It’s been years that my addiction for ASPHYX had started, and this thanks to Wannes Gubbels from PENTACLE, in the early 2000’s. A time when ASPHYX was about to be put to rest after the release of the, by then quite ignored album “On The Wings Of Inferno”. It was a desolate time when Death Metal was overlooked by the Black Metal trend, when the void of creativity and genius ruled the Metal world. Only a few maniacs were still hailing the die-hard brutality and rawness of bleak and crawling Metal of Death. I soon started to dive into the earlier releases of ASPHYX and got trapped in a whirlwind of pure filth and mayhem! Something unique emerged from the muddy waters besides the demented voice of Martin van Drunen; that was the chainsaw gut fuck of a guitar sound! The man behind the rusty axe was Eric Daniels. Even though he no longer plays with ASPHYX today, he was the one who shaped the band’s sound and trademark over the years. And now that he’s back with the GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT, one can expect that the blood shall flow again! Having done interviews with Bob Bagchus and Martin van Drunen for my zine Mutilating Process, I was always feeling that the work was unfinished, as I missed the last part of the unholy trinity of Death…the brutal way. So I voluntarily chose not to cover some “technical” aspects of the ASPHYX history, as there is already a lot of information about it to be found in the other interviews and on the internet. I tried to go for a more personal perspective. Now, it’s finally time for Eric Daniels to ring the bells of Acheron…
First of all, thank you very much for accepting to be featured in here… I know you’re quite picky with interviews. I hope you’re loaded with coffee and ready to dig in your past for the next hours.
"Hi Nathaniel thank you for doing this interview, yes gallons of coffee and heavy tabacco besides me, in the background some good old Heavy Metal comfort my ears. Let’s start."
Obviously, when one starts to play an instrument, it feels easy to cover the songs of bands one admires, and possibly songs with very simple riffs and structure. How did you manage to shape your style throughout the years? I mean, you are not a technician, and always played in a simple and very efficient way. When did you pick up your first guitar? Since how long did you play this instrument when you joined ASPHYX in the demo days?
"I started to play electric guitar when I was 14 years old (30 years ago), I did not have any lessons, cause the lessons that were given did not interest me very much. I learned to play the guitar myself, every day playing that thing on my room at my parents place. I earned my first guitar during school-years with a paper route together with my brother. I started to play the guitar when I heard the song ‘Blackout’ from the SCORPIONS. I liked the rhythm guitars on that album so much, it was boiling inside me to play the guitar. Also I tried to play songs from the early SAXON and JUDAS PRIEST albums. Quite hard but never gave up. In a time it became to soft for me, I wanted to play brutal stuff, keep the emotion in it, a backdoor for my feelings. When VENOM’s "Welcome To Hell" was released, I was sold, knocked out, THAT was the style I wanted to play. Technical stuff I liked to listen to, but not to play. Later on I played the early METALLICA albums, SOD and ANTHRAX. Simply that was tight playing style I really liked. Not very technical riffing, but very efficient. Of course it wasn’t brutal enough. I kept the tight playing, combined with my guitar sound, and that’s up till today my riffing and style. So till the demo days of ASPHYX I played the stuff I liked. I played in a couple of the bands from the neighbourhood, till the story came from the bass-player Benno who had contact with Bob, and said that ASPHYX needed a second guitar-player. From that point my membership in ASPHYX was a fact."
Not only your way of riffing was defining the style of doomy Death Metal of ASPHYX, but also the very simple yet eerie solos you’d play. In a way that reminds me a bit of CANDLEMASS, you know, with a strong, heavy rhythm section and a pretty melodic and bewitching singing on top of it, but for ASPHYX the melody was brought by your solos. What influenced you to keep that great contrast in your music? Do you enjoy some Doom stuff à la SOLITUDE AETURNUS, PENTAGRAM, SAINT VITUS?
