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12th March 2009
METAL DISCOVERY: Your music has evolved into something which I think is quite unclassifiable, although if you believe Wikipedia you are post-metal; progressive metal; hardcore; and metal core!
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(Jesper Liveröd on journalists' polygeneric labelling of Burst's music)
"I think we’ve just come to the point where I don’t think any of us really care anymore because all these tags get put on our band the whole time...I just think it’s kind of unfair when we get compared to bands that I think have no interest in doing something original on their own."
Jesper Liveröd and Linus Jägerskog in the Corporation, Sheffield, 12th March 2009
Photograph copyright © 2009 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview & Photography by Mark Holmes
MD: Does people’s tendency to label you music ever bug you and do you think such labels could be limiting for Burst in terms of people might be put off by some of those tags and might not bother checking you out because they’re like ughhh, metalcore….?
LJ: Yep, definitely.
JL: Yeah, I think so, because I would be put off.
LJ: Yep, me too.
JL: I think we’ve just come to the point where I don’t think any of us really care anymore because all these tags get put on our band the whole time, and we just learn that it’s no use trying to tell people how to listen to us; everybody’s going to have a different opinion about it. I just think it’s kind of unfair when we get compared to bands that I think have no interest in doing something original on their own. I mean, all these hardcore bands and metalcore bands, we don’t listen to that stuff; we never did. There’s no affiliation between us and that sort of music. But, then again, if somebody feels good about saying that then that’s okay.
LJ: One good example - last year, last fall, we played in Russia and the promoter over there labelled us as a metalcore band because there was only hardcore kids there. I think there was only one metal dude over there that watched the show. We only played with these Dillinger-clone bands and I think we lost a lot of the audience coming to the show because we were, you know, the “metalcore band from Sweden”, so that was real bad. That was about being limited as a performer.
JL: I guess you’re discouraged when you have an idea about your own identity and somebody else tells you something that you despise. It’s kind of irritating, obviously. I think that’s the most frustrating thing for us.
MD: Kind of one example I always come up with is Anathema stopped being a metal band many years ago but you go in a record shop in the UK and for the past ten years you’ll still find them in the metal section. Like The Gathering, the Dutch band, they’re still in the metal section also because they started out as what was labelled as metal. You know, Anathema could appeal to Muse and Radiohead fans but they’re never gonna be discovered by them because they’re still labelled as metal. I think that can be limiting and unfair for a band.
JL: I think it has to do with the fact the I don’t think we have an image; we don’t dress the same ways, even in our own band. I mean, we don’t have long hair…or longer hair, like you. And, you know, I don’t think we really apply to any of these scene attributes, you know what I mean?
MD: Yeah, similar to a band like Katatonia in that sense with their image.
JL: Yeah, exactly.
MD: Well, one of them has long hair still, but…
JL: Also, I think we play with a crappy band name as well, to tell you the truth! [laughs] I mean, seriously, as we were talking about before, me, Linus and Patrik the drummer played together since we were seventeen or eighteen or something which was about twelve years ago, or thirteen, fifteen or something and we came up with this band name just because we had a gig and we needed a name. We’re really glad, though, that we didn’t decide on what was the first suggestion, which was Outburst In Blood!
LJ: [laughs] No, Outburst Of Rage.
JL: Outburst of Rage, was that it?
LJ: I think so.
JL: Imagine being stuck with that band name, oh god!
MD: Burst is quite a cool name I think.
JL: It’s short and easy to remember, sure.
MD: It sounds like more of a mainstream band than you are if you know what I mean?
JL: Oh really?
MD: Yeah, it sounds like more of a commercial name than some bands playing this sort of music.
JL: So it’s not like Predatorial Infestation or something like that?!
MD: Yeah, or Cannibal Corpse, you know.
LJ: Squashed Bowels!
MD: It’s kind of succinct and to the point - I think it suits your band, to be honest, personally.
JL: Well good, thanks, because we hate it! [laughs] We’re just stuck with it.
MD: For people who will be reading this interview and haven’t heard of Burst before, what can you say that would recommend people to go check your band out? Apart from your band name, of course!
JL: Well, do you want us to do some sales point here?
MD: Yeah, absolutely.
LJ: We are awesome! [laughs] We rock! I don’t know, I don’t know…er…have they seen a metal band with one guitarist sitting down? That’s a cool thing to watch…or not, I don’t know.
JL: I don’t know…if people are interested…this is for you to decide man for real. It’s just gonna be a vanity project if we’re gonna talk about how tacit we are. You know, if people are interested in sincere, and diverse, and emotional music without being emo or anything like that then I think Burst might be for them. It’s heavy; it’s melodic; it’s…
LJ: ...it’s all in there.
JL: It’s prog; it’s neo-prog; post-something-whatever! [laughs]
MD: That’s a new genre!
JL: [laughs] Yeah! Post-post-neo-prog…
LJ: …adult contemporary death metal! [laughs]
JL: Yes!
MD: Finally, what are your future plans for the band after this tour?
LJ: Play a bunch of more shows during the summer.
MD: Do you have any festivals lined up?
LJ: Yeah, a couple of them; not so many right now. A couple in Sweden and Scandinavia, and something in Portugal I think. Greece as well.
JL: And we’re probably going to the States actually in September.
LJ: That’s long overdue, so…
MD: Have you toured the States before?
JL: No, we haven’t.
LJ: We have got so many offers that somehow it just didn’t happen, so it’s about that time right now.
MD: Would that be a Relapse funded tour?
LJ: I don’t think so, no. We’ll play with a lot of other different bands that aren’t Relapse bands…or that’s what we are planning right now, so we’ll see what happens, you know.
MD: Do you have much of a fan base in the States?
JL: Most of our records are sold in the States.
MD: Really?
JL: Yeah, I mean of the few that we actually sell. I don’t know…we’ll see how many years we do this band frankly. I mean, we’re talking about it because we’re all thirty two or thirty three, you know, and we’ve done this for the most part of our adult lives. It’s more of a question of…I don’t think we’re gonna quit just like that, but it’s more of a question of how much effort we’re gonna put into it because obviously we enjoy playing music and putting out records. When the ‘Origo’ album came out, and it garnered some sort of hype, and it started selling really good and everything, we kind of took the decision that either we do this fulltime, which we had the opportunity to do, or we scale it down and just do a couple of tours, and keep our regular jobs, and regular lives, and then you come to realise now that everybody’s really developed their own lives at home, and everybody has different interests in other things, and in music as well. We just sometimes think about how much effort and energy it takes. We love it; we love going on tour, but I don’t know…I don’t travel, you know; somebody just became a father, and stuff like that. So I don’t know, we’ll see. Maybe we could become a studio project and just like Zappa style, and put out an album each month or something.
MD: As long as you carry on making great music, that’s the most important thing.
JL: Yeah, there’s at least one more album in us.
MD: Thank you very much for your time. That was very interesting.
LJ: Okay, thank you.
JL: Thank you very much.
Official Burst Website:
Shadowcaster EP (1996)
Two Faced (1998)
Albums & EPs
Official Burst MySpace:
Huge cheers to Jesper Liveröd and Linus Jägerskog for their time, and the beer!
Cheers to Jeroen "Jay" Sanders for arranging the interview.
Thanks to Hannah Sylvester for recording the interview.
Relapse Records Website:
Other (split releases)
Conquest : Writhe (2000)
In Coveting Ways EP (2002)
Prey On Life (2003)
Origo (2005)
Lazarus Bird (2008)
Forsaken, Not Forgotten (split with Lash Out) (1998)
Split with Burnt by the Sun (2003)
Split with The Ocean (2005)