With a rare string of Australian shows on the horizon, “The Berzerker”, or Luke as I’m sure his mother likes to call him was nice enough to chat to us about all things metal…
Interview w/ Luke of “The Berzerker”
By Cameron Chambers
Thanks for talking to us on
a Friday night man, I know there’s much better things to be doing
than talking shit with me.
It’s all good mate. I’m just
at home watching The Simpsons, ha ha.
What’s been keeping you busy
I’ve been working on a new side
project with Ed Lacey, who was the guitarist on the self titled Berzerker
I’m also preparing for the upcoming
tour which is going to be a big one and I’m working on album number
5 as well! I’m just going through some new effects and sounds at the
moment and trying to pull it all together.
Your most recent record
“Animosity” came out in April of this year
– are you happy with how the album has been received?
Yeah, I love it man! We didn’t
get to tour much on it which sucks so we haven’t been able to get
that first person review and feedback from the fans. I love the album
and what it did.
With our last record – World
Of Lies – we focused on slowing it down but we definitely cranked
it back up for Animosity mate, ha ha.
What touring have you done
since April to support the record?
England is pretty much all we’ve
done. We actually went there twice in the last year. We get out to England
a lot because the other guys are based over there but that’s about
Who did you guys play with
when you were last there?
We headlined on the last tour…
we usually headline when we’re in England actually. We played a band
called Necrosis and um… fuck man, off the top of my head… some bands
from Europe, ha ha.
We always bring a band from Europe
over but I really don’t know now, ha ha.
Has the record had much of
a response here in Australia or is it predominantly overseas?
Predominantly overseas man. Our
label is based overseas so that’s the way it usually goes. We know
it’s been selling well here and distribution guys over here are gearing
up to move some units off this next tour but it’s really hard to do
anything with it when you’re not touring.
With the other guys living in
England it makes it really hard to do the same kind of thing in Australia.
Do you ever get frustrated
that The Berzerker doesn’t get the same kind of recognition here in
Australia as you do overseas?
You now, it does get frustrating.
I spend most of my time here and I work in the industry doing lights,
sound and recording bands so it does suck a bit. We’ve still sold
a lot of units here in Australia but its all good man… that’s just
how it is!
Have you been able to maintain
a steady touring line up in support of
Yeah, we’ve had the same line-up
since Dissimilate and our last shows in Australia… which was actually
5 years ago! Except for our drummer who broke his foot so Dave from
Akercocke has been playing drums for us since then.
“Festival Of The Dead”
is almost upon us man, which bands are you most excited to see on this
Oh mean, just the fans that we
haven’t seen in so long. We haven’t really been here in 5 years
and I’m especially excited to see all our underage fans who are probably
21 or 22 now… so I’m keen to see their energy and hear about how
many bones they’ve broken in the pit since the last tour, ha ha!
These kids are the main thing
that keeps me out of the pit these days mate, ha ha.
With so many extreme metal
acts touring together around the country, what kind of debauchery should
we expect from this tour?
Fucken full force mate… completely!
We’re not on the lighter side of the death metal spectrum you know?!
We’re on the extreme end so people know what to expect!
Will Matt be pulling double
shift for you guys and Akercocke?
Yeah mate… good luck to him,
What have you got planned for
The Berzerker once this Australian tour wraps up?
This will be the last tour with
this line-up. They’ve had enough of touring and they can’t really
get the time off to be on the road for months at a time – especially
overseas – so this will be the last tour with them and then I’m
going to suss a brand new line-up. Hopefully it will be composed mainly
of Aussies so we get to play more shows here!
Like you said before, it is frustrating.
We’re finished with Earache now, we’ve done our 4 albums and now
we can walk away. We’re on the lookout for a new label and it’s
going to be The Berzerker version 2. New label, new line-up and we’re
working on new material.
There’s going to be some exciting
times this summer!
Who are some metal bands you’ve
heard this year that people should be checking out?
To tell you the truth, there isn’t
anything fresh out there. There are lots of good bands and musos but
you know what, we have a different sound to everyone. I don’t know
man. You tell me and I’ll agree or disagree, ha ha.
I’m struggling to think of
anyone as well man.
In the early 90’s or late 80’s
I could’ve listed 40 bands but now… it’s a different story.
You had Brutal Truth who would
out do the speed on each record, and Obituary would sing lower and more
guttural every time. People are now in a rhythm of what death metal
is, or is supposed to be. We like to do a few things differently man.
If The Berzerker could take
3 bands on tour, who would you take and why?
Because they’re Carcass,
Yeah, ha ha, and obviously they
are our strongest influence. They’re fantastic guys and they’re
so down to earth and they’re one of the few bands I haven’t toured
with that I really want to.
The original Brutal Truth line-up.
Again, they’re a huge influence. They are a band I grew up listening
to and I know the guys really well and the other one… would be Napalm
Death! Brilliant bands and great guys. We’ve toured with them before
and we loved hanging out together and I just think all 4 bands would
compliment each other really well.
We all have distinct styles in
the scene so there would be something for everyone!
Oh yeah, Corey from In Name
& Blood told me to call you Luke heaps to piss you off
– would you like me to pass a message on to the old c@#$?
Ha ha ha. It’s my name so I’m
not really bothered but yeah… Corey, ha ha ha ha.
That’s about all we have
time for mate, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks a lot for doing this mate.
Are you coming to the show in Melbourne?
Cool. Well, make sure you come
and say hey at the show bro!
For more info on The Berzerker
check out http://www.myspace.com/theberzerker