Thursday, April 9, 2009

Interview with GOD DETHRONED in Issue#4, 2000

Here's another interview from Issue#4, this time with the Dutch superblasphemers GOD DETHRONED. Conducted shortly after the release of their second album "Bloody Blasphemy", yet focusing more on their grandiose debut "The Grand Grimoire", an album that's highly regarded by me even to these days. Put a spin in any given day, "The Grand Grimoire" is a bloody brilliant opus indeed.

Blistering death Metal with always something else to spice it up… Nobody can do it as excellent as the way Holland’s GOD DETHRONED executes it. Blown away by “The Grand Grimoire”, I was forced to make an interview with them, and now their “Bloody Blasphemy” is already out. Dated? Whatever… GOD DETHRONED fukking rules!

Reveal us the band’s situation at the very moment…
At the moment we have some time for ourselves, because we had a very busy time doing a tour and live shows. In May we did a tour with IMMORTAL through Europe, this was great because we just had the new album out and for us this was the chance to see and hear some reactions from the fan. And I must say that the reactions on “Bloody Blasphemy” were really good. We noticed that after “The Grand Grimoire” a lot of people took notice of us, and already did know about the new album. We also did a few festivals, one of them was the Dynamo Festival in Holland. This was really great for us, to do a show for so many people in your own country, I believe there was 10,000 people watching the show, we will never forget this. Further we did some festivals in German, and shows in Holland. And now we finally have some time left to relax a little, but this is only in the evenings because we all have our jobs and studies to take care of.
“The Grand Grimoire” turns out to be really ‘grand’ in some ways. I mean, people (mostly) only noticed the existence of GOD DETHRONED by this album. Tell us what do you think about this and also the album?
I think most people heard of GOD DETHRONED after the release of “The Grand Grimoire”. And this is not very strange because when the album “The Christ Hunt” was released in ’92 there’s hardly no promotion was done. This album was released on a small German label that did no good to the band at all. After recording “The Grand Grimoire” in ’96 we got signed with METAL BLADE, and they released the album worldwide, and did good promotion for it. We are very satisfied with “The Grand Grimoire”, after all this is the album that gave us the chance to do tours and things like that. A lot of song from the album are really good to play live, based on the reactions we get from the audience. Only if we look back the production could have been a little better maybe, but you need to have something to improve on the next album.
And what about the first, “The Christ Hunt”? It’s being re-released now…
Yes, Henri started his own label called Cold Blood Industries (anything to do with Cold Meat Industries?-ed.), and decided to re-release “The Christ Hunt” himself, and this time with the original cover, a slaughtered rat that stands symbol for all that is Christian. And that the album was way ahead of its time shows in sales and reactions, people still like it because it’s very brutal in every way.
I guess the success of “The Grand Grimoire” gave you the opportunity to do that…
This has nothing to do with the success of “The Grand Grimoire”, Henri only wanted to re-release it because the label then fucked up his album. I cannot deny that our success now helps selling “The Christ Hunt”
Being compared, what could you make up about those two?
You have to know that GOD DETHRONED is a totally different band now, than that it was during “The Christ Hunt” era. Henri is the only original band member, when he started writing “The Christ Hunt” GOD DETHRONED had only two members, Henri and a drummer. So all the music is from his hand, “The Christ Hunt” is a death Metal album with a very brutal Swedish sound, in the style of the first GRAVE album. It is a totally different album than “The Grand Grimoire”, the best thing to compare the two albums are the melodic parts that both albums have. But everyone who likes our music now should listen to “The Christ Hunt” sometime because it’s really heavy stuff. What I like about “The Grand Grimoire” is the mix of different styles; thrash, black and death Metal. But this was not done with a reason, we just came up with a lot of riffs and started writing songs and those came out as a result.
Signing with METAL BLADE seems to be a right decision. How’s the relationship?
The relationship between us and METAL BLADE is very good. We are satisfied with the things they do for us, like the promotion they make and the way we can record the albums and everything. We are totally free to write what we want and when we want to. And they already got us to do three tours, so we can’t complain.
The song “Somberness of Winter” appeared in the “Smell Like Team Spirit II” compilation of DISPLEASED RECORDS. How did it get there?
