Bass player Russ Bergquist – DuskMachine
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Massacre Records for providing the promo pics
Here comes an update on what DuskMachine is up to. The band features a lot of well known names like drummer Randy Black, singer Joe Comeau and bass player Russ Bergquist. The interview is with Bergquist, and we spoke about the bands second album entitled DUSKMACHINE, and of course about the brilliant guest appearance on the album. If you are curious about the music of DuskMachine then continue onwards.
Hi Russ, thanks for taking the time to make this interview. Ready to begin?
The brand new album from Duskmachine is called DUSKMACHINE and are your second one. How long took it to write and record the album?
Well, I think it was eight years between albums. So, that long.
The debut album album was a theme one. What about the new one?
No, not a theme really. Joe wrote the lyrics. Just his experiences and views on things.
Who in the band writes the material? Is it hard to write material when the members are located in different countries? Some of you lives in Germany and some in USA and Canada.
We all write our own parts, but Nikolai writes most of the music. He is the foundation of the band. Then the rest of us do our thing. Sometimes parts are written around Randy’s drum riffs etc… Joe writes the vocal melodies.
The members are well known musicians and have you ever felt any pressure on delivering something extra ordinary because of being who you are?
I personally don’t see it that way. But at the same time, there is always pressure to do a good job. I get to play with some really good musicians on this record, and I have to keep up!
The bands debut album THE FINAL FALL came in 2005. Why has it taken you so long to follow up the debut?
It was never the intention to have this much time between albums, but it just worked out that way. We went through a couple singers, finally Joe came into the picture and we could move forward.
How did you chose to call the new album DUSKMACHINE? What was the idea behind that?
There is a song called “DuskMachine” on the record so we just sent with that!
Who’s done the cover art-work and what do you think of it?
Eliran Cantor did the artwork. I like it, kinda non typical
It’s a bit hard to define what kind of music Duskmachine plays. How would you like to describe it? In my ears it’s thrash metal influenced by metal and progressive metal.
Yeah, that sounds about right.
Geoff Downes from Asia and Yes makes a guest appearance on the album in the song “My Empty Room”. How did he end up on the album?
He is a colleague of Joe. Joe asked him and he said yes! Pretty cool.
A video was shot to the song “Endless” could you tell us a bit about the video? Are there any plans on shooting videos to any of the other songs?
Yes we have some ideas. But made a decision yet.
Do you think that fans of THE FINAL FALL are going to like DUSKMACHINE?
They should. But it is a totally different record. Different singer, different bass. I think this record is a few notches above the first one though.
Do you feel that the band have developed music-wise since the release of the first album? If so in what way?
Yeah, I think we know what to do to make our sound. And, after 8 years and a few other recording projects later, you become better at what you do. Or at least have a better understanding of what to do in the writing / recording process. So when this came together, it was much more comfortable.
Have you read any reviews of the new album in the media? Do you and the band care about what critics have to say about your work?
Well, you want to hear something good! Critics criticize, that’s what they do. But, some people get what we do and dig it. But most times you are gonna hear something negative. So, don’t care to much.
Are you happy with the effort the rest of the band put into the album?
Yes, absolutely. One of the best projects I have been involved in.
During 2012 the band inked a deal with Massacre Records, how come you chose MR?
They made us an offer we could not refuse! Out of everything they were the best fit at the time.
Are you happy with the work the label have put into the album and the band so far?
Album has been out 6 months so far. We ll see what they can do for us moving forward. Studiowork and production
Where was the album recorded and who produced it?
We produced it. Nikolai did most of the work though. Most of the work was done in Berlin. Joe did his vocals in Florida and I did the bass in Vancouver.
The album was mixed by Achim Kohler but was any of the members part of that process?
Yeah, as I said, Nikolai.
The band has gone through a few changes in the line-up since the start with the departure of bass player Peter Habura in 2005 and singer Hirschmann in 2006. Were their departures expected or were you shocked?
Not really. I replaced Peter and don’t know him. Hagen Hirschmann quit. He had a bad attitude anyway.
Then Mirko Preach left the band in 2010, has the member changes had any effect on the rest of the band? In what way?
Well, it made us better. I think we are way better now than before.
You joined the band in 2005, how did you end up in Duskmachine?
Randy and I played in Annihilator together. I met Nik back then to. I was moving to Europe in Sept 2005 and they asked me to join. So I said yes!
Singer Joe Comeau joined forces with you in 2010. Was it given that he should be the new singer? Was it positive that he also plays guitar?
We all thought of Joe when Mirko quit. So I guess we all thought that. When we have played live Joe has not played guitar. But he played some on the album.
Personal With Russell Bergquist
For how long have you played bass? Do you play any other instrument?
30 years. I also play guitar. Mostly for writing though. I have an acoustic band called The Thick Of It that I play acoustic guitar in.
You were in the band Freaks Of Nature in 1999 how was that?
Good. We did a record then it all went to shit. I am still friend with guys.
Have you been involved in any other band before Freaks Of Nature?
No, nothing to really speak of. Cover bands…..
You have also been a part of Annihilator (where also Comeau and Black also played) twice, how was that? How was it to work with Jeff Waters?
Annihilator was fun. It was good for me. Played some really cool shows. Jeff is a great guitarist.
Besides Duskmachine are you involved in any other bands or projects now?
Yes, as I said a moment ago, I have a band called The Thick of It (www.thethickofit.com). I also play in a band called JAR (www.jarcanada.com). And, I have my own project that I have been working on for a long time.
How come you joined Duskmachine?
Well, I like the guys and enjoy playing with them.
What do you do when you not play in a band?
Well, I mostly enjoy being in nature. I like to go fishing and also do a lot of trail riding on my motorcycle.
Past present and future
Is the band active on the various sorts of social forums that’s available on internet today?
We are but it is difficult when we all have a ton of other things we do. Its like a full time job. We update as we go along.
According to my bio Duskmachine is often compared to bands like Grip Inc and Nevermore, how do you feel about that? Do you see any similarities in your music?
I don’t. But its cool because I like both those bands.
The band played at 70,000 Tons Of Metal, how was that?
That was cool. We were in the Caribbean man! It was a real special experience and we were proud to be part of it.
When and where did the band do its first live show?
It was 2005, October I think. At a club in Berlin.
Do you see any problems with the fact that the members are involved in other bands besides Duskmachine?
No, its always been like this. Only problem is its hard for us to get together. But, we are all over the world.
Is there any interest for the band in Asia and USA/Canada?
Yes, we have had interest from all over.
Is the band currently working on new material? When can we expect to see the next album out in stores?
Nik sent out something new recently. We all have some ideas of course but we are not planning anything right now.
What would you like to say to the ones who haven’t heard Duskmachine?
Check it out. Something for the whole family!
Could you give the readers three reasons why they should buy DUSKMACHINE?
Songs are good, musicians are good, and it sounds great.
Finally do you have any words of wisdom to share with the readers and fans?
No. But if you see me having a beer somewhere, join me.
That’s all for me now. Thanks again for taking the time for this interview. I wish you and the band all the best in the future.
My pleasure. Cheers!
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