"Well, that way of soloing was just the fact that I can’t play fast solos, and also don’t like to play them. It was just a coincidence while we were rehearsing the songs for the "Mutilating Process" 7". On the title song in the rehearsing-room, I connected my digital delay pedal cause I still think it’s the most beautiful effect for guitar, and I started to play the simple notes at the riff. Worked things out at home, and we recorded the song in the rehearsal-room. The solo was hardly to hear, but I remember Bob called me, and said…"What did you do on the song? It sounds awesome". He was listening the rehearsal tape at home. Tonny and Bob did not know I played that solo on the song and were really surprised. From that day I play that kind of solos, not on every doom part, but I feel when such solo is needed for a song, just to give a dramatic atmosphere. I put all my feelings and heart into that soloing. Indeed it’s not technical, but I don’t give a damn, it’s always played with the heart as Doom / Death Metal should be."
I guess that you started to get addicted to this kind of music in the late 70s / early 80s with the likes of SWEET, KISS, BLACK SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE, IRON MAIDEN, SAXON, then got hooked by the storm of speed and aggression delivered by VENOM, METALLICA, SLAYER, and maybe some early Hardcore bands, when suddenly the ugly heads of BATHORY and HELLHAMMER appeared along the first steps of DEATH, SLAUGHTER and NECROPHAGIA. Were you involved in any other band or project before ASPHYX? How did you hook up with the guys, knowing that at that time not everybody was into extreme Metal?
"That’s really the right time-line you describe in this question. From the early Hardrock up the line to Death Metal. I think it’s natural you play the style of music that fits with your person otherwise it looks and sounds unnatural. I do not point my finger at bands, but we all know that there are bands just formed cause of the hype and trend. Wrong angle to begin with. Yes I played in a couple of bands. I remember 2 of them before ASPHYX, but it were just friend-bands…no vision, just have fun playing. It helped me in that way that I learned how it is to play in a band. My idea always is that you have to be a collective; that’s not an ego thing. Being together brings the message. That’s the strength and joy to play together. I don’t like to be in front, get attention, just let me play that six string bastard, don’t put me on a pedestal, I give the rhythm to the other guys and I’m happy."
Horror movies! I know for sure Bob Bagchus is a fan of these films, and even the name ASPHYX stems from a horror flick. I know that Theo Loomans was pretty much into the satanic stuff, but pretty soon, that was more the horror aspect of things that shaped the trademark of ASPHYX lyrics and image. To which degree were you involved with the lyrical side of things, as well as with the image the band should reflect?
"Yes horror and thriller movies, both Bob and me like that very much. We are big fans of this genre and it gives inspiration to make songs. That atmosphere is awesome in some movies. We pick that up and compose and arrange it in songs. Well, I was never involved in the lyrics. That’s the part of the vocalist, that’s his territory, of course when help is needed for lyrics we are there. It’s the freedom inside the band. To me it’s important that every band member gets the space to ventilate ideas, no matter if they fit or not, that’s up to the whole band. Important is to get a good feeling, and to give ideas. Also what Theo did at that time, satanic, horror, etc. We liked it all, and I still like the decisions that were made at that time. I don’t really think we had an image, music was more important."
On your early material there’s a famous VENOM cover: ‘Countess Bathory’. Did you enjoy covering other stuff in rehearsal back in those days? What do you think of the recent covers ASPHYX has made of CELTIC FROST and MAJESTY?
"In the early days we did not often play covers. The time spent for covers was better spent at own made songs. The VENOM one was really nice to do, cause we are all VENOM – fans (well, the old one), and we liked the song very much. I heard the CELTIC FROST and MAJESTY covers from ASPHYX. Well done, the right spirit in it, so my opinion is very 100% positive."
At one point there was a song composed called ‘The Goat Of Mendes’, that only appears on a 1989 rehearsal. This was clearly showing a more "progressive" approach of the ASPHYX sound. Twin guitars melodies and a different feel compared to the rest of your material. This also marked the time when the Christian Colli left the band, and you remained the one and only ASPHYX axe man for years. Could you give us more details about that era of the band please? Did that mark the beginning of your work on a heavier and louder chainsaw sound, now that you were alone with your guitar?
