Copenhagen Scene: Hardcore – Salomon Segers


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We conducted an interview with Salomon Segers, the lead singer of Night Fever. This interview will be followed by conversations with Sophie Lien Lake (Pleaser, Konvent, LINK) and Kasper Deichmann (St. Digue, Motorsav, Hævner, LINK).

The following is an edited transcript for the Italian version (here) to be featured on heavymetalwebzine.it.

Night Fever stands as a significant band within the Copenhagen hardcore scene. Songs such as “New Blood“, “Transparent“, “This is Copenhagen“, and “K-Town Hardcore” easily resonate with listeners, contributing to Night Fever’s popularity within the hardcore niche.

Local critics widely reviewed Night Fever’s records, often focusing on technicalities: useless trifles. Night Fever are not a band to be listened to with headphones, they are to be experienced Live. In some previous stories Salomon was described through the stereotype of “drugs and rock’n’roll”: it seems too superficial to us.

Seeking for hints, I inquire which of his songs holds the strongest personal connection. Salomon points to “Another Year of Misery” and “This Ain’t a Game” These songs harbor intense emotional content and profound anger, indicating that this interview might unveil a more personal aspect.

Our meeting takes place by the Israel Plats skate park. Salomon grabs an energy drink, having just taken his five-year-old child to Tivoli (a local park). He speaks of his regular job in the intensive care and emergency room of a nearby hospital, his voice delivers intensity and satisfaction. While discussing his daily life, I occasionally notice a subtle hesitation, perhaps he is reflecting on whether he should embrace the “dirty punk” stereotype.

This year has been remarkably active for Night Fever. After an almost four-year hiatus due to the pandemic, and with their new album (the singles “Killing Floor” was released in April 2023 and “Lone Wolf”  was released in September 10 2023), the band has had many concerts to prepare for their return to the live scene.

 

How did you become involved in the hardcore punk scene?

I was introduced to Heavy Metal very early by my brother. When I first heard his Megadeth record it was a shock! I thought – Wow! This is the most amazing music I’ve ever heard! –  I still listen to Metal: Demon Head is among my favorite bands.

I started to play hardcore around 7th grade (12-14 years old). The older brother of our previous bassist discovered punk for us: he got a mohawk and encouraged us to play this music. So, we shifted from playing metal to hardcore, even if we kept listening both the genres

 

What was the initial social environment that shaped your music?

We use to go the old Ungdomshuset in Jagtvej. My first concert was there in 1999, I was only 11!

 

Night Fever’s debut dates back to 2007, coinciding with the onset of riots at the Ungdomshuset in Jagtvej, subsequently relocating to the new Ungdomshuset in Dortheavej. How did you experience this transition?

“It took me a while to get used to the new house in Dorthevej, I was personally very attached to the place in Jagtvej. We have been in the old house for long time and the transition was not easy: there has been fights with the police…. The whole city was on fire, it was crazy!

What changes have you observed in the Ungdomshuset environment?

In general, I find the same values comparing the old Ungdomshuset to the new one in Dortheavej. After all, it is the same people who ran Jagtvej that is now managing Dortheavej.

But there are always new people who join us and bring something new, they do not get shut down. they get invited and get to do what they want to do, and that’s how it should always be.

For the political imprint of the Ungdomshuset goes up and down: across the years, sometimes was more prevalent than today.

 

And how did you felt about your Nørrebro changing?

As far as for my Copenhagen, I feel that a lot has changed between 2000 and 2015. I saw Nørrebro and Vesterbro becoming gentrified and changing their vibe. I think that before the eviction of the Ungdomshuset, Nørrebro was a special place: a very genuine and diverse community. Today I find people more superficial and less interesting, often just shallow

 

Your songs don’t overtly reflect the strong political presence of Ungdomshuset. Why is that?

We have our political vision and we still share our ideals within the Ungdomshuset community. Nonetheless, we do not have politics in the foreground of our music: we just do not sing so much about it, it is not what I feel to fits me.

For me, hardcore is about personal feelings: what’s in your head. This makes it easier for me to get in touch with my inner rage: that’s where my feelings are. It feels more honest to me sing what I feel instead of politics.

 

Your music express anger. What triggers your anger?

I don’t know what makes me so enraged: sometimes it is just enough turning on the TV to feel angry! this world is full of crap: there is really so many things you could point the finger to. Personally, I’ve always had a certain dislike for humanity, and it grow stronger by the year. I look forward to became an angry old-man and use my cane to hit people on the shins. It will be very natural development for me!

