I took my first photograph of Stephan Leonard Groth in 1997. Twelve years after our first photo-shoot, I now find myself making this photo-documentary about touring with Stephan and his life's work, Apoptygma Berzerk.
With over 500.000 albums sold worldwide and reaching the Top Ten in Germany, Apoptygma Berzerk has conquered the world with their electronic and melodic industrial rock. Since starting in 1989, Apoptygma Berzerk would immediately prove their reputation as the most exciting rock act in Norway.
In February of 2009, the `Rocket Science Tour´ kicked off in Germany and went on for many months spanning nine countries in Europe and followed by various summer festivals. In September, Apoptygma Berzerk toured coast to coast in America also playing shows in Canada and Mexico. The band then returned home to Europe to finish off the `Rocket Science Tour´ with even more dates throughout Europe.
To describe the feeling and atmosphere on this tour would be almost impossible. I do hope that the photos will tell a story. It's no secret that the `Rocket Science´ album and tour came at a difficult time for the band. Apop's record label, GUN Records went out of business, just as `Rocket Science´ was released. Differences of opinion within the band also surfaced and resulted in the departure of Brarud, Bratland and Stengel.
Like a fly on the wall, I was present during these weeks of touring, hardship, tears, parties, laughter, love and moments of uncontrolled folly. I was there to see if I could locate the spirit of a true, great rock`n roll band. The `Rocket Science Tour 2009´ had it all, and what I found is right here in these pages.
This is the way, step inside!
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Espen Ixtlan, Born in 1966. Norwegian award-winning photographer, based in Fredrikstad. Ixtlan was educated at the Faculty of Photo Journalism (Fotojournalistutdanningen, Høgskolen i Oslo, 1995-97) in Oslo. Ixtlan started his career working as freelance photographer for different newspapers and magazines in Norway. Since 2005, Ixtlan has been working basically with the music scene with bands such as Satyricon, Apoptygma Berzerk and Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple and Black Sabbath).