Words and Images by Jen Gore
We had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Swedish rockers Kerbera at the INKcarceration Music and Tattoo Festival and did a little Q&A with band members Seike Clowniac (vocals), Matt Tryman (bass), Zave Demonte (guitar) and Mike Mortem (drums). They have an excellent sense of humor, which was on display during our chat. It went a little something like this…
Music In Motion Columbus: How many times have you played INKcarceration?
Kerbera: (Seike) Zero times, this is the first time at INKcarceration. This is our first time in the U.S., actually. We’re from Sweden. So, you know Scandinavia and all that, we’re Vikings.
(Mike) We were Vikings like 500 years ago.
(Seike) Look at us now! Haha Evolution!
MIMC: What’s the difference between playing at festivals vs small venues for you.
Kerbera: (Seike) I would say the big difference is…I love both… when you’re playing small venue, you get a more like direct contact with the people. (Zave) It’s more up close and personal maybe.
(Seike) Yah, it’s more up close and person when it’s at a smaller place, of course. Outside like this, it’s just…
(Zave) the feeling…
(Seike) Yah, it’s a feeling, like all the people and you know a lot of people in the same place give this kind of energy.
(Mike) It feels like a huge party. (agreement among band members)
(Seike) It’s like a party.
MIMC: Who are your biggest influences?
Kerbera: (Zave) Totally different by member.
(Seike) We have a lot of different influences and that’s kinda what makes the band.
(Zave) We don’t have like any main influence for the whole band.
(Seike) Just mix everything and that becomes Kerbera. I would say my influence comes from Queen and the Beetles, and musicals… I love musicals. So, that’s my main influences, and it’s really random.
(Matt) Periphery, Gents, Momuments.
(Zave) Yah, right now I’m big on Periphery too. But foundationally, Muse, Avenged Sevenfold. So probably like Synyster Gates, Matt Bellamy and Slash. I think they are like the three main guitarists that form my musical language.
(Mike) My drumming is like metal and jazz… stuff like that.
MIMC: So, if you had a song to pick that would be a fan favorite, what would that be?
Kerbera: (Seike) We have so many different songs, so it’s so hard to. It’s a very diverse amount. There is something for everyone. They have to listen to the whole, like they can’t listen to one song and say, ‘oh I don’t like it.’ They need to listen to all the songs. Every song tells a different story. We want to keep it like that.
(Zave) We haven’t seen one song that everyone seems like this is my favorite. Everyone is like this is my favorite, this is my favorite, this is my favorite. It’s hard to narrow it down.
MIMC: If you could share the stage with anyone, who would that be?
Kerbera: (Zave) Me personally, obviously that would be Avenged (Sevenfold).
(Mike) That is tough.
(Seike) I would like to share the stage with anyone who has a passion for music. Someone that I get inspired by. It could be someone who just started out. Someone who has the soul for it. To share music with that sort of people is like why I’m into it.
MIMC: Is there anything that you’d like your fans to know? Something that maybe never gets translated properly?
Kerbera: (Seike) I think a lot of people should analyze our lyrics more. Start analyzing it not just listening. A lot of people say I don’t listen to lyrics. I’m a lyricist, that’s what I do. That’s my main part in the band.
MIMC: And there’s a lot of personal meaning?
Kerbera: (Seike) Yes. It’s a lot of deep stuff. I’m always trying to say something, and I put in these little Easter eggs everywhere.
(Zave) Read between the lines…
(Seike) Yes. I put in a lot of things that connect to other songs… Kinda tell a story. Like no one has really got it. I’m waiting for a time when somebody starts putting everything together.
(Zave) Starting at Full Room… like I think this is what it’s about.
MIMC: Have you guys all participated in the song writing?
Kerbera: (Seike) Yes.
(Zave) Yah when it comes to lyrics not so much everyone else that’s mostly him [pointing to Seike]. Maybe we could say like, ‘Oh yah, that’s cool’ or ‘hey, I got this idea.’ He’s [Seike] more having that broad picture with lyrics.
(Seike) It comes from the discussions that we have. Mostly me and him [pointing to Zave] on the road we have a deep discussion. Most of the times I write it in Swedish first, that’s my mother tongue, and then I translate it. It’s very personal… but it’s not only personal, it’s like about my view of the universe, the world, everything. It’s everything from religion to just feelings. So, if people kind of dig into it they’re going to find a lot of things that like connect. I would love someone to see the whole picture sometime. Actually, you know I want to find that person that has the same mind as me and they’re like, ‘oh, I get you, I get you’… One day I’m going to meet that person who gets everything.
MIMC: So, when you go on today will you find yourself embracing a different persona? Do you have to really like… gather up courage or is it something that comes naturally? Or, like ahead of time are you guzzling down Monsters and doing jumping jacks to get yourself psyched up?
Kerbera: (Zave) That’s pretty funny, because sometimes we go pretty natural makeup… sometimes we go heavy makeup. When we go heavy makeup, it’s totally different. It’s like you go into a different role and you like move differently and you do stuff differently. I don’t know why… it’s just something mentally clicks. And when you go up naturally, you’re more naked. I still feel pretty comfortable. When I have full makeup on, I feel more free to be me.
(Seike) I would say, when it comes to Kerbera, what we’ve found is it’s always different. Like the audience can’t expect something like, ‘Okay, I’ve seen this show’… They need to watch us several times because it’s always different. There are some core things, but we’re going to do some things differently. It depends on the mood. We are this kind of mood swing band. Like one time we go up and go fucking crazy. And another we go up like we just woke up in pajamas. There’s a thing I think the people are going to enjoy about the band. Let’s say someone starts following us on tour, they’re going to get a totally different experience every time. The mood, the tone, the sound, the vibe, everything is going to be different. So that’s what we want to give, something people can’t expect what’s going to come next.