Hardcore Superstar are an incredible live act and I got to chat with frontman Jocke Berg about all things 2019, Australia and stories from the road. There’s also new music coming as well so that should please you! Sit back and enjoy the ride ahead of their return alongside Buckcherry!
Hey Jocke, welcome back to Wall Of Sound my friend. How are you?
I’m fine!! Yeah and you? It’s been a little while since we last spoke. It’s just over a year ago if I remember right.
That’s it; the last time we caught up for a chat was during the promo for the 2018 tour. The big news and reason for our chat today is that Hardcore Superstar are heading back down under next week for your most extensive tour of Australia with Buckcherry. Hardcore Superstar has quite a long history of being tour mates with them. What is your fondest memory of touring with them to date?
Yes they are good friends of ours. One of the funniest/nastiest moments we shared while doing a European tour together was due to their tour bus breaking down and they had to sleep in our bus. One morning I woke up with Keith Nielsen’s (former Buckcherry guitarist) ass in my tour bunk farting in my face. Man that was a rough way to wake up (laughs). But Kelly, Stevie and Josh are all lovely people and amazing guys. There are so many stories we have of good times with the Buckcherry guys, a lot I can’t really tell here (laughs)
For anyone who hasn’t seen Hardcore Superstar live before, your show is so high energy, how is the body holding up after an extremely busy summer?
It’s holding up (laughs). The only thing that is failing me these days are my eyes (laughs). I have those old man’s eyes where your arms aren’t long enough when you read (laughs). I do wear glasses all the time now. Otherwise the body is like that of a twenty-five year old. I have this Garmin sports watch where you can check your pulse and stuff when you run. I’m forty-five now, but my body and cardio is that of a person between twenty and twenty-five. I also work out a lot when I’m not on stage. I still stage dive and I can say that there aren’t too many forty-five year olds who do that these days.
The band has just wrapped up its European summer run of shows, which included quite a few festivals. Do you have a favourite show from the summer run?
There are so many. We always have a great time doing the festivals during the summer as we are able to catch up with colleagues in the music scene. But as far as shows are concerned, there was one; we did this small festival outside in a little place just outside of Copenhagen called Christiania. It was pouring with rain, there was a crowd four thousand strong, and the show it was just so great from beginning to end. The audience stayed throughout the pouring rain. It was the dedication of the fans and crowd that made it so very special. It was one of those magical shows that I will always remember.
I have to admit that I have been to a couple of outdoor shows where the rain has been relentless and they have been some of my favourite shows to see and photograph. You are right the do make for magical moments.
Seeing the audience stay and get into it like there was no rain was certainly very special and meant a lot to us.
The last time you were in Australia, you were getting ready to release You Can’t Kill My Rock N Roll. The album was met with amazing reviews and critical acclaim. Did you have any idea that it would resonate so well with the media and the fans?
It’s quite funny that you ask that. We have done a lot of albums, and you can feel when you are in the studio recording that it is going to be a great album. I don’t want to come off a being cocky here, but as an artist who has spent a lot of time in the studio over the last three decades, you get that feeling that you are onto something; that you have bottled a certain magic. We had that feeling too back in 2005/06 when we recorded the “Black” album. If the band love the songs and are into it then it will reflect through the fans. They are seeing that we love what we do and that is very important to us. There are so many bands putting out records, just to put out record so they have something to tour behind; it has to come from the heart in the beginning. We have already written eight songs for the new album and if I do say so myself it is going to be AWESOME.
So tell me a little bit about the direction of the new songs?
Well it’s going to be heavier actually. It’s a lot of attitude and lyric wise it reflects on the cockney bastards we come across every day. People, who don’t have any money, but want to be seen living in luxury without the means. It deals with social problems these days. People want to look rich, but they ain’t.
I guess that it also expands to the wonders of social media where anyone can pretty much give of the perception of a perfect life where reality is a far different scenario.
Absolutely! Reality is so distorted today because of what social media platforms allow.
With You Can’t Kill My Rock N Roll, you took a really cool approach in the way you engaged the fans. There were five singles/video’s that you released, one every couple of months and one after the release of the album. Is this something that the band will continue to do with the new material?
