First of all: welcome back Zeromancer! It really has been some time ago!
Kim: It has been forever and it feels extraordinary being back. We decided to take a little break after the ZZYZX tour, but we never planned for an absence like this. I can assure you it has nothing to do with laziness though. Between then and now we have had to reunions with our previous band Seigmen. Let me explain; Alex, Noralf and me used to be a part of a very successful Norwegian dark rock band named Seigmen. The band was formed back in 1989 and had several number one albums and won the Norwegian Grammy and stuff like that. The band split up in 1999, because one of the two guitarists needed more time with his family, the three of us decided to start off a new thing. We felt we needed a different environment and moved to Los Angeles to form Zeromancer; that's the short story. In 2005 Seigmen got an offer for a reunion. We never thought we would ever play together again, but then it felt right when meeting each other again for the first time in many years. This turned into a tour and some festivals and we released a live album, plus a double DVD containing six hours of material the following year. Then in 2008 we accepted another offer to reunite. This time for two very special shows at the new Opera house in Oslo. In the meantime I released two albums with my solo project, which is called Ljungblut. Zeromancer also did a handful of shows plus a tour in Germany in 2006. I also became a father that summer so it has been pretty crazy I must say.
Two years ago you already released two promotional singles in own management; 'Doppelgänger I Love You' and 'I'm Yours To Lose'. Was it so difficult (after all your bestsellers) to find a new record deal?
Alex: We wanted total control on this album and decided to finish the mix before looking for a label. There was nothing wrong with the interest for Zeromancer; we just wanted to make the right decision. I'm glad we took the time we needed, cause we are extremely happy with the situation now.
The release of 'Sinners International' was planned for 2007; was it only a postponement of the fact that you couldn't find a new record label or where there some other reasons?
Alex: As I said we wanted total control making this album. We recorded, produced and mixed it ourselves. That took a little longer than expected. We're also busy with the reunion of our previous band Seigmen and because of that we played the two sold out shows in the Opera in Oslo. That forced us to stop the recording process for a while.
Why did you choose the German Trisol label for releasing 'Sinners International' and for how many albums did you sign?
Alex: We wanted to find a label that had the same visions as we have; a future plan, someone that loves their job and could become a part of the Zeromancer family. That's really athing that we found in Trisol.
Kim: Since 1993 we have been a part of the world of major labels; first with Seigmen and then Zeromancer. When we got dropped from Warner in 2003 with a whole other bunch of bands we actually felt it as a big relief. It was at the time when the big labels had to sack more than half their staff and since that time we felt we didn't connect with anybody any longer. All the good guys lost their jobs. For a long time we dreamt of dealing with people that talk in the same musical language as us. We prefer people that will never interfere in any of our visions and how we like to work. We feel that we're finally at the right spot. It's a good feeling I can tell you that.
There's a lot of time between recording and releasing the 'Sinners International' album. Did you change or re-arrange some of the songs during this process?
Alex: It took a while to make 'Sinners International', but the actual recording process was pretty fast. As I said earlier, we had to stop recording because of various reasons and that's one of the reasons it took so long. We didn't have any deadlines except for our personal ones and wanted to take the time we needed to make the album. We wanted to hold on the basic ideas from the demos this time, so we didn't re-arrange much. On one song we did a lot, but that was recorded as sections on purpose.
Kim: Yeah, when we first started recording the real deal then it's all a breeze. It's the writing process, demo recordings and the rehearsal period, which is the time consuming part. It's all a lot of fun though. You just constantly have to remind yourself it's a long process and that patience is very much required.
During the last couple of years I heard some songs of you while I visited some club parties in Germany, but with 'Sinners International' I really got to know your music. How should you describe 'Sinners International' comparing to the last album 'ZZYZX'?
