Having reviewed Death Machine’s single ‘Up‘ single last week, a video for the track has also been released. It features the band’s singer/songwriter Jesper Mogensen bursting out of lake and stumbling on to land only to begin a wild journey through nature to a cabin where…well you’ll have to watch it to see, but it has the same surreal quality of a David Lynch production.
Jesper was kind enough to answer some questions for Joyzine:
Joyzine: ‘Up’ seems ultimately to be an optimistic song about challenging yourself to come out of the ‘blind spot’ and face your anxiety. Did the anxiety of COVID-19 influence the song or just happen to run parallel with what is happening in the world?
Jesper: I can’t outrule that the pandemic had a role to play at a subconscious level. I usually start out writing lyrics without thinking so much. Somewhere in the process I start to see what it is about and begin to rewrite the stuff that doesn’t fit in. In this case the song is not about the fears of a virus but rather the fear of not being good enough or not daring to be who you are and live your dreams. The character in the song is on the brink of releasing his potential. It refers to my own struggles with believing in myself as a musician. But maybe all this COVID paranoia inspired the song somehow. I don’t know.
Where did the flower image come from and how does it relate to the song?
To be honest there are not that many deep thoughts about the flower image. But the song is about growing in some sense. A flower is a fine symbol of unfolding beauty. The eye is just for fun. To give it some edge and personify it a bit I guess.
Is ‘Up’ going to be part of a new album or is it just a stand-alone release?
Right now we are experimenting with a lot of songs, but we don’t have an album ready. New ideas and songs are still emerging, and we want to pick the best. But of course there will be some kind of album when we are ready.
Did you anticipate the confusion naming the band Death Machine would cause (I love playing your music to people and watching the look on their face when they ask the band name)? What kind of machine would a death machine be?
I knew that the name would be very confusing and I guess that it might have been an obstacle sometimes, because people who like the kind of music we play in general are not into Death Metal bands which the name indicates that we are. On the other hand you might not forget the name when you first realize that we are not that hardcore.
I guess I’ve never really considered what a Death Machine would be. It was more about distancing myself a bit from the songs because they were very personal. With a contradicting name like that everything can be a bit lighter and less pretentious. So no specific machine in mind. I prefer not to think about what a Death Machine would be actually. Too scary.
Can you talk a bit about the video’s meaning?
The video is open to interpretation but one way to look at it is that it’s about a thought or a feeling emerging from the subconscious level and it finds its way to eliminate some of the negative patterns that holds you down. When you do that you get the gift of freedom. In my opinion freedom is about overcoming your fears.
What is in store in the near future for you and the band (I am ever hopeful we will see you play in the UK at some point after COVID is under control)?
We will definitely release some more singles and hopefully we will come to the UK someday. We would love that, but right now we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Huge thanks to Jesper for the interview and to Nicki at Celebration Records for arranging it.