'Black Rooster' is in the stores for a couple of weeks right now and you already did a CD presentation. How were the reactions that night and how's the selling of your CD right now?
The reactions so far are great. There are only 500 digipacks available (the rest will be sold through digital download). More than half of the stock is sold already. We've started our promotional tour a few weeks ago. In fact we're right back from our mini-tour with MortIIs. Unfortunately the worldwide release of the new album has slightly been delayed, because of transport issues. Which means the album will be available through our label Urgence Disk in January 2010. But do not fear, you can order at our website or athttp://www.bol.com.
'Black Rooster' has a spoken intro with different voices. What's the intro about and can you describe the relation of the intro to the rest of the songs on the album?
The intro is a compilation of speeches of American political figures. As you can hear in the intro, a story is told. In short the story is about misleading people to be a 'good citizen', which in the end will be rewarded by the government through the fulfilment of all of their dreams. The reason I made this sound collage, is that many people I talk to on the streets, in schools, in companies or where ever you can imagine, believe in this ghost theory. They want to get rich and successful, but don't realize there is no way to achieve this without being behind the steering wheel of their own destiny. When you listen carefully to the intro, you can literally hear the irony in the way this 'world view' is portrait.
Can you explain the theme behind all songs or can't we speak about a concept album?
Most song themes are about deception of the masses by our Western political and economic system. Mainly, because the masses choose to be deceived; the strive for wealth, career and power eventually leads them into a labyrinth of social and economical dependency. And that's really sad, because people become slaves of their own desires. There's a price for everything. Welcome to the western world!
We can also hear spoken words in 'The Curse of Human Kind'. Who is this person? And can I see this one as an opener of the second part of 'Black Rooster'?
It's a speech, which shows the pointlessness of traditions in society. Meaning that everything is done on a repeat basis. The more you repeat things, the more of a 'pain in the ass' it gets and especially the less you think about it. Why does a certain person lead his/ her life in a certain way? And where does it lead to? And why does he/ her need certain thing? All these questions are hardly answered in our consumer society. Many of us don't think, but just act. In itself it's not a crime, but in my mind that is the true 'Curse Of Human Kind'.
A lot of people comparing Deadcell with bands Ministry, Rammstein, Laibach and Gothminister. What's your opinion about that and can you mention something that's typical for Deadcell and cannot be related to other bands?
Music wise we can best be compared to Ministry. Our live show relates most to Laibach. Typical for Deadcell is the fact that we are a 200% live band. We not only have a really energetic stage performance, but also have live acts, video projections, a light show and much more and of course we have something to say.
How can the album 'Black Rooster' or the band Deadcell be described for people that don't know you yet?
'Black Rooster' is the latest and heaviest Deadcell album to date. Deadcell has been around since 2006 and has become one of the top bands in the international industrial/ metal scene. We work really hard, which has created a lot of opportunities for us. We've performed with the biggest names in the scene, such as Hanzel und Gretyl, Gothminister, Punish Yourself, MortIIs, Das Ich, Unheilig, Samael and many more.
I heard you have a studio at home; did you do all the recordings and mastering by your own? And what's typical thing for your writing process?
Yes, I have a home studio where I record, mix and master all music. I've been a sound engineer for over ten years and gradually evolved from an amateur to a professional mixing and mastering engineer. Normally I get 'inspired' during the writing process (whatever that means). This normally happens when I have really strong emotions, that's when I write my best songs.
Your using a lot of show-elements in your live performances, like girls dancing on stage and a video wall. Can we expect some new show elements coming along with 'Black Rooster'?
Yes, we do have a new show, but we decided to change some things. We decided to do no live acts during smaller shows anymore. Simply, because our dancer Mel needs a lot more space for the new live acts. We also have a new bass player (Gaia), who will join us live to compensate for this.
Who's responsible for coming up with all the dancing acts on stage and are you making the clips on the video wall by your own?
Mel is responsible for all choreography. I collaborate with graphic designers for the video projections.
You're also wearing special outfits on stage; where do you get the inspiration for the outfits and do you make the outfits by your own?
No, we don't make the outfits by ourselves. We always want to be one step ahead, also in the way we dress onstage. We bought most of our new clothes in London when we were touring with Hanzel und Gretyl.
You're using a lot of political symbols in the videos. Does this not deduct from your shows and what kind of reactions do you get from the audience? Do people understand you message in the right way or what's you statement about all this?
Without the political statement, we wouldn't be Deadcell. So it is absolutely necessary that we use video projections to get the message across.
Deadcell exist for a couple of years right now. You have a lot of performances in The Netherlands and surrounding countries. Is there something on you wish list for a performance in a foreign country?
Yes, we'd love to perform at a festival like Wave Gothic Treffen (WGT). But what I've heard from many people and foreign bookers that it's no longer about quality at most of the bigger (gothic) festivals. People tell me that promoters don't care whether you're a good band or not. Of course it's also no secret that the underground music scene is struggling in the last few years, especially in this time of crisis. Maybe this is because most festivals tend to book the same names every year? I think it's time DEADCELL is booked for bigger festivals, since we can easily compete with the biggest names in the scene. We've proven ourselves at metal festivals in the Netherlands, which we successfully headlined, but it's not only about quality in this business.
Your music can be related to different kind of styles, from metal to gothic to industrial. What kind of people are visiting your shows and can you see a difference in reactions of people that are visiting your concerts?
Even people who never listen to our type of music like it. We're doing well in the metal, gothic and industrial scene.
Besides Deadcell you're a busy man; you're booking bands for Dynamo and Willem II, you're a DJ and a teacher and you also write for Lords Of Metal. If you have some spare time for your own, what kind of things are you doing on a relaxing day?
That's not all I do. I recently started producing other bands also (check out www.deadcell.nl/studio). I have a really obsessive personality when it comes to music. I can work ten hours straight in the studio without a problem. I even forget to eat. It's been a real challenge for me in the last years to find a balance between music and my personal life. Luckily my partner tends to put all things in a broader perspective to remind me of the importance of a personal life and time to relax :-) When it's time to relax I usually go out or I stay at home and watch a movie with my wife. We' re both horror movie addicts.
As a last question: I heard you just married with dancer Mel. How was this special day of you and her?
Yes, it was a beautiful day. We had a small party with family and friends. We got married on Halloween. It was just perfect.