First off, the last album 'Synthetic Generation' dates back to 2002. Why did it take 3 years to record this album?
Well, that's mainly due to practical stuff, you know. First, the album 'Synthetic Generation' was released a year after it was released in Sweden and we weren't very passionate to write a new album, since we knew we had that album out. After we got back it all went bad. Nightmare went into a depression and it all became chaos, with deaths in our families....yeah, it basically became chaos. And it was very bad for him, with suicide and stuff. And me moving to Stockholm and him living 600 kilometres away made it very hard to write new material too.
The line-up changed. Was that also due to the things going on around the band? Erik Halvorsen left.
No...well, yeah. In some way it was. The line-up change happened not that long ago, during the recording sessions of the new album. Erik didn't want to move to Stockholm. He is living 600 kilometres from here and so he had trouble to get with whatever the band was up to. He has different priorities and that's how that came about. We're still friends.
The first album got some great reviews. Did you feel any pressure to at least top that album while recording 'Termination Bliss'?
No...we were absolutely sure we could top that album. We didn't feel that pressure. The most important is what we think about an album, this expression we created, you know.
So you have a lot of confidence in this record?
Yeah, we wanted to create a dark album. With the first album we basically put every song on the album, you know. With this new one, we threw away ninety percent of the material. We were much more selective. It's a totally different approach. In some way it was easier....
What is 'Termination Bliss'?
It's the bliss in the end. It's also the last track on the album. That song is about the end of a conflict; the release, so to speak. One of the family members of Nightmare committed suicide and I think he made this a kind of soundtrack to that. It's about the murder of hope, you know?
That's up close and personal stuff. It seems to me it's very confronting to pour that kind of experiences into your lyrics.
It is, but it's real, you know! We don't write about a fantasy being living in a land called Narianstan... It's not about fantasy. Every lyric is about everyday experience. The world is a dark place to live in. I think we pretty much make entertainment out of our personal pain. hahahaha
In the bio you state that Deathstars is a wake up call for the common man. What does that common man has to wake up from?
Well, I don't think about it like that. What it is about is facing yourself. Developing your own sets of values and define what's important to you. Don't take what others say for granted. Try to develop yourself through conflict en try to progress. You know, it's very self-destructive. It's about the dark sight of living. It's hard to find the quality in being destructive..
On 'Synthetic Generation' the lyrics are very negative towards life. They are very dark. On this new album there seems to be a somewhat different vibe; more defiant. Do you recognize that?
I think it's more cynical. It's more twisted, more like “Hahaha”. The first album was more about frustration. This album is more about how destructive it is to take everything to the extreme and looking for kicks all the time. It's about using live to the extreme. We're very destructive. I think it's also about paradoxes, you know. Our music is a way to understand others as well as ourselves. We project everything onto ourselves and we criticize ourselves. We don't come out to preach anything.
You explore your dark side?
Yeah, we're like the patient and the surgeon in one.
More than on the first album 'Termination Bliss' reminds me somewhat of bands like Sisters Of Mercy and Type 'O Negative. Does that surprise you?
Euh, no. I don't listen to Type 'O Negative, but Sisters Of Mercy I listened to as kid. But I can't say Sisters were an inspiration. The new album is a bit warmer, darker and a bit slower. So, yeah, I can understand what you mean.
One of my favourite tracks is 'Cyanide'. Can you tell me a little more about the story behind that track?
That track is about really giving in to it. It's very cynical. There's a lot of black humour in it. It's like, there's no use fighting, just give in to it. BE DESTRUCTIVE!
If you had to pick one track of 'Termination Bliss' which for you defines the core of Deathstars which one would that be and why?
Whow.......euhm.....maybe it would be 'Cyanide'. It's a big, huge, pretentious dark song, you know. And of course, it's the first single!
Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers of Lords of Metal?
Well...... shit....... euh........ euh......... don't know........... maybe........ yeah, wear jeans!
Yeah, they're sexy! hahahaha