Exploded just released their debut EP ’Gather All Destructive Strength’, as CD as well as a free download. As this is your first effort, could you introduce us to the band?
Ok, so we are Exploded from Rotterdam. On vocals we have Erwin, who has been in several death metal bands. Check it out and notice the difference in vocal styles! On lead guitar we have Merijn, who is playing crazy solos and on rhythm guitar we have Rudi. A few months ago Alex left the band and Tom took his spot on bass guitar. I make an effort on drums. We play thrash metal and decided to give it to anyone who likes this style of metal. Therefore, the ‘Gather all Destructive Strength’ EP is available for free as a digital download. The physical one is numbered by hand to one hundred pieces and is for sale.
How did you guys meet and decided to create the thrash band that became Exploded?
Rudi and I have been in a thrash band since 2001 called Batter. Around 2009 we were only with the two of us. Obviously, that is not enough to form a band, so we discussed the idea of getting new people to work with us, or just stop playing and drink beer at home. Alex, our former bass player, and Merijn, who I have known for many years now (he has been a band mate before), liked the idea of making no nonsense thrash metal. That is basically the beginning of Exploded. Then, we needed a vocalist. At that time Erwin was grunting in Dark Remains which is a band in which Alex is also playing bass. He told Erwin about our thrash project and Erwin was interested immediately. At first, we hesitated a little bit, because we were afraid to get too much death metal influences, considering the vocals. But when Erwin did his first scream, totally insane, we knew he had what we were looking for. I do not know any singer with that type of voice.
I hear lots of influences on ‘Gather All Destructive Strength’. Of thrash bands like Kreator and Annihilator amongst others of course, but I also hear death metal influences. Can you tell us a bit more of the bands you guys like and do different band members have different bands they like or is there a consensus in that sense?
Rudi is responsible for about 70% of all riffs. Most of the arrangements/ideas are mine. But writing a song in Exploded is a real band effort. We cooperate as a team, and everyone shares his critics. Most lyrics are written by Erwin. We try to make a basic structure for a song and after that we start to work out ideas. Fills, solos, breaks, vocal structures and that sort of stuff. Occasionally we write a song in a few hours, but most of the time, it takes a few weeks. Because everybody is involved in the song writing process, you will get a lot of different influences. I think we all like the old-school thrash bands like Exodus, Whiplash, Annihilator, Slayer, Destruction, Kreator and I think our biggest influence is Sepultura. Most of us also really like death metal. We will never set strict limits on our musical direction, but there is a direction in what we want to play and that turns out to be fast, aggressive thrash metal. That is a pattern.
Singer Erwin has a typical sound that reminds somewhat of Martin van Drunen (ex-Pestilence, Asphyx, Hail Of Bullets) in a thrash metal style. Is Martin’s sound a big influence on Erwin’s singing?
Allright, never heard that one before. But I understand what you mean. I think it is safe to say that there is no intention to go that way vocally. Martin is an incredible singer by the way and an influence to a lot of death metal vocalists. Erwin is a typical grunter. He knows the style of Martin, and told me before that he uses a different technique. So, if Martin would have been an influence, you will probably hear that best on Dark Remains’ third full length, hehehe. I guess Erwin just tried to make a thrash sounding scream and what you hear on our EP is what he did the first time he came to our dark, stinky rehearsal room.
Anyway, Erwin’s style is aggressive and perfectly fits into the songs on the EP with titles as ‘Pay And Die’ and ‘The Wolf’. Is the aggression in the songs something you deliberately strive for?
Yes, raw and fast thrash metal is about aggression. The feeling about that is mutual. That is also why we make thrash metal and not death metal. It is not that death metal is not aggressive, but it is different. Like I said before, in the song writing process it always turns out to be fast thrash metal.
What are the subjects Exploded deals with on ‘Gather All Destructive Strength’ lyrically?
Well, I guess we do not have the usual “kill your whatever and eat your gut” type of lyrics. Erwin gets inspired by the daily kind of things. For example, ‘Pay And Die’ is about needs one cannot hide from. In the world of today you have to do things, all the time, everywhere. In the end, you will understand that life sucks, and then, you know how it ends. ‘Pay And Die’ is about that kind of life. Read between the lines and conclude that you have to enjoy life, for example by listening to our EP!
‘Master’ is about not being afraid of how things around you develop, and do your own thing. ‘The Wolf’ is, strangely enough, about the rise of one of the first rock ‘n’ roll stars, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He, apparently, had a sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll attitude and did incredible things in his life as a supreme musician/composer. The feeling of making and enjoying music, thrash metal in our case, is what ‘Born To Thrash’ is about.
As a starting band you want to become more known in the metal scene. With the EP in hands, what are the next steps to get in the picture?
Gigs! We love to play live. That is the main reason we have written these songs and made the EP. We are putting together a pretty cool idea for a video-clip. But that is going to be one hell of a job. But with help from friends I hope we can manage it.
So playing live, next to the EP being available for free, will be one of the most important ways to get known. What gigs can we expect from Exploded?
There are a few that have not been confirmed yet so it is hard to say where and when we will play live. We are working on it! Any stage who is interested can contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Our main condition is: having a great gig!
I said in my review on ‘Gather All Destructive Strength’ I am curious about how shorter songs by Exploded would sound. Do you have more songs written already and is a compact song part of the newly written songs?
Funny, six weeks ago we had this special moment in which we were able to compose a song in just a few hours. The working title is ‘Grey’ and it takes us two aggressive minutes and fifty seconds to complete it. We are pleased with the result. Lately, we have been working on a couple of other songs as well and those are going to be typical Exploded songs. Heavy, longer and aggressive. Cool thing is that one of those is not going to be fast, on drums.
With eventually more songs on hand, would a full-length be possible in the future?
Oh definitely! This process will take time and a lot of work. So do not expect a full-length under your Christmas tree. But yes, I hope 2014 will see the release of our first album. We have the time and in between we will probably release a second demo, EP or a video. Cool stuff to think about and to work with!
OK, I ran out of questions. If there is anything people definitely need to know about Exploded and I did not ask you about, this is your change to tell us.
Not more than a big thank you and for those who are interested in thrash metal. Go to our website. Download our EP for free and keep on thrashing!