The laughter relieves the tension. I notice in him a brooding gaze; he’s weighing his words. Salomon remains sincere and lets himself go in a more intimate introspection.

I grew up in a very hard environment: I had no many chances. Growing up like this generates anger toward society. Yet, I’m a good guy, I try to keep my rage inside myself and use it for my music.

For me Night Fever is personally very important, it is an outlet for my anger that would otherwise be channeled in an unhealthy way.

 

We take a break to talk freely about anger and aggressivity.

We delve into the significance of mental well-being and social support: numerous individuals are compelled to endure adversity without sufficient emotional and psychological assistance. I am struck by the tact with which Salomon addresses these subjects. An unanticipated personality that is both compassionate and understanding comes to the forefront. I am astounded by his empathy towards individuals who have faced challenging circumstances; I can sense his profound connection to life’s hardships.

 

Let’s return to your tours. You’ve played at major Danish festivals: Roskilde, Copenhell, K-Town. Where do you feel most at ease?

The hardcore-punk scene is my most natural environment, so probably K-Town. But it does not really matter, anywhere we play we make it our home.

 

Your return to Copenhell garnered an enthusiastic response. How did you perceive it?

It was awesome, it’s our second time at Copenhell. We like to play on big stages and in front of a large audience. It has been great playing in front of new people who had never listened our music before. Beside I really enjoy Copenhell, I attend this festival almost every year!

 

Metal and punk often seem to coexist naturally here in Denmark. How did this blending happen?

Back in the 80s it was very normal for punk, heavy metal and thrash to play together, I think now is just getting normal again.

I really like when hardcore and metal acts are on the same bill. During these events a lot of people opens their eyes on new music they simply didn’t knew. In the end we are the same people: the same outsiders.

Your concerts are very loved by the public, what makes them special?

It is important that when you listen to a band you can feel that they mean what they say, that they are sincere about it. During our live performances we gather all our energy and we give it to the audience. It is this exchange that creates a special atmosphere.”

 

Night Fever has become international, touring across Europe, Brazil, and Japan. How was your experience?

In Japan has been absurd! They whole culture there is very special. Many in the audience came to the concerts straight from work in suits and ties: they changed into their hardcore attires and then got crazy. In Brazil it goes without saying: it was madness!

 

And how about Italy?

It’s been a long time since we played in Italy, not that we don’t want to, it just hasn’t happened again.

We last played in Milan and Bologna around 2010. In Milan we were hosted in a giant squat (presumably the Leoncavallo, ndr): it looked like a fortress in the middle of the city, an absolutely crazy place like I’ve never seen before!

There are also many Italian hardcore bands among my favorites, among them: La Piovra

 

In your opinion, who are the New Blood in Copenhagen?

There are many groups: Decortricate, Indre Krig, Motorsav, Big Mess

it is a great when people mix it up, after all there are only a finite number of ways to play the same riffs over and over again! ”

He also told us Christina Carlsen (Indre Krig) is taking care of the photographs and artwork of the new album, including the cover.

 

What directions do you see Night Fever heading in the future?

I like my music as it is, but if I’d really had to change my sound, maybe I would add a bit more rock’n’roll. I am a quite old-school guy.

However, I heard Pleaser brought a saxophone in their concert at Roskilde Festival and it was great! there was also a Danish band in the early 2000s called the Young Wasteners who used saxophone, they had a sound that I really like

 

Some final impressions

Salomon’s authenticity transcends convenience’s politeness. The bond he forges with the audience is deeply rooted in his emotions.

His sincerity resonates as genuinely as in his music. Throughout our conversation, Salomon never hides behind a facade; he understands that it’s unnecessary. His strength and resilience are evident, both on and off stage. The same genuineness echoes through his words and gestures during this interview.

He conveys a lot of passion when he talks about his “music” family and his Nørrebro. Especially when he talks of his Copenhagen, I can feel emotional intensity rather than plain nostalgia.

His passion for his “music” family and his Nørrebro community shines through, particularly when discussing Copenhagen. His emotions are intense rather than mere nostalgia. His compassion for those facing hardships forms a strong contrast to his disregard for the “gray mob.”

The scars of a challenging life are apparent, representing the anger of those who have had to fight unjustly. Yet, there’s no trace of nihilism or resignation in his words. His anger isn’t rooted in resentment; he’s transformed his raw emotions into a source of strength.

 

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