Swedish Musician Magnus Sellergren Offers Up an Analog-Drenched, Italian-Influenced Horror OST Homage Album with His Alter Ego VIDEOGRAM! DIG IT!
The man behind the aural analog-inspired excellence. Lookin' sharp, Magnus.Can you tell us a little bit about your creative background, and your involvement with making music? It kinda goes back to my punk rock days back in the 1980s. I was (and still am!) a big fan of The Ramones and American hardcore in general. And with the DIY spirit that came with it, I kinda went from a music fan to picking up a guitar and starting to write songs. In the 90s I had some various punk/rock 'n' roll outfits that released a bunch of records, and starting in 2012 (I think) I got involved creating electronic music, and soon afterwards I began venting my inner horror nerd.
Perhaps Magnus harvested some lifestyle pointers from this slab o' RAMONES magnetic magic? The Magic 8-Ball says: Signs point to yes.Tell us about the new VIDEOGRAM album. What kind of audio experience can we expect to aurally ingest? The first VIDEOGRAM effort was truly a blast to work on and I really gotta thank James Harris aka Doc Terror for asking me to do something to coincide with his Italian Horror Week. He totally made this happen. The original plan was to do a mix of fave cuts culled from different soundtracks, but instead I proposed doing a whole album of all-new songs! How's that for a workaholic? So, as weird as it is for an old punker to admit, VIDEOGRAM is sort of a concept album, the aural equivalent of those trailer tapes you could rent cheap back in the 1980s.
The VIDEOGRAM logo showin' some strong Vestron Video love! You know we can dig it.Can you divulge some of the process(es) in creating VIDEOGRAM? The process kinda differs; there's no set formula. But more often than not I kinda start by tweaking the synth sounds, sooner or later something comes up that sounds great or just remind me of something I heard in an old horror movie and I kinda take it from there. Australian musician Jamie Coghill - aka The Jimmy C - played a major part when it comes to two tracks on the album, "Walpurgisnacht" and "2077: Raiders of the Apocalypse". Those songs came out of his drum tracks, which he kindly provided. Each song seems to encompass the aural tropes of a certain genre flick or feel e.g. cannibal, post-apocalyptic, etc. How did you pin down the particular sound and emulate the atmosphere for particular genres? I actually received some great feedback on that, how "genuine" it sounds, and I love the fact that fellow horror fans are getting a kick out of the album. That to me is such a great reward. The only explanation I can offer when it comes to the sound and feel is that I've been a genre fan for some 30 years and I guess I just intuitively "know" when it's right. Those sounds played such a major part in my life and they kinda stuck.
The full wrap for the VIPCO VHS release that was such an inspiration to Sellergren. How could it not be? STRONG UNCUT!The VIDEOGRAM album has audible influence from Italian horror scoring, but also has a brain-bumping synthwave feel at times. What kind of stuff / which artists influenced you to do what you do? Are you unwinding any groovy VHS movies that’ve inspired you lately? Oh, the classics! Italian exploitation, Cannon Films, New Line Cinema's 1980s output, all kinds of genre movies - pretty much everything that came out during the VHS boom. John Carpenter is a given, but I really like Frizzi's work for Fulci's Zombie Flesh-Eaters, Tim Krog's Boogey Man… Shogun Assassin has got a great soundtrack and I really like Ralph Jones' work for Slumber Party Massacre. I am currently in a kinda made-for-TV horror mode, and this buddy Dave hipped me to the 1973 Don't Be Afraid of the Dark that had some brilliant music on it. I loved the opening theme!
The artwork for the hard-to-find VHS-only gem DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK: a dope rarity, indeed!You also have some other musical entities under your belt. Can you tell us a little bit about those? Oh, there's a couple. Fellow horror fans might wanna check out my other electronic outfit Call Me Greenhorn's album "L'Isola dei Morti Viventi" that I released last year. It's a tribute to Italian zombie movies. You'll find it on Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify, Deezer etc. So you’ve released VIDEOGRAM via digital means which is available now, but are there any plans for a physical release? Well, there are several. I am stoked to announce that I recently received a very good response from a certain OST label, and there's been some expressed interest in releasing it on CD, LP and cassette from here and there. I am also looking into releasing a very limited one-track single on my own in an edition that'll have vinyl fans salivating, plus, considering it's a tribute to the VHS glory days, someone we all know very well will release it later on this Winter. On the perfect format I might add.
The Wizard Video small carton release of THE BOOGEY MAN featuring Tim Krog's radical VHScore. Gimme' dat!What’s next for you, Magnus? Where can we keep up with you? I am currently demo-ing some rough ideas for an EP. It's too early to tell, but I'd love to do one more VIDEOGRAM release this year. We'll see. I've also been in touch with two directors in the U.S. who expressed interest in letting me compose soundtracks for their projects, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that'll happen 'cause it'd be a blast. The easiest way to keep up is by joining me on Facebook! Anything you wanna say to all the analog maniacs eyeballin’ this blog?! Thanks for reading the interview! Feel free to join me on Facebook, spread the word and check out the album!
And YOU can check it out RIGH HURR, Tapeheads! I analog assure you that it will not disappoint! Mad respect to Magnus and his analog-adoring aural entity VIDEOGRAM for providing some most excellent 80s influenced synth-driven scoring for us all to enjoy. Be sure to groove on over the Official VIDEOGRAM Facebook and give ‘em some love so you can stay tuned for any and all updates on the physical releases for this radical slice of horror-influenced film scoring. You’re gonna wanna know, mang.