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S. Berserker (Assaulter)

Interview with S. Berserker from Assaulter
by Yiannis Doukas at 09 May 2009, 9:03 PM

The wardogs of Australia, the grinding machine that hears by the name ASSAULTER just unleashed the earthquake called Salvation Like Destruction and METAL TEMPLE grabbed the opportunity to have a talk with their mainman S. Berserker. Great band and, by the way; HOBB'S ANGEL OF DEATH forever fuckers!

Interview with: S. Berserker from ASSAULTER

Bestial hails from Metal Temple webzine. How are things in Central Coast?

Quiet. Very quiet. Perfect for those who may like to crap on about being 'misanthrope', for example.

Before we start with ASSAULTER can we talk a little about DESTROYER 666? How did you join them? It was around 2000, wasn't it?

I got a call from KK (ed. note: The mainman behind DESTROYER 666), at the beginning of ' 99, or very end of ' 98…. can't really remember. They needed a bass player, which I accepted, but I was about to head of to Ireland for a year, so it was shelved until I got back in 2000.

Before them, were you involved in any other bands? If I remember well you recorded with them the Cold Steel… For An Iron Age release. Why did you leave? Would you want to focus on your own material? What is the overall impression now for those years?

I was in a couple of demo bands, not worth mentioning at all. But one band I was in, we played with DESTROYER 666 when they toured for Unchain The Wolves, so I got to know those fellas then. Beyond that, the DESTROYER 666 years were fucking great, good times, great experiences, great mates. We laid it all on the line and headed to Europe, and it rolled on from there. I left, because of an expired visa in Holland… shit happens, things change. That's how it is.

Now to ASSAULTER: in the beginning ASSAULTER was something like an oneâ€man band, or not? Did you write the Proselytiser demo songs in that period or they are even older?

No, a couple of years after leaving DESTROYER 666. I had a few songs, and recorded a demo. A mate helped out on the skins, but it was rushed, without much thought. But it came out okay, so I decided to press a demo. Why the fuck not. eh?

The cooperation with Luke Bonic: how did it happen and for how long? When did A.C. enter the band?

Luke did drums for the first demo only. Beyond that AC joined in on the shenanigans to do the 2nd demo.

Why did you decide to include Proselytiser, Vengeance Whips and Between Gods And Men in the Salvation Like Destruction album? Do you think that these are the best demo songs?

We thought they could do with a bigger injection of fury and hate, and yes, that they are of the better songs. Proselytiser particularly needed more venom. It's a fast, dirty thrash song, but this wasn't portrayed fully in the demo we think. On a side note, we will be re - recording The Great Subterfuge for the next LP. This is certainly one of our better songs. Well, shit, we think so.

The album was to be released in the end of 2008, plus the vinyl version was out since September of the same year. Why all this delay?

Labels do what labels do. They are a misunderstood species, but that's how they are, just have to roll with it. Having said that, Pulverised are 100% behind ASSAULTER, so we stand behind them 100%.

The production has a total in-your-face approach. How did you achieve it? Was the recording done with analogue equipment? Although a little thin, the whole sound fits absolutely perfect with your music style.

No analogue. Besides the fact it's beyond fucking expensive, you can achieve the same results, more or less, with digital equipment. We wanted that raw and aggressive sound, with dusty, dirty guitars, but it has to be said, we did run out of money in the end and needed to tend more to the bass guitar sound. That didn't happen, but you can still hear the soul in the music, I think.

It seems that speed in songs is not an end in itself for the band and your 'midâ€tempo' songs like The Axiom Star or Glory Alone are total killers too! Would you move in these patterns in future?

Aye, to be honest, everything we've written beyond Salvation Like Destruction has been essentially mid-paced. Not as a matter of principle, but as of a natural course. Even with the addition of T. Hellfinder, this seems to be the path so far. Still heavy, with aggressive hooks, but more epic subtleties. Metal to the bone!!!

Were all the leads in the album done by you?

All except the final solo on Between Gods and Men which was ripped to bits by an Elanora local named Gus Bonic. T. Hellfinder will be carrying the lead duties from now on.

When did you meet T. Hellfinder? Have you performed any gigs till now? As a full 'trio' band are there any plans?

Hellfinder hooked up with us around September ' 08 and he's perfect. The right spirit, the right influence, the right ability. When we, fucking finally, secure a bass player, the line up will be complete, and ASSAULTER will destroy the stage.

