Supercharger Singer Mikkel Neperus

March 6th, 2009
by Anders Sandvall

 

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Be sure to remember the name Supercharger because these 5 guys are the next big musical export from Denmark. When the band stopped by Malmoe in support of Mustasch I took the opportunity to get an interview with lead singer Mikkel Neperus. Here is an in-depth and close-up personal interview with Supercharger.

 

Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall

Transcript by: Ulrika Henriksson

Live pictures from the archives of: Anders Sandvall

Band promo pictures by: Agnete

 

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Hi Mikkel, hope you are ready to answer a few questions about the band Supercharger?

Hi Anders, yes I’m ready, shoot.

Let’s talk about how Supercharger first started out, when and where was the band born?

Well, all of the members have been involved in bands prior to Supercharger and it was bands that some of us weren’t so happy being in, so a group of us got together and decided to form a brand new act and our aim was to play some proper rock’n’roll music. It was quite simple to form a band actually; the only thing we aren’t so happy with now afterwards is the band name. But now the name is so rooted and well-known that it would be suicide to change it, and it would also be too expensive ´cause it is printed on shirts and other merchandise.

Did all of the members know each other from the start? Or did you put up an add to find members?

 

We did put up an add for a lead singer and we had about 23 people trying out for that role but everyone sucked. We put the add on the internet and if the guys that tried out weren’t retarded, they were totally mentally deranged ha, ha. There were actually one guy that was pretty good, but he hadn’t got his act together though – but he did write a few of our songs. He was a good song writer and wrote “Bar Fight” and “Scorched”. At the end of the day, he didn’t fit into the band, so I took over the mic instead.

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So you aren’t the original singer Mikkel?

No, I started out as bass player and background singer.

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Supercharger has done quite a lot of touring in Denmark, England and Germany these past few years. Do you think that all the touring has made the band stronger and tighter as a live act?

I think that the heavy amount of touring that we’ve done had made us a really strong live act. And we have had the opportunity to tour with one of the strongest acts in Scandinavia. I think we have become a much more solid live act and our plan from the very beginning was to tour as much as we possibly could. Our main goal is to be considered as a strong live act and not as a “studio” band.

Do you think the band has developed music wise during all these years? If so – in what way?

 

Yes I definitely think we have developed music wise in the sense that we have expanded our sound picture and musical approach a lot. On the other hand; it is the hardest job to get the small things right, we play quite “simple” music and we do not want to have it any other way. We’re not Bjork we are a humble rock’n’roll act. Our aim is to get the simple and small things to sound as massive as possible and I think we’re on the right path now. So yes, I do think we have developed music wise to answer your question ha ha.

Who writes the material?

We all write the material. Usually some one has an idea… a riff, a vocal line or something. Then the other members contribute with their own ideas and input, and we form and finish the song together. And in the end, it sounds like SuperCharger. Very hard process – but mostly we succeed…

So the band is a democracy where everyone can come up with their own ideas for the songs etc?

Yes! Everyone is equal. But of course some have more ideas than others.

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Do you rehearse as much as you play live?

Yeah I definitely think we do. And that’s because of the simple fact that we’re not the greatest musicians in the world.  We’re not the best musicians in the world but we have the ability to inhabit a lot of passion for our music and we try to make the simplest things sounds really great and we also know how to put on a high energetic show. We always make sure to give the audience a real party when we perform and that is one of our great strengths I think. But it takes a lot of practice.

Do you have regular jobs besides the band or can you live off the music?

We all have regular jobs, I work at a kindergarten. Thomas P works with kids that have different kinds of problems. Thomas B works with computers and Brian and Benji are carpenters. But it’s hard for us to both have time to work and to have time for the band. Our plan in the future is of course to live off the music.

Who is the face of Supercharger, I mean the one who takes cares of the media etc?

Thomas B. is doing most of the graphical work on the internet, posters etc.  And Thomas P and I are handling the paperworks / management and contact with our booking. We are all trying to use our skills the best way possible. You’ll be surprised how many different tasks you can run into, making a band break through. So every one is doing what they do best.

How would you describe the kind of music you play?

