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|Origin||Sarpsborg, Fredrikstad, Norway|
|Genres||Electronic rock, futurepop, EBM, synthpop|
|Labels||Columbia, Tatra, Gun, Metropolis|
Apoptygma Berzerk (; commonly abbreviated to APB or APOP) is a Norwegian musical group. They have achieved success with a brand of synthpop, and ballads backed with electronic rhythms, commonly known within the scene and referring to themselves as "futurepop". Apoptygma Berzerk has over 30 releases and won awards and Top 10 spots in Germany and Scandinavia. Apoptygma Berzerk has toured Europe, North America, South America, Israel and Australia with bands such as VNV Nation, Beborn Beton, Icon of Coil and Unheilig.
The band was formed by Stephan Groth and Jon Erik Martinsen in 1989. Together they wrote several songs, one of them "Ashes To Ashes" would later be released as a 12-inch single on the Norwegian label Tatra Productions in 1991. Jon Erik left the band shortly afterwards feeling uncomfortable with the direction of the band's music.
The name "Apoptygma Berzerk" neither has a secret meaning nor does it mean anything. Frontman and founding member Stephan Groth claims that it was randomly picked out of a dictionary (apoptygma being derived from the Ancient Greek word meaning "piece of a tunic"). Apoptosis is a similar-sounding biological term for programmed cell death; stigmata are crucifixion-like marks on skin.
The first two albums, Soli Deo Gloria and 7, were a similar style of electropop and EBM. Welcome to Earth eschewed the dark themes of 7 for a lighter, less aggressive sound, and included a few experimental tracks. Harmonizer featured a softer, more synthpop-oriented direction when compared to previous albums, and their 2006 album, You and Me Against the World, represented an almost complete change in style for the band. It featured a more mainstream, indie rock-oriented sound, and the complete departure from the band's traditional electric synthpop and EBM roots that started with 7. With the release of latest album Rocket Science apop still going on the rock vibe while keeping close with synthpop sound like its predecessor YAMATW.
Many albums feature a hidden track that can be accessed by fast forwarding through many minutes of silence on the last album track. For instance, on 7, one can hear a remix of Nonstop Violence after Love Never Dies (Part II).
The band also features cover songs on several of their albums. For example, on the American version of 7 a cover of OMD's "Electricity" is featured; similarly, Welcome to Earth features a cover of Metallica's "Fade to Black". You and Me Against the World has a cover of "Cambodia" by Kim Wilde and "Shine On" by The House Of Love. They have also recorded covers of Depeche Mode's Enjoy the Silence, Suede's Trash, Keane's Bend And Break, Kraftwerk's Ohm Sweet Ohm and Marilyn Manson's "Coma White". Most recently, they have covered Peter Schilling's Major Tom (Coming Home).
Per Aksel Lundgreen joined Apoptygma Berzerk in 1990, and remained an active member until 1994. He has since pursued numerous other musical projects, most recently joining Rossetti's Compass as a permanent member in March 2013.
Anders Odden has been the most reoccurring member of Apop, joining in the live lineup in the early 1990s, and reappearing several times during the next 15 years, both live and in the studio.
Geir Bratland also joined in the first part of the 1990s.
In 1999, Fredrik Darum and Ted Skogman joined the band for the Welcome To Earth album and world tour.
In 2001, Fredrik and Ted were replaced with Fredrik Brarud and Angel. The 2006 release You And Me Against The World and 2009's Rocket Science, are the only albums to feature other persons than main man Stephan as part of the band (Geir Bratland, Angel, Fredrik Brarud and Anders Odden on You And Me Against The World, and without Anders on Rocket Science).
In July 2009 Angel, Geir and Fredrik departed from the Apoptygma Berzerk lineup.
In August 2009, Brandon Smith (frontman from the electronic rock band The Anix) confirmed that he was joining the band on guitar for the US and Canada legs of the upcoming tour. source- www.theanix.com
Brandon wrote on the forum saying, "This is just going to be a test run type of tour, to see how well Apop does in the US, Canada, and South America. I will be playing guitar for them on this tour."
On September 3, 2009, Stephan wrote on the official site:
|"||After we let you know that Geir, Angel and Fredrik are going to have a break from APOP many of you have written us, asking who is going to join Stephan on the US tour in September, so here is the news, directly from Stephan himself:
I am very proud to announce that my brother Jonas is going to play keyboards on the US tour", Stephan says. "Over the years Jonas has been a part of APOP's inner circle. He has been producing, arranging, remixing, and recording together with me on all APOP albums since "WELCOME TO EARTH". Jonas has also been co-writing several APOP songs and, most important, has been my "vocal coach" the last many years. I am sure you all remember his amazing acoustic version of UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD that was featured on the HARMONIZER/UNICORN DVD, the BLACK EP and the soundtrack for the German movie "Lauf Um Dein Leben" in 2008."
Thomas Jakobsen, who has been Fredrik's "stand in" on several APOP shows, is going to play drums on the America tour. Thomas is an amazing drummer who has been (and still is) playing in some of the most interesting and edgy Norwegian bands over the years, e.g. Bermuda Triangle, Zensor and Mortiis. Last time Thomas was in the US he was playing the SXSW convention in Texas after recording the ground breaking debut album "Pheromones" at Sylvia Massey's RADIOSTAR studio in Oregon, with his previous band ANIMAL ALPHA."
Brandon Smith from The Anix will be playing guitar. I met Brandon earlier this year when The Anix supported APOP on the European ROCKET SCIENCE tour. When I was first introduced to the band I was so impressed with their songs that I immediately asked them to support us on our European tour. After seeing The Anix live, I was blown away by Brandon's voice and guitar playing, that's why he was the first person popping into my mind when seeking a guitarist for September. We collaborated on some new Anix songs while I was in the states in spring, in preparation for their next album. Brandon has produced and written with some of the most well respected music industry legends, and is no stranger to the stage after sharing it with bands including but not limited to MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, 30 SECONDS TO MARS, CHEVELLE and many others."
I just wanted to give you all a quick update before we fly out tomorrow! Very excited to see you all again!
In 2010, Leandra Ophelia Dax (the only female member of the band thus far) stood in for Jonas during the support tour for German band Unheilig.
In 2011, Thomas Jakobsen was replaced by Ted Skogman, and Angel came back, replacing Brandon (though Brandon has appeared live a few times after this, e.g. in Mexico City 2014).