Burst

author PP date 09/08/06

Sweden's Burst is one of the rising stars of the Swedish metal scene. The few people that know them well, regard them as experimental metal or in more friendly terms just metal, while the more mainstream press and media tends to label them under the generic metalcore term. This despite that they commonly agree that the band is lightyears ahead of their presumed-genre mates, as was shown by their excellent, critically acclaimed latest album "Origo". The band is still largely unknown outside of Sweden, which was evident in the stage size in Roskilde, where the band performed only on the small-scale Pavilion scene, only an hour after Opeth started dominating the Arena scene. We caught up with their vocalist Linus and the drummer Patrik to have a random chat about pretty much everything that revolves around Burst, "Origo", and their Roskilde Festival appearance. The (drunk) guys had a ton of funny stories to share, and the session was full of laughter and joking around, fitting perfectly into the Roskilde atmosphere.

Linus: We want to talk about black metal bands, and how to get drunk in the best way (all laugh). If you have any question about that, we'll do that. Otherwise we'll be out of here.

RF.net: Well then thanks for tonight (all laugh)

RF.net: So how was the show? It was good from the audience side, but how about from the band side?

Patrik: I was amazed. I haven't played a set like this (gathering thoughts) for ages. I think we played 12 songs tonight, because they told us we have to fill one hour, at least one hour. It was really good!

RF.net: Can you describe what was different about it to other shows? More people or longer set or?

Patrik: Longer set. We played a longer set. I was amazed because ten minutes before we went on, I could probably count the audience, it was like 30 people. I was like: 'okay it's gonna be one of those shows'. Then we went on and I was like: 'wow, where did all the people come from?'

Linus: So many people!

Patrik: Yeah yeah, I was really stoked about it!

RF.net: A lot of Swedes were there..

Patrik: Yeah yeah there were a LOT of Swedes!

RF.net We didn't like the way the bands were put on the schedule.

Patrik: You don't put on Opeth, Burst and JR Ewing. It was like (dut-dut-dut sound effect with his mouth)

RF.net: How would you describe the sound of Burst to somebody who has never heard of you guys before?

Patrik: It's just one of those questions that's really hard for a band to answer. Everyone in the band probably describes it really different from the other guy from the band, cause everyone has their own opinion about what we play, I think. And we bring together what we like in the band, so it's kind of mix of fucking everything.

Linus: Everyone has so many different influences, what they like and what they listen to, and how they live their life, and how the daily life goes on. And all the attitudes and all that goes into the band and everything is a different approach from everyone to the band.

Patrik: These two guys are the punk metalheads. And then we have the metal.. (looks at Linus) Yeah, me and you are the punk metalheads. Then we have the metal...heads and then we have another guy who's listening to (pause) nothing of it, almost. It's kind of like that. It's really hard to describe. Everything from King Diamond.. King Diamond? King Crimson I mean, to 1349

RF.net: You've been labeled everything from metalcore to post-hardcore to progressive metal..but what do you think yourself? Where do you fit in the most?

Patrik: I would best describe our music as metal, because in the bottom, it is metal. Yeah it is.

Linus: The ground.. the base segment of it all is metal. We all say we play some kind of metal, so metal is the main thing of it. But on the top of it, are so many layers that we all put into it.. so I really dislike when people say: 'oh they're just a metalcore band'.

Patrik: Metalcore, I fucking hate that. Metalcore, I get so pissed (laughs pitying the genre)

Linus: I have no idea why people think we are playing metalcore.

RF.net: So you're not happy about being labeled as metalcore?

Linus: No no cause not anyone of us likes.. nobody listens to metalcore. Like, metalcore, metalcore, metalcore, like Caliban or.. we don't like that thing. Maybe people think we sound like metalcore.

Patrik: But they haven't listened to the record if they say we sound like metalcore

Linus: Okay we have heavy parts, and we have screaming, and we have soft vocals but..

Patrik: Yeah we have breakdowns, we have all that shit. But we have grind parts, we have like the d-beat, we have fucking everything. So they can't describe us as metalcore

Linus: Yes, nobody listens to that thing (Patrik laughs). Lets stop talking about metalcore because we are just going to get more drunk and (blaargh) (all laugh) But if you have more questions about metalcore please continue cause we are all going to thrash them.

RF.net: You are from Gothenburg, right?

