Interview with Lord Monk (bass)
Interview conducted by Sargon the Terrible
Date online: September 14, 2003
Berserk do things the hard way, after good press for their self-made debut they managed to swing a deal with Oakenshield records for their new album "Rites of Supremacy", which proves that Black Metal is alive and well in Spain. Despite a formidable language barrier, Bass player Lord Monk managed to shed some light on the origins and evolution of Berserk.
Sargon: Tell us some about the history of Berserk.
Lord Monk: Berserk was born in 1998 and the initial members were Forjstorm, LordMonk, Frozen Wind and Gog. Obitus (synths) joined us later.
In 1999, we recorded our first demo "Return of the ancient laws" in our garage with a computer. The demo was distributed by Europe with good reviews.
Gog leaves the band, and Nazak joins us as new vocalist.
Our first album "...From the Celtiberian Woods" was recorded in winter 2000/01, with the same PC. And last, Obitus left the band, and Berserk entered in studio to record the new CD called "Rites of Supremacy" in July of 2002.
Sargon: Tell us about the recording of "From the Celtiberian Woods", how did you record and get a deal with Oakenshield with such a low budget?
Lord Monk: We recorded the album in our rehearsal room with a computer. We sent it to Olivier Denis of Chanteloup Creations (French label) and he liked it. Olivier was interested in release the CD, but his label closed by unknown reasons. At that moment, Nico (friend of Olivier) appears and say us that he wanted to create a small label Oaken Shield (division of Adipocere). We accepted the deal, and our first CD was released by Oaken Shield and the second work too.
Sargon: What was the inspiration for Berserk's Celtic point of view? Do some people not accept a Black Metal band that doesn't write about Satan?
Lord Monk: We like the Celtic traditions and myths. People accept that we don't write about Satanism. There are many bands that don't write about it. We talk about dark themes, about paganism and anti-christianity.
Sargon: How is the metal scene in Spain? Do you get to play shows a lot?
Lord Monk: No, we don't play much. There are important bands in Spain but few gigs promotors that make tours and concerts.
Sargon: What kind of live show do you do, what kind would you like to do? As in what sort of props or extras do you or would you like to have?
Lord Monk: We play simple gigs because there aren't many resources. We always play in small places.
Sargon: What changes affected the band between the first CD and recording "Rites of Supremacy?" What did you want to do differently?
Lord Monk: The first progress that you can find between the two releases is the absence of synths. Now the Berserk's songs are stronger. Ourselves recorded our first CD in our garage rehearsal and the new one has been recorded in a professional studio and the sound is much better.
Sargon: What bands have inspired you and what bands have influenced the music of Berserk?
Lord Monk: Old Satyricon, Burzum, Enslaved, Taake, Kampfar, Helheim, Ulver...
Sargon: What do you think of the Black Metal scene in general? Some bands have changed their sound and become more popular, do you think this is good for the scene or bad?
Lord Monk: This is really bad! The popularity convert to the commercial bands, and this isn't good for Black Metal. The bands change their sound....
Sargon: Have you done many live shows? Do you have any tour plans for the new album?
Lord Monk: No. We would like to participate in a tour over Europe and America and show our music but this is very hard.
Sargon: What would you like to see for the future of Berserk? What direction will the next CD take compared to "Rites of Supremacy"?
Lord Monk: At this moment, we are making the songs of the new album that will be more aggressive, more elaborated and with more quality composition.
Sargon: What kind of songwriting process do you go through to create a Berserk song?
Lord Monk: First of all, we compose 3 or 4 riffs that make the main structure of the song, and then we begin to work in that. Later, we search riffs more specific to complete the song and we add the last arrangements.
Sargon: And last: is there anything else you want to say?
Lord Monk: Thanks for your interview. Keep alive the pagan flame.
|Other information about Berserk on this site|
|Review: …From the Celtiberian Woods|
|Review: Rites of Supremacy|
|Review: Cries of Blood and Hate|
|Review: Return of the Ancient Laws|
|Review: Cries of Blood and Hate|
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