This writer has never been a fan of the Norwegian team ZEROMANCER and chased her novelties, but a fresh album of this band, brush up on the name of ‘Bye Bye Borderline’, has suddenly become for me one of the major musical discoveries beginning of this year. Musical ideas implemented on this disc, awakened in my heart a sense of nostalgia for the days in which I never lived. Well, to be more precise, in the times he lived, but the social and cultural conditions were quite different. As a child, I grew up with the music of Alla Pugacheva and Kobzon, and no Sisters of Mercy, The Mission and The Cure. (fortunately, it did not affect the development of my personality, and then I’ll be done interviews with all these European Goths and Blacker as well). This is the same kind of nostalgia that you feel, for example, when you watch some old film and pity that you were too young to watch it on the big screen in the day of the premiere — and besides, in your country this movie and I do not ever come out on the big screen … In general, the new album Zeromancer influence impregnated 80s, the era that had ended when your old friend just discovering his first rock band — «Cinema». After listening to ‘Bye Bye Borderline’, I immediately got in touch with the band Zeromancer, to see how my vision for this album coincides with the vision of its authors.
— What idea lies behind the title of your latest album ‘Bye Bye Borderline’? It somehow connected with a gradual blurring of the boundaries between the two countries, which can be observed in Europe today?
Kim (Leung: bass, backing vocals, lyricist and music): «’Bye Bye Borderline’ to me — the story about the two sides. One side — the personal, while another tells the story of five individuals. Personal part — that’s me and my chronic headaches. They sometimes to the point I get, I’m starting to think that was crazy, it was a real schizophrenic. That’s what it is "borderline"Ie, borderline. In my life there is only black or white stripes, is never certain averaged variant. When I begin a serious attacks, it is like sinking in a sea of darkness. I completely transformed into someone else. A ‘Bye Bye Borderline’ — this is how I gradually taking control of your life, I correct their future, trying to say goodbye to the «second» person. The second facet of the album — it is a story about us as a group. Shortly before starting to work on this album, we are gathered together. None of us thought that this meeting will be something different from our other meetings. But everything turned out just awful, and in the evening our group nearly collapsed. The only thing we all agreed — it set a new date to get together soon after. And at our next meeting, everything was different. We all came to the decision to continue to work together. I mean, we’re all very close. It was important, I believe. It was our common parting with any uncertainty. That is the meaning of the name. «
— It is obvious that the album was created under the influence of post-punk and new wave eighties. These areas of music have a special meaning for you?
Alex (Mёklebust: vocals): «This is — the music, where I grew up. The music that you listen to as a child or a teenager, always has a huge impact on the music that you play, if you become a musician. I remember the look "Rock the Casbah"The famous video The Clash, and I was blown away by it. They looked so cool! I’ve been a fan of electronic music, but I was very impressed with how The Clash appeared on the scene. At that moment I did not know that there is a combination of the two styles. Then I discovered the industrial stage and was captivated by it. Zeromancer is a combination of many of these elements, but the most important is the ability to write good songs. «
Lorry (Christiansen: keys, programming): «The eighties — a time when we grew up, so I think everyone brought their luggage» naslushannosti «in Zeromancer. As for me, I’m in those years was a fan of electronics, I did not like rock music. «
Kim: «Yes, all of these elements are present here, no doubt. However, the surface of the sound of their conclusions is that we toned down our aggression and made a little lighter arrangements. It is also probably easier for the listener to perceive what is going on musically. And — yes, synthesizers bring to the forefront was our original intention. We used a lot of vintage synthesizers. We have a kind of fetish in relation to all these old synths, issued in the late seventies and early eighties. Simply, they sound much more organic than electronic synths and plug-ins, which are recording the songs on your computer. I remember one case (when I was still in the group Seigmen), when I bought thirteen different synthesizers in one year. «
— In general, ‘Bye Bye Borderline’ reminiscent of the music of bands like U2 and Simple Minds. Am I right in drawing such a parallel?
Alex: «Not really, but I can not, in principle, to understand why you had it in your head. Some do have similarities — especially guitars sound clean and maybe some drums. You’re right, if we consider the enormous impact that these two groups have had on us while we were growing up. They left their mark in our way of creating songs, but, in my opinion, ‘Bye Bye Borderline’ is yet another shade. But be that as it may, it is a great compliment — when you compare with such great bands like U2 and Simple Minds ».
