Back in March I conducted a phone interview with Mikkel Neperus, the vocalist of Danish southern rock'n'roll band Supercharger, on their new album "Broken Hearts And Fallaparts", and thought it was lost forever due to an accidental format of my phone's SD card. Turns out my Dropbox had an auto-upload feature on and I only recently recovered the recording by accident. So albeit delayed, enjoy our chat with Mikkel about Supercharger's new album, their evolution as a band, and their opinions on the Danish rock music scene.
RF.net: Thank you for the interview first of all. If you could start out by introducing yourself to our readers?
Mikkel: Yes, my name is Mikkel, and I am the lead singer in Supercharger.
RF.net: So tell me a little bit about this 'pure southern redneck' attitude you guys try to emulate in the band?
Yeah. That's something that we got from a review from way back. We haven't really put ourselves in that category as rednecks (laughs)
. I think that it's a part of the southern elements that we use in our songs, or that people try to connect us with the cowboy howdy howdy stuff, so that's where the redneck thing comes from. I don't think that we think so much about it anymore. It's the guitar and blues that has become a part of our sound, the way we are sounding today. So we are not trying to emulate anything, we just landed somewhere extremely special. I mean we're city people, we're not from the country or anything - or line dancers.
RF.net: Of course. I think it's a pretty catchy term though. It does kind of describe the rowdy rock'n'roll sound that you guys have.
Mikkel: Yeah, yeah, I know what they mean [laughs]. If people who are reading this, like people from the States, who actually know what a real redneck is, then it's kind of like 'oh, okay'. I mean trailers and smoking meth.
RF.net: You released "Broken Hearts And Fallabacks" in late January. Tell me a bit about this release, how you feel about it, and so forth?
Mikkel: I mean, I knew already in the studio that in our opinion it was the best album that we have done so far. There has been a lot of excitement with this album. Also because the new working partners that we teamed up with, for example our new label, GAIN Sweden, and some new booking agencies. We really feel with the songs that we have on this album that we are building around Supercharger so that we can take it way further than we have done so far. We are really satisfied with the new album, absolutely. We got the songs that we wanted to do on the album, and the vibe and all that.
RF.net: You called "That's How We Roll" a 'difficult' sophomore album - probably because you wanted to expand your soundscape from strict hard rock. So would you say that "Broken Hearts And Fallaparts" was also a difficult album to write? Why/Why not?
Mikkel: It was definitely a difficult album to write. I think we're best at the touring thing because then we can turn off our brains and egos, you know? When we have to make music, the paranoia starts, like are we doing the same all over again? Are there any good songs? It's the same every time, and on this album it was rather like the same. But it worked in the end. I don't know, I think it's hard to be in the studio, it's kind of like it's fixed every time, like doubt on if we still have it or got it or.
RF.net: Were you nervous at all about how it would be received? Did you feel any pressure?
Mikkel: Yeah in a way. The first album that we did, "Handgrenade Blues", which was more raw and straightforward. On the next album we had more melodic songs and the sound was kind of more produced, and we took a lot of beating for that actually. Some of the metal heads were kind of like "ahh, that's too polished", but I think on this album, we were just... I think we wanted it to be a bit more heavy and still kind of maintain the good songs, the good sound. So I don't know if we were nervous... I guess we are always nervous when we think about how people will react to it, but I think the reactions have been great all around until now, and the reviews have been awesome, so it went well anyways.
RF.net: What do you think are the key differences from the new album to the previous two in terms of sound? You just mentioned there a little bit that it's heavier, but...?
I think that on this album we didn't compromise in any way. We knew exactly what we wanted, and we felt that we had the experience from the last two albums, so we were much clearer in what we wanted this time. I think the difference is that we have a little bit harder sound on this, in my opinion more well written songs, and more variation, and the songs are way better. I think we took a step forward on this album.
RF.net: So I guess a little bit like that track "Suzie The Uzi", where you have saloon style pianos and female backing vocals, that was a bit different I guess?
Mikkel: It was, but it's a thing that we've talked about on every album that we would love to have some cheerleading on the record. And now we've just found the right song to do it on. The girls that we got to do it did a great job. It was kind of different. We play with all kinds of stuff on every album, we always have some ideas and plans that we want to do.