"Bob and I really didn’t like that song. It was too technical. Tonny made that song and riffs, and Bob and I felt no good to play that every time, it just didn’t fit with us, that’s why that song was never recorded on an album release. That also was the reason Tonny had to leave because his musical interests became to follow another direction. He agreed with it. I equalized my guitar sound to Tonny’s. I played a rehearsal tape, get started to tweak my sound. It was a heavier guitar sound than normal in those days, so very creative in tweaking, not even an effects-pedal was made for Death Metal, I tweaked it myself, combined distortions together, experimented, finally I had the sound. It fitted in also with 2 guitar-players. The base-sound was there and of course the playing style. Numerous of factors how a sound is build. The chainsaw sound is a mix between effects and playing style (not treat the strings if it’s your pet… no just be angry at the strings is better!)."
On the "Embrace The Death" album, there’s an intro taken from the "Children Of The Corn" movie. How did you react when you heard that approximately at the same time the deathsters of DEVASTATION from Chicago had used the same intro. What do you think of this band by the way? It’s interesting to see that ASPHYX and DEVASTATION played a very brutal form of Death Metal at the same time, yet with a pretty different approach.
"We did not know DEVASTATION used the same intro, but I think and have to think hard back in time it wasn’t the Hellraiser movie we took but from the horror movie "The beast within". Just recorded some piece from a stereo VCR player and recorded on tape, as in those days. We listened lots of tapes from bands that era, brutal Death Metal for sure."
Talking about contemporary bands, ASPHYX benefited from a good support by MAYHEM’s Euronymous. I think that mostly Bob was active with the mails and interviews. But on your personal level, who were the people, bands, zines from the days you were in contact with on a regular basis? Or maybe you were more concerned by sticking to the guitar and got only a light involvement in this whole tape trading movement?
"Yes indeed, Bob was the die-hard tape-trader and wrote a big amount of letters, I know the stories he told me about his contact with Euronymous. With all these contacts ASPHYX was a point on the map worldwide already in that period. It helped a lot at both sides to write. I did not often tape-trade, I took care of the fan-mail Bob couldn’t handle because every day pile of letters came in. Just helped to get it through. Sure there were people who helped ASPHYX a lot. I’m still full of gratitude for that. The list becomes too long to mention everybody. Most of the time indeed I stuck with my guitar, composing riffs, so everybody has his expertise within the band."
I know that some demo bands from the second half of the 80s really have had an impact on ASPHYX, just like MAJESTY, MALHAVOC, NECROVORE. What were your personal highlights at that time?
"Yes indeed, it was the let’s say underground scene, Thrash Metal was big at that time, Death Metal was boiling to spread the brutality, so tape-trading and the fact to get tapes from other bands was awesome. I know that Bob always told me, listen to this and that, always brutal stuff to listen to. NECROVORE I really like, also MAJESTY and of course MAYHEM, the very roots about Death Metal but also are still big fans of the POSSESSED album (of course the first one – "Seven Churches"). The first gigs ASPHYX did, was a good reflection to see how people reacted cause it was different and for sure the vocals they were not familiar with. Just a matter of time."
From the first demos on which you play, until the "On The Wings Of Inferno" album, including the SOULBURN era, could you please give us your opinion and hindsight, even anecdotes? The history of ASPHYX and the line-up changes are of course pretty challenging to follow, as from time to time, only you or Bob were keeping the band active ("Asphyx", "God Cries"). Talking about SOULBURN, why isn’t Wannes Gubbels mentioned as bass player in the recent re-release of the CD?
