GOD DETHRONED definitely are the European kings of Death! Their furious crusade of Death, Thrash and some Black-ish splinters already has been celebrated on four longplayers. Their latest offering is called "Ravenous" and doesn't fall off the rest musically, but is even more gripping and even deadlier. It was about time to get at guitarist Jens.
If I take a look at your covers and song-titles like "Copulating Maria" or "Bloody Blasphemy" I ask myself who in the band has this special sense of "humour"? Didn't you get any problems with that kind of image?
We all have this peculiar sense of humour, hahaha! You know, we try to spread a serious message about organised religion, freedom of speech and opinion by using both serious and humouristic lyrics.
Your new is album called "Ravenous". I think musically there's no big difference to "Bloody Blasphemy". What are the lyrics about?
You're right, I agree, we haven't changed the music drastically. I think "Ravenous" is a logical progression from the previous albums. We've grown as composers and musicians, which manifests itself in shorter, catchier songs and tighter playing, with stronger melodies. In general, I think it's a more mature album.
Is "The Poison Apple" influenced by the bible?
Yes, "The Poison Apple" is an example of a song, where we twist a bible-story into an offensive one. You know, the Bible can be a pretty interesting book, can hold valuable lessons, if read as a good book, written by people over 200 years ago, not as a law. It should not be used as a means to oppress people, which can happen when preached too literally. By our ‚alternative' versions of Bible-stories, we try to give a hilarious view of how you could also perceive some bible-stories.
Is it true that you have a new drummer, Tony Laureano (Ex-ANGEL CORPSE)? I thought that he joined the American band NILE?
The situation is a bit different: Tony's not a permanent member. He's a very busy guy, has obligations with other bands and works as a drum-tech much of the time. After Roel left us, we asked Tony to play on the album as a session-drummer. At that time he was in between tours with NILE, so we could fly him in to record the album in one week. It worked out very well, and Tony is also very satisfied with the way the album turned out. As the situation is right now, he is very much willing to tour with us, if his schedule allows it.
You have two covers on the album. One from DEATH and one from MACABRE END. Can you tell me more from them - I don't know them!
MACABRE END is a relatively unknown Swedish Death Metal-band of the early Nineties. Henri has an old, obscure recording of this song of theirs, "Consumed By Darkness". He played it for us at a rehearsal for this CD and we agreed with him it would fit to our material. It sounded really evil: slow and threatening. A very compact, short song with tremendous atmosphere. It was no problem covering it, since it's a simple song to play, so we just recorded it to see how it would turn out. Very satisfyingly, so it made the album. Our version is a bit faster and more melodic than theirs, so it blends in perfectly with the rest of our songs.
I know a cool movie which is more a western and it's called "Ravenous". It's about cannibalism. Are you influenced by this movie?
Yes! The song "Ravenous" was influenced by the movie you just mentioned. I think it's a cool movie, quite creepy atmosphere, but also quite funny in a way. Henri wrote the lyrics while watching the movie. We work like that more often, have a number of songs that are directly influenced by movies.
Which movies and books then are your main influences?
Up till now we have songs that are influenced by movies like "The Prophecy" and "Warlock". Books that influence us are mostly historical: Dutch history and of course the Bible, heheheh! Also Nostradamus' writings, and works of Aleister Crowley.
"The Iconoclast Deathride" does include a message of Aleister Crowley! What's your opinion about him?
Personally, I haven't yet read any of his material, no time to read anything except books for my study. Henri has read some of his stuff, though. Mr. Crowley must have been a very intriguing person, he had some interesting views. Also, I think he deserves quite some credit for influencing so many Metal-bands directly or indirectly. That's one of the reasons why the album's been dedicated to his memory.
Besides GOD DETHRONED Henri is the boss of a label called Cold Blood Industries. I have a CD from THE WOUNDED. It is more Gothic-Metal, but I like it. Is this the music you like at home? Or are you only into Death and Thrash Metal?
I listen to a lot of different styles of music, varying from classical music (the Russian composers most of all - dark stuff!), through obscure 80's pop to Death and Grind. I'd say about 80% of what I listen to is Metal, various genres. I don't really listen to Gothic all that much. As for THE WOUNDED, they are quite a good band, nice guys, too, but it's not really my cup of tea music-wise.
You toured a lot around the world? What were the best/worst experiences on tour?
I think the best experience was playing the Dynamo-fest. You can't imagine what it's like to stand on that stage and see such a sea of people in front of you, enjoying your music. I was really amazed by this and couldn't get the grin off my face for days! Actually, Wacken '99 falls in that same category, great time! But, thinking about it, there's so many wonderful things we have seen and done, I could write a book about it, heheheh! D.O.A and W.O.A. are just two of the many highlights.
The five most important albums of all times?
Phew, a tough one! You know, it changes from time to time, there's so many influential albums in my life, but I'll take a shot at it. Here goes.
What are your plans after the release of "Ravenous"?
We plan to tour as much as we can to promote the album, do as many summer-festivals as we can, and we'll find a great drummer before the next CD, which we'll probably start recording in the summer of 2002. We'll see what comes to us, as we've done after each previous CD. That way we get surprised with every new chapter in the G.D.-history and won't be disappointed if a chapter remains unwritten.
Which question have you never been asked about GOD DETHRONED?
Ha! This one, until now! I've had some really interesting, different questions throughout the years, and this one falls neatly into that category. Always cool to get some alternative questions! Thanks!
Your last words?
Thanks for the interview and the interest in GOD DETHRONED! See you all on tour in April! Keep the Metal pumping through those veins! Hell yeah!
1997: The Grand Grimoire (CD, Metal Blade)
1999: Bloody Blasphemy (CD, Metal Blade)
2001: Ravenous (CD, Metal Blade)
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