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Overmars - Be fucking curious and hungry! (Xavier) - Online Jan 2006


A thousand greetings from “The Metal Observer”! To start out, could you please tell us your name and what you do in the band.

 

I am Xavier, I scream in the microphone, I’d like to really sing sometimes. I also answer to interviews and tell the others to send me back their answers. But this time, I guess you’ll have only mine.

 

First, I’d like to get one thing cleared up right off the bat. The band’s name, OVERMARS, has always intrigued me. Where did this name come from? What does it represent?

 

One day, I’ll put a FAQ section on our website, hahaha! Well, we’ve got all different interpretations of this name, as well related to the Dutch football player than to the space. For me, it just sounds nice. Recently, I found another interpretation. One tells that live we’re some kind of war machine and Mars is the Roman god of War. I like the connection.

 

Alright, now that that’s settled, how about you give us a little history of the band? I know OVERMARS started out as a side-project of DONEFAR that eventually took on a life of its own…

 

The band started in spring 2001. I moved from Montpellier to Lyon late 2000 and wanted to start a new band. I met the DONEFOR’s guys at shows, talked with them and proposed Benjamin to start a new project with me. Bruno and Pierrick followed him, Antoine arrived just after. We had many bassist and Marion joined us in summer 2003. Just before, Arno, who used to be singer in DONEFOR, joined us at the video projections and now he sings too. Actually, OVERMARS is Antoine, Arno, Benjamin, Marion, Pierrick and me + some peripheral members who join us sometimes.

About DONEFOR, I didn’t play with them. But DONEFOR was close to die and OVERMARS was “successful” since the very beginning. It was not possible for DONEFOR to continue. Too much tensions, too much buried hopes.

 

You’ve recently released your first full-length, “Affliction, Endocrine…Vertigo.” How has the reception been so far?

 

It’s often very good and a few times... very bad. And I’m ok with that. I like the idea people are not without a reaction face to our music. This is maybe the most important for me. And I like when the reviewers explain why they like or dislike what we’re doing. To be more basic, most of the time the reactions are really goods, as much with the reviews as with the public when we play live.

 

To me, the album sounds a lot like it would appeal to fans of ISIS and ESOTERIC. What are your thoughts on these bands? How do you feel about the comparison?

 

I like both bands. I used to listen to ISIS a lot but I have to admit that I don’t completely fit to their latest musical direction. About ESOTERIC, I’m very interested by their way to approach music and to experiment with sounds and atmospheres. Their music is really not easy to listen to but I love this kind of challenge. There is so much to discover with them. I’d like to see them live one day.

 

How about other bands? What are you folks listening to lately?

 

ULVER, UNSANE, NEUROSIS, SIXTEEN HORSEPOWER, THE BODY LOVERS, SWANS, KYLESA, AXIS OF PERDITION, ANGELS OF LIGHT, IMPURE WILHELMINA, MY BLOODY VALENTINE, GRAILS, BOLT THROWER.

 

On the flip side, what music would the members of OVERMARS like to have eradicated from the planet?

 

Reggae but not only because of the music. I really disagree with the sexist and homophobic behaviors of some parts of the reggae culture and movement. And fuck... I really hate reggae, hahaha! After Reggae, we can destroy all this shitty festive ska sound. Believe me, it’s unbearable!

 

Back to the album. There’s a definite theme running throughout “Affliction,” what with the five parts of “Destroy All Dreamers.” What were you going for there? What is the significance, lyrical or musical, of “Destroy All Dreamers”?

 

It’s a call against apathy. To dream is beautiful, but to live our dreams is much more beautiful. Stop dreaming, start acting and let’s re-appropriate our own lives.

 

The title is also very interesting. Care to comment on the words “Affliction, Endocrine…Vertigo”?

 

These three words are here to illustrate what we felt during the writing process and everything going around this album. I personally fit the most with “Vertigo” because a lot of things happened to OVERMARS during this period and it was kind of weird and very exciting for me.

