Sweden’s Kerbera formed back in 2013 as their music includes a handful of styles ranging from post-hardcore, progressive, pop-punk, etc.. It was the group’s single of “Inglorious” that got them to where they are now as they’ve been releasing new tunes ever since including 2016’s full-length debut People Like You. These Swedish rockers have toured with acts such as Falling in Reverse and are currently working on a new album. We caught up with vocalist Seike to learn more about the band, their latest single “Home is Where I Don’t Belong,” and more.
Can you talk more about how you guys formed?
Yeah, Kerbera started in the middle of 2013. My former band, Seremedy, just disbanded and back then, I thought I was actually not gonna continue with music. I was like, maybe I should go for my dream of becoming a director or I should focus on maybe writing, I’m writing a book series that I’ve been working on. Then I got so many messages from my fans, all my supporters and they were telling me how much my music meant to them and my voice, my singing, my lyrics; everything. So, actually, it was through them I decided to continue with music. I can’t let them down and they’re so important to me and they give me so much purpose in what I’m doing. That was why the band was actually formed from the beginning and what I did was, I put out an ad on all my social media pages and my blog that I had back then and Facebook, Twitter, everywhere, where I was searching for members. I asked around among my friends who are musicians and yeah, that’s how we formed.
How long have you been writing the book series?
Oh, it’s such a long time. I started the idea back when I was ten years old. I had this idea of a book that I wanted to write and it has kind of developed since then, now I more or less have the whole plot ready. That book is probably gonna be my life work, so I’m gonna let it take its time. That’s something that I wanna do in the future but you know, you can always write a book but when it comes to your career in music…Of course, we could breakthrough when we’re 50 or 60 or something but I kinda feel like I wanna do this now and yeah, I’m mainly doing it for the fans. That’s where I find all my strength and inspiration.
It’s great that you can go through different creative outlets and to keep working.
Not to stay focused in one area.
How can you describe your live performances?
Live performance? Okay, I have ADHD and I’m also bipolar, so I’m doing a lot of stuff. I’m a very creative person in general, so when I was five-years-old, I started with theater because that was a way for me to get all my energy out and creativity and everything. I’ve been doing theater since I was very, very young as long as I can remember and I also graduated in theater school. It was right after that I joined the first band.
I would say for me, the band is a way to, all this creativity that I have, I put it in the band. I love writing, so that’s where lyrics come in. I love performing and that’s the whole stage thing.
I would say our stage performances, that’s where I am so to say, naked, not really but I am exposed. That’s where I’m most exposed and also where I’m the strongest part of me is there along with my most weak self.
I’m the most vulnerable but I’m also the strongest when I’m there. It’s a very naked,very real thing for me. My live performances where I actually get to be in front of and together with and sharing energy with the supporters we have, it’s something I would say for me, kind of therapy and it’s also a huge reason why I’m doing what I’m doing.
That’s what Kerbera as a band always comes down to. We love to perform. Once we have the budget, I have no- Our stage performances won’t really have a limit to what it can become.
I would say many people who watch us, what we usually get as a response is that they like- Let’s say they see us for the first time, they’ve never heard of us before. They say either I love the energy or they would say I love the music.
There is something for everyone. Even if they would say, okay, it’s not necessarily my taste. It’s not my type of music, but I truly enjoyed the show and we always aim to do that. We’re here to entertain.
You mentioned, you have ADHD and you’re also bipolar. How has that been a challenge,dealing with that while pushing through your creative projects?
I would say sometimes, I’m very open about it, I tried to kill myself several times. It’s kind of a way to cope with that, cope with being able to live with yourself because I would say that’s the most challenging thing in life is to learn how to live with yourself.
The band in general is a place where I get to be me 100% and that’s hard because you also have to face the part of you that you’re not really comfortable with but it’s also a way of kind of therapy, I would say.
It’s also a way of learning to accept who you are and learning to see those things and kind of turn them around. All the bad sides you have and to turn them around and make something out of it.
All the lyrics I do, the way I perform, I’m not comfortable with my body. I’ve always had a very hard time accepting myself when I look at myself in the mirror, I see someone that is, I see myself as more like- Most of the time, the image I have of myself, it doesn’t match reality and I’ve been struggling with that a lot. Therefore, I also had a lot of problems with my weight up and down. I would say that Kerbera is very real and very- What we wanna kind of give to others is the same thing that it does for the people in the band.
It speaks reality.
Do you guys have plans for next year?