RF.net: So the title of the album - Broken Hearts And Fallaparts - what's the meaning behind it? What other titles did you consider?
Mikkel: We had a change of band members on the second album. We got two new members in and they were from a band called The New Heartaches. So I was just thinking that we were kind of like the fallaparts, and they were the broken hearts, and put that together. Then it was kind of like minus minus equals plus thing. We thought it sounded good, so.
RF.net: You've switched to GAIN from VME as your record label, what was the reason for this?
Mikkel: It was a part of the stepping up thing. We talked with GAIN for like a year and a half before we signed, just talked about the possibilities, and they wanted to hear some of our new material, and then we talked some more and some more. And finally we kind of decided that it was a good solution for us to sign. They are in my opinion the strongest rock label in Sweden. So there's a lot of good things for us in GAIN, and a lot of good things that they can do for us. We have seen what they have done for some of the other artists on the label. And they are basically good, and so far it has been really good. We have some exciting touring plans coming up.
RF.net: Back when "Handgrenade Blues" came out, it was pretty much instantly picked up by the Danish media and fans alike. Did the popularity come as a surprise back then?
Yeah it did, I would say. I wasn't as satisfied with the album as some of the reviewers were. I didn't think that we were ready as a band. It was another time and, you know, I was surprised that we got such good reviews, because to be honest, I was not super excited about the result of the sound. Some of the songs I think were too long. It was kind of a beginner album. We've learned a lot since then. But I also think that some of the popularity may have come from some of the live concerts. I mean we were really playing a lot of shows, even before we got an album out, we were touring in Europe and UK and stuff. I think that some of the excitement came from people who have seen us at some of the live shows.
RF.net: Do you think that the new album will have a similar effect?
Mikkel: Yeah I do. I think it will take us further. I mean, I've seen people's reactions in Germany and Sweden, we are getting more radio play in Europe, and it seems like this album has taken us all to a higher level in the music business, so definitely. The tours as well, the upcoming tours.
RF.net: Denmark has a ton of sleaze/dirty/cock rock style rock'n'roll bands. If you ask me almost all of these bands sound like they're trying to sound like Guns 'N Roses and bands from that era. I think that many of them sound very similar to each other. I think that because of your position in Supercharger, being one of the more popular bands, maybe you have a view on this. So what do you think of the state of the Danish rock scene in general?
There are some good bands in Denmark. But there are less and less rock bands that are fully dedicated. It's part-time rock'n'rollers most of them, if you know what I mean? And I understand why - to play rock'n'roll in Denmark it really sucks, if you ask me. You have to work 24/7. I guess it's because of the rock'n'roll support is not that big. We have been lucky to kind of having found our place in the rock / metal / whatever world in Denmark, but I think it's hard to start-up as a rock'n'roll band. I don't know - I think there's a few good bands and I think they're doing a good job trying to survive just like us.
RF.net: I think recently in the last year or so, we've seen a lot of rock bars opening in Copenhagen in general. I feel like it's coming back in a way. Because there was a moment where we only had The Rock and afterwards Sin City, and now High Voltage came along a year ago, where you guys opened that show. Do you think that's going to change at all?
Mikkel: When I was told the idea on paper. I was just like: that's never gonna work. In the area being an inferno of bars, more inner city kind of disco area. But for some reason it seems like there is a crowd anyway, and it really makes us happy to see the support from the people. I can see when you visit the place, I can see some of the young faces, who are so dedicated to it. And that's a good thing it's something that we have really missed in the town, a place where you can meet and talk music et cetera. Any big city, without calling Copenhagen a big city, I know it's not big compared to so many others, but every capital should have a rock forum where people can meet up and start bands and listen to music. I'm just glad that it works and that people support that place.
RF.net: That was my last question. Do you have anything to add?
Mikkel: I think that people should give our new album a chance, and come out and see us. I think that we're on fire. Give it a chance and buy the album, and all that you should end an interview with.
Visit Supercharger on Facebook. New album "Broken Hearts And Fallaparts" out now via GAIN Music.