15th, April 2013
by Kenny Molly
- Vocalist, Jesse Van Den Bossche
- Guitarrist , Davy Stuyck
- Bassist and Gabriel
Deschamps: Drummer )
This is the first time I made an online
Interview with all the members of the band gathered and
answering my questions simultaneously, which became really
funny and crazy at the end. This is SANITY´S RAGE, a very
technical and professional band performing pure Thrash Metal
in the very classic and old vein. Let´s read this
1. Although SANITY´S RAGE needs no introduction, but in 11 years in metal scene the band have a long history and, ofcourse innumerous interesting things to tell, about tours, ex-members, boycotts, rehearsals, etc...give me a resume about this please.
Jesse Van den Bossche:
Alright, this gonna be a long one.
We started the band off pretty well. Slowly the lineup from the rage of one formed,
the songs got finished and we recorded our ep The Rage of One,
it was very well received and we started doing some gigs in support of that.
We got to do some nice shows with Laaz Rockit, Destructor, Saxon, Testament etc.
but cracks started to show in the line up, there problems with one of the members, so he was let go, and slowly the other members except Kenny and me started to lose motivation.
And that's the biggest story in those 11 years. Keep going whilst struggling all the time
we kept writing songs to what would become you are what you swallow
whilst finding members to replace the old ones.
But we persevered, conquered our lost momentum and are now back with a new cd and a new line up to get the train back on track.
We got to rub some shoulders with a lot of bands. I think one of the coolest moments was just eating backstage with the band
and then having Chuck Billy from Testament suddenly appearing.
Just getting in touch with some of our heroes whilst doing some cool shows in support.
2. I think one of the most relevant matters into your career is that you have been only able to record one EP and one Full lenght withitn a very long period, does it was due your line up problems or another facts was involved?
Multiple things, lineup changes being one of them, in fact the longest time we wasted was by bandmembers who couldn't make up their mind to leave.
We never really decided to kick someone out. They all left after a long period of doubt, whether or not to continue.
This left us with a band that kept rehearsing, but didn't really progress anymore.
Once those people were replaced by guys who were as passionate as we had been from the beginning, things really went smooth as ever.
The EP had been a group effort by 5 guys with a same vision.
that vision was lost by some of the guys.
The full album was again such an effort. But with new people.
Before we had this structure again, nothing was worth recording anyway.
3. The music on your debut album is what I consider pure and classical Thrash Metal. Are you agreed with such a description? What is it that makes you deliver such insanely technical music in the very classical vein?
When the band started 11 years ago, there simply was no thrash scene.
We all had our own specific genres in metal we listened to as well.
But the common taste we shared in music appeared to be the more classical stuff.
Old Thrash, Speed and heavy stuff.
So that has always been the core of our sound. With the new guys joining, new influences came along, which we tried to incorporate by means of more technical riffs and more interesting structures than the pure classic stuff.
The combination works well, so it appears.
4. Speaking of your debut album, tell us something more about it, where it was recorded, mixed and mastered? Did the final product surpass your expectations?
Davy Stuyck: It was recorded at Red Left Hand Studios in Antwerp, Belgium by Sven Janssens, who is a former bass player for the Belgian metal outfit Aborted.
The mastering was done at Stage One studios by Andy Classen, a former member of German Thrash legend Holy Moses.
To make sure that the final product sounded as metal as possible.
In a modern sense, while staying true to our roots
Kenny Molly: Something the production of the EP totally lacked.
We weren't too happy with how it came out (nor how it had to be produced).
So for the album we didn't want to take any chances of it getting screwed up by a lousy job by the producer in the studio.
So obviousluy, in more than one way we were blown away by the result of the full album.
5. Tours are normally good occasions for getting drunk and retarded. Being played together with such big acts like SAXON, TESTMENT, HOLY MOSES, ONSLAUGHT. Do you have any fun stories, band fights, stage fuckups? Which bands that you toured with have been the coolest, which ones the stupidest?
Funny observation I made during all our gigs is that it is often the smallest bands that have the most terrible attitudes
while the biggest players have the most humble and friendly personalities as a band.
Like Jesse said one day you're having burgers sitting next to Chuck Billy,
next day you're playing in a small club with some local bands who are giving you the brown eye.
Other than that we've seen quite a lot. When talking to After All backstage
suddenly one of them finds a shower, at which point they all strip instantly and take a group shower
in two seconds I was the only clothed guy in the room and that was my very first real backstage lounge,
We also had a good time with the boys from Sacred Oath. They had been on tour for a while and their bus got technical difficulties,
they invited us for smokes & beers after the gig and when we entered their van we sawwhat the technical difficulties had been
the entire kitchen was filled with water bottles containing yellow liquid.
To which the guitarist replied to the drummer, goddammit man, you didn't label the pee bottles!
What are our guests supposed to think. Their toilet had been busted for a couple of days.
Weird way to meet for a first time haha
It's fun to get to know the world behind the magic, and see the people on stage for who they are.
Suddenly the 'Gods' up there become people. And that's great to experience.