Patrik: No we are actually from a smaller town in the middle of Sweden called Kristianhamn. But three of us moved down to Gothenburg, and the bassplayer lives in Stockholm, and the other guitarist lives in Kristianhamn.

RF.net: Gothenburg is known as the melodic death metal capital of the world. Do you think it's more difficult for you guys to be located there?

Patrik: It isn't like that when you live there. It isn't like that in Gothenburg. I know that Gothenburg is the melodic death metal capital of the world, but it isn't like that. We had good bands like At The Gates and Dark Tranquillity and In Flames and The Haunted but..

Linus: Those guys never play there, you know, there are so many people that live there..

Patrik: We have so many bands in Gothenburg that play everything from classical mozart (both laugh) to death or black metal. It's just been hyped in the press you know.

Linus: Of course Gothenburg has given birth to a lot of really good Swedish sounding metal bands. But living there, we have Italian dudes moving to Gothenburg to experience the 'Gothenburg way of living'

Patrik: Yeah that is actually true. He is in the band Nightrage right now.

Linus: They were hoping, they thought that people were headbanging their way through the streets, which is insane (all laugh)

Patrik: We met that guy in Studio Fedman (?) when we recorded our mini CD. And he moved from Athens in Greece to Gothenburg to play music.

Linus: No, from Italy! No, that guy was greek!

Patrik: Yeah yeah, and he plays in Nightrage.

Linus: So enough talk about the Nightrage thing. I don't remember the question.

RF.net: You answered it in there somewhere.

Patrik: (Laughing)You're gonna have problems to sort the questions (All laugh)

RF.net: When and how did you decide that this is how you want Burst to sound like. There aren't very many Swedish bands that sound like you guys?

Parik: The thing is, we didn't decide it. We've been along for 30 years I think.

Linus: Not 30, but 13!

Patrik: Yeah. And we did a mini 7" split with a band called Lashout from Norway. And I think that was a time when we took our music a little bit more serious than we did before. And then just progressed.

Linus: Yeah, we've basically been on a hiatus for like the bigger part of the 90s, we didn't do anything, we were just grumpy and hanging out in the rehearsal room and didn't get any shows and all that. But suddenly we got Robert, the clean vocal singer from our band and the guitarist, he joined the band and we were like 'lets do it for real, lets try to take this seriously, and try to be a real band, and put some work into it' and we were taking the rehearsals more seriously, and tried to make some real good songs, and not just hanging around drinking beer in the rehearsal room and just doing nothing.

Patrik: It's all about creating good music that you like to play actually, because you don't listen to it

Linus: It's all about really listening to what everyone in the band really has to say about it. And you know, before that, 'I don't think that riff sounds really good' and nobody cared, just play it anyway we don't care. But then we decided lets do it for real for one time, and we did it, and we worked really hard and we got the opportunity to record this thing in Studio fledman, which a friend of ours worked in at that time. So we did it and we worked really hard and we could use as much time as we wanted, and we did real good, and we could release that. A year later we released Prey Of Life. So by then we said, 'lets do this, lets do it'.

Patrik: And still, we're living at home.

RF.net: How was the response for the first record, and do you think that the response had a decisive effect on your decision to continue to do this seriously?

Linus: Of course it felt very good to have very positive reviews and all of that, but we were confident of our record. We were really confident, we were so happy about it.

Patrik: If you try to do something really seriously since '98, and we released "Prey Of Life" in 2003 I think, we didn't really care about the press that much. Of course it's always good to get good exposure, but on "Prey Of Life", we just moved a little step. On "Origo" we moved a big step, because we toured a lot, and got ourselves out to the people by playing.

Linus: Basically, we were really confident about our record by that time, so fuck it, we'll just release it, and we like it, hopefully somebody else did. We got really good reviews, and we could start touring a lot by that one.

RF.net: The new album "Origo", it has been really well received here in Europe, but in the US it didn't do as well as here..

Patrik: We don't really know actually. Relapse says its doing okay over there.

RF.net: But compared to Europe..?

Patrik: But USA is so completely different to Europe as well.

RF.net: That's where most of the metalcore labels actually come from. They compare you to bands like Killswitch Engage...

Patrik: We can talk about Victory, who nowadays is one of the major labels in the USA, but back in 1994 (laughs), it was a big hardcore label, it didn't sell as many albums as they do nowadays.