 

Along with recent releases from artists such as MONOLITHE and P.H.O.B.O.S., “Affliction…” was released on BLUT AUS NORD’s imprint, “Appease Me,” through Candlelight. Aside from sharing a homeland, what’s your relationship with BLUT AUS NORD? How about those other bands?

 

We just know each other by e-mail and phone. Relationships are really good with them, as much as they can be good only through e-mail, phone and chat. They’re discreet and mysterious persons. I’ve met Fred from P.H.O.B.O.S. at the NEUROSIS show in London and we shared some e-mails. And I’ve met him some more times in Paris. Shared some e-mails too with Sylvain from MONOLITHE but we don’t really know them. I have to admit we need to meet peoples to really feel comfortable with them so that’s why some of our very good friends are peoples we toured with like IMPURE WILHELMINA, AMANDA WOODWARD, SUBMERGE, UNLOGISTIC or our hometown friends of DAITRO & MIHAI EDRISCH.

 

I’ve read elsewhere that OVERMARS is a politically-charged band. What would you say about this? What are some political issues that are important to the band and its message?

 

Let’s say we’re a band who like to speak about things we live everyday. It may be politic but I don’t think we’re politic like SEEIN’RED, CRASS or CATHARSIS. We’re not here to spread slogans or tell to peoples how to think or what to do. But we use OVERMARS to express some ideas, to make peoples think about some specific problems or things who disturb us (hierarchy, submission and domination, exclusion). Lyrics are no straight to the point. We use a lot images and metaphors. It’s up to the reader to see where we want to go. We use interviews too, to say what we have to say when the questions allow it. And we write some essays who are available on our website or on paper zines we released (only in French, unfortunately).

We can’t say we’ve got a political message except for the basic “think by yourself”. These times, during shows and in interviews, I invite peoples to ask themselves questions about what they’re doing when they go to an underground show. I try to tell peoples that the underground needs their help and support to continue to exist, to continue to propose an artistic, political and economical alternative to Sony, Universal and all these major companies. Without underground activism, no structures to spread artists who take risks, who do things with their guts and not for profit. Without underground activism, no place for bands like us and many more to express themselves. I know we’re on quite big label now and exposed to a wider public, but I profit of this new and bigger exposition to tell the kids that there are many excellent bands who exist and who don’t have the chance to have a good promotion and distribution. It’s to the peoples to make the effort to look at these bands, labels, squats, fanzines and to support them. And I can guarantee you that many of these bands are often more interesting than what we can find in shops. Being now more exposed, I use OVERMARS like a bridge to the most underground universe and network. Go on our website, check our links, visit the bands & label’s website, cultivate yourself and make that culture stronger. Be fucking curious and be hungry !

 

So, what’s next on the OVERMARS agenda? Tours, another album, anything of that sort?

 

We’ll tour Spain, France and Germany in April. Maybe UK next summer. Since the last recording, we didn’t write any new songs. So, no records planned for the moment.

 

What would you say has been the most rewarding part of being in the band, thus far? Anything in particular stand out?

 

Playing live all over Europe and meeting extraordinary peoples everywhere, for “real” or through the internet.

 

Alright, time for a little bit of fun. I give you a word, you tell me what comes to mind…

 

Metal: Death to false Metal

Hardcore: Still lives!

Doom: Ho yeaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!

Satan: We’ll make him a Punk again

Bush: X :The singer?

Jackie Chan: Please, retire!

Faux-hawks: What is it?

Piracy: METALLICA, go fuck yourself! Napster spirit will last forever!

 

Thanks so much for the interview, folks. Any thing you’d like to leave with us with?

 

I think it’s ok for me. Thanks a lot Wes for the interview and good continuation. I just repeat that: be fucking curious and hungry!  

Discography:

2002: In The Arms Of Octopus (Split)

2003: Our Dreams Walking Their Way - Chapter III (Split, Cetacean)

2005: Affliction, Endocrine...Vertigo (CD, Appease Me)

Wesley D. Cray



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