!!!BLACK/THRASH METAL FROM THE USA!!!
We had a conversation with UBERSERKER.Enjoy!
Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
Tell us a few things about UBERSERKER (Members, Starting Year etc).
Ragnar: Überserker was formed in August 2020 by myself and Dave (Thorgrim). We were originally thinking about doing a crossover project, something to the effect of S.O.D. and Cryptic Slaughter, but when we started writing we naturally seemed to gravitate towards whatever it is we're doing now. We call it black-thrash out of convenience, though we're trying to avoid giving ourselves genre-imposed limitations. That's why you hear some viking metal influence in "Storm of Steel," melodic death metal influence in "Patriarch of Slaughter," etc.
Thorgrim: After writing the tracks "Überserker" and "Lust for Violence," we invited Savvy Gein to join the band. Savvy had played in a crossover band called BxOxMxBx with Ragnar, along with numerous punk bands over the years. After we fnished the demo, we also asked Kole Myers, previously of Engulfed in Blackness, to join us, and that's how we got our current line-up. These dudes are outstanding musicians and we're honored to be working on Überserker with them.
You have released your demo ''Überserker''. What is the Feedback from your audience as well as from the Press?
Ragnar: As far as we can tell it's been pretty damn good. We haven't seen any major complaints and we think folks are digging the violence. I've seen us called "old-school thrash" quite a few times and that's kinda baffling but it comes across like a great compliment. I think the highlight so far has been us being featured on Metal Storm's Clandestine Cuts, which came with an incredibly positive review. Never could have expected our demo would reach this many people honestly.
Thorgrim: Absolutely happy with the reaction so far, I think people get the purpose of this project immediately when listening, which is what I aim for.
Label or DIY and why?
Ragnar: Depends on what you want. DIY is great if you don't mind a fairly restrictive audience, and it's a hell of a lot cheaper. Labels are great for getting out there, for reaching people beyond the confines of your own scene. We fucking hate Knoxville and 95% of the so-called "metal" (read: deathcore) bands in it, so we're going to opt for label in this case.
Thorgrim: DIY is nice because you have absolute control over your output, but there are lots of labels out there that don't compromise creative integrity who I would love to work with at some point.
Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
Ragnar: Vinyl. On top of just being cool to watch, they allow you a certain degree of interactivity with your music. Placing the needle, wondering why the needle is skipping, frustratingly trying to get that tiny fucking piece of fuzz off the needle... good shit.
Thorgrim: Vinyl is the oldest and least convenient of formats, so it's my preference. Also you can't hang digital downloads on your wall.
Your music style is Black/Thrash Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
Ragnar: For me it was stuff like Goatwhore, Midnight, and Deströyer 666 when we first started writing. Then I think other major influences for me kinda crept into the project, like Motörhead, Bathory, Insomnium (my favorite band), and heavier stuff like Pissgrave.
Thorgrim: I spend most of my day wishing I could be swinging an axe into someone's face, so I actively tried to put that in music form.
Which things, do you think, a Band should sacrifice in order to succeed?
Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future of your Band?
Ragnar: I don't know anything about success in music, unless success is just writing whatever you want and feeling good about your shit, but most of my favorite bands have a few things in common: a balance between a sense of humor and a serious work ethic, a complete lack of concern for sounding like certain bands, and true fucking passion for what they're doing. As for the sacrifice part? Humans.
Describe your ideal live show as a performance Band. Have you already experienced that?
Ragnar: Right now an ideal live show would be any show at all (except a deathcore show). Covid-19 has screwed shows out of existence here in the U.S. and it blows.
Thorgrim: I don't even remember what shows are like at this point. I honestly prefer club shows, they're more intimate and allow you much more opportunity to be physically aggressive with your audience members.
Which attributes, do you think, that a new Black/Thrash Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
Ragnar: If you want an identity that isn't a mediocre copy of another band, don't worry about being a black-thrash band. Play and write what you want and don't set up unnecessary boundaries for yourself. And if you want to sound like so-and-so, have at it (some bands do it really well), but that's not the route to take if you want your own identity as a band.
Thorgrim: Absolutely. I have my influences and bands that a really enjoy, but at the end of the day I write from my guts.
Do you believe that Bandcamp and other Digital Platforms help the new Black/Thrash Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a Band to promote its work?
Ragnar: Oh hell yeah. People really do use those tags on Bandcamp to find new shit. Pretty sure that's why we're doing this interview, among other things. I don't know that there is a right way to promote, because once again it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. But if you're trying to reach a sizable audience, you have to sell your soul to the internet.
Thorgrim: Digital platforms and Bandcamp, in particular, absolutely rule. It's great to be able to get your music out to a worldwide audience without some huge record deal. The tradeoff is that it's sometimes hard to separate the signal from the noise since so many bands are out there trying to get your attention.
Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Knoxville, Tennessee USA (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
Ragnar: It fucking blows. We have/had some real metal bands, but the problem is that we've been in most of them. The majority of bands here are carbon copies of Whitechapel, and they're not very good, even at being Whitechapel. Dave and Kole were members of a death metal band called Engulfed in Blackness before Überserker, and personally I think it was the best extreme metal band around for years. Brandon from Engulfed is doing Apocryphetic now, which I fronted for a while earlier this year, and the new stuff he's working on with it sounds really good.
Thorgrim: And for doom/sludge metal we have/had some good ones like Generation of Vipers, Mountain King, Wampus Cat and Navajo Witch. Thrash might as well be non-existant, though.
Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
Ragnar: Rotting Christ is still as wonderful as ever. I've been listening to their new record The Heretics a lot here recently, along with the outstanding vinyl split they did with Varathron, another masterful Greek black metal band. It certainly isn't traditional black metal at this point, but that makes me like it even more. I don't know much about metal from Greece that isn't black metal or black metal-derivative, though.
Thorgrim: Yes, absolutely, and Septic Flesh of course. I have been enjoying Spectral Lore a lot recently, too.
What are your future plans?
Ragnar: Drink more beer, maybe get laid, eventually play shows again, and put out a full-length record full of vicious, barbaric, real fucking metal in 2021. Right now we're working on getting CD and tape copies of the demo. Those should be good to go before too long.
Thorgrim: Yes, definitely beer. Those other things sound good, too.
Thank you very much for your time & Keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Ragnar: Thanks for having us. Folks, hit us up through the Überserker Facebook or Bandcamp, let us know what you think about the demo and tell us how your conquests are going. Eat your vitamins and say your prayers (to Satan or Crom) and don't trust a fucking thing Eric Clapton tells you (thanks, Oderus).
Thorgrim: Keep your axes sharp and your metal heavy.
By Steve the Filthy Dog.