Linus: Of course we have a European approach to music, or so they say in the states. They say 'they really sound European. They have some real different sound to it' but lately we have some really good press from over there. And of course we released "Origo" in Europe 6 months earlier than in the States. Of course, people are thinking that we are some kind of Killswitch Engage band. We play heavy music. We have harsh..

Patrik: Then we would sell like 20,000 albums in one week or something over there. (all laugh)

Linus: Yeah, so I really hope they think that (all laugh again)

RF.net: So for your next album, how will you avoid repeating "Origo" again. Have you thought of a new direction already?

Patrik: I can promise you we won't repeat "Origo" again. We have some new approach to our music.

Linus: Yeah I think we do.

Patrik: It wouldn't be fun to talk about our ideas of the new record, but it's gonna be a new approach but it's gonna sound like Burst.

Linus: We're still Burst of course, and I think "Origo", at the time, that was the best we could do at that time. That was a year ago. We've done a lot of touring since then. We've been on so many tours we've done soooo many shows from that time, and that was a year ago. Now, we're still living on that record, we're still doing shows on "Origo", but we all think about it, we're all putting new ideas in..

Patrik: We can sum the new album like this: harder! That's about it

Linus: How we feel right now it's going to be more distinct, it's gonna have more power to it somehow. We wanna do good shows and... we have new ideas and it's gonna be real cool.

Patrik: You sound like Stewie in the Family Guy Movie, when he's getting drunk (all laugh)

Linus: But I am really drunk now so! (Patrik imitates Family Guy). It's not the best time to do this interview (laughing) but there we go.

RF.net: Many people consider Refused as one of the best post-hardcore or hardcore, whatever you wanna call them, band, and you guys opened for them. How does it feel like to say that 'yes, we actually opened for Refused'?

Patrik: We never did that!

RF.net: You didn't? It said so on the promotional sheet, that the label sent us!

Patrik: We never opened for Refused, I can promise you!

Linus: Yes we did! Like 10 years ago in (some venue name).

Patrik: Are you fucking kidding me? (all laugh)

Linus': I think we played on the same festival as them.

Patrik: Yeah we played. It was like: 'oh, we opened for Refused'. And it's like saying we open for Bob Dylan tonight [ed. note: Bob Dylan played on a completely different stage a few hours later on the same day] (all laugh)

RF.net: Okay, then it's just the label just using it as a promotional tool

Patrik: But the thing about Refused is, they got so fucking big when they quit. They got huge!

Linus: I might be the only one in the band who is really into those guys. The last record was SO good.

Patrik: Yeah, the two last records are really good!

Linus: Oh you think so? I thought I was the only one.. allright!

Patrik: No no, actually, they're really good. Before that, it's crap!

RF.net: What's the craziest or weirdest thing that has happened to you on stage or on tour, that you can remember?

Linus: Of course there are stories on tour.

Patrik: You have to do that one; I have to pee. (walks over to the nearest bush)

Linus: A show is a show, you play, you sweat, you scream and all that. Things fuck up. Somewhere in Poland, some guy knocked my tooth out, but that's not anything special at all. But you know, we've crashed buses. We've been stuck and had to cancel shows because everything's fucked up and people got sick and usual stuff. But one thing, we played the Download Festival in England, and Patrik over there, he's not here right now so.. he got really acquainted with the drummer from.. (shouts to Patrik in Swedish: Hva heter det der hård rocks bandet som du hängde med på Download? Saxon?) Ah, Saxon. And those guys really bonded. Everybody was looking for Patrik over there, 'Wheres Patrik?', and he got back to the festival place so many hours later. Patrik, and the Saxon drummer, they just bonded and were taking a drive on the countryside together (all laugh), and were scoring some hash, weed!

Patrik: It was so fucking good weed! (all laugh)

Linus: (Barely able to hold his laughter) You know, taking a drive on the countryside, and they were actually taking pictures of each other standing outside of this big mansion out in the countryside.

Patrik: It was so fucking awesome! (all burst out laughting) 'Yeah we drummers gotta stick together man!'

Linus: Yeah that guy was like 60 years old. That was a fun thing, a really cool thing. There are so many different stories but right now we're gonna stick with this one.

Patrik: We have many bad luck stories but we've told about them, so it's good to have a new one.

RF.net: You guys are going up to a huge European run this fall, what are your expectations for that?

