"What happens when two 'would have been' rock stars have a middle aged crisis? They decide to form a family band with their unwitting children."
This is the introduction we received from the L.A. Based band called The CheeseBergens. In terms of metal, they might be considered light by
today's standards, but if you go back to the middle aged parents days, this would have been close enough.
We enjoyed listening to this band and after watching some of the videos we found on YouTube we decided this band was worth a closer look. The
fact that they pay homage to Lemmy just solidified their place in our hearts here at Metal Meat.
We think if you took The Brady Bunch, The Adams Family, The Munsters, The Partridge Family and the Osbournes and a few forgotten hair metal
bands from the 1980’s and added a dash of The Romones, you might come up with something like The CheesBergens, but maybe not quite as
endearing. They play a nice blend of punk and old school style metal and rock that, even thoogh it's not a new concept, is still refreshing.
Meat the band members, Ides Bergen, father and drummer, Marissa Bergen, mother and bassist, Jesse Bergen, son, singer/lead guitarist and
Anjelica Bergen, daughter and singer/guitarist.
|Interview by David Hewnninger
Was there a moment when you felt this was something that would work? Was it a long time coming or
was there a moment or event that struck you as this is what you want to do?
Marissa: Well my husband and I both played in rock bands when we were younger so it was natural for us to put
the kids in rock schools. When my son was about to become a teenager, we thought he was ready to break out
of the curriculum that the rock schools offer which, for the most part, involves the kids learning covers. We
thought he should start writing originals and seeing what gigging was like in a band. He jams with friends but a
lot of them are busy with schoolwork and extracurricular activities so we thought a family band would be a good
Is there a primary songwriter in the band?
Marissa: I am the primary songwriter in the band although everyone contributes.
Ides: (kidding) We all would contribute more if it wasn't such a 'benevolent' dictatorship.
What is the songwriting and composing process in this band?
Ides: We sacrifice pickles to the god of cheese in hopes he will grace us with divine inspiration.
Is there a message you are trying to convey?
Ides: Do it but do it with cheese!
|Marissa Bergen - Ides Bergen - Anjelica Bergen - Jesse Bergen
Is there a song that you feel gets the best reaction from audiences?
Ides: 'What Would Lemmy Do?'
Marissa: 'Mommy and Daddy Worship Satan'
Ides: That gets a pretty strong audience reaction sometimes.
Anjelica: I also think it's 'Mommy and Daddy Worship Satan'
I really appreciate that you wrote a song in homage to the late great Lemmy Kilmister. Is there a story behind that song?
Ides: I wrote a riff that sounded a bit like something Motorhead would have played and we called it Motorheadin'. I gave it to my wife but
suggested the title What Would Lemmy Do? She wrote the lyrics and the rest of the music.
Jesse: We like Lemmy. He's our lord and savior.
In most bands there can be very tense moments in the
practice rooms with disagreements and sometimes
emotions can run high in the creative process as each
member tries to convey what they think should be done,
on songs, sound and show. As a family, how do you
manage these kind of things, or do you even
Marissa: We kick Ides out of the room.
Tell us about how each of you came into the instrument
you are playing.
Marissa: I've been a bass player since back in the day when I was playing in a band with my sister. We were a
three piece and she was already playing guitar so I picked up the bass.
Jesse: I started out as singer but my mother wanted me to learn more about theory so I started playing guitar as
Anjelica: I started playing guitar because it looked cool.
Ides: I started playing drums when we started our family band. We needed a drummer.
Who would you say has the most personality on stage?
Ides: Both Jesse and Anjelica have big personalities.
Marissa: It's easy to look at Anjelica and think she's the most charismatic because she's so little and cute but
Jesse really has the whole rock star thing down.
(Questions for Jesse and Anjelica) How have your friends reacted to you being in the kind of band
you are in and especially with your parents?
Anjelica: Some of my friends think that's cool. Some of them don't know what to say.
Jesse: They don't speak to me anymore.
(For Ides and Marissa) Whast kind of a ride has it been since you recruited your kids into the band?
Marissa:Sometimes I think about the band and I say "I'm a middle aged woman. What am I doing playing with
kids and acting like a kid?" But then I think about all the things we can to do and experience as a family and
there's really no other people I'd rather be doing these things with.
If you were to compare your family to a famous fictional family, what family would you say comes the closest to how
you see the Bergens?
Ides: We're somewhere between the Partridge Family and the Addams Family.
Marissa: Id say we're somewhere between the Hecks and the Goldbergs.
What are your plans for 2017? What can we look forward to?
Marissa: We actually have a lot of newly recorded music that we are planning to release in 2017. We may also make a couple of
videos to accompany them. So far we only have one gig booked for the coming year which is at Rock n' Roll Pizza in Moorpark,
CA on February 3, from 8-10 PM. We are hoping to do a lot more gigging as well.
Name 4 people in the music industry you would most like to give an atomic wedgie to and please explain why.
Anjelica: Steve Harwell because he has a terrible band.
Jesse: Mumford and his sons because they suck and they gave birth to more people that suck.
Ides: Ivan Moody because he's a pompous, redneck douchebag whose band sucks.
Marissa: I won't name names but there was an online publication we submitted to and the woman there got back to us and told
us she couldn't review us because she 'didn't have that much familiarity with our type of music'. It's called rock, and you better
get familiar with it, or you're in the wrong line of work. Atomic wedgie...BOOM!