Hard Rock maybe!!! Think of the most heavy thing you can hear and of the most soft there is, Supercharger is somewhere rocking in between. That’s a good description ey!?- Ha ha. We are both rock’n’rollers but also heavy metal dudes.

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Do the members have any idols or role models within the music scene that they look up to and that have influenced you to play the music that you do?

We all have several influences and idols that we look up to. From the beginning the Swedish act Backyard Babies was a huge influence but also bands such as Guns’n Roses had their motivation on us… AC/DC is also a huge inspiration for everyone in the band.  We gather inspiration from various artists and end up making our own Supercharger sound. We’re trying to keep a pretty distinctive musical line so that there’s no doubt that it’s Supercharger you hear on the radio. 

EP

 

You released your EP, Junkyard Spectacles, during 2007. It was a self financed EP. Why did you choose to release it on your own and without a label backing you up?

We used the EP to get on the road and to play live. To play live is the single most important thing, if you’re a new act I think. The artwork might be better, but it’s self financed and a great way to get attention. Labels are difficult and only thinking about big profits I guess. Most important for us right now is that people on the floor likes our music and come party with us – and then hopefully the labels will wake up at some point! Nothing is going to stop us anyway!!!   


What did the general media have to say about the EP?

We have gotten some great respond back home in Denmark which pretty much was a shock to us. Positive ones of course. We knew that we had done a super-great EP, but that we would get that good response from the people coming to our concerts was not expected. Like I said before the EP was mainly made for booking agents and labels.

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The infamous Jacob Bredahl produced the EP. How was it to work with him?

I really like Bredahl a lot and he’s great to work with.

I think that Bredahl is a legend. I mean the work he has done with Hatesphere and now Last Mile and as a producer as well.

Bredahl is cool!! I have always been a huge fan of his work and there is no doubt that he knows what he is doing when it comes to music, both his own and others…

Bredahl usually works with death metal or hardcore acts. How was it for a rock’n’roll act to work with him?

It was amazing; he has a total control of everything in the studio. He is a true professional and he was, as we, just as happy about the warm welcome the EP got.

The demo won the award Demo Of The Month in Denmark’s biggest music magazine Gaffa, what did that feel like?

It felt really good to get recognition and to become Demo of the Month was really nice indeed. We just came back from our first tour in the UK. It was a great tour and a really good experience, but hard and to come home and be nominated “Demo of the month” felt really good after that one.

Is the EP available out in stores today?

No it isn’t! We mostly released the EP to land some gigs. And most record shops won’t touch it when it’s not released on a label. A few shops will, but we must admit we haven’t done any thing about it.

But is the EP available to purchase at your shows?

Yes, it is and it’s fun to see that we actually sell quite a few copies of it at every show – ha ha. And you can also buy it from our website if you want to.

What does the title Junkyard Spectacles mean?

The title actually means quite a lot to us and in a way described the state of the band at the time. We used to rehearse in one of the more crappy parts of Copenhagen. It’s nothing but used-car-sellers and scrap yards. At the same time we started getting our act together and was “making some noise” in Copenhagen. At the time we weren’t that good, but still… We made people turn their heads to see what was going on, therefore “Spectacle”.

And what had the fans to say about the EP?

Our fans really love the EP and its fun to see that many of the people in the crowd on shows are singing along. I guess that means they really like the songs we make.

You have a really strong fanbase in Denmark that’s for sure.

Indeed, we have a lot of fans in Denmark. 800 people showed up on our previous show at home in Copenhagen when we played at The Rock.

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Members

 

Early in 2008 your former guitarist Peter left the band, why?

Peter was one of the best musicians Supercharger has ever had and he had a big part in the song writing as well. He’s wife got pregnant and therefore he didn’t enjoy being out on tour as much as the rest of the band did. So it was pretty clear quite early that he was going to leave the band.

Thomas P (guitarist) replaced Peter more than a year ago. Was Thomas the obvious choice as the new guitarist?

I think so. For us in the band friendship is most important and we had the opportunity to land Thomas from Urkraft which is a very technical death metal act. And to get not only a great guitarist but also a very good friend was a possibility we couldn’t neglect. We have never regret the day he stepped into the band at all and he is really a nice guy.