Yes, we have. We actually have dates booked already but we are not allowed to to tell exactly what dates and where. But it’s gonna be in the beginning of next year, it’s gonna be revealed. We have a lot of plans, we say we have plans about one year ahead. Here in the U.S., we have of course been here in the U.S. now on a press tour where we have met media people and also people behind the scenes, label people and such.
But we have also met a guy named Nick Sampson and he is the guitarist of I Am Abomination, which is a band in the genre. He also worked with other artists such as Asking Alexandria, Miss May I, Born of Osiris; to name a few.
He kind of has this kind of inside the genre that we wanna be a part of, so it was a natural step for us to go here to U.S. because we have a lot of followers and if we check our statistics, we have the most dedicated fans from here, the whole America, both South and North America.
What we did is that we wanna go here, we wanted to record the song together with someone who was in the genre. So we did that. We went on the session, three day session where we wrote the song, we recorded the song, and it’s gonna be mixed and mastered and we’re gonna release it in the beginning of 2019.
That’s something that I can reveal, but exact dates, et cetera will be announced soon.But, that’s one thing. After that, the whole first part of the year we’re gonna release a lot of new things which will lead up to a full length album as it’s seen right now.
What was it like creating music videos such as the one for “Home Is Where I Don’t Belong”?
Yes. It’s always nice when we work with Kerbera, as I said, that’s where all the members get to use their creativity to the max.
I’ve also said that I wanted to be director when I was younger and that’s where the whole direction, director part of me come in. I wrote the script and I also did all the work around that and then together with all the members, we decorated, redecorated the areas where we were gonna record and scout for locations.
We had a good team, all of us. It was really cool process because everything you see with Kerbera are things that we do ourselves. It’s our imagination that comes to life.
We rarely take someone else in that does all that kind of creativity for us. But we love to work with people around us and most of the times, it has been, I would say always it has been friends of ours that we have been like, okay this friend of ours-
When we’re working on “Home Is Where I Don’t Belong”, he is an old, friend of mine who started working and started his own company in film, who’s name is Javier.
He is on the Nordic Star Productions. It was really nice to just bring him in, brainstorm together me and our manager, write the whole script, search for all the people who were gonna be in the video, we actually invited through our fan group.
Said to our fans, “If you wanna be a part of this”, we invited them to- Instead of searching for, a cast.
Instead of just going out and do that, open to everyone, we did it in the fan group so we kinda tried to work very closely with our fans like that and I think that’s of huge importance for us.
It was a really, really nice- Also for them, they all said it was a great experience to hear the song before it was actually ready. We tried to do all that kind of stuff and it was a great thing. Stressful, but great.
I hear a mix of different styles in your music from pop, punk, and metal. Can you explain more on how you decided to mix these styles together?
When it comes to Kerbera, we mainly are- Our influences, I would say, are mainly from bands such as- I know that our guitarist for example is very much into Avenged Sevenfold. I take all my inspiration from composers such as Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman. I’ve heard from a lot of people that they say that we seem to be very much into Japan, but I would say and think it’s mainly because I had my former band was called Seremedy and it was really all about the whole Japanese thing.
We were a part of that genre and I think a lot of people kind of, it’s still stuck with me since I was into the genre for such a long time. I started getting into it when I was 10 or something.
It’s such a huge part of my life but it’s not, by purpose. We have all these different inspirations like Muse, the band Muse is also a band that we truly love. Usually what we do with music is that we experiment a lot, we usually say that we are an alternative rock act and we are experimenting a lot with the sound.
But it’s kind of catching melodies when it comes to the vocal parts, along with very progressive instrumentals, and we have this ambient soundscapes surrounding it all.
That’s more what I would say and I don’t think any of the members are actually listening to Japanese artists. It’s cool that we fit in there. We actually made a tour there back in 2016, I believe it was.
That went really well, so I think maybe it’s a kind of sound that the Japanese market actually like.
Is there anything else that you wanna say or add to your fans?
Yeah, of course. For those who doesn’t know about Kerbera since before, I would say that we are so excited to- With what we’ve done since 2013 and stuff, we have been building up to the point where we are actually ready to push this band, take the next step so to say.
What we’ve done is mostly trying out different sounds, we’ve been experimenting a lot and we’ve been touring around in Asia, in Japan as I said and Thailand. We’ve been around Europe.
What we wanna do right now is to actually take the next step and go also where we have seen a lot of fan growth here in the U.S. I’m really excited to be able to show what Kerbera is and what we’re all about.
To the fans that we already have, I know that all of them are so happy and excited as well because they’ve been- We were always working very closely with the fans.
I hope that they’re gonna love the whole new take that I have on this as much as we all do, because we are all very, very excited.