6. What’s the worst and the best place you ever performed? where are the best groupies to be found?
We bet on Ireland, Scandinavia & Japan. Unfortunately we haven't played any of those yet.
You know, I've gotten the question on groupies a lot
Kenny Molly: Being the only single guy in the band.
Dave gets to check the groupies
Davy Stuyck: And I still think for bands of our humble status, the best groupies are found in
whorehouses, given that you wave around wads of cash.
I only sign boobs.
So far the loosest girls I've seen have been in Germany, the thrash crowd is much more passionate than over here,
and so are the women.
I think this also answers your "best place to play" question...
Kenny Molly: Once we continue our touring outside of Belgium, we'll keep you posted on our experiences in that matter.
We'll keep a scale of one to ten.
7. How long are you an active person in the scene (I guess you have been played in any other bands previously to SANITYS RAGE)? For how long have you been playing music? Who is the most skilled musician in SANITY´S RAGE?
At this point I think we have finally perfected the band in such a way that everyone is equally skilled in his territory.
As far as I'm concerned I have the best guitar players for SR
I agree, the last one is difficult to answer since there are a lot of aspects and factors to what makes up the level of skill.
I was gonna say something about the bass too, before you interrrupted me.
Davy Stuyck: Lol
Kenny Molly: ...and after a long time of being without a drummer we feel we finally found one too.
He's the only one who hasn't played in any other bands before.
I've been playing/messing around with music since I was 12
Jesse Van den Bossche:
Me too, I've been in and out of bands since I was 14 I think
Davy Stuyck: My first band was an old school thrash band called Wreckage, formed in 2006 and disbanded about two years later I believe...Pretty much been playing since I was 15 (so about 8 years ago), and have been in a couple of bands since then, including a hardrock band called Rosevalley Rebels and even a metalcore band called A Switch Below for a short time.
Kenny Molly: For some reason Sanity's Rage feels right, other tan our previous projects.
8. Are you a self-learners, or do you have some musical education? Do you think that musical education is important, when creating, or playing music? Or both?
Jesse Van den Bossche:
We're all self learners pretty much, some have had a musical education on other instruments than the ones we play in the band.
And it helps to have some background, but it's not the be all end all.
I've learned everything I know by myself or from other people who also play music. I've had no formal music education. I believe it can be very useful to actually get it, but it's more important to play with as many people as you can and learn from each other. And no amount of theory can really help you in the creative process..You can learn about structure and all, but overthinking things actually gets in the way of creativity.
Jesse Van den Bossche: As long as you have enough tools to express the ideas in your head, that's all that matters.
I started grunting and screaming as soon as I got to know metal vocalists,
got fed up with doing Death-Black stuff and tried something a bit cleaner.
I did take a course in heavy vocals to learn some techniques to get a more powerful and better way to sing
without stressing my chords too much,
other than that the bathroom and the kitchen are my teachers
(the neighbours my audience, unlucky bastards).
9. What SANITY´S RAGE needs to become a top
thrash metal band? Would you prefer to be a great band in the underground scene or just one average band in the mainstream scene?
What defines mainstream...
If we'd have to compromise our sound, content or any ideas at all to be more popular in a general crowd
then we prefer to be active on a smaller scale for people who really dig what we do
and how we do it.
Of course we like the stages as big as possible but what's the use in playing on a festival for 3000 people if only 20 are in front of the stage when your band plays.
Then I prefer a small club filled to the brim with guys who wreck the place during teh first song.
Metal should never have become mainstream in the first place...
10. What’s your opinion about such „modern” thrash bands? Do you prefer the new school thrash or rather the old school one? In your opinion thrash metal become very popular nowadays (More and more bands return to the thrashy sound of the 80´s) what do you think about it??
Well, all of us have Thrash roots, But we as a band are not set out to reinvent or replicate what the bands in the 80's have done.
We wouldn't be able to do it as well, anyway!
And it would be a waste to disregard the possibilities in how something sounds nowadays
Jesse Van den Bossche:
The thing is, it's been done, no matter what you try to do, it's been done.
I get that it can be fun, but we try and take thrash in the now, and add our influences to it
all the bands that are still with us from that era they've moved on, added new stuff to their sound over all the years
why go back? why not take thrash and add some to it yourself?
nobody, ever is going to write anything like the classics ever again, the bands that did it back then, already spawned lot's of copycats that tried it but couldn't.
The Classics are classics because they hadn't been done before,
it makes them unique and timeless problem with the New school that does the Old thing is that they are not.
From the start they sound 80's.
If the New Wave of British Heavy Metal would have copied what the first metal bands had done, metal wouldn't have evolved as it has now either.
Why should the new wave of thrash be just a repetition of the first wave?
it's like nothing happened in those decades in between, or what?
Let's just ignore the last 20 years then.
11. How would you characterize the development of your band during the last years? What are you most proud of achieving as a band?
Finalizing an album that had been playing in our heads for the last 6 years,
that has been the fire that kept driving us. And that has been the achievement of our endurance and our new band members.