"Well Nathaniel, simply the fact, Wannes did not play the bass-guitar on SOULBURN, I did. He couldn’t manage to create a proper bass-sound suitable for SOULBURN, something still on this day I can’t imagine why a person who likes extreme music, adores it, and mostly bands with great bass-sounds, himself has a sound which sounds like he plays under water, I mean playing bass guitar in Death Metal doesn’t mean your bass has to sound tone-death without any sustain !! Bob and I always were irritated by that, cause of the time-schedule of the release I picked up the bass, plugged it in the recording-table, played that thing I also play my guitars and voila, problem tackled. I mean, Theo had a terrific bass-sound, Ron van Pol had a brutal bass-sound, we sure missed something at "On The Wings…" but the magic was gone at that album, still a great one I believe, but something was necessary. I hope he learned something from his period he was a member in ASPHYX and SOULBURN, however some people don’t have the capacity in life to learn."
It seems that somehow you felt painted in a corner and felt the urge to leave ASPHYX, and eventually this kind of extreme music behind you for a while. To a point, may we say that the band was not able to channel your anger, bitterness, or dare I say "depression"? It’s not easy to talk about that for sure, but I guess this personal aspect of your life might help to understand why on several occasions you put ASPHYX or SOULBURN to rest in peace.
"Let me say, it never and never was the fact of musical differences or that I did not like the music anymore. Every note every riff I played, every riff I made I still am for 1000% behind that. I never regret anything in that period. I still am very proud to have had a tiny piece of membership in ASPHYX, back then, present and in future my view never change. It is part of my life you can’t erase that, so much things experienced together with Bob, it’s a musical marriage, no-one can stand in our way, we shared pro’s and con’s. That period I did not make any music was the fact that other interests I had needed my time, there was no feeling besides that to make music. Indeed I do not like to spit the details out, my best friends know what happened and like to keep it that way. The fact I am back making music, feeling home, enjoy the music area again, is that Metal still running in my veins hitting my bones. It gives me the satisfaction I need, besides a busy job, it gives me peace and comfort, the magic to play with friends again, have goals, meet people. It all gives a good feeling. People can call it depression at that period, I call it experience the dynamics in life I needed to continue stronger than ever."
How close were you with Theo Loomans? I mean he already quit ASPHYX for a while before he died in pretty obscure conditions. Were you still in touch with him and his band SWAZAFIX? What did you think of his interpretation on the "God Cries" album? I know for sure that when Martin van Drunen joined the band, he would eventually rewrite some texts done by Theo. He never seemed to appreciate him much actually. How was your relation with Theo and how do you consider his input in the origin of ASPHYX?
"I had a good relationship with Theo, he also was very important for ASPHYX in the beginning of the band. He was very die-hard to fulfill his job as vocalist and bass-player. He also lived for the band as we all did. On the "God Cries" album that’s his creativity together with Bob, and musicians need to be creative. I respect the album also I respect Theo. We did have a good time together; people do not have bad words about him, even when they do not know him. Yes, Martin rewrote also the lyrics for "The Rack" album, but I am convinced that a vocalist must sing the words he represent for 100%, that’s his freedom and his creativity to do so. About differences between Theo and Martin, this is not to me to judge about that, and if it was it’s low/life when someone can’t defend himself anymore."
What did you do after 2000, when ASPHYX was split up? Until now it’s more than 10 years that you haven’t been active in a band anymore. Lately though you formed THE COMPANY OF UNDERTAKERS which was the seed for GRAND SUPREME BLOODCOURT. What went on in your life during all those years? I know that you recently suffered from a heart attack. Luckily you’re still with us, and that didn’t prevent you of diving in the Metal pool again!
"Thank you ! Yess indeed it took me almost a year to feel better from that attack. As a heart patient (20% of my heart is damaged) I have to watch out for certain things, but it went ok. I’m thankful to feel ok, I have no more check-ups, the medical file is closed at the hospital. I had also lots of time to think about everything in life. Making music again gives that satisfaction I lost in those 10 years, and the need even when I play just for myself. I had a family life, building up a career for a job. I succeeded in that, very happy the work I do, but the family life didn’t turn out so well. I don’t go into detail, but I needed those years to find out certain things. I have reached a point that I combine my job with making music, and that’s all what matters to me. Actually it was Bob who gave me the motivation and interest again in making music even if there was no talking about it in detail. For me personally it gives a lot of joy to grab my guitars and play on it and experience the feeling back. Everybody can make mistakes; learning from it makes it bearable and understandable. Yes, it started with THE COMPANY OF UNDERTAKERS, Martin, Bob and I made some tracks, we all liked the feeling so much, excited we went and continued with the band GRAND SUPREME BLOODCOURT."
