einem Interview und sprach mit ihm über die neue Platte, Tour und das Thema Frauen.
It`s not your first time being here in Cologne, but which cultural things do you remember about this city?
Whip: Oh yeah, I was here during the hockey world championship some years ago. I think, that was the first time when I went to Cologne. By the dome and by the river it`s very nice, but today it`s not the best weather to go outside. I think, with the Deathstars we´ve been playing here for four times maybe. The last time we were here with Korn. And from what I remember it`s a great place for deathglam.
Referring to your tourblog on myspace it seems you`re a lot into sightseeing. So have you also been walking a little bit around today?
Whip: I`ve been doing that before to watch the dome and stuff, but today it seems that nobody is up for anything. Everyone is just sitting around and hoping for better weather, of course. But yeah, usually we go into the cities. We`re really nerds when it comes to sightseeing.
Have you heard about the tragedy that happened here last Tuesday in Cologne?
Whip: No, what?
The municipal archive and neighbour houses just collapsed and two young men died. It´s big on the news in these days…
Whip: (surprised) No, I haven´t heard about it. I´m sorry to hear that.
But coming to more positive things: You have a new album out called “Night Electric Night” and you`re presenting your new songs now on tour with Sonic Syndicate. How has been the tour so far?
Whip: It´s been very, very good and even much better than anyone could expect. I mean, it`s so different kind of music styles both bands have. But I think, that has been kind of rewarding since we get people from both camps so to speak and it`s not only preaching to the choir which you should obviously do when you play in front of your fans. It is kind of more a challenge. But on a personal level it`s been great, so I wouldn`t mind continue touring with Sonic Syndicate for the rest of the year. It´s been really nice.
It took a bit longer until your new album was published. Are you simply perfectionists or did the Deathstars-curse hit again?
Whip: It´s a bit of both. Of course we´re very picky about the material and we want it to be as good as possible. But I also think, that there was this delay cos of practical reasons and a lot of touring and also tragedies as usually in this band. That made the album a bit delayed so to speak. But we`re slow as well. It´s not like we can do an album every year, but hopefully it will be better and not taking that much time with the next album, but I cannot promise anything. It is always a lot of chaos with this band.
“Night Electric Night” is like a journey through a city by night, revealing your lives, experiences and personal issues. But is the new album based on a concept like the songs are connected in a way?
Whip: No, we never do a concept-album. Only King Diamond can do that properly pretty much. But it`s a lot of inspiration coming from that…sorry, I have to sneeze. I have a little cold.
Oh, oh, that`s not good for singing.
Whip: No, that´s why I don´t sing, I just make “roaaar roaaar”. Well, yeah, the inspiration is from our lives and the biggest part of our lives obviously takes part in the night time in the cities. That has effected the music a lot. But there are different topics for every song. But it`s about that kind of aspect, I guess, about being depraved and the loss of all the values and innocence. Also the new album is a bit more outgoing, so it`s not that personal. It has kind of more cynical irony in it than even the previous albums. There is really black humour in it as well. I think, the spectrum is wide.
Beside others also Nightmare Industries is producer of the new album. But isn`t it difficult producing an album and being in the band at the same time?
Whip: No, I don`t think so. Of course we have discussed how it would be to use another producer, but it`s not in the stars for us right now, because we know what we want when it comes to that. We don’t know any other way to work. This is how we wanna do it, at least for a while. We`ll see how it is in the future. Maybe we`ll have some assistant kind of producer that comes with ideas and stuff like that, but mainly it`s Nightmare and me being in the studio and recording.
Nightmare has also contributed to the song “Via The End”. How is it for you to sing this song as you´re familiar with its background?
Whip: Yeah, he wrote the music and I wrote the lyrics. That´s the only song that is really personal and serious. I was actually questioning, I mean, I asked him if he really wanted to do it and go all the way. And he really wanted that, because he thought it was the only way to make it honest. So it`s a very different song for us and it was very special to record it. We were just walking around in New York all day and then we said “Hei, let`s go to the studio”. Then we did and recorded it. It was about getting in the mood for it.
Blitzkrieg, Zeitgeist...what about Schadenfreude or Kindergarden next time?
Whip: This is where the humour kind of comes in. We have a tendency to like all those German military things as also every other band does who plays this kind of strict music. It`s very important to have some German words on every album. (laughs)
Do you know some more German?
Whip: Yeah, I studied German for six years, so actually I understand a lot. We could have done this interview in German some years ago, but you loose the language, you know, when you don´t use it. Everyone studies German in Sweden. You do that in elementary school for three years and then you can chose it for another three which I did. So yeah, I understand German.
Ann Ekberg is supporting you once again with her backing vocals on the new album. But with which other Swedish musician would you like to work together someday?
Whip: Oh, there`s a lot of them. I just actually started to think about some people a bit too late like Nicke Borg from Backyard Babies and so on. His voice would fit. There are some people I would use for the next album. I will definitely look more into it in the future. It would be nice to have some other voices on the album instead of just mine all the time.
What about The Ark for example who at least have the same passion for glam style?
Whip: The Ark, oh yeah! Why not having Ola Salo singing? I don´t know him that well. We just met some times. I don`t think it would go well hand in hand (laughs) with our different kind of music directions. I don`t know.