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Did you try other guitarists before Thomas ended up being the one?

Yeah, we did try on a few guitarists, but we chose Thomas because of the reasons above.

Is this the only member change that you have done in the band since you started out as Supercharger?

No, we originally had a different lead singer but he didn’t really fit in. But it was in the very beginning of the band. A lot has changed since then.

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Touring

 

What’s it like being out on the road with Supercharger? Do you have any funny tour memories that can be exposed on paper?

 

Hmm, well on our first UK tour our bass player peed in his bed in our outdoor camper on the first night of the tour, so it smelled fucking terrible during the entire week and we hated his guts for the rest of the week. But Brian is still with us and we love the guy ha ha.

Are you big enough now to do headline shows in Denmark?

At the moment we are support act but our new booking agency in Denmark wants to see us as headliner and not do support jobs. We’re going to do a headline tour in the fall and I really do think we are ready for a headline tour because we sometimes as a support band brings more people to the shows than the headliner we have opened for does.

You have “only” played in Denmark, Norway and one show in Sweden yet when it comes to the Scandinavian countries, why haven’t you played in Finland?

I don’t know really. We sure want to play there but it’s hard to find a good booking agency. But believe me; we’re working on coming to Finland too.

You did a show in Malmoe at Club Powerhouse a while ago, how was that and what did you think of the place?

It was a god show and the audience really rocked.

Last year you landed the gig as support act to the stoner/metal act Mustasch at the start of their European tour and tonight you are opening for them here in Malmoe. What’s it like being on tour with the notorious Mustasch members?

It has been a great experience and we’re learning stuff all the time. You can tell that Mustasch is an experienced troop that has played live for a decade. They have really given us a warm welcome and I have nothing bad to say about the guys. Sorry! They’re terrific.

Which has been the funniest show to do with Mustasch on so far?

It must have been the time in Switzerland when Ralf (lead singer of Mustasch) trashed Supercharger’s backstage and ran to the security at the venue and told them to throw Supercharger out because WE completely had destroyed our room ha ha.

Have you tried on any of the new Supercharger songs live yet? What did the audience think of the new material?

I personally think that much of our new songs sound a lot like the older material, but that is the charm with Supercharger; we stick to our own sound and don’t compromise with it. The audience has really given us a positive respond on the new material, so it feels great to play the songs live for sure.

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You did a headline show at The Rock in Copenhagen a few weeks ago. What did you think of that show?

It was no doubt one of our best shows so far. Quite overwhelming to see that so many people had shown up to see the gig – that’s for sure. And I’m truly happy to see that the band has such a loyal fan base.

Tonight you’re performing at KB. What do you think of this venue?

I have high expectations, the venue is awesome and I’m really looking forward to be on stage tonight.

What are the expectations on the show tonight?

My expectations are high and I really think that the audience is going to like Supercharger. Musically I think we are pretty close to Mustasch and we’re hoping to gain a few Mustasch fans tonight as well.

Do you think you’re coming back to do more live shows in Sweden anytime soon?

Absolutely, but probably not until after we’ve been in the studio.

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Now and Then


March is dedicated to record your new debut album, which studio are you going to use and who is going to produce the debut album?

We have recruited Tue Madsen (www.antfarm.dk) for three weeks to help us with the production, mix and master. We’re going to do the best fucking record that has ever come out of Denmark and we have sure got the best team helping us out. We’re going to try to do a classical album that appeals to each and everyone, I know it sounds like we have set the standards real high but what the hell – we know we’re going to make it.


Is the album going to feature any of the songs on the EP?

Yeah, we have talked about featuring “Hell Motel”, “If You Wanna Rock” and “By Gold”. Which songs do you think we’re going to feature Anders?

Me: well I think that “Hell Motel” is a natural choice and I also love “Hold On Buddy”.

Mikkel: Well, let’s see Anders, maybe “Hold On Buddy” or “By Gold” are going to be featured.

Have you signed with any label yet?

