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Interview with Sam from

1. What was the setup for your self-titled album for beats, guitar, vocals and bass (also, computer programs!)? What was the setup on Dissimulate and what is for World of Lies?

Self Titled was written and Atari 500ST with Cubase, 2.01 and ending up being mixing on Logic Audio 3.5, it was recorded many times all over the world, between Canada and Melbourne. Dissimulate was written on Logic 5.01, recording on ProTools, and mixed on Logic 5.01, It was all recorded at our own studio in Melbourne World of Lies was written, recorded, mastered on Logic 7.01 It was all recorded at our own studio in Melbourne.

2. Tell me about The Berzerker's past, making speedcore. How long had you been doing this?

since about 1994, after my well documented car crash that left me unable to continue playing the drums... i one true passion.

3. When is the new album scheduled for release? Is a tour planned? Did you go about making these songs differently? Will there be more slow songs like "February" in the mix? How fast does this album get? Is a video in the works?

Woahhhh, questions, questions, questions!!!

Right now, we don’t have any specific dates nailed down. However we are looking at a November release for the new album in the US with a jan/feb release for the rest of the world. There should be an announcement VERY soon. To answer your questions out of order, we are looking at making the wait worthwhile for the rest of the world by releasing a video with their issue of the CD. Once the CD release dates are sorted out, THEN we’ll start looking at touring. The process of making the songs was extremely different to the previous albums and so is the end result. Previous albums, we took the recording super-seriously and there was months of preparation and pre-production. We were military the way we went about recording. This time around I told Luke in December 2004 that I was moving over to the UK in February 2005. He suggested we record another album before I went. It sounded like a good idea! All the riffs for bass and guitar were recorded during a week over Christmas, and Ed and Jay (the other guitarists from the first album) came and recorded as well. I hadn’t seen them for ages so it was great to catch up. We basically had one person at any time constantly putting down riffs, and the rest of us would be swimming in the pool or playing PS2. We didn’t really come to the studio with any music written, it was all written on the spot in the week. It worked much, much better than any of us expected. One person would come up with a riff; someone else would think of a way to make it better; then someone else would suddenly think of how the next section would go. We worked off each other so well, and it was the first time recording an album has actually been enjoyable. Another guitarist called Adrian came in a month later and put down riffs for another 2 or 3 songs so there is huge variety on this album. The spontaneity helped us a lot. I think almost all death metal these days is overworked, and is more a display of musicianship than anything else. We’ve put the adrenalin, excitement and surprise back into the music with this album. Although we have the fastest material we’ve ever done on this album – we rock out to 330 bpm a bunch of times - to my mind it’s not a super fast album. This time around, the speed is just not an issue. Dissimulate was our fast album, that was us letting it hang out and showing everyone we could clock some speed. It’s done. We’re letting everyone else play who-has-the-fastest-drummer these days. We have some serious music to show off this time instead. There’s a track on there that could probably be compared to February...I think it’s better than February, actually.

4. What are your comments on The Berzerker leaving the masks behind? How the hell did you play with masks anyways? Didn't you get very hot and sweaty, maybe even a little disoriented?

It has always been difficult to play with the masks live, and there’s been plenty of times we’ve been almost passing out during and after shows just from how hard it is to get air into them. They’ve also been sitting in a box since our last tour and the latex has rotted and the basicly have been destroyed. I don’t see us putting them back on again any time soon. The DVD had a lot to do with putting the masks behind us, but I think we had already kind of decided when the last tours finished that we were done with them. Yes, they were hard to play in and transport around and maintain, and we showed everyone our faces in the DVD anyway…. But there were more reasons for losing the masks than keeping them. You’ve probably heard that a mask can bring out different parts of your personality and I guess it’s true, and if you are wearing one every night for months on end it changes you a fair bit, believe it or not. I guess that was something we came to want to avoid. They were worn to avoid humanity in the music, but the lyrics have been getting more personal with each album so there was a bit of an ideological divergence there. And the masks were also to remove reference to our personalities and give focus to the music and it was clearer than ever after Dissimulate and the last tours that it wasn’t working, and despite how utterly brutal and extreme Dissimulate was many people couldn’t get past the masks. Many people still think we are some sort of nu-metal band.