How would you continue the sentence “Music is…”?
Whip: It´s a curse and a bless. (laughs)
The Deathstars are the “kings of deathglam”. But which element is more important for you – death or glam?
Whip: We couldn´t have one without the other. You know, glam is the kind of love and exhibitionistic side of those bands in the 80ies like Mötley Crüe and Kiss that we grew up with. But death is of course where we started in black metal bands and so on. So it`s on the one hand the very dark core of Deathstars which are the songs that are build up on private and personal reflections of everyday life. And on the other hand we go on stage with feather boas and glitter and stuff, so those two things combined is deathglam.
Do you also go to bed with your feather boas?
Whip: Yeah, every once in a while. I´ve tones of feathers in my bed and glitter everywhere. (grins) It wouldn´t take more than a second for you to see in the tourbus which bunk is mine. It´s just shiny. (laughs) And then I have Cat sleeping under me.
Soso. Is Whiplasher more a role for you or your second I?
Whip: No, it`s me, of course. But we use the stage names and all that, because we want to be more entertaining. You know, having stage names is just like Gene Simmons or Paul Stanleyor Alice Cooper. These names have stuck with us since we were fourteen. We still have the same names today. We`re just boys playing rock music and having fun.
Do you sometimes google yourself in the Internet?
Whip: Yeah, sometimes, but not very often. Mostly I do it for the interviews, because I want to see stuff like that, especially now when I get back from tour. You do a lot of interviews and then it`s nice to see, but I never watch any live videos with us. I don`t look at filmed interviews. It doesn`t give me anything. But it`s very nice to collect stuff like that. It might be great to read those when you`re 60.
Do you also buy magazines where you are in?
Whip: No, not really. The Swedish ones I do. But just for the promotion of an album like “Night Electric Night” you do around 300 interviews for a lot of magazines. It`s impossible to collect all of them. It would be nice if people could send me all the stuff. (grins) Then I could collect it in a coffin or wherever.
You already created a lot of videos. Do you have any fave one?
Whip: Yeah, I like the last video the most, because that´s the kind of vibe I really wanted. But I really want to do some more videos where you have more time thinking about how to do stuff instead of just going there and you have time for two days. Then it`s just stress.
If women wouldn´t exist in this world, how would your videos and song texts look like?
Whip: Oh, they wouldn´t exist at all, of course. The best thing of life is being a boy because of all the girls and for us that`s the main audience. In the crowd there are mainly girls and we always get labelled as that kind of pinup-band and so on which we are, I guess. But yeah, the females are very important for us. (grins)
But I read that you already got a proposal for marriage by a man…
Whip: Yeah, there are a lot of gay people appreciating Deathstars and we love that. It´s very funny. We play at the Pride-Festival and so on in front of 10.000 gay people and that is fantastic, I think. But with this kind of music people quickly think of heavy music being a kind of conservative music and we`re definitely not. Having that kind of metal stereotype like they do in the metal scene is nothing for us at all. But yeah, when gay people come in wedding dresses on stage asking me to marry them, of course I will say “yes”. (laughter)
What are your weaknesses and bad habits?
Whip: Oh, I have tones of weaknesses and tones of bad habits, so it`s really hard to say. I have a very hard time to relax. I´m very hyperactive all the time. I don´t take time to really sit down and think things through and really work on stuff. That effects what I do. You know, you`re always looking for kind of kicks and just want to feel something all the time. That is of course not good.
Deathstars goes Eurovision! Possible or not?
Whip: Absolutely not. (laughter) Oh no, we do not play Schlager-Metal. We leave that for Pain or something.
Have you seen Lordi at the Eurovision?
Whip: Yeah, but I don`t compare us to Lordi. No, no, definitely not. But I like the glam part of the competition. Actually I don’t wanna Deathstars to appear on Live-TV in Sweden. We could never do anything like the Eurovision, because it wouldn´t feel hundred percent for us. But it`s interesting that there are bands doing that. I don´t think we play that kind of music.
Earlier you worked as a journalist, for example also for Big Brother in Sweden. Would you ever enter the Big-Brother-house and staying in there for a while?
Whip: (drinks some coke) No, I would never do that. I´ve been doing like producing and being editor chief for Big Brother in Sweden for three years. I have actually all the respect for that kind of people. It`s a certain kind of people who do that, but I even couldn´t do it for 24 hours. I´m the wrong person. I would climb on the walls. I can`t just sit there having nothing to do. Even though I produced many reality shows, I would never take part in there by myself.
What can we expect from the show this evening?
Whip: It´s just action and rock, I guess. The place is very small here. This is like the smallest room on the whole tour which is kind of interesting as you get that kind of unique club feeling. But the show will be straight forward. There`ll be just energy.
Do you prefer bigger stages?
Whip: Yeah, I think bigger stages are nicer for us. That`s where we belong to. (grins) We all in the band feel much more comfortable on bigger stages. I don´t say that we do not feel comfortable to play in small clubs, but somehow bigger stages are more rewarding for us. We have that big sounding music. Yeah, it`s two very different things, but if I had to choose, I would say big stages.
Interview & Foto 9: Lea S.
Fotos 1-8: taken by Kerstin T.
Website Band: www.deathstars.net
(c) fhradio, darkmoments / www.darkmoments.de