Kim: «The first real big concert I attended, was the performance of Simple Minds in 1986. They shocked me, opening the show song "Waterfront". I was a very big fan of them and bought all their albums. Unfortunately, my whole music collection was destroyed in a fire a few years ago. After that, I did not restore the entire directory Simple Minds, but I’ve got their best albums. I still cherish those old groups, and take it as a compliment that you mention it, talking about our album. I guess our song "Manoeuvres" still like them. Yes, it reminds me of the good old Simple Minds his bass riffs and the sound of an old synthesizer RS-09. As far as U2 — this is also a good comparison. I was happy to see them live in Frankfurt, during their last world tour. It was an amazing show. Together with them, I have come a long way — I listen to them, since the age of twelve. So, if we talk about my opinion, then — yes. All of this is present in our music. «
— What is the idea of the song "You Meet People Twice"? It is about how we meet someone and get the first overall impression of it, and then find out the man better and comprehend its true nature?
Lorrie: «For me, this means that whenever you meet new people, you should be aware of what is sure to see them again someday. And so — you need to try to be polite, courteous and honest, because you will remember for your words and actions. Something like karma, perhaps? «.
Kim: «It’s saying. You meet people twice. Earth is round. Paddy, our friend and promotional agent from Hamburg, uses this phrase in his office during business negotiations, I recorded it on their subcortical brain. She has a wonderful sense. You meet people twice — so be polite, do not treat them badly and do not talk about them any garbage behind his back. Once in your life you will meet with them again. I really try to apply this principle in my own life, even though it sometimes is not easy — after all, the world’s a lot of trouble in communicating openly and inadequate people. «
— Setting guitars on the album is a truly magical and superb. How did you achieve the sound miracles?
Alex: «Thank you! For me it’s a huge compliment. Overall, we had planned to record an album, which was to sound different than what we did before. Just a little more open. We would like to invest more energy in one guitar, rather than use a whole battery of guitars. I think it was one of the main changes that distinguish this album. Another trick that we have used for many years, was the fact that we do not overwrite some of the guitar parts of the demo versions. Kim and Dan were recorded at home, and it makes it especially those early recordings. When you play with sounds and just have fun, comes the very magic. The combination of a recording made in a large studio and imperfect, rough, raw demo material — that’s the secret. «
Kim: «For this album I bought a whole bunch of new pedals. Many of them were manufacturing Electro Harmonix. I am, in principle, not very fond of buying new equipment. I believe that the instrument is not the soul, if it does not scratch and pens that do not work as expected. I hang on like crazy Ebau. Especially in the US segment. They sell very cool vintage instrument. So, I bought a set of pedals to create guitar effects. They are very large in size. I think it’s just the cost of design, because the number of electronic components within limited. However, I found the sound of all these pedals really unique. Many of them were involved in the making of the album ‘Bye Bye Borderland’ in conjunction with the distortion pedal, which we have. Some of them are very rare. I also have an old synthesizer MiniMoog, through which we also missed the sound of the guitar. Nothing compares to these filters Moog. What kind of magic is born every time we touch this exquisite gizmo. «
— As well as the above-mentioned group U2 and Simple Minds, Zeromancer is a collective, whose works can clearly be seen kind of citizenship. You do not just «playing music», but pick up in his songs are any problems. What are the main problems of the modern world that worry you the most?
Kim: «Well, I would not say that we are — utterly politicized group that is trying to impose on people their own political views. However, in our songs really have a lot of «messages» — sometimes quite obscure to the general public. I spent a lot of time creating texts. Sometimes it was not easy to bring them to mind. But I have suffered so long, until he felt that I was able to do the right thing. I always think that I have to invent something original. Anything that will make the audience a little surprised. To get them to stop for a moment and think twice. In my poems a lot of passion. I think at the heart of all this you can also find a lot of hope. View daily news you can easily drive them into depression. Too much sorrow around. Too much pain. I write about these topics too. However, I believe that a greater percentage of my songs is hope. «
— You released on the label Irond special Russian version of the album ‘Bye Bye Borderland’, and this is not the first such experience for Zeromancer. How did the idea to make such publication of your albums?