Many people of your age who have created and witnessed the birth of extreme Metal have switched to other musical or non-musical centers of interest through the years. Some of them often felt the urge of going back to their Death Metal roots in the recent years like it’s the case with bands such as HOODED MENACE, GOD MACABRE, SPUN IN DARKNESS (with an ex – GOATLORD member), AUTOPSY (even though the dudes were still active with ABSCESS). How do you see this wave of reunions? Have you kept track of the evolution of the underground during between 2000 and today? Have you followed the recent new wave of old school Death Metal popping up from everywhere, but mostly Sweden? Have you heard the works of younger bands like EXCORIATE (R.I.P.) / VENENUM, NECROS CHRISTOS, DROWNED, ENTRAPMENT, HATESPAWN, SONNE ADAM? I know that somehow you found your enthusiasm back for Death Metal. What new bands do you like? Do some of them give you the same feeling as when you listened to SLAUGHTER for the first time for example?
"Good question if I may say so! Well I don’t have any negative thoughts about reunions of bands, if can speak for myself. I think the reason why is important, what the idea is of coming back. I know if it’s the feeling, the loss, the excitement, I approve with that. And I think the audience will have a good time. It’s the reason to bring some music back, but it’s not only in music also with products, retro, old school, just give it a name if you like, but it’s nothing more than the need to try give the feeling it was 20 years or so. I try to keep up with new bands, but I don’t have the urge to collect and really dig into it. Sure I hear good bands…COFFINS I really like, the soul of Death Metal is into this. But to be honest I do not know all those bands you named in your question. Mostly I got told by my friends of bands to hear, and I do. But in the process we are now with the album of GRAND SUPREME BLOODCOURT I don’t like to hear much Death Metal music, because I want to be objective. Nothing changed about that even 20 years ago."
I was lucky to meet you finally in September 2010 when you performed a one off gig with ASPHYX at the Century Media party in Germany. It was also the first time that you would rehearse with the dudes since 1992. This rehearsal was pretty unbelievable to witness I must say. Killer memories! How did you live those moments? Of course the riffs and tracks were mostly yours, but it was clear that Paul Baayens was now leading the guitar duty in the band. How is your relationship to him? It seems you have helped him a lot to get to play the old stuff right. How did you react when you heard his work on "Death… The Brutal Way", as I think he managed to capture pretty well the feeling of your style?
"Thank you very much, I liked it myself very much too, to spread the brutal notes of ASPHYX again after such a long period not playing in a band. I had prepared myself for 2 months rehearse at home with my modest virtual recording studio. Played the setlist almost every day to get the right feeling back. And of course to play with two guitar players, a wish came through. Massive brutal it was. Yes ASPHYX is an oiled machine right now; I say never change a winning team. My relationship with Paul is on a pure friendship base. I wish him all the luck in the world to spread the saw-guitar around. He’s doing a great job, respect him, and of course the other guys. Bob is my best friend for years even when the times didn’t go well. We have a sort of musical marriage. Even when we did not see each other for a long time, when we pick up our instruments, look at each other, and the Doom / Death is born. Something special, and I am very glad and happy he joined on GRAND SUPREME BLOODCOURT as well,. When I heard "Death…The Brutal Way" I was very glad to hear it sounds really ASPHYX, the sound and Martin’s vocals, to me he still is and always will be the best death-voice on this planet, and Bob’s drumming his own style, pounding like hell, yes I am very proud to see and hear the story continues. I played some songs live from that album in Dortmund, and the feeling in those songs were right, so to me the album is a killer one. I wish the guys all the luck they deserve. They’re hard working people, besides having busy jobs. A lot of young bands can take an example at this."