Alex: The demo for 'ZZYZX' was raw and hard hitting, the way we like it. For some reason the album turned out a little softer than expected. Don't get me wrong; it's a good album, but I guess the pressure of having to hit the charts and selling a lot of albums did effects us to a certain degree. It's hard to admit, but going from a major to an indie label changed that. It's like a new start, a new beginning.
Kim: I think we were really in focus this time. We knew exactly where we were headed and what we wanted. The idea was to kind of combine all the three albums into Sinners. Maintain the melody, but blend it all into the machinery of the band. Our vision with Zeromancer is always to mix the mechanical and the organic. I think this album is a very fine example of this.
Some titles of the new songs are 'Doppelgänger I Love You', 'It Sounds Like Love (but it looks like sex)' and 'Imaginary Friends'. To me it sounds like you're dealing with things that you're really want to have, but they seem to be out of reach or held up by living in an imaginary world. Is my guess correct or perhaps close?
Kim: That' s a really good interpretation. I usually don't like to explain my lyrics into detail, but this is a very general thought of mine. Also the fact that after you get what you want, you don't want it anymore. The themes I like to dive into are very often the same; like pain, deception, love, desire and sex. It's also a fact that my fascination for religious cults, like 'Family International' (former 'Children of God'), 'People's Temple', 'Heaven's Gate' and the fundamentalist church of the latter day saints play a big part on this album. These fucked up intellectuals who claim that they are the Sons of God. Brainwashing their communities into leaving everything vital to them. It's just one hell of a scary story that repeats itself through many of these fanatic cults.
During the past you've had some hits, like 'Clone Your Lover', 'Dr. Online' and 'Need You Like A Dog', you're popularity was growing very fast during that time and you did an American tour. How do you look back on this all?
Kim: It was a great time for Zeromancer and things were happening quite as fast as you say, but we have been working really hard and we were constantly on tour or in the studio. We weren't expecting to become big in the scene; we knew it was strictly underground and that we had to fight for every little thrill. For us personally the US tour was something truly special and we wanted to get back ever since. Seems like Zeromancer has something that the Americans really like. I guess they really like the intensity of our live performance.
Because of all the years of Zeromancer silence, don't you think a lot of fans will react like “it is a day after the fair”?
Alex: Our fans have supported us every single day since the release of 'ZZYZX' and it's extremely important for us to make them all happy!!!! I hope the new album and the upcoming tour will show the respect we have to our fans; they deserve it!
Does it feels like you have to make a new start for promoting Zeromancer; why or why not?
Kim: In a way it does, but then again we are blessed with some incredible and patient fans and that's one reason we don't have to make a start from the beginning. The fact is that Zeromancer has a good reputation from before and we are known for our professional attitude. That are some facts that are very important for us, but time will show if our six years break is an eternity for Zeromancer. I think we will know more about it while the tour starts. Right now it sure feels like we closed the gap in a perfect manner.
Last summer you entered the stage again; how was it performing again and how were the reactions of the audience?
Kim: Actually the first (kind of) return for Zeromancer was at Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig in 2005; we hadn't played together for like two years. A massive crowd of maybe 5000 people showed up and it was an amazing and extremely motivating experience for us. Then we got back on the road with the Orkus Festival tour in 2006. That also felt really fresh and it proved that the fans were still true to Zeromancer by showing a lot of appreciation throughout the tour. Then we did festivals in 2007 and 2008 and some single shows in Norway as well; so we have kind of kept the Zeromancer flame burning all along.
I saw your performance at the Amphi Festival, which was really awesome! Before you Cinderella Effect did their show on stage; they played a cover of your song 'Clone Your Lover'. Did you saw/ hear it and what do you think about it?
Kim: It's always a compliment when other bands cover your songs. I'm hoping more bands will do in the future. I really like it that Cinderella Effect covered our song, because it's a girl band and that's really some kind of bonus.
Please tell me; do will again have to wait so many years for a new Zeromancer album?
Kim: That is a big NO and a promise we can keep. We are already in the studio writing new material so there's no change that the history will repeat itself.