For Danish metallized, noisy, harsh hardcore band KOLLAPSE the last couple of years have been intense. After releasing and supporting their debut “Angst” with a string of live shows, the band struggled to keep a steady line up and ended up losing two of its members in the process. The band was hanging on by the skin of their teeth until a new core member could be inducted. The last couple of years KOLLAPSE has been mutating and its members have been diving headfirst into a process of reshaping the artistic core of the band. Just as the band was solidifying as a trio the entire country went on lock down. Being isolated in the northern part of Denmark added to the pressure cooker effect of pent up frustration.
Creating the new album was a struggle. As a trio the band is more focused than ever, both in terms of subject matter as well as sound. On their new album “Sult” the band lets their heavy noise rock and 90’ies influences shine through with a sharp almost “you are there in the room” feel and intensity. The record stands as a testament to willpower.
The album itself is about hunger. “The absence of skin on skin and the catastrophic consequences when that hunger turns into desperation.” – explains the band. “It is about the duality of searching for purpose and losing all in the process. Staring long and hard into the void and realizing the futility of struggle. Sult is a statement on desire, grief and the pure human necessity to scream back at an empty existence. it is a step onto the road of grim realism paved by mavericks such as Edward Munch, Carl Th. Dreyer and Stig Sæterbakken. Offering no solutions or postmodern irony, “Sult” simply reaches out.”
Existentialism and force collide.
Life plods on, until it doesn’t.
Today, we’re pleased to give you the official premiere of the band’s new video for “Byrd”, created by Demian Johnston of Blsphm, Sutekh Hexen and Great Falls.
““Byrd” was chosen as a single because we felt it represented the overall album well.” – explain KOLLAPSE. “We have been working on weirder flows, riffs and repetition the last couple of years as well as integrating two vocals, so “Byrd” was an obvious choice. We feel it captures the intensity well.”
“I think we also felt it was a good choice, because it isn’t an obvious choice perhaps.” – they continue. “It’s not a “single” in the more conventional radio-friendly sense – and we really feel it shows off where the band is now and how different this album sounds from the previous one.
When time came to discuss a music video my preferred choice was Demian Johnston. He is a brilliant artist and musician and a good person on top of that. He liked the tracks we sent and did a beautifully artistic video that hit the nail on the head on every level.
Yeah, Thomas turned both me and Peter on to Demian’s band, Great Falls, and then we also learned about his art. What I really like about the video – besides the obvious mesmerizing and beautiful shots in it – is that it gives the song a completely different layer of meaning. It adds another way of understanding and interpreting the song, which I really like.”
Asked about some background behind the amazing cover art, the band adds: “I am a huge fan of body horror. I grew up on David Cronenberg and to this day, for me, Gina Afentopoulos is the painter that has approached these concepts in the most satisfying and visceral way. Being an old noise rock fan, I found out about her amazing artwork through the Amphetamine Reptile label. We had two options for the cover (both by Gina) and decided on this because it made the most sense graphically. Aesthetics are a huge part of the band as we want everything to tie in with the lyrical focus and themes.
Whenever it comes to art – I just pretty much listen to Thomas, since he has such impeccable taste.”
𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑙𝑦𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑠 𝑓𝑜𝑟 “𝐵𝑦𝑟𝑑” 𝑟𝑒𝑣𝑜𝑙𝑣𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑 𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑑𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑏𝑒𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑑𝑒𝑓𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑡, 𝑎𝑛𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑜𝑟 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑑 𝑖𝑛 𝑏𝑒ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑜𝑟𝑎𝑙 𝑝𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑛𝑠 𝑜𝑟 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓-𝑙𝑜𝑎𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔.
“Every human being is part of a transformational process where nature and nurture in equal measures shape us throughout our lives, but sometimes if the experiences are strong enough, they can cling to us like a bad smell. “Byrd” translates to heritage and burden. Duality is a big part of my lyrics.
There’s also a lot of death in the lyrics – how death defines us by its continuous presence in everything around us. For me, death is the ultimate bad smell – the ultimate burden, if you will. It is constantly there and in every single relationship one has, the only fundamental condition in it, is that one of you must experience the other die. Our finitude defines us and living through the deaths of others is a basic, albeit anxiety-ridden, human experience.”
For KOLLAPSE, 2020 was like walking a tightrope. “We had just solidified as a trio and were ready to record an album.”
“Unfortunately, after working like crazy to reinvigorate the band, the album session fell through. We felt stuck and frustrated for a long period of time until we worked things out with a local producer, who turned out to completely understand what the band wanted. Being quarantined only added to the pressure cooker feeling of the situation. All three members of the band tend to be drawn towards a bleak outlook on life so things can get pretty bad at times, haha. Creativity and expression are a huge part of our lives, so we had a rough couple of months for sure.”
“It was one of the more frustrating experiences I’ve had as a musician, not being able to record the able that we’d been working very hard on. I think the pandemic ought to be a stark reminder for everyone that we are not the masters of our fate – that there is world-without-us and that we have no control, in the end, whether we’re here or not. But most likely, it will blow over and soon the world-eating habits of our societies will up and running again, whilst we wait for the next catastrophe to hit us.”
This year, KOLLAPSE hope to finally play some shows. “Having options taken away or narrowed down can be a healthy thing as we are forced to think differently about things like audience interaction, visual representation and so on. We did a live session in the recording studio last year which gave us the opportunity to play around with lights and the space itself. It was a very pleasant experience. Having people seated doesn’t really affect us that much as the bands’ audience seems to be focused on the music and not jumping around too much.
We are writing songs for the final part of our “trilogy” as well as recording a split record with Danish indie/hardcore band Puke Wolf who are good friends of ours.
I really hope that there will be festivals to play at, but the outlook isn’t that great. We really felt we were getting some momentum going when the pandemic hit, and we had some great shows moved and eventually cancelled and I really hope everything gets going again soon. But I agree with Thomas – we have learned that seated audiences work well for us and we’ve also come to appreciate playing shows even more.”
Speaking about their local music community, KOLLAPSE admit that the town they live in, in the northern part of Jutland (the supposedly “rural” part of Denmark) doesn’t have a very active scene as far as this type of music goes, but there are plenty of artists and musicians around.
“Denmark is producing exciting music these years, especially in Copenhagen where the media focus seems to lie. Jutland bands like Hiraki, Puke Wolf, Brunsten all have very individual takes on the “harder” genres that I find refreshing.
We played a show at the tail-end of 2020 with a band called Tvivler, which I like. Their guitar player is in a band called Town Portal, which I encourage everyone to check out! I’ve also been getting into LLNN recently. If you like post-metal you should check out Late Night Venture. There’s also a band called Orm who write some great black metal that I really dig. And of course our good friends in Heathe who’s debut-album is just crushing, in a good way.”