The Will to Overcome
CoC chats with Klaas Ideberg of Darkane
by: Jackie Smit
Music as a singular entity has within its vast realm essentially two types of person. On the one hand are those who involve themselves in the making of music purely because they live for the thrill of fame and, as the current state of the mainstream proves, are probably not talented enough to do anything else. Then there are those who live for their work. They imbibe whatever they do with a sense of passion and honesty that could ever only have been spawned from the mind of a person who truly loves their art. As the commercial exploitation of music gains more and more momentum, these individuals are becoming increasingly scarce, but -- and perhaps more so in extreme music than any other -- such luminaries still exist if you look hard enough. People like Devin Townsend. People like Trey Azagthoth. And, in this case, people like Klaas Ideberg -- guitarist and primary songwriter for cyber-thrash masters Darkane. A few short months ago, Klaas was at a crossroads: confined to a wheelchair and told by doctors that it was inadvisable to perform again. Ask him about it now and he's almost alarmingly nonchalant about it, but the fact of the matter is that most so-called musicians these days would call it a day when faced with such adversity.

And that, my friends, is precisely why after my talk with Klaas, I have the pleasure of seeing him rip it up on stage alongside the band he formed in 1998.

CoC: First up, Klaas: what's new in the Darkane camp at the moment?

Klaas Ideberg: The main news is that we're going to start recording practically as soon as we get off this tour [the interview is being conducted in October 2003]. We've set up our own studio, and we'll probably start recording in early December, finish in February and hopefully release toward the end of April, beginning of May.

CoC: Care to give us an idea of what the new material sounds like?

KI: It sounds a lot like our last three albums: it has the very complicated things we did in _Insanity_ and it has a lot of the elements of _Rusted Angel_ and _Expanding Senses_ as well. It'll probably be a bit more extreme, but we'll see how it develops. With the pre-production material at least, it is sounding quite extreme.

CoC: Is Daniel Bergstrand going to working with you as producer again?

KI: No, we were going to record the album with him, but he got stuck doing the new In Flames records. So, we thought we'd do it ourselves and then I had a problem with my back and Peter had problems with his wrists, which caused the recording thing to be slightly postponed.

CoC: You'll be doing the recording in your own studio then, I take it -- did you guys build the studio with the primary purpose of recording Darkane?

KI: Yeah, the studio was already used for _Expanding Senses_: we did the bass, guitars and choirs there and then we did the drums and the vocals in the Dug Out Studios. Now we've bought some new equipment with the money that we got from the record label, so this should suit all our purposes quite well, I think.

CoC: Will you be recording other bands in your studio?

KI: Probably, but we'll see what happens with this recording. I mean, if it turns out good, then definitely. We have already had offers from other bands who want to record with us, after we did _Expanding Senses_.

CoC: You said that the new album will be more extreme; will you be bringing any more of the electronic influences into play that you did in previous records?

KI: Not more, but I think on this album we'll have more of the classical stuff -- the violins and all that shit. On this album, we'll have a proper intro the way we did on _Insanity_ and we're going to use big fucking choirs, hopefully a symphony orchestra. We'll use this in the songs as well, if possible.

CoC: So, let's move on to the back injury you suffered recently: how did it happen?

KI: It actually started already in mid-June, after we did the Sweden Rock Festival and the Hard Rock Festival. A couple of days after that, when I sat down, my legs hurt like hell -- actually, when I stood up after sitting down, my legs hurt like shit. Then after a few minutes of walking it would go away, but it gradually got worse and worse all through the summer. Then, the last time I was able to walk properly was the day we played in Wacken -- that was the last time. In mid-August I had to use crutches to walk and then when we played in Israel six weeks ago it was acute. So, when we got home off that tour I was hospitalized, because I couldn't do shit. I was fucked.

CoC: Do you know what the cause was?

KI: Well, I have a history of having a bad back.

CoC: And you think that being on stage might have aggravated that?