Recently, you unleashed a split 7 with TRENCH HELL. Would you like to give us any info? What a fucking great band TRENCH HELL is!

We both went into the same studio, on the same weekend and laid out a song each. We recorded Beware The Wounded Beast and TRENCH HELL recorded Sadistic Messiah- The result is fucking killer. I recommend EVERYONE grab this from if you like authentic, dirty, aggressive Metal with cutting riffs. Pressed in 1000 copies, you best be quick!

This is the second 7 you release, right? What does impress you in this format and why? What's your favorite 7 and what is that you're most proud for having in your collection?

I'm not much into 7s, but they're a great, cheap way to check out a band, and, hell, it's on vinyl. Proud of in my collection? No idea. Maybe DESTROYER 666s Satanic Speed Metal! (ed.note: 7 jewel in less than 500 copies released in 1998)

In all the band's covers we find the same figure, something like a doomed angel. Is this the mascot of ASSAULTER? Does it have any deeper symbolization?

Yeah, it's like a 'mascot' I guess but it represents the overall themes that ASSAULTER use in the lyrics, without just being a 'face' of the band. It represents both iconoclasm and a faceless all-powerful godhead, so it's like a double edged sword. For example, in some of the old Buddhist temples in Thailand, you will find statues of Buddha that had their heads cut off by the invading Khmers as an act of iconoclasm, reducing something sacred to a simple stone. Or, on the other edge, where in reality, a nation like Cambodia was thrown into bouts of auto-genocide by a man named Pol-Pot. But that's just the point, no one knew who he was, where he came from, or what he was about. It's almost Orwellian, Big Brother always watching, but without a face to the name.

What are the lyrical themes that ASSAULTER uses? I noticed some war, catastrophic based concepts. Why do you find inspiration in war? What is the axiom star?

See answer above I guess. Power, conquest, war, mass-mob-mania, religion, proselytism. War is man's shadow, our brother. We were born to destroy ourselves- And it is by war that we conquer ourselves, and break ourselves down. Peace is an itch that needs to be constantly scratched. The Axiom Star is the truth, or the 'light' that is revealed to those of a 'faith' on their death bed. That last minute panic, or revelation, that indeed, death is death, and yee shall be food for worms, and nothing more.

Your music brings a lot of old German Thrash/Speed Metal to mind, too! You know, ancient RUNNING WILD, DESTRUCTION, SODOM, ASSASSIN etc. What is your opinion? From all the above which one would you consider to be your favorite?

SODOM. Besides a couple of albums, everything of theirs is the fucking bomb. Needless to say they are a big influence on ASSAULTER. The others mentioned are also killer, of course. RUNNING WILD, for me, their best stuff is from the early 90's, Black Hand Inn, Masquerade, killer shit.

What is that that pisses you off the most in today's Metal scene?

Eh, no idea. Don't really give a shit, there are still good bands, which is all you need.

I guess- Look at NIFELHEIM (ed. note: That's it, ASSAULTER is my favorite Australian band), or PRIMORDIAL for example- I just picked up on GRAND MAGUS- Another great band. I guess I hate this fucking attitude that seems to be the common muck, where people are only into demos of bands, or the first album and all that nonsense- SLAYER were only good on Show No Mercy or De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is shit because Dead didn't sing on it…, all that fucking bullshit spouted by 20 year olds. It's garbage.

What is the first thing coming to your mind when you hear the words: a) SADISTIK EXECUTION, b) MORTAL SIN, c) ZEMIAL, d) NIFELHEIM, e) HOBB'S ANGEL OF DEATH

a)The greatest Death band the world ever knew. Pity those that never had the pleasure of seeing them live.b)Mayhemic Destruction is fantastic. An Australian classic.c)Sleeping under Tartarus. That's all I have.d)Current favorite band. Servants of Darkness- REAL Black Metal. (ed. note: Did I mention that ASSAULTER is my favorite band ever?)e)Everyone should own the first album. Seriously.

Thanx for this interview brother. Unfortunately it is impossible (our financial problems are huge this period, haha!) to come see you in Australia, so we hope you will pay a visit soon in Europe. Add anything you want. Cheerz!!!

We will hit Europe one day and that we can assure. A mighty fuckin' hail for your time and interesting questions, it has been an honour. All info, shirts, split with TRENCH HELL, visit Salute the Beast!


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