Kim: «It comes from the days when we were themselves collectors. We go crazy whenever we come across releases of our favorite bands, which in any way would be different from the originals. This could be, for example, different decorated booklets. Some of these releases has been very difficult to obtain. The point is also that we have a special group of very loyal fans. These people are carefully collected virtually everything we produce. Thus it is also to please them. It’s definitely not the way to get rich, because basically we have a very collectible limited edition. How, for example, releases of my solo project Ljungblut. All the albums that I release, numbered and signed by me. Nothing could be more personal than this approach. And we are already in the habit of releasing through «Ayrond» albums that look different than the original source. The fans are going crazy. I know of one Russian admirer Zeromancer, which will soon come to our show in Oslo, and who wrote many of the residents of Norway with a request to bring a little more drive to the Russian edition of ‘Bye Bye Borderline’. And she promised to do so. The fans work together and become friends on the basis of love for the music of Zeromancer. It makes my heart smile. By the way, I’m still waiting, but when I can put on the shelf your own copy of the Russian edition. I also collect them, you know. We also released the album on vinyl, limited edition. Most in the usual black, but also hundreds of copies on white vinyl. It is awesome».
— You have already filmed some videos in support of ‘Bye Bye Borderline’?
Alex: «Not yet. Kim met with a music video, and we expect to make a video after the return from the tour. In any case, we shoot what is happening during the tour, and you can see the material out on our YouTube-channel. «
Kim: «In fact, I have already talked with three directors-video producers who want to make a video for the album. One of the ideas that we really want to implement — a clip for the opening song, "Auf Wiedersehen Boy". His story should revolve around the TV tower at Alexanderplatz in Berlin. German lecherous lawyer pursuing people watching them from afar through the telescope. Many different scenes unfold in front of him in the windows of a huge residential complex. Also I have an idea for clips for two more songs. Maybe we will be able to realize all this. In fact, because it all depends on whether we can collect enough money. «
— What expresses the album cover?
Kim: «Her idea is based on the song title "Ash Wednesday"Which is number nine on the album. The cover shows a cross used during Ash Wednesday. This cross, which adherents of the Catholic religion draw ashes on his forehead in the first day of Lent. It is a tradition of Western Catholics. So I found an old box with black paint and painted the cross stick on a piece of paper. I got it on the first try. Our designer felt that it — the manifestation of this art, and asked me where I took it. And he asked what type of canvas and brush have been used to make it. At that moment I realized that this would be the perfect cover for an album. All members of the group agreed that it would look good because of its simplicity. Another funny story connected with the photo on the cover of the booklet. I had an idea to go home to Lorrie to photograph all of the crucifixion and Jesus figurines that collects his wife. But it all ended so that we photographed a large lamp that hangs over their desk. She was so dusty that I wrote on it: "Bye Bye Borderline". I get a great shot, and so far, a few months later, the lamp looks exactly the same. It remained the same dusty. «
— You often mention when compiled various lists a series of «these groups should always listen to each Goth.» Do you agree with this definition of your music?
Alex: «Well, first of all I must say that it is very cool — when on your music say that it is obligatory for listening. But we were never goth. People have been difficult to come up to our music some unambiguous definition, but fans of the gothic scene from the beginning of our group provided substantial support — and they continue to provide it to this day. We have fans that belong to a variety of subcultures, and we are just happy that we have them. Instead of having to somehow characterize ourselves, we give our fans characteristics. We call them «industrial people.» They even have their own website. These are the best fans in the world. Very true. «
Kim: «I fully agree with Alex on this: respect. You can not decide what people will write about your music. Or what they label you a canopy. You can certainly try, but sometimes the musicians do not have any chance against the fact that the industry wants to do with them. We got a hard lesson by creating Zeromancer in Norway. Noralf, Alex and I used to play in a very successful band called Seigmen. We have been very popular in the local press over the years, but when our career is over, everything changed. Industrial rock — not very popular genre in our country. But the main thing is to never give up. We must believe in yourself and stay on good terms with the fans. Great recipe to keep afloat an alternative group, and how to keep morale at a high level. «
— What are your impressions of Russia?
Alex: «I hope that soon we will again be able to come to Russia. The last time we have played, has become one of the best concert experience in the history of our group. It was very fun, and we truly enjoyed throughout our stay in Russia. Fi fans, and the Russian promoters did a really great job. I very much hope that we will be able to go through it all again. «
— What would you like to do for the next twenty years?
Lorrie: «If possible, we would like to continue to hang out in the studio and experiment with sounds. I do not like the fact that time is running forward, let’s stop it.
— Is there anything else you wish to add?
Kim: «I would like to personally thank all our Russian fans. I know that this time the main core of our Russian fan base, trying to organize our next concert in Moscow, sponsored the event from his own pocket. This is crazy in a good way. Just want to express our gratitude and respect for the support they have given us over all these years. That’s a lot for us then! «