(By our Norwegian correspondent Jan Ronald Stange)
After an almost eight year long hiatus from releasing new music and 15 months after their previous live concert, the Norwegian industrial synth rockers in Zeromancer releases their brand new single ‘Damned le Monde’, out today on Trisol. Or, maybe not exactly brand new, but more about that later when Kim Ljung explains its origins.
The track itself sounds refreshingly new, and at the same time also comfortably like a Zeromancer classical. With a haunting bassline filled build-up the first third of the song, followed by a take-off into the kind of chorus Zeromancer famously does, filling your ears with that uplifting feeling, making you wanting more. Almost from the first listen ‘Damned le Monde’ also gives you that ‘first track/first single’ feeling, like ‘Clone your lover’, ‘Doctor Online’ and even ‘Sinners international’ also did. Will it be the first track on the upcoming album too?
The remixes are also good matches, making good use of the song into something new without losing touch with the original.
On the day of the release I also managed to squeeze in a phone call with a very happy Kim, getting some more info on this release.
Side-Line: Tell us about the single and its content – are you mad at the world?
Kim Ljung: No, not at all. Although I often see things in black and white, I’m mostly happy. It’s being released in a difficult time for most people, and feels fitting in that sense. But it’s written several years ago, have changed the title a few times too. As it have had a long life already from the first demo to the final take, things have changed a lot along the way, especially the text. It became a bit fragmented in the end; something personal, something seen from another persons point of view, taking side with the weak and the misfits. Main theme might be “being seen”, even in hard times.
First demo was very much slower, with more synths and drum machines. Then Noralf did his part, and the bass lines I’d done on an old Mini Moog didn’t integrate well with the drums, so we decided to record it with bass guitar. And after playing the same bass for many years it’d be fun to try something else, so I found a cheap bass here at work (at Haugarock) that sounded great, and it took the song a step further.
When we started rehearsing for songs Per Olav came up with new guitar riffs, which in turn made me make a brand new chorus, and the whole song benefited from having a few years in the making.
S-L: There’s three remixes too…
Kim: Our German record company boss made them happen, getting good bands to remix, and it feels like when we bought 12” records in the 80’s, always several remixes included. In my opinion a good song can tolerate almost everything regarding changes, and still be able to rise and get better.
S-L: The cover photo was unlike earlier Zeromancer covers, and seems like it holds a story on its own?
Kim: Correct, it’s a picture of my aunt, taken in 1957 by my grandfather (“Besten”) from Sauda (on the Norwegian west coast). All his life he were in the forefront regarding photography and filming, always sporting the latest versions of equipment. I was always very close to him, and when he died I ended up inheriting his entire archive of photos, mostly dias slides, and lot’s of films, mostly Super 8. I have digitalized almost all of the diases, and showing it last X-mas to my mother and her siblings was a blast, showing their entire childhood and discovering long-forgotten events.
And some of the pictures immediately stood out as cover material, so it felt very rewarding finding these gems and early on decide several single covers, having them connected. The record company also liked this, felt it was something new and different, not so genre traditional.
S-L: Any releasedate for the album yet?
Kim: We’re still working on the album, but we’re taking our time since the corona situation prevents us from touring. First a couple of singles, then album probably in the autumn. When things ease up again we’re ready!
All in all I have a very good feeling about this release today. In this time with almost nothing happening and creativity being on a low, it’s great to release something that matters for people and makes them feel good. Have already gotten lot’s of positive feedback, people saying it made their week and so forth.
Since you’re here … … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Side-Line Magazine than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Side-Line’s independent journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we want to push the artists we like and who are equally fighting to survive. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as 2 US$, you can support Side-Line Magazine – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. The donations are safely powered by Paypal.