We knew as soon as we got that finally wrapped up, we were on track again.
Now anything and everything goes, we know we can take it.
12. Let´s go back to the album again. How have your sales been? Do these sales meet your expectations? Tell us how has been the the media feedback so far?
Jesse Van den Bossche:
The sales have been good. We're selling everything through
www. sanitysrage.bandcamp.com and it's been picked up in a whole lot of countries
in Europe it's been predominantly Germany and Eastern Europe,
but we even had a couple of orders from music shops all the way in Japan
a couple of orders from Australia, we've sold the most in europe, but people have ordered it from all over the world.
13. Could you tell us who was the person who realized the cover artwork and what´s the specific concept on it?
Jesse Van den Bossche:
hold on, that would be our very own Kenny Molly...
that's me!, I write all songs from a specific concept and try to visualize it
then I describe it in words. The idea for "You are what you swallow"
is that everyone has live his life try to survive, and try to grow if possible.
To do that we all have to make sacrifices and choices.
What we choose to accept or question in life is up to us.
But a lot of people swallow anything in order to be at peace in their little lives.
Thats why I envisioned a world were we voluntarily sacrifice ourselves in order to fuel/feed the system.
Something a lot of us do on a daily basis. I just made it a little more visual haha!
14. what can you tell us about your personal life aside of musician aspect? how many years old? Some words about your family, your daily job, girlfriend and
I'm 23 and I enjoy eating babies, Jesse is very fond of turtles, actually
Kenny Molly: I'm 32, have a wife in the cellar, killed my family long ago and like making pictures that remind me of that.
Jesse Van den Bossche:
Davy, turtles need us and we need them! You just do not realise.
I'm nearly 28, and I nurture turtles
The drummer is the youngest, 20
so he can't come to the strip clubs yet
Gabriel Deschamps: In a few months.
15. How do you see the actual scene in your country in comparison with the rest of Europe? Can you tell us something about the “Metal” activities in your country and mention the most outstanding bands, magazines, labels, etc.
I think things are starting to look up in the underground here.
We've also had one of the biggest metal festivals in Europe over the last years, which is Graspop Metal Meeting.
There are a couple of decent websites out there, such as Ashladan. As far as other bands go.
I quite like what a couple of them are doing such as Warckon, After All, Evil Shepherd...More into the
mainstream you've got bands like Channel Zero. I liked what they did back in the 90's.
The problem is Belgium is a small country, so with the explosion of the scene in the last decade, we find it to be a bit monopolized by a number of organisations
which makes a bit of a one sided operation. Once you get
into that circle you're in if you do not, or fall out for a
couple of years (like us) it's hard to get onto the big
bills, that's why we notice that we have an easier time to
play big in our neighbouring countries.Like Holland that
asked us to play with Savage Messiah & Assassin. Here we
struggle to get on a bill with a non local band
16. Ehmm… could you please provide us detail about your near future plans, any chance to tour in SouthAmerica some day?
Send us tickets, and we're there!
We're currently still doing everything ourselves. Some label approaches have been made,
but as long as we are self-supporting, we can't really tour all that far.
As soon as we get some financial support we are ready and eager to go anywhere we can go.
As long as we don't, we'll have to settle for things more close to home.
We would like to tour the UK, Germany, Eaqtern Europe, Scandinavia
Jesse Van den Bossche:
If it can happen, we would love to one day play in South America. The enthousiasm and energy you guys bring to shows is legendary.
17. OK, please define thrash metal with your own words, and if thrash metal was a beer, which one would it be?
We have more than 100 beers over here, you sure you'd know what we were talking about?
Thrash metal for me is the perfect ballance between attitude and technique,
while other genres focus too much on one or the other,
thrash has both.
The basis is the energy and the I-don't-care mentality that must be in the music.
That, mixed up with a dose of show-off technical elements, other than that there are no rules
in content or sound or production like with other genres.
Thrash don't care if you're lyrics are satanic or not,
thrash don't care if your sound is produced or not (or it shouldn't at least),
like the Norwegian Black metal heads who insisted on not mastering their shit, because it made it more true...
So thrash is the none fancy beer that gets you hooked after one sip
and gets you stone drunk at the end of the night.
18. Well, my friends, that´s all for now, thanks a lot for your co-operation. I hope you enjoy this interview.. Some words you like to add?
Cojones de Acero!
Kenny Molly: Thank you for the opportunity, for starters.
Hahaha, where did you learned that Davy?
We try to do our homework. Jesse talks about turtles in Spanish
Davy talks about his balls
Jesse Van den Bossche:
yo quiero tortugas mas grande
Davy Stuyck: We sometimes joke around in all sorts of different languages
(Editor) yeah I know, my nmative language is Spanish.
that's why we came prepared
And a little preparation never hurt anyone, indeed
Seriously, man. We hope we get our name out there in all parts of the world
But on a more serious note, thanks for having us. It's still amazing to see that people who live thousands of miles away are interested in what we make and what we have to say!
our pleasure man!
Jesse Van den Bossche: thanks dude