KI: Possibly. The doctors had some thoughts about that. They told me that I shouldn't be on stage anymore and that even after rehabilitation it wouldn't be good for me to go back on stage. But in my mind, it's mainly a case of me having to exercise more and I haven't had the time to do that for the past few years, because I have been too busy with the band and work and all that shit. So I have to do something to build strength in my back, basically.

CoC: How are you feeling now?

KI: I'm okay now; I can walk and when I've played on this tour so far I've thrashed around and it's been fine.

CoC: Let's talk about your show in Israel. It's obviously not your standard tour stop; that must have been quite an experience?

KI: It was fucking great -- the audience were wild!

CoC: Does Darkane have a large following there?

KI: Yeah well, we do now! There was about five to six hundred people at every show and probably about a hundred people had the album, but straight after the shows the sales went fucking sky-high, so now we have a big following. We sell more than HammerFall in Israel anyway!

CoC: How did the tour in Israel come about?

KI: We were invited to go by the distribution company, Raven Music; they're really nice guys and they asked us to come and play. They have a couple of shows there every year: they had Rotting Christ and a couple of other death metal bands there a little while ago. But it's not a regular thing and the people are still hungry for music there.

CoC: So how did you experience the country, considering the current political climate, the ongoing terrorist actions and so on?

KI: Well, especially before we went there, my mother was telling me: "Don't go there, you'll get blown up." And I said "fuck it". But apparently the last terrorist action took place about three or four minutes walking distance from where we lived. And Juergen, our bass-player, he works in Tel Aviv and his home is close to the American Embassy, and that's where the last bomb went off. He even heard the blast and woke up in the middle of the night, saw the bodies being dragged away and all that shit.

CoC: Considering that the people there live their lives in that sort of environment every day, would you say that this makes them perhaps more appreciative of a band like yourselves performing there?

KI: Could be -- definitely.

CoC: Are you considering any more obscure destinations anytime soon?

KI: Well, we won't do it for this album, but we've had a lot of interest from South America -- we get mail from there every fucking day, so we definitely want to go there with the next album.

CoC: What's the last good album that you bought?

KI: That I bought? Actually the new Machine Head album is pretty good.

CoC: You obviously think it's a step up from _Supercharger_ then?

KI: _Supercharger_ is shit! So many times I tried to like it, but I can't -- it's fucking boring. But I actually met the guys yesterday in Paris and they know about us and they like us. So, I was proud.

CoC: Looking toward the future, where do you plan on taking Darkane?

KI: As far as possible. If we can afford to do things like increase the visual element of our shows, we will. If the next album does well, we'd like to do a co-headline tour in the States and in Europe and then we'll be able to incorporate a lot of new stuff into our shows and possibly into our music as well.

CoC: What's your profile like in the States at the moment?

KI: We sell quite well -- we're still on an underground label, but we have a good following and the fans that we have in America are really, really dedicated and really amazing. And definitely on the next album we'll be touring America. We have to. We've had offers, but with the last one especially we got the news too late and because we work we weren't able to go. It was two or three weeks before, so it was just impossible.

CoC: What's a typical day on tour with Darkane?

KI: Well, today we woke up very late, because we had a very late show last night. We set up the basic gear and we're just silly guys. We're very childish. We play pranks on each other all the time. We're really into being 'fake-gays' and we play Heavy Metal Trivial Pursuit all the time.

CoC: What would you say are must-have items when you are on tour?

KI: Beer. I can't live without beer. And that's about it.

CoC: Thanks a lot for your time, Klaas. Do you have anything else to add?

KI: To everybody who reads Chronicles of Chaos: check us out, buy our albums and come see us live. You won't regret it.

(article submitted 25/1/2004)

6/20/2005 J Smit Darkane: Seal the Senses
8/12/2001 P Schwarz Darkane: Dark Insanity
5/31/2005 J Smit 7.5 Darkane - Layers of Lies
8/12/2001 D Rocher 8 Darkane - Insanity
8/12/1999 D Rocher 10 Darkane - Rusted Angel
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