“HARDCORE SUPERSTAR” by Christina Thompson
Let’s jump right in. A 20 year career for any band is monumental. Hell, these days it can be for any career! What is your secret? How do you keep up the energy level as you guys have so consistently? What are you spiking Berg’s drinks to cause him to run around like a maniac on stage (still) and can you please send some of it my way?
Haha… I Think the energy level is high because of the love for the music,I mean sometimes we are tired like everybody else but when you go up on that stage something happens to your body. I remember several times when I have been so tired or had a little to much to drink the day before and almost had to beg someone to drag me up on stage. But when the intro is on something happens to your body,it feels like somebody slapping you in your face and then you all of a sudden get your strength back and you become Superman!
How cool is it to be tagged by many as the “Founding Fathers” of what is now recognized as ‘street metal’? This is quite a legacy. Do you even stop to think about it or is your stance more about what’s up next for Hardcore Superstar and your evolving sound? Kind of like a, “that was great but what can we do for our next album”, kind of thing? And while we are it—what are you doing for your upcoming album? We know you are presently working on it. Any secrets you care to divulge to about 100,000 of your closest friends here in the MHF community? We promise we won’t tell anyone…
It is always cool to be recognized as the founder of something but for us are the music the main thing! We always try to think one step ahead when it comes to the music like, what kind of sound do we want have on the next album, in what direction should it go and so on! We are starting to record the new album this summer but I won’t reveal anything about it other then that it’s going to be awesome!
Following that thread, it took you three albums to figure out what “sound” you were actually trying to ultimately move toward and achieve. The story goes that part of that was due to too much outside influence (record company, etc.), over the editing and production of your music. Obviously now you have more freedom and control over your music. But do you feel that having it edited back then was just ‘payment of dues’ as a young band? That you have to ‘earn your stripes’ so to speak to gain more control over your music when working with a label in the beginning?
We didn`t know anything about the music biz in the beginning other than the things people had told us! When we signed to Music for Nations we thought that we had made it, but what we didn´t know was that we had signed a deal that forced us to make 6 records over 12 years and that´s almost like signing a deal with the devil himself! But we have learned a lot from it, that´s why we nowadays only sign a deal for one record and one option!
You once gave an interesting view on how if you are influenced by another band, you can’t just listen to their songs, but must also go back and listen to who influenced them. I am, of course, paraphrasing, but the advice was sound. Still a rule you go by today? If so, who are you listening to currently and why?
Yeah it´s the same today! I listen to so much music,it can be everything from the band Free to Morbid Angel! So you can say we´ve a pretty wide spectra when it comes to music and influences!
I am not afraid to admit that I am an expert level air-guitarist as well as air-drummer. One of my favorite tracks that I switch back and forth on instrument-wise is “My Good Reputation” (from the 2005 album Hardcore Superstar). Have you ever been approached by Guitar Hero?
No, sadly Not!
You guys have a lot of festival dates this summer. There was a time when touring took its toll on the band to the point you felt the need to take a small hiatus. How do you combat that type of fatigue these days to keep that from happening again?
All of us have become better to talk about our problems if we have any, if someone has a problem we all sit down and talk about it and try to solve it together!
Considering all of the live shows ahead, how do you prepare? How do you decide on the set-list, etc? Is it a band-wide vote? Also, any pre-show/post-show rituals you perform that have become a Hardcore Superstar tradition? And seriously—what do you put in Berg’s water?
There are Hcss songs you just have to play or the fans will kill you, so we try to build the live-set around those songs together with songs that we want to put in the set! My ritual starts 2 hours before every show: I put my make-up on then I get dressed and then I start my vocal chord warm up! 10 minutes before I go up on stage I drink a shot of single malt whisky!
With all of the tour dates this summer and working on the “top secret” new album for 2017, is there anything else you would like the fans to know about HHSS? Again, feel free to divulge anything you would like regarding the upcoming album right here. We are all ears! And thanks for giving us some of your time
I just want to thank our fans for being there for us through the years because without you we wouldn´t be here today! We love all of you!
Christina Thompson/MHF Magazine