Magnus Sellergran | VIDEOGRAM

PrintE-mail Written by Nick Spacek

Sweden's Magnus Sellergren is better known to you as Videogram, composer and maker of synth-driven cult film score homages, such as last year's fantastic romp through the genres, Pre-Cert. His upcoming album, for Cineploit Records, is a bit more tightly-focused. The Gladiatori dell'Apocalise EP pays tribute to the likes of The New Barbarians, Mad Max, and Exterminators of the Year 3000, and while a few cuts have that trademark horror disco sound, longtime Videogram fans will discover a whole new side of the musician. We spoke with Sellergren about the direction he's taken with Gladiatori dell'Apocalise.

STARBURST: How did you come to work with Cineploit?
Magnus Sellergran: I was in the process of working on my second full-length demos during the fall and early winter of 2014. Based on the reception of my previous efforts, as well as me wanting to take the project to the next level, I sent some mp3s to Alex and shortly afterward we were in talks. I love Cineploit, they've got a great rapport, great distribution, and a unique artist roster.

While this isn't the first time you've visited the land of post-apocalyptic jams, it's the first time you've dedicated an entire release to them. What's the appeal?
The post-apocalyptic genre was a big part of the VHS experience. When it comes to the genre's appeal I'd say they're pretty much classic fairy tales, updated and pushed into the 21st century. I've loved Mad Max and the Road Warrior sequel since I was a kid and had fun discovering the Italian knock-offs along with the Italian horror greats later on. Musically and sound-wise speaking, I love how they allow you to blend horror and sci-fi sounds. You're allowed to stretch things a bit more.

The songs on the album have your signature horror disco vibe on cuts like Io, Mutante and The Ravagers, but the first few cuts are these different creatures entirely. What led you to explore the bigger dimensions and sonic avenues on this album?
Just wanting to progress as a songwriter, musician and audio engineer. I am pretty big on audio, I love to spend a day just nerding out with technology, and Videogram, to me, is not only a chance for me to express my love for genre movies, but a way to try out new production and mixing techniques as well.

As enjoyable as your past releases have been, this appears to be much more fleshed out and thematically complete. Would you consider this your first full-length?
Thanks! Well, it's my second EP exploring one specific theme, just like last December's Camp Blood EP was a tribute to the iconic Friday the 13th franchise. But I agree, you can say that with this EP the whole concept of Videogram is gelling. I like the concept and will most likely do this again in the future, create EP's with one specific theme and explore it in-depth.

Who laid down that sax on Death Riders 2096, and how did it come about? It seems like it's the spiritual successor to 2077: Raiders of the Apocalypse, but on a whole other level.
Cameron is a U.S.-based musician that helps me out with sax every now and then. I love working with him. I got this so-so sax synth sound, so I sit down and create a solo, a rough sketch of what I want, send it off to him and he interprets it. He also did the solo on Le Erotici Notti Di Emanuelle, I might add.

Death Riders 2096 is a personal fave of mine, it came out great! It was one of those weird examples of how you initially hate something, but you keep working on it and towards the end realise you pushed yourself into creating something that you haven't done before. It's a great theme, if I may say so. The bridge in the middle was pretty inspired and overall the song was three days of work (the horn mid part is a four-part harmony). I still remember when I had the rough mix finished. I cranked it up on the monitors and laughed to myself ‘Well, that's definitely new!’

Given that you're already working on new material, can you say as to whether or not it builds on this work, or does it venture off in another direction entirely?
Yes. I am excited to announce that my Camp Blood 10-inch EP, released in December last year, got the attention of Moby collaborators Acid Washed. They're fans of the project and decided to get in touch a couple of months back. We're currently working on Videogram's second EP of this year and, yes, the title track builds on an outtake from this post-apocalyptic EP. That's all I'm at liberty to share right now!

The music of Videogram can be found at videogram.bandcamp.com, and more info is at facebook.com/videogramSWE.


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