QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Skinny Disco (Deathstars)

written by Marko Jakob

Pix666: Hello Skinny, first of all thank you for your time, it is an honour to have you. Are you well – are you healthy?

Skinny Disco: Thanks for having me.

I’m doing as good as one can do during this pandemic. I don’t think I’ve had the virus yet.

Pix666: You have been the bassist of the Swedish band Deathstars for 17 years now, one of the big players in the European alternative metal scene. You have toured with the most successful bands in the world, such as Korn or Rammstein. Looking back, what were the most unforgettable moments of your career so far?

Skinny Disco: As you mentioned we’ve done some unforgettable tours through the years. With big tours like that it’s hard to remember one specific show because all the venues look the same both on and off stage. Therefor some of my fondest memories on stage have been on our own headlining tours or during festivals. First time in Russia was intense, the German festivals like Summer Breeze, Blackfield or Wacken are always amazing to visit and every time we visit Central and South America we have the best of times.

One fun anecdote from our tour with Korn was when Jonathan Davies security guard came to me and told me that a serious problem had occurred. Earlier that morning he had found glitter on his penis. I couldn’t help to laugh but promised him that we’d ease off the use of glitter near him. During this period Whiplasher used to drench himself in glitter before every show and it spread everywhere.

Pix666: Let’s talk right away about postponing the tour. As a musician you surely have an absolute desire to play live in front of an audience – don’t you feel like a racehorse in the starting box, but the door doesn’t open?

Skinny Disco: Haha, nice parable! Yes, I would lie if I said I don’t feel a strong urge to get back up on the stage. Even though, I’ve realized that there’s nothing I can do to change the situation right now, it is what it is. I’m even trying to think as realistic as possible towards how the future might look. That all of this probably changes the landscape of live music for the next 10 years. I think traveling will be harder and more expensive, I think that a lot of venues will go bankrupt, I think it’s difficult to expect that the crowds will be as big as they were before Covid and I think too many bands and artists will compete for he same small space when we all are allowed out there. But if I try not to be too pessimistic I think rock n’ roll will prevail. But it’s going to take time.

Pix666: Do you actually remember what was the smallest and biggest audience you ever played for?

Skinny Disco: I played an outdoor show early 2000 in Sweden with my old band Revolution Riot. There were another 4 or 5 bands on the bill the same night. Anyway it was raining like hell and we all played for 2 people and a dog. The promoter yelled at us when we had a sip of beer in between songs shouting: “You’re here to play not to drink”!

Pix666: How did you actually come up with your stage name – is there a special story behind it?

Skinny Disco: Skinny has been with me since 1998 I think and I changed it to my legal name in 2004. Disco was added late one night when me and Whiplasher were out clubbing and he DISCOvered my dancing skills.

Pix666: Now you probably have more time for other things than originally planned because of the Corona restrictions. The work on the 5th album is in full swing. Can you already tell us a few things about it? Are there any changes in the sound, what is the current progress of the work, is there already an album title, and when will it be released?

Skinny Disco: Compared to previous albums I haven’t been that much involved in the process except from the obvious parts where I conduct my instrument. But from listening to it, I think it is a big progress from previous albums. It has more variation and the craftsmanship from Nightmare is really something extra on this one. Because of the pandemic we’ve decided not to stress it and therefor we don’t have a release date set yet, but it shouldn’t be too long. Hopefully we’ll be able to reveal the album title soon as well.

Pix666: Has the Corona pandemic somehow influenced the work on the album so far, or is everything as usual?

Skinny Disco: I wouldn’t say it influenced it. But it gave us some extra time to make it a better album.

Pix666: How are you currently in contact with the fans, do you use the full range of social media channels?

Skinny Disco: I’ve always tried to maintain contact through various medias. These days I mainly use my private Instagram account.

Pix666: I’m thinking about the great SadDoLLs song ‘Terminate Me’, where you have a vocal part. What other musical projects are you involved in, or where else can you be found as a guest singer? Imagine if you had a wish, which musician or band would you most like to get as a duet partner?

Skinny Disco: I have my other band The Heard where I play guitar. And I’ve written a song with Clare Cunningham (ex-Thunder Mother) named Broken Train that will be released in the beginning of next year. It’s a country ballad, so a lot different from Deathstars. But that’s just the way I like it and I hope you do too… haha!

Pix666: What are your favourite bands and music styles? Does it vary sometimes?

Skinny Disco: I listen to everything, but mostly rock from the 70’s and good country music. At the moment I listen to Underground Fire, Blues Pills, Lindemann, Chris Stapleton, Then Comes Silence, Hällas, Tonbruket, Opeth… and so on.

Pix666: You also perform as a DJ from time to time. What was the frequency of your performances in the ‚Covid year‘ 2020?

Skinny Disco: I had one online DJ-set for a club in London called Reptile. It was fun but weird.

Pix666: What else do you do, if there is time for it – do you have any cool hobbies?

Skinny Disco: I race go karts. Me and a bunch of old rockers have a racing series called FetGo. We compete all over Sweden and sometimes abroad. It’s a lot of fun and when I have the right focus, I do win some of the races.

Pix666: Thank you for the wonderful and interesting answers – stay healthy and good luck next year with the album – see you on tour for sure.

Skinny Disco: Thank you! Hope to see you all soon!


photos © Mattias Nilsson, live pic Pix666


15.04. SE Gothenburg – Pustervik
16.04. SE Malmö – KB
17.04. SE Stockholm – Klubben
22.04. FI Helsinki – Tavastia
23.04. FI Tampere – Olympia
06.05. DE Berlin – Hole 44
07.05. DE Stuttgart – Im Wizemann
08.05. DE München – Hansa39
09.05. CH Zürich – Plaza
11.05. IT Rome – Largo
12.05. IT Milan – Legend
13.05. FR Lyon – Rock n Eat Live
14.05. ES Barcelona – Apolo 2
15.05. ES Madrid – Shoko Live
17.05. FR Toulouse – Connexion Live *new*
18.05. FR Paris – La Maroquinerie
19.05. UK London – O2 Academy Islington
20.05. UK Manchester – Academy 3
21.05. UK Glasgow – G2
22.05. UK Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
24.05. BG Antwerp – Kavka
25.05. DE Köln – Luxor
26.05. LUX Esch-Sur-Alzette – Rockhal
27.05. FR Strasbourg – La Laiterie
28.05. NL Utrecht – Tivoli Vredenburg
29.05. DE Hamburg – Markthalle
09.09. RUS Moscow – Arbat Hall
10.09. RUS St. Petersburg – Aurora Hall
12.09. UA Kiev – Atlas
18.09. EE Tallinn – Tapper Club *new*
19.09. LV Riga – Melna Piektdiena *new*
20.09. LT Vilnius – Vakaris *new*
21.09. PL Warsaw – Hydrozagadka
22.09. PL Wroclaw – Club Pralnia
23.09. HU Budapest – A38 Ship
24.09. RO Cluj – Form Space
25.09. RO Bucharest – Quantic
27.09. SI Ljubljana – Orto Bar
28.09. AT Vienna – Szene
29.09. CZ Prague – Meet Factory
30.09. DE Leipzig – Hellraiser
01.10. DE Hannover – Musikzentrum *new*
02.10. DK Copenhagen – Pumpehuset *new*