Yes the plan is exactly that. We saw how it affected the band, we always had something new coming throughout the year. It was like a teaser every second month. This is something that I would have loved if Iron Maiden or Motley Crue did when I was younger. Our fans knew there was always something coming and then they have six new songs coming when the album comes out.
The song selection that you used for the pre-release tracks were great and also showed a little diversity in style. But when you got the album it all became tied together as a package. You Can’t Kill My Rock N Roll was my favourite album of 2018, so thank you!
The title track for me is one of those songs you just can’t get tired of. You get a warm feeling in your body when you listen to it. I’m in the band and it’s our song, so for me to say that means that it is has something very special about it. When we play it live, every night without fail it’s great, it’s just there!
Back to the tour, you did, do you have a favourite memory from last year’s Australian visit?
When we first arrived in Sydney last year Danny from Silverback Touring had picked us up in the van, he said to us look out to your left. There was a heard of about 600 kangaroos moving in a pack just on the other side of the fence and I was like …… what the FUCK is going on?!!!!! (laughs). It was so weird.
Then there is the story from customs just after we landed in Sydney, have I told you that one?
No you haven’t please do …..
Well, we had just arrived and were approaching customs and there was this old lady and two younger ladies just standing there with their arms crossed as they asked us what is your purpose in Australia? We play rock n roll to which they replied, good for you. But we have one problem; what is the password for entering Australia? We were looking at each other trying to figure what the fuck is going on; are we on Candid Camera or something; what is this? A few moments later Adde our drummer said I know the answer; and what is the answer the old lady asked? Adde replied AC/DC, to which the old lady replied, Welcome to Australia boys!! (laughs). Man that was so strange, but so funny.
The worst thing about coming out to Australia last year in June we didn’t expect it to be so cold. It was like twelve degrees when we landed, and we only had shorts with us aside from our stage gear, so we had to go buy new pants and stuff to keep us warm.
Surely you wouldn’t have been cold compared to a winter at home?
True, but we had just left the European spring and weren’t prepared for it. The first time we came to Australia was in February of 2006 where it was summer, we just didn’t expect it to be so cold (laughs)
Rest assured our weather will be a bit more forgiving. Is there anything you are really looking forward to doing while you are out here? Anything you would like to check out?
This time with us starting out in Perth; we have never been there before, so that will be awesome. But we are going to see the Bon Scott statue in Fremantle, it’s a must see for us. This time around we have a couple of days off during the tour and we will try and make the most of those days off.
How do Australian crowds differ or compare to others around the world?
You get a sense that there aren’t too many bands coming to Australia, because it is so far away, but when foreign bands come out the Australian fans are very dedicated and have an energy that just show how appreciative and loyal they are to bands that tour there. That is the major difference between America and Europe. The US and Europe have so many bands touring all the time and are spoilt for choice.
You guys have been busy between records re-releasing records in limited runs. Recently you had a limited run of Split Your Lip on coloured vinyl which sold out almost instantly. Are there any plans or are you actively planning on going back to the first three records and re-releasing them?
Unfortunately Music For Nations the record label we were on for Bad Sneakers and a Pina Colada and the Thank You albums, they owns the rights to those albums. That makes it difficult for us to do any rereleases on colored vinyl, whatever on those, but hopefully some day we will be able to get them back out there.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I listen to a lot of bands, but at the moment I essentially listen to the heavier stuff. I really like Behemoth, but really I have to give a lot of credit to Spotify for what I have been listening to lately. You know when you listen to a band and you then get a recommendation for another band that is similar it opens you up to so much music and bands you may not have discovered otherwise. One band I have been listening to a lot lately is a band called Picture. They are from Holland and released an album Eternal Dark back in 1983; they are very New Wave Of British Heavy Metal in their style and well worth checking out if you don’t know them. They did two albums one in 1982 and the album they are most known for is 1983’s Eternal Dark. It’s good hard rock.
Any final words for the Australian fans ahead of the tour?
We are really looking forward to coming back down under and meeting all you guys. We are going to give you all one hell of a show so be prepared!!
Interview by Andrew Slaidins
Buckcherry – Australian Tour 2019
with Hardcore Superstar and Bad Moon Born
Oct 8th @ Rosemount Hotel, Perth
Oct 9th @ The Gov, Adel
Oct 11th @ Max Watts, Melb
Oct 12th @ The Zoo, Bris
Oct 13th @ Metro Theatre, Syd