Deathstars frontman, Andreas ‘Whiplasher Bernadotte’ Bergh, spilt the beans to Hugh Platt about the Swedish industro-goths’ forthcoming third album. He seemed a little bit down in the dumps…
“I’m not really into Christmas at all,” coughs Andreas Bergh. Better known by his Deathstars stage moniker of Whiplasher Bernadotte, he sounds glum and depressed. It’s a world away from his sneering onstage persona as the leader of the self-proclaimed creators of ‘Deathglam’. His forlorn croak certainly sounds like death, but this two-day press run, in a decidedly non-glitzy hotel in Camden, is pretty much as far away from anything ‘glam’ as its possible to get.
“I’d rather just escape and isolate myself,” he continues. “Christmas, New Year, and in Sweden the whole Mid-Summer thing,” – it’s very big over there – “I usually go to the woods and just escape.” But his bandmates are not all of the same opinion: “Cat [aka Eric Bäckman, guitars] will probably bake cookies for two weeks before Christmas,” he chuckles. “He’s the girl in the band; no question he’ll be baking stuff.”
Apart from a stint supporting KoRn on their European tour (“probably the most enjoyable tour I’ve ever done – perfect actually”, Whiplasher later enthuses), 2008 has seen Deathstars mostly holed up in the studio, working on the follow up to their 2006 breakthrough album, Termination Bliss. Originally mooted to be titled simply Deathglam, it’s since been re-titled Night Electric Night.
Watch Deathstars dicking about in the studio as they work on their new album
“I eventually got tired of [Deathglam], because it’s so obvious,” he sighs. “There are a lot of bands saying that they play Deathglam, so I wanted to do a kind of Venom Black Metal thing with it,” referring to the pivotal album would lend both its intent and its name to everyone’s favourite Norwegian-led church-burning sub-genre of extreme metal. “I wanted to say ‘[Deathglam] is our territory, y’know?”
Despite describing 2008 as “his worst year ever”, Whiplasher refuses to be drawn too heavily on the specifics. “Being surrounded by personal darkness and death makes this is a very personal record. But we also have that visual side to us, the entertaining side. [Night Electric Night] is Deathstars blacker than ever, but also a bit more outgoing than before. We mixed in a few more pop influences.”
Pop influences? Thankfully, lead single ‘Death Dies Hard’ reveals them to be the twisted glam cosmonauts of old. And as with previous records, the band have kept the recording an internal affair, with guitarist Emil ‘Nightmare Industries’ Nödtveidt, once again producing.
Watch the video to ‘Cyanide’ by Deathstars
“We never got anyone into the studio to listen to the album, not even people from the label, before it was totally done. We knew what we wanted to achieve. Deathstars is a band based upon friendship….maybe in twenty years or so we’ll get someone else in, but not right now”, he snorts.
“A lot of people have the IQ to understand what we’re all about. It’s a mish-mash of elements, a cynical irony together with a super-seriousness. As long as we feel 100% about that, we’ll stick with it. We’re not trying to convince all people – that would be our downfall”, he signs off with a smirk.