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Deathstars (III)
Interview mit Nightmare [Deathstars], April 2014, mailer

In den letzten fünf Jahren waren die Glam-Metaller Deathstars fast kontinuierlich auf Tour unterwegs, so dass der Nachfolger von "Night Electric Night" (2009) ein wenig warten musste. Doch im Juni 2014 ist es endlich soweit: Mit "The Perfect Cult" erscheint das bisher "dramatischste" Album der Schweden. Gitarrist und Produzent Nightmare stand mir Rede und Antwort.

Around five years after the release of "Night Electric Night" you're finally back with a new album. On the web I read that "The Perfect Cult" is "the most dramatic Deathstars album to date". Why that?

Nightmare: It’s an album that – if you take your time and sit down, listen to or read the lyrics while listening to the music – it will take you away to someplace else. You will get sucked into a drama that is playing out in front and around you.
"The Perfect Cult" is not an album that is aiming for catchy upbeat melodies, but rather an album that tells you a story. It’s a very visual album. You can feel it when you’re alone with the music. Like a movie – you cannot follow a movie if you just put it on in the background. You need to follow the storyline.

Why did it take so long till you entered the studio in August 2013 to record "The Perfect Cult"?

Nightmare: Well, for us it was a long time, but not as long as for people outside of the band. We have been busy pretty much the whole time e.g. with touring and we were pretty burned out after the touring cycle ended in late 2010. At that point we had been going straight for almost five years with the touring cycle of "Termination Bliss", then going directly into writing new material, recording and going out on tour again supporting "Night Electric Night". We desperately needed and took a break from everything music related in early 2011, but that break didn’t last for more than a few months, because Rammstein asked us to join their tour as a support band. So we went back to writing a couple of new songs, recording, making a new video and head back on the road with them over a time period of another six months. After that we started working on this album. From the get-go we decided to not rush this album, as it was important to us to make it our way this time around.

The studio production itself also took a while: from August 2013 till January 2014. Was it planned like that or did you have to struggle with any problems?

Nightmare: Five months for an album from start to finish is fast for us; it’s the fastest way we have ever recorded any of our albums. "Synthetic Generation" took from start to finish something around nine months, "Termination Bliss" eleven months and "Night Electric Night" was recorded and mixed in over eight months or so. So considering our past this was a rather quick one. The reason why it in general takes such a long time is because of the reversed way we usually work; since we have so many programmed instruments, we add organic instruments and make them fit together perfectly, then go back to programming more. That’s time consuming, but the result is massive.

To what extent does the new album's sound and its recording process differ from the production of "Night Electric Night"?

Nightmare: If you listen to a track from "The Perfect Cult" and then to one from "Night Electric Night" one after another, production wise the latter one sounds like if was recorded with plastic toys compared to the richness of the sound on the new album. Everything is more organic and alive, even though it’s still very heavy on the synths and sound effects. But the synth sounds, too, are more organic and colorful.

How did the new drummer Vice settled in the band and passed his first album recordings with Deathstars?

Nightmare: Vice has been a live member of the band for a long time now. He first started filling in with us in 2008 when we were supporting Korn. After that he ultimately replaced Bone, our old drummer, in late 2009 when he started getting problems with his drumming from a tennis elbow. So by the time Vice became a fulltime member in the band. He had actually played just as many live shows with Deathstars as Bone. He has perfectly grown into the band and takes the band to a new level which we couldn’t reach before with Bone’s heavy drumming style.

During the production you were supported by Roberto Laghi. How did a normal studio with you guys look like?

Nightmare: We get all together in the morning and discuss what we gonna do that day, then basically get to it. Roberto handles the tracking while I pace around the room and decide if it’s a good or bad take production wise. I’m always carrying a vision of the full production in my head and I need to make sure that the parts will then fit together as a whole in the end result.

How did you spend the recording breaks on a day/within a week to keep a clear head?

Nightmare: For me that was not the case, I didn’t have any real days off at all on this production. I pretty much worked 15 or more hours a day – every day. It was really nice to work with Roberto for the first three weeks, but after that I was working non stop until the end of the production. Even when I went to sleep I was working.

Why did you choose Stefan Glaumann for mixing and Svante Forsbäck for mastering?

Nightmare: Stefan was the obvious choice for us as he understands the band and has been involved long enough to get what we are looking for. Mine and Stefan’s way of thinking are very similar when it comes to what is important or not while mixing. In a way we speak the same language, and Stefan is just a very talented mixer. Svante was a recommendation from Stefan, in fact , so we had a few mastering people do some test masters and Svante’s came out was the most suiting for this album.

In an album trailer on the web you said that "recording with Whiplasher is always interesting, because you never know what's gonna happen". So what happened this time?

Nightmare: Whiplasher is a rollercoaster of a personality. On some days everything is working great, during other days nothing is working at all. This is all fun when you’re hanging out with him privately, but it can become draining when you have to work with him and guide him to get things done. Like many big artists he has a very strong personality – which is also his strength in the end.

What did inspire Whiplasher for the lyrics? How personal are they?

Nightmare: I would say they are 100 percent personal as you can see a lot about his personality illustrated in the lyrics. The songs are reflections of himself and/or us as a group. And I think that the lyrics are a way for him to try to understand himself and his ways.

What is the perfect cult for you? How do we have to interpret the album title?

Nightmare: It's a sarcastic title. It is anything but perfect. The song is about believing in nothing, not even your own life, and how destructive that can be, because you grow emotionally numb. In the case of this song I guess you can say that the "cult" is us, and the irony is in "perfect" as it actually means the opposite. So it’s actually the shit cult.

Whiplasher says on your website that Deathstars is an adventure for you. To what extent does the band influence your personal/private lives?

Nightmare: Well, the obvious way is of course that we’re on tour a lot and travelling the world, that of course influences your personality with experiences and so on. But as far as the band goes I think that the band is an outlet for the members rather than an influence. The music and imagery comes out as a result of our personalities. We have a need to express ourselves in this way.

Why is "All The Devil's Toys" a good single choice? And what are the devil's toys?

Nightmare: The devil’s toys are everything dangerous, depraved and destructive you can find around you in your everyday life. This is a quite straight forward rock song about enjoying the pleasures of flesh and living life without morals.

Can you already give us some hints about the music video?

Nightmare: We recorded it in Belgrade/Serbia in March 2014 during two days. We shot all of it in blue/green screen studios and we are awaiting the results as of now. We haven’t seen it yet.

The rescheduled tour is now taking place in the end of this year. What can we expect from the shows?

Nightmare: We are always expanding our live set, making old songs more up to date and fit better in the set. We wanna put together some great setlists to change between and take the stageset to a new level with more lights and smoke effects. We’re gonna have some new custom built things with us. It’s gonna be a hell of a show!

Is there any plan to find a new band member since Cat Casino left Deathstars?

Nightmare: We have actually found out that we have a better dynamics on stage and a bigger fatter sound with one member less. It gives some place for things to breathe in the mix and it actually sounds a lot more powerful now, so we don’t feel the need to get a new guitar player up on stage with us.

Interview: Lea S.
Fotos: Promo 2014
Website Band: www.deathstars.net

(c) NEGAtief / Ausgabe Mai/Jun. 14 / www.negatief.de

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