Getting back in the big machine ASPHYX has become again is maybe not a plan for you, hence you started GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT recently with Bob Bagchus on drums, Martin van Drunen on vocals, and Theo Van Eekelen (HAIL OF BULLETS, ex HOUWITSER…) on bass. But if I remember right, when the band was still named THE COMPANY OF UNDERTAKERS you were supposed to have guest vocalists as well like Jörgen Sandström. It was a bit like what DEATH BREATH uses to do. Do you intend to get some guests on your first album? What is GRAND SUPREME BLOODCOURT about? Of course comparisons with ASPHYX will arise from everywhere, due to your background. What are the main differences between both bands for you? Where and how did you get this adolescent like enthusiasm back?
"Haha! Don’t forget to mention Alwin (ASPHYX bass player – Nathaniel) on guitars as well !! Yes, the idea was born from THE COMPANY OF UNDERTAKERS but it was hard to get from the ground. Ideas there were, and Bob, Martin and I managed to write 2 songs and made them definite. In the meantime cause of the busy schedule of the guys with their bands, I kept working on riffs, because I felt and needed to write music again. I sent them as mp3 to Martin and Bob, they really like the stuff I wrote, so the idea was born to form a band, join together, and really I am very happy with this line-up. To play with the guys, have fun, but also the most important thing to be friends again. I missed that a lot, to be part of a band. My idea was to ask Alwin if he would like to play the second guitar in GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT, he did, and we both are a golden team to say, he fills the right riffs when I am stuck, we are all very excited and happy with the result so far. Drums and guitars are already recorded, and yes, comparisons will be made but not for us. It’s different than ASPHYX, it’s a band on its own, heavier, and back to basic. I don’t want to say, old school, I will say REAL Doom / Death as it is and was mentioned to be. Very slow parts with pounding mid-tempo, riffs are killing, and the whole concept is about the Blood Court in history which really existed. Martin is writing the concept and of course the lyrics. All 10 songs perfectly fit together as a concept. But I only can say…just hear for yourself next year when the release is planned. Talking is ok, but listening is even better!! With GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT Death Metal even got deadlier!!!"
Do you intend to play gigs and eventually go on tour with GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT, or shall it remain a studio band only?
"Not touring, cause of the busy lives we have besides music it is not possible, but we sure want to play shows. On the other hand not too much shows, GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT doesn’t want to kill itself with lots of gigs. It has to be special. Next year we like to play on festivals if possible, hope the release will be on time. So not a studio band or project, we spread the heavy notes around live as well."
By the way, you’re taken under the wings of Century Media. Not really a surprise, since it is the home of ASPHYX as well. What have been your connections with the team over there? I know for sure that Philip, Stefan and Leif are really dedicated to the Metal of Death. So I guess they’ll put their best efforts to give to your first album the best look and promotion. Is a vinyl version in the talks? If yes, shall it be released by Century Media or maybe by Imperium Productions?
"Well at this point I can’t and won’t say which company it will be about the release. We are in contact with several companies. With CMR we are on good terms and have contact with them. In the past I liked it very much to work together with them. Let’s say it’s a bit too early to mention this. We soon will work it out. When GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT signed it will be announced."
By the way, I think that this habit of using covers made with photoshop is killing the real essence of (Death) Metal. What about the artwork and people you will work with for the album?
"Also this is an aspect we’re working at. The most important thing is if it fits for GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT, whatever cover it will be. We sure have our ideas, and to realize them is the next step. Also the logo is in progress. But most important right now is to finish the album recordings. We focus on this first."
Besides Metal, are there any other musical styles that you enjoy? Come on, you bloody Dutch! I’m sure you have a soft spot for cheesy house music like in the New Kids Turbo movie! Haha!