5. Can I get the new line-up?

The recording line-up was Luke doing vocals, beats, arrangements , samples and production, and Sam, Ed, Jason and Adrian doing guitars and bass. We’ll announce a touring line-up when we announce a tour.

6. What is it like being signed to a label like Earache?

Personally, I haven’t been signed to another record metal label so I have no frame of reference on this. I guess it is an honour of sorts, what with the other releases that Earache is responsible for such as Napalm Death, Morbid Angel, Carcass and Brutal Truth amongst many, many others. I definitely know it was a dream of mine when younger to be on the label. As for the reality of working with them it can be frustrating at times. Any issues though with how they conduct their business is between us and them.

7. What are you musically influenced by (not particuarly metal).

Old School Death Metal, im really dont a band out straight out grind bands... theres no dynamics.. imagine a Formula 1 race track with no corners. How exciting would that be?

8. How do you feel about the Australian metal scene, adverse to the British metal scene?

There’s a bit of a similarity I think. There are plenty of bands who are indigenous to each scene, who will never play outside of their own country even though they may be world-class. I guess there are a lot of Australian bands who I have huge respect for and are better than most bands out there…thinking of Psycroptic, off the top of my head. But the british metal scene is better I guess, just for the fact that there are more fans for the music over there. It is definitely much more fun for us to play the UK than Australia. There are just so many more people into metal in the UK.

9. You used a lot of clips from the movie "Clerks". Are you just a fan of Kevin smith films or what is the deal?

Ahh, this would be from the speedcore days? Yeah, Clerks rocks. Great movie. It is a good example to us I guess, how with no resources and just a bunch of DIY and good raw material they were able to make a release that could match it with the best in the field. And we’re Star Wars fans as well, so discussions on the status of contractors working on the Death Star go down well with us.

10. There was a rumour once that the Berzerker drummer could reach speeds of 19 bps per hand, and was the fastest in the world. This was later put to rest false. Any words on that?

Straight up, we had the pad from the world extreme drumming championships, and the drummer unofficially broke the world record. This was for hits with two hands over the space of a minute. You need it videotaped for verification, so we grabbed a video and tried to get him to do it again. He never did. We don’t know why. One drunken night, we set the timer length to one second and competed amongst ourselves to see how many hits a second we could register. With the worst technique ever I fluked 21 hits with one hand in a second, couldn’t repeat it again. Most of the guys managed 19 hits in a second. Anyone who thinks that 19 hits in a second with one hand timed over the length of second is impossible has obviously never tried it, and is one of the huge legion of ‘knowledgeable’ people out their who have opinions about things they really have no clue about.

As for fastest drummer in the world, I will tell you this now:

I don’t give a FUCK about the extreme drumming championships, Guinness, or what ANY other band or name drummer says. When I see another band play No-One Wins or Disregard from Dissimulate, and play it as fast as we do, then they can have the fastest band title. People can talk as much as they want but until they nail those songs, talk is all they are capable of. And anyone who thinks we cheated somehow can fuck off and watch us nail those songs on the DVD. Twice.

11. What are your other hobbies, besides the Berzerker, and gabba?

Luke likes driving fast cars super hard and smashing them up, tiny girls. Personally, I work in mainframe support for JP Morgan which doesn’t leave me that much spare time. I love skiing and surfing, and I cook like a son of a bitch. I also do web design for a few friends and their companies. We all travel the world as much as we can.

12. What type of porn do you like? What all drugs were you on for the new album? Do you like eating food? Play any videogames?

Any porn where the broad is totally small tight girls, and getting talked to in a degrading manner. If they cry, that’s the best. We were on NO drugs for this album. We never have been. We are probably the cleanest band ever to record. We all like different food. Luke is a fast food man, Chicken, burgers, salad rolls. I love gourmet fine dining. Luke prefers driving games and the star wars games. I’m a 1st person shooter myself.

13. Anything to add?

World of Lies is the perfect hybrid of the self-titled Berzerker album and Dissimulate. You have no idea what’s going to hit you.

Sam

The Berzerker

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