Rock the Joint Magazine is pleased to feature PRIEST, a Scandinavian based synth band that sounds (for the uninitiated) like Depeche Mode on acid, and consists of a trio of musicians-vocalist Mercury, who was known as Water when he played bass for Ghost, keyboardist Salt, formerly known as Ghost keyboardist Air; and programmer/keyboardist Sulfur-who came together in 2017 and started releasing their own unique brew of electronic music that bears little sonic resemblance to their former band yet still shares the same creative DNA. But whereas Ghost borrowed their theatrics from old school horror and ‘80s rock, PRIEST comes steeped in cyberpunk and industrial music.
It was their creative force, vocalist Mercury, who joined us today.
These are exciting times for PRIEST a band on the cusp of a momentum indicating gre times ahead. With a track on the soundtrack for Hot Seat, the 2022 cyber thriller with Mel Gibson; great new songs; and an incredible video for Techno Girl, there was a lot to talk about. So, with the new album Body Machine released on the 15th July 2022, it was time to enter the dystopian world of this really great album of dark goth imaginings with a saccharine dance pulse. It’s one of the best in 2022 we have heard so far! Enough said, it’s time to get to the details!
First of all, I noted the sheer quality of the video for “Techno Girl,” To promote the song, the band decided to embark on their biggest, most elaborate music video to date, collaborating with in-demand filmmaker and videographer Vicente Cordero of Industrialism Films, who has created blockbuster videos for Cradle Of Filth, Skold, 3TEETH, and Queensryche.
Mercury- I’m so proud of that one. It’s thanks to everyone at Cleopatra Records for that one. It’s a perfect look at where we are at. You know, we have cyberpunk in our veins. As a video production, that’s us at our best.
It’s a video with action, retro graphics, and a kick-ass girl with great hair, video games, and a pulsating dance vibe that oozes confidence and quality. The video showcases the cinematic quality of PRIEST’s sound, which has already been tapped by major Hollywood producers for inclusion in the upcoming Mel Gibson movie “Hot Seat.” For that movie, A Signal in the Noise, was the chosen track and both it and Techno Girl have their videos to watch at the end of this article.
Mercury- We are so excited about this. I am going to be there as soon as the movie opens! It was a surreal experience really to be told that the song “A Signal in the Noise” was going to be in a Mel Gibson movie!
This is a damn catchy song. It has you replaying it and singing along. We spoke about how bands like Queen would shift from rock to ragtime and music hall in one album, or how PRIEST shifts subtle styles between songs. At the heart of their new album, and their videos or images, is storytelling. It’s an elaborate future of man and machine in this dystopian nightmare, a Gormenghast, an alternative reality. But it never ceases to entertain.
Mercury- Yes, we live in difficult times and we may do electronic music, but it is not “cold” electronic music. Listen to Kraftwerk. Electronic music is not cold. Kraftwerk is full of funk; it’s music that’s alive… we inhabit the environment of the music and keep the musical doors open. This new album, for example, is conceived as dark music, but it is also part of pop music.
Body Machine is the first of a possible trilogy of albums from PRIEST, and it features gothic soundscapes from the ex-Ghost team with “old school synthesisers.” It is also pure pop joy at times, check out Nightcrawler on the new album and you are transported to a solid piece of commercial pop. I asked Mercury if this was a rebirth from his earlier life as the bass player of Ghost.
Mercury – Yes I think so. Yes. A rebirth as opposed to a continuation. Anyway, mercury is heavier than water as an element, isn’t it? Mercury has so much more in it!
The essence of Mercury is that “if you believe it, then go and fulfil it.” He is responsible for writing the band’s lyrics and 85% of the music, so he’s very much a creative force at the heart of the band.
Mercury – Now we have a darker theme from the previous album. The world of the dystopian is being explored for “The Body Machine.”
Part of this new creative freedom and superb video work that maximises the storytelling and key visual elements of the band comes from a new partnership with Cleopatra Records. This is a partnership both sides seem equally happy with.
As Cleopatra owner Brian Perera declares, “We’ve been living in this genre since the ’90s, so we have a pretty good feel for when bands do it right, and as soon as we heard we knew they were something special. We see an extremely bright future ahead for the band and are thrilled to be partnering with them to make that happen!”
Rock the Joint Magazine also echoes the sentiment that this is a band that will be huge. This album is sheer class. I was lucky enough to hear the new album through, and it is every bit as good as the promises made by the single. Personally, I loved it and found myself returning to it often. I’m also looking forward to catching PRIEST on tour.
The Bands’ Website has some tour news with PRIEST touring alongside Front Line Assembly and Die Krupps. Scandinavia, Germany and we think the UK will be in the picture and if the momentum continues with the success of “A Signal in the Noise” then maybe the US may be lucky enough to get a visit from PRIEST too.
Whatever leads you to PRIEST, whether it’s the visuals, the storytelling or the music, find your way there! We discussed how I was drawn to KISS initially as a teenager on the school bus, looking at the cover for Destroyer, and perhaps you are drawn to PRIEST by the visual too.
Mercury- The masks were actually created in a computer environment. It’s an amazing, freaky design and you sweat like hell in them. We suffer for the art!
Here at Rock the Joint we love bands that offer a whole package, and PRIEST really do. They are one of the most exciting bands for 2022. Catch them now and be hold on as the roller coaster ride of thrills is on the way!
New Flesh (2017)
Obey EP (2019)
By E. M. Chambers
& Benny (the Ball) Benson.