Patrik: We actually haven't planned it yet. Of course we're going to do a little European run, but we don't know when and how yet.

Linus: I think we're going to do follow ups for the festival season, and we're going to do the usual European tour. We're going to do so many festivals this summer, and a couple of European ones as well. So we got new exposure for so many new people, so hopefully we can do a smaller one, like two or three weeks, and then we're going to concentrate on writing new material. It's going to be a pretty soft fall for us, as it seems right now. If something comes up, we'll do it.

Patrik: But Relapse has already planned a European trip!

Linus: Yeah but who cares about Relapse! (laughs)

Patrik: Yeah, we have to do it now, Relapse told us to do it (laughs)

RF.net: Recently, everybody talks about downloading on the internet. Where do you guys stand on that?

Patrik: My stand on that is: download whatever you want! Download everything, because as a musician, you don't earn money on selling records, it's just totally bullshit! 'Oh, the artist doesn't get any money'! The artist doesn't ever get any money on record sales. It's almost impossible, because the cost to produce a record and then everything else above it... you have to bring that money into the record label before you get any money!

RF.net: It's hard to earn enough for you to actually get any money..

Patrik: We don't earn any money. It's totally ridiculous. The bands.. or the boy bands and the girl bands, they are the ones who will probably lose on this. But who the fuck cares?

Linus: Also, we are in a genre that people really want to discover new music. There are both postive and negative sides to it of course. Me, myself, I'm starting to download things myself. But that's just exploring new music, and if it's something I really like, I'll buy it, because I want the whole package!

Patrik: For us as a band, if that means when we are touring there will be more people at our shows, yes, that is just super! Because we don't get any money!

Linus: Noone can deny the downloading thing.

Patrik: It's here to stay.

Linus: It's a big paradigm shift of the whole industry right now, so they care into it, we don't make any money, we have to keep our day jobs. Get real, we just have to do it.

Patrik: You heard about the Swedish thing that happened with Pirate Bay and all that shit? Did you hear that USA's big movie companies were actually on the government in Sweden? Shouldn't be like that, but it is.

RF.net: One interesting fact though is that you like that you can still buy the actual CD.

Linus: Oh yeah, I'm oldschool. I really want to read the lyrics, I want the whole package. I like the artwork of things. I've worked for my album, I really want it. I have chosen it in the record store: 'should I buy that one, should I buy this one, I really like this one'. I will buy it, I will come home, i'll put on my headphones, take it easy, drink a cup of coffee, and I will listen to it. I will learn the songs!

Patrik: The thing for me is, I bought about a 20-gig Sony MP3 player, so I download stuff. But I also buy the CDs. So, I wanna have the whole package!

RF.net: We have one more question..

Patrik: (Sarcastically) One more? Ohhh..

RF.net: If you could be any female rock icon today...

Patrik: (Excited) Female rock icon?

RF.net: For example Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy, who would you be and why?

Patrik: Christina Aguilera cause she is...I wanna be a female, I wanna be hot and I wanna be Christina Aguilera.

RF.net: But if you had to be within the guitar-oriented genres..?

Patrik: I would be Christina Aguilera and play hard music!

Linus: Bad answer! I know. Have you heard a band called Made Out Of Babies? It's a New York band. Unsane with a female vocalist. They're on.. I have no idea what they're on right now. I know what they're on, but I'm drunk right now. Typical, really harsh New York heavy rock music, like unsane but with a female vocalist. One of my favorite bands right now. I wanna be her, I would marry her if I see her.

Patrik: I don't really know. It's a hard question.

RF.net: That's it. Thanks for the interview. Anything you want to tell your fans?

Linus: Do we have fans?

Patrik: Yeah yeah, we have fans! (long silence). Lets philosophise about this question about 10 minutes (all laugh) we come back with an answer.

Linus: I don't know, just um.. I don't know, man.

Patrik: You're the guy who always keeps talking!

Linus: Yeah, but I do that on stage. Off stage, I don't talk that much.

Patrik: Are you kidding me?

Linus: Check out the new album...

Patrik: Oh fuck it! See us on um.. if you haven't see us, see us!

Linus: You guys go on and have a good time. We'll definitely come back to Denmark very soon, hopefully we can do it this fall. We're gonna need all of you guys there. We're gonna have a good time together! We'll drink some beer! (all laugh)

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