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Stefan Berg (Meduza)

Interview with Stefan Berg from Meduza
by Eleni at 06 May 2004, 6:47 PM

Eleni's our  ass-whipping female editor (together with Dimitra, hehe) and when she demands something, she means business! After her review of Meduza's Upon The World, she stepped into my office (ok guys, stop laughing) one day and demanded I arranged an e-mail Interview with Stefan Berg of Meduza. I told her I wanted to finish my pizza first but before I could finish my sentence, she had assumed the kill-the-chief-editor karate position and was about to strike me in the face. That's what you get for being a Chief Editor nowadays…Here's Eleni's quite interesting interview with Stefan Berg.

Why did you decide to make your own project while being a member of Laudamus? Was it an attempt to express your creativity or were there any problems with the band?

It was mainly my creativity and musical preference that made me do that. And of course the fact that both me and Peter are very strong willed individuals!

You formed Meduza with Jonas Edstrom and Ola Gronlund in the early 90’s if I get it right. But you only came up with a demo in 2000. What were the reasons for this delay?

Ola and Jonas joined the band in 2000. I started out with Johnny Olsson (ex Phoenix) and Stefan Pettersson (Morifade) in 94 using the name Mind’s Eye and we released a couple of demos under that name. Around 98 we changed name to Autumn Lords and released the 3 song demo/singel Face of a Demon featuring Peter from Laudamus on vocals.

From 98 until 2000 I had Lars Hjelm (ex Nagazaki, Phoenix) on vocals and released a 4-song demo, Power of the Mind. In 2000 I got really unsatisfied with the members as they weren’t committed enough. So I fired them all and called Ola and Jonas. We rehearsed for one day and recorded the 2-song demo Now and Forever with Mikael Holm (Winterlong) on vocals.

There was a second demo also called Now and forever in 2001. When your agency called Kristian Andren to participate in that did you believe that he would be your singer in the future of was it just some kind of help for your start?

He was supposed to be our singer but he was really out of shape so we had to let him go. But we’re still friends and I’m doing some guitar work in a project he’s involved in.

Did you decide to turn the project into a group when you started co-operating with Apollo Papathanasiu? What led to this co-operation?

Yes! Mainly the fact that when we recorded Now and Forever I didn’t have to explain alot to him, how he was supposed to sing and what the feel was. He almost always did it the way I liked or better. After that I trusted him enough to write with me.

What was your producer’s, Mike Wead, contribution to the appeal of your debut album Now and forever and your signing with companies in Japan and Europe?

Mike actually didn’t produce the debut.He came in at the mixing stage but he really saved us! We had made some mistakes during the recording of the album which he managed to correct in the mix! He probably meant a lot with us signing with the companies. He’s been in the music business for some time and done some really great stuff!

About Upon the world now: Although it took you several years to release your first album the second one was a matter of three years. Was your material already composed? Don’t you continue working with other bands too?

Some of the material was already composed and some was really fresh. Because I try to put an album together with songs that fit each other. Yes I’ve got some side projects. One with Kristian Andren and Robert Wikman that has no name yet but is progressive and brutal. Then Maestoso with Robert Wikman which is a hyper neoclassical monster. And finally a coverband called Road Crew.

How did Joakim Floke join your band? Was there another keyboardist before?

Joakim joined us a week before a festival called PDOL (www.pdol.se). He was highly recommended by Mike so I just called him and asked him if he was interested. He said yes! On Now and Forever we had Jan Larsson on keyboard but he injured his neck and had to quit.

If you had to describe your music’s style in two or three words which would they be?

I don’t know that’s hard… Maybe Power Doom or Doomy powermetal!

Were you influenced by other groups in your work for Upon the world?

Not much! But I’ve started listening to Nevermore, Dimmu Borgir and Manson. It might have had some impact on me.

You are all extremely talented musicians. How did you decide to avoid technical show off and give your attention to the melodies themselves?

I think that you loose that need to impress people when you become confident in your own ability. You just play for the song and focus on what’s right for that song. If that means no guitar solo or a 3 minute guitar solo, it doesn’t matter.

I discerned some pessimism in the album. Did you base it on a particular concept?

It has a loose doomsday theme. But it’s not a story. It’s more about the dark sides of humanity in general. Greed, oppression and so forth.

What are you doing now to promote the album? Have you scheduled concerts?

No scheduled yet but we’re working on it. There’s a slight chance that we will do a couple of gigs in the south of Europe but no promises.

What about your third release? Anything about when we should expect it?

A year and a half from now I guess we’ve already started working on it! But It’s all about economics. If this album sells enough it might be earlier.

Would you like to send any message to our readers and your fans through our magazine?

Believe in your dreams and stay metal!

That’s all. Thank you very much for your time. Keep up your good work!



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