|Hailng from West Flanders of Belgium, a band with a very interesting name and a very intersting Music ; Abracadavre, as magic and morbid as the riffs of its Doom, we had the pleasure to interview Rufus, one of the band's pillars.|
Let's start with the classic question, an introduction of your band ; not the one posted on MySpace though of course ; give us the real story beginning from how you thought of making the band until actual line-up forming.
Rufus : Well, the guitarist Saftn, the former bass player Emeric, and the drummer Jantie, were looking for a new singer and while talking to them while we were having a drink, the thought came up of me joining them.
Untill then, they had only done two gigs, so there wasn't really a proper band yet
when I came on board, we made a mix of all the influences we enjoy, a bit of Black Sabbath, Hellhammer, Eyehategod, Neurosis, Cathedral and so on.
When the former bass player quit, Vinnie joined us, who is also into sounds which added an extra effect and heaviness to our band which we all approved of and since last year everything is going quite well, a lot of gigs, a lot of cool people who support us and so on.
El Evil Emperor : Indeed. What about the band name ; a very interesting one indeed, mixing magic, death and bereavement terms...
Rufus : The previous name was ‘Spank Your God’, but this was dismissed and I came up with the name ; and yeah, we wanted a name that was at once something magic and morbid, but also with a certain tongue in cheek approach, because we didn't want to take ourselves too serious as well.
El Evil Emperor : And it worked it out fine. So, since your formation and until now only album had been released, Todesking (King Of Death).
Tell us a bit about this album, first of all when did you start song-writing?
Rufus : Well, we already had ten songs ready when we hit the studio ; that was last year, in February, we released the album last year in June.
Normally speaking, if everything goes well we could be recording the next album at the end of this year, but we'll see how that goes.
The title of the album is actually the title of a German film by Jörg Buttgereitt.
El Evil Emperor : About the song-writing process for the previous album, who's main composer in the band? For the lyrics, I suppose that you take care of it.
Rufus : Yes, , I write the lyrics ; and most of the songs we have played were written by the first bass player and our guitarist, we have a few new songs and those are written with help from our new bass player and our guitarist.
Simply put, Music is written by the guitar and the bass player, the backbeat is done by the drummer and the lyrics are my own.
El Evil Emperor : As you said, you'll be probably hitting the studio in the end of this year ; will the next release be produced by you as the first one?
Rufus : The music was recorded by Hein Devos at a former strip club, aptly named The Strip ; unfortunately, this place will be torn down by the city, so we have to search for another place to record, but normally speaking we will once again work with Hein Devos, since we're happy with what he did with our sound.
El Evil Emperor : Interesting, have you have any Label offers in the meantime?
Rufus : No, nothing yet unfortunately ; we have good contacts with a great local label, named Vlas Vegas, but nothing has really been planned yet ; but even if we have to do it ourselves, we don't mind.
El Evil Emperor : Indeed, as it is always about the Music.
Speaking of Music, which new aspects are you planning to add in your next release ; concerning riffs, arrangements, influences ...
Rufus : The next album will be called forever futile and is more a post-rock influenced song from about 15 minutes long, for the rest a mixture of Stoner Doom, Sludge Doom and Rock 'n Roll, that's why we call ourselves a Sludge 'n Roll band. *Smiling*
El Evil Emperor : Let's talk about your recent gigs, how did everything go with Let There Be Doom, and the De Barbaar gig?
Rufus : The De Barbaar gig was awesome! We played with Altar Of Plagues, who were trapped in Belgium, because of the incident with the volcano, so I was really pleased to play with them, since I really love their White Tomb album. Möse was great, both in Den Barbaar, as in Let There Be Doom, which was a festival that I had organized. All the bands were awesome: Tyrant's Kall, who play a mixture of
Old School Black Metal and True Doom ; then us, then Marche Funèbre, who sound like the old ‘Peaceville’ bands, you know, old Paradise Lost, old My Dying Bride and old Anathema ; Möse, who were once again great and Heavy Lord from The Netherlands, who got the whole place shaking! The crowd wasn't big enough, but I'ms still gonna organize it again!
El Evil Emperor : Congratulations for that. Janne entering into the psychiatry could be mentioned as a highlight as well ; what were the stories behind that? *Smiling*
Rufus : *Laughing* Yeah, he entered into psychiatry before the first release, because he had some personal issues ; they had to get Matthieu, who improvised the first gig, Janne is ok now and comes regularly to our shows, he's a nice guy and he had a great voice, but being in a band can be serious business and you have to be on your toes for that.
El Evil Emperor : What could you tell about the Metal scene in Belgium?
Rufus : We usually hang out more in the Punk scene to be honest ; and among other Doom bands, most of us like metal, but in Belgium there is a fierce extreme rightwing attitude in certain Metal bands, so we try to avoid those things. Of course there are great bands and great guys in the Metal scene also, but mostly we go to Doom bands and punk affiliated stuff.
You could say that we're a Metal band with a Punk attitude.
El Evil Emperor : Indeed, and how would you exactly describe the local Doom Scene?
Rufus : Small actually, but we have a couple of great bands and they mostly come from our area: Amen Ra, Kingdom, Hive Destruction and of course the bands who came to play at Let There Be Doom who were from the region. The band who about started it all in Belgium in doom, was Neuthrone, who started around 1990, who played a mixture of Melvins, Saint Vitus and Hardcore Punk. Also you have
Steak Number Eight, which is a good local band ; which we have played with twice and who will be signing with Emi.
El Evil Emperor : And how would you describe the Underground movement there?
Rufus : Well, to put it simply, you have three important underground movements : you have the more Black Metal oriented scene, which is the most right wing, then you have the more Crust Metal oriented scene, which is more punk and then you have the more "artsy" scene, you know, who are into the more Post bands and such.
We usually hang out in the last two scenes, although the bass player and myself both love Black Metal.
El Evil Emperor : Speaking of genres ; a final question about your various influences, each one of you?
Rufus : We're all very open minded, but concerning our roots : Myself: Black Sabbath, Cathedral, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Motörhead and everything from Danzig, Saftn ; our guitar player: also Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Sleep and Antiseen ; Vinnie, our bass player: Skitliv, Shining, Eyehategod, Ministry, Godflesh ; and Jantie, our drummer: mostly old Hardcore and also Crowbar.
El Evil Emperor : Very interesting. Thank you, the closure is yours.
Rufus : Well, simply put, anybody who is interested in us, contact us, we're up for anything, if it is in any way possible! Thank you for the interview and well, till next time then!
By El Evil Emperor (June 2010)