We were ready to sign a contract with them, almost everything was taken care of and suddenly METAL BLADE showed up with a contract. So we decided to compare the contracts, but I think it was already clear what the choice would be. Of course DISPLEASED was not very pleased with this, but that’s life.
In “The Grand Grimoire”, you seem to cram everything of the genre ‘extreme Metal’ into one, complete package. I would like to know the sound-direction of the band, whatever you might call it…
I don’t know what do you mean with sound direction, but I guess that you mean how we call our music (sorta…-ed.). It is very difficult to give a name to your own music, but we still call it death Metal. I don’t deny some parts sound black or thrashy, but you can call it what you want.
What is “The Grand Grimoire” then, as proposed by the album…
The lyrics are based on a film called “Warlock”, in this film the warlock is searching for a book named “The Grand Grimoire” which is a witches’ bible. In this bible hid the real name of god, and if you say this name backwards the world will end. The word ‘grimoire’ is a different word for witches’ bible.
You’re using mostly simple, direct words in your lyrics.
Yes that is true, sometimes you read some lyrics from bands and you will think “what is this crap”, “what do they mean by this”. We don’t like those bullshit, with our way everyone can understand our lyrics, we say what we want to say and that is it. I think when you hear our new album “Bloody Blasphemy” you’ll notice that the lyrics are even more to the point, that’s the way we like to say things.
The pictures of the band members in the album (TGG) was not being done in the usual way. Tell us something about it…
Henri came up with the idea of putting our heads on paintings of early kings and noblemen. And this turned out to be perfect, we get a lot of reactions on this, everybody seems to like it. For example we placed Roel’s head on the painting of William van Oranje, this is the man who lead the revolution against the Spanish some 400 years ago, and created the republic what later is called Holland.
GOD DETHRONED seems to indulge in past, forgotten era…
Yes, we write about Dutch history and things like that. The song “Somberness of Winter” is about Willem Barentsz who was a Dutch explorer. He tried to find a short route to India by sailing north instead of south which was the usual route in those days. But he had bad luck and his ship was crushed by ice on the island Nova Zembla, and he and his crew died a horrible death. We like these old stories, it is part of our background and none of the other Dutch bands seem to use these subjects for their lyrics. On “Bloody Blasphemy” there are two other songs with lyrics like that.
What do GOD DETHRONED think about the present days then?
I can’t speak for the other guys in the band, but I think it’s sucks. There is war everywhere, and by this I mean dirty wars where the battle is decided by the one who has the biggest budget, and not who has the most courage. And people that kill each other because they think that the god they believe in is the only true god; how stupid they are, they must know that there is no god. Life must have been so much better when the world was not so crowded, like 1,000 or 5,000 years ago. I can't wait till the time arrives that a disaster will strike us and half of us or more will die.
I don't think that GOD DETHRONED is a black Metal-orientated band, but I find that the band is far more 'meaner' than most of them (musically or lyric-wise).
I don't know if this is true, this is the way you look at it but there are some bands that are far more brutal than we are. A band like MARDUK I think are far more extreme than us.
And what do you think, is the definite way for a band to express their intentions in both aspects?
Yes this is true because, what would you think of a satanic jazz band. This is only a joke of course but when your lyrics are brutal I think that the only way to give this some more is the extreme music. When you write depressing lyrics the music can support this feeling and make it stronger.
I found out that Henri is a capable producer himself. Could you tell us a bit about his works? Will he produce GOD DETHRONED's albums by himself after this?
No I don't think so, I know we will always work like what we did on "The Grand Grimoire" and on "Bloody Blasphemy". And sorry I can't tell you more about Henri's works becuse I don't know what you mean with 'Henri's works' (I'm referring to his works as producer and engineer on some recordings-ed.)
Some people are mumbling that your band's name is pretty cliche, you know...
Let them mumble, I feel sorry for them, the stupid bastards. I will meet them in Hell and they will suffer.
I hope to hear more of GOD DETHRONED soon, what it might probably be?
Ok, I told you we have a new album out already, called "Bloody Blasphemy". For us this album is another step in the right direction, because we are much more satisfied about the production compared to that of "The Grand Grimoire". we also wrote shorter songs because we think this gives some more speed to our live shows. The only thing I further can say about it is go out and listen to it somewhere and hear for yourself.

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