No. Not yet. We will record this album and then work out a plan. Labels are not what they used to be and since we know we can do a good album, we would like to be in control of what is going to happened with it. It should be about the music and the rock and roll lovers and not about some labels coffee savings or rooster filler… They have to work for it like we do!!! 

Can you reveal any of the titles of the songs on the album?

We have one really good song called “Join In or Loose It” all finished and we have talked about maybe using the sound on Metallica’s THE BLACK ALBUM and Motley Crue’s DR.FEELGOOD as a red line or direction line, if you want. A little of this and a little of that!!! Most titles at the moment are working titles – so you’ll have to wait.

When do you think the album will be available for the masses?

I would say in September – October maybe, but there’s going to be a lot of sneak previews available to listen to on our myspace site at some point. Studio diary and loads of party pics from the process… 

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Do you have any title on the album? And are you going to include any guest appearances?

There will be some guest appearances but you’ll have to wait and see…

You joined the SRF Nordic Challenge just a few days before the contest were about to close and you won the first round in Denmark. Unfortunatley,  the contest was closed down because of cheating, how was the experience?

It felt really sad. We never enter contests but we felt that this contest was worth the work. I mean – to perform on a festival with ZZ Top and Motörhead – come one!! And in Sweden!! But because of our late entry and our huge success in the contest in which we really blew our fellow contestants away, we were accused of cheating. Which was totally wrong, we would never cheat!! Ever!

A SRF jury later on chose the band Powderhog from Denmark as winner of the competition, when clearly it should have been the band with the most votes, which was Supercharger. Were you disappointed when the jury announced their choice?

As I mentioned earlier we were of course a bit upset and disappointed because we really wanted to play at SRF, but it’s up to the jury to decide and they wanted Powderhog as winner obviously. We hope to play at SRF some other time. Next year maybe…?!?!

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How does it feel to have such a loyal and solid fan base as Supercharger seem to have?

We feel truly blessed to have such loyal fans and we really appreciate their support tremendously. We really like to be friends with our fans and love to talk party and keep in touch with them and I really hope that we can stay that way in the future as well.

All of the members as well as the band have pages on MySpace. Are you active on MySpace and what do you think of MySpace as a way to put out your music for the big crowds?

I think that MySpace is a really great forum for bands and artists to get out their music to the crowd. And all members of the band are online pretty much every day on the band site. I’m not online on my personal site every day though.

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What are the most common questions you get by fans?

I think it must be what it’s like to be an up and coming new act – that’s the most common question so far. And also what’s it like to be on stage and play for so many people.

Where do you think the band has its biggest fanbase?

That’s Copenhagen, Denmark. No question about that. Then I think we also have some loyal fans in Germany and of course in Sweden.

You have a few shows lined up already, are you going to do more touring after the release of the debut album do you think?

No we’re not going to tour anymore, ha ha – no I’m just kidding. I know that we’re out on the road at least until May but check out our MySpace site to see were you can find us.

Are you going to do any festival gigs this summer?

Yes, we will. In Denmark only though… But hopefully we can soon start playing some festivals outside Denmark as well. We have 2 really cool festivals. The Metal Magic festival and a more commercial one we are not allowed to talk about at the moment – but really goddamn looking forward to. 

Are the members currently active in any other bands or projects besides Supercharger?

No, not anymore. We were before but not now. Supercharger swallows up pretty much all of our time at the moment.

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I definitely think that you are the next big musical export from Denmark. What do you think of that statement?

I really hope you are right Anders, and it sure feels like we are. It feels like everything is possible for Supercharger at the moment.

Well, believe it or not but that was all I had for now, I wish you good luck tonight and it’s going to be a blast seeing you live again. And I think that we will talk again when your debut album is out. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me today.

Thanks to you Anders, and thank you for taking the time to come and talk to me.

Do you have any final words of wisdom for the fans and readers?

Yes I do, stay tuned for more rock’n’roll and buy our debut album when it’s out. Thanks to all the fans for their great support, we love you!!

 

Read the review of the band’s EP in the metal-rules.com database

 

More info about the band

www.supercharger.dk

www.myspace.com/wearesupercharger

 

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