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Burst - interview 2009

A progressive act that could actually bang your head and also let you travel inside the depths of their music. Even if Nymph wanted to interview those guys I actually couldn’t resist asking them some things regarding their compositions and general ideas about their style…


People tend to talk about the term “progressive” as if it was a genre of its own...

Burst 2009


You have to know that I am not a fan of progressive style of music but honestly I liked your perspective in your compositions. Well done! I would better describe your music as “technical” rather than “progressive” or “experimental”, because all those under those styles try to show their musical abilities leaving a selfish taste in the end of the listening. That was gladly missing from you. Tell me your ideas about these... “Progressive”… what does that even mean these days? People tend to talk about the term “progressive” as if it was a genre of its own. For me, or at least in the sense Burst may use the term progressive means “progress”, evolve and develop, not to stand still but move forward, to be innovative. I really hope Burst are not connected to so called ‘progressive’ bands who are about being hyper-technical and showing off their oh-so fabulous skills. Burst never cared about that. Surely, we have become very experienced as musicians, but as far as the music goes, the feeling of the songs is always the only thing that matters. The only tool we have to express what we want to convey is using the instruments in different ways.

I am sure that except for music you also pay attention to the lyrics. Say a few things about them. Oh, for me, lyrics are an integral part of what makes an album receive a certain atmosphere and mood. A good album without well-written lyrics does not only miss the chance to realize its full potential, it can also make the whole impression of a group worse I think. On all albums we have done, I have tried to really improve my lyrical abilities. In “Lazarus Bird”, I spent even more time than usual trying to perfect the lyrical expression, both the actual choice of words as well as the attempt in saying something utterly honest and meaningful. Lyrics are fiercely emotional on this album. We have never dealt so in-depth with issues that reflect ourselves so directly; this is the first time lyrics deal with subjects such as complex and harrowing love, geopolitics and last but not least …ourselves! The album title and a few of the songs, deal with our own personal tribulations within the band as well as a duel with our roots and personal backgrounds.


Do you express yourselves on stage as good as you do in a studio?Sometimes we perform concerts in which there is so much electricity between the band and audience that becomes almost out-of-body-like. I like the trance-like feeling when we are impeccably tight as a band and when we can just let go and let the music and the impact of performance take us and the audience somewhere else for the hour we spend together. Great shows like that happen more and more for us, partly because we’ve become better at touring, partly because we take our performances seriously these days. I guess these are the things you learn after being on the road a lot, understanding and admitting what you need to improve yourself and the band, as well as identifying what makes road-life easier.

Crystal clear production! Is that the most important thing you wish to achieve and why? The fact that the production is clear is definitely a goal for “Lazarus Bird”, simply because we felt the songs demanded a tight, heavy and clear production. We had sound references which we used as inspiration for the kind of production we were looking after and the most important were Metallica’s Black album, Interpol, Killing Joke, AC/DC and Tool, even if they might not have anything to do with our music or what we want to express. Most important, I think, is to get a production which matches the vision you have for the songs, and that often means a sound that matches the emotive qualities of the songs. We want the sound to express where we were going musically and emotionally and I felt we achieved it pretty well.

Which are your favorite bands? I have listened intensely and frantically to music every waking hour for my entire life. I have a CD collection of about 1500 CDs, a shitload of vinyl, and I spend all my days around music. You expect me to name a few specific favorites? I’m sorry, it’s impossible to name just a few. I’ll give you a short list of what I’m listening now though: Woven Hand, Celtic Frost, Murcof, Blonde Redhead, Burial, Genghis Tron, Bloodbath, Gustavo Santaolalla, and a collection of Russian man’s choir music which I bought on our recent tour in Russia and Ukraine. Nastrovye!


personally I love real, physical albums so I’m not the best advocate for mp3 and downloads...

Burst 2009


A music revolution took place in the globe during the last decade when internet broke into the ordinary music industry. What was the result out of this, due to your opinion, positive or negative for the bands and the labels? The internet is truly one of the greatest inventions in modern human history, and a great advantage for ideas to be widespread. As for downloading (which, I guess, is what you are implying), well, it sometimes feels a bit unappreciated and disrespectful that people take your time and effort for granted. An immense amount of time, money and energy and creative outpouring goes into the making of an album. If people treat our music like quick consumption and have no regard for the different aspects of an album - design, lyrics, scope, which we spend so much time working on – or if they download like an unmixed version or something, it can feel frustrating. But if you’re talking about records and such – well, personally I love real, physical albums so I’m not the best advocate for mp3 and downloads. But I understand it and don’t condemn it, I think that downloading is a positive tool for bands such as ours, since it reaches further than CDs do. Also, I want our music to be available for everyone, not only people who can afford expensive records, and there the internet plays a big role. But if people are really interested, if they are dedicated, I guess they need the actual album.

Thank you very much for your time, feel free to finish the interview the way you like. Well, since this is an interview for a Greek magazine, I want to express our entire band’s true love for your country. It is true love. We have played in Athens twice during the last couple of years and in both, the gigs, the food, the people and the atmosphere were fantastic. Thanks for letting me air some of the thoughts around “Lazarus Bird” – I urge anyone who is interested in dynamic, brooding and powerful heavy music to pick it up. Save the environment, read some books, and let go of pre-conceptions. That’s what fills my life these days.




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