"Hahaha, well they are funny for a short time, saw the movie, after 30 minutes I pressed the stop button on my DVD player. It becomes boring to hear shitty stuff again and again. Well besides Metal, a friend of mine is a big sixties freak, he has so much 7"es and albums hardly find a spot to walk in his room hahaha. I really like the very very old notes from the 50s and 60s. Relaxed stuff! I like the idea that back then, bands went into the studio, recorded all live, smoked while they were playing… I mean the techniques and equipment weren’t as sophisticated as it is now, and you can hear that the music is raw. Ok that’s just an opinion. He owns a couple of original Wurlitzer juke-boxes. Very cool!!"
Talking about The Netherlands, you have always had a very active Metal scene, and to this day, most European tours step by in Germany and in your country. Do you still go regularly to concerts? How have you seen the Metalheads evolve between the time you started to discover this music and nowadays?
"Yes I go regularly to concerts always together with Bob as friends we visit bands we like. Also Dutch bands and of course international bands. I think The Netherlands and Germany has one of the best audiences for Death Metal. That’s why bands like to stop by. And of course The Netherlands counts when it comes to Death Metal, very alive scene devoted to this kind of music. In the past I liked always to play in Germany…fans are great, nice, good food, and beers which don’t give me headaches!!"
I know that for years you always kept in touch with Bob and eventually Martin, even though it was not always on a regular basis. Now it looks like you’re meeting each other on a more regular basis, due to the new band activity. How has your friendship evolved through the years? At some point Martin left the band, and it was unexpected that he would still sing on what was to become "Last One On Earth". So I guess that you kinda lost track with him for a while. But from what I saw, you all get along very well these days. Do you feel that with THE GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT you will finally achieve something undone in the past with these dudes?
"Well that’s right, we didn’t have contact for a while or intense contact as in the early years, we all went our own way, but we live in the same area, I met Martin sometimes in town here, we talked briefly, shared some friend things and went our way. That’s what happens. With Bob I had occasional contact; we were friends in the past and still are present. Yes, it feels good to make music again with those dudes, we shared so much together, and about music, no-one can get in between. We love to play the Doom / Death it’s in our veins and bones, simple as that. No, it did not occur that we want to finish some musical things from the past. We just are excited and happy that the magic is still there to write songs, play the songs and produce real Doom / Death music. Let me say this, I never thought it was possible to make an album again, with this kind of spirit and beliefs, that’s why life has its own path to be followed. I enjoy every day the beautiful things in life, to pick up the guitar, compose, and just feel one with that piece of wood is something I never expected anymore. That’s why I am so happy and proud THE GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT is formed, just to spread the heavy tones of pure and real Doom / Death as I was and is mentioned to be."
Back in "The Rack" days you were playing in a band getting pretty much response and support, touring with ENTOMBED, playing with BOLT THROWER, etc. Were you able to make a living from the music for a short while? Did you still work while being busy with ASPHYX? How do you see or expect things with your new band, now that the business has changed pretty much with the internet and the incredible amount of bands? By the way, what is your job today? Are you feeling OK with it? Is music a good way for you to escape the everyday life routine?
"Yes we lived for 2 years from music. We spent all our time playing, rehearse, and play shows almost every weekend. It was the beginning of the big burst of Death Metal back in 1990. A great time, never comes back, but glad and happy to have been part of it. Most of us compare our jobs with music, free time spending in music and Bob and Theo also have kids and family’s to take care of. Very respectful how they manage. My job is technical drawing CAD specialist and designer for a big company in Enschede. Very creative job and happy with it. It’s working a lot with graphics and software. Doing this for almost 12 years. And for sure besides my busy job, music gives me that other kind of feeling than spending hours in an office. The cons and pros are balanced and like it this way very much."
Alright, I think that this interview is long enough. Hopefully you had a good time with the answers. Thanks again and good luck with GRAND SUPREME BLOODCOURT! May the riffs of Death resound forever! I hope you will keep on releasing music that matters for the putrid mass of die hard Metalheads!
"Those are really nice ending words of you, almost nothing to say anymore. Check out the album of GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT next year, Death Metal even got deadlier!!! Thanks again Nathaniel for this great interview. Till we meet again…Stay Brutal!!"