You just released 'An Epiphantic Vomiting Of Blood'. How are you feeling right now? Has the recording been to your satisfaction? Would you, now all is done, have changed something afterwards?
Yes I really like how things are going now. I'm feeling pretty good right now. I think Crucial Blast did and still do a great job promoting 'An Epiphantic Vomiting Of Blood'. I'm still satisfied with 'An Epiphantic Vomiting Of Blood'. I have my own studio so I worked pretty long on these recordings. I would not change anything. If you have your own studio, it's pretty hard to finish a project. You can keep on twisting the material until infinity. So sometimes you just have to say; it is done!
Tell us who is behind Gnaw Their Tongues? Tell us your and the bands history.
I've been playing in bands since 1988. I've played in several shitty black/death/doom bands. The only worth mentioning are Cauteror and Soulwound. We played some kind of pre-funeral doom in a time when the term 'funeral doom' did not exist. All really slow riffs with lllleeenghtyyyy songs and a very, very, very depressing atmosphere. Around 1994 I was becoming more and more bored with the whole metal thing. Black Metal became a trend and all the bands sounded the same. For years I did not listen to metal. I started listening to all kinds of music. For years I made all kinds of music: a lot of breakcore/drum and bass, but still with a very dark touch. Around 2000 I started getting interested in metal again. I was really into "666 International" at that time. But still ninety nine % of all metal stuff sounds the same to me and is really boring. Around 2002 I started messing about on the computer. Then, one night I had a dream (I'm not kidding!) about a kind of 'avant' big band/orchestra. With a lot of people producing this kind of improvisation monster with two drummers, four basses, a brass section, a string section and a lot of guys/girls screaming their heads off. That's what started the whole thing, a dream. It all evolved from there. I just decided to let go, not to have any limitations what so ever. Besides I have to do music, it's a very important part of my life.
I was mortified by the darkness of the album. To classify Gnaw Their Tongues was and is very difficult. How would you call it and why? I mean, it's not metal but very extreme and your songs are far from a pleasant listen. What are the influences of your extreme dark songs? Are they from books films or maybe the desolate plains of Friesland?
Well I don't know how to call Gnaw Their Tongues. I don't really care either. Like it or not, that's all that matters. Influences? I don't know, I get inspired by all kind of things, but not influenced. Gnaw Their Tongues is about channelling my world view. It's about letting my subconscious roam freely. About letting inner darkness 'shine' bright and furiously! There are plenty of books and films I like, but Gnaw Their Tongues is about real things in this world. No fiction, just true horror.
Musically, where do you take inspiration from? I mean, something must have form the twists in your mind to create all this. Or is it all original from the artists mind?
Gnaw Their Tongues is just my own little hell. It's really personal. I always feel somewhat uncomfortable talking about Gnaw Their Tongues. Inspiration comes from all kind of stuff. The news/books/films some music.
How would you describe your music to someone not familiar with your music?
It depends who I'm talking to. Gnaw Their Tongues music is really an abstraction. So it's really difficult for non-metal people to understand. I don't even bother telling 'normal' people I do this kind of music. I guess it's a kind of black metal / doom / drone / noise / soundtrack hybrid. I just call it 'doodmuziekjes'.
How is it that 'An Epiphantic Vomiting Of Blood' is released only on vinyl? And why just release fifty CDr's? Why not a normal CD? Are you a vinyl or CD man? Why the one hundred colour limitation in the vinyl?
Well, the guy from Burning World Records (sub-division of Roadburn Records) approached me if I had some vinyl releases. I joked and said that he could do it. And he said yes! And it was always a dream to release vinyl, so I was really excited about this release. I just made one hundred CDr's for people who bought the vinyl but wanted a CD for their computer or iPod or whatever. I always intended for 'An Epiphantic Vomiting Of Blood' to be released on a normal CD. I just don't have the means to do that myself. Luckily I got in touch with Crucial Blast and they have just released it in greater quantities. Also they have a good promotional network. So that worked out great! I love vinyl. I'm a graphic designer, so I love the big artwork etc. I also got into metal in the eighties so I got some nostalgic feelings for vinyl.
Is pressing five hundred copies of this LP a lot for you? I mean, you have released tons of material, in the most limited kind of way possible. Why release it so limited, like fifty CDr's and so on, or even on tape??
The limited amounts are usually determined by the records labels. I rather have it released than sitting on my hard-drive. Most of the limited things will be re-released this year, so people can get them too eventually. There are some real beauties among the material that I still like very much. Five hundred LP's is pretty much the amount of stuff I sell, I guess. I got some free download stuff that is downloaded over 5000 times, but the LP's are not sold out yet. Most people don't care about buying stuff. They just download it. Only die-hard freaks buy stuff. So the limited amounts are not really a problem. Gnaw Their Tongues is becoming a little bit bigger, so maybe I'll sell some more. CDr's and tape are great and cheap ways of releasing stuff, so people can hear the stuff. Also putting stuff online for free is a very good way of promotion.
Is Gnaw Their Tongues a project or a real band, or just mere art? I wonder what your drive is behind this project/band… Can you tell us more about it?
Project or band? I don't know and don't care actually. I create lots of music and some is released as Gnaw Their Tongues. Some of it is about getting stuff out of my system. Some of it is meant as a wake-up call for people. Some of it is just plain hatred and anger. Some of it is just observing stuff that goes on in the world and channelling that through music. For me, music is probably the most important way of communicating with the world. Most people are blind to what goes on inside their own mind or outside in the world. I try not to be. I try not to repress whatever thought nor emotion. It's all channelled through Gnaw Their Tongues or my other projects.
You have released quite a lot until now. Can you elaborate which releases and why it took so long for a full length?
This actually my third full length. I released the first one called “Spit At Me And Wreak Havoc On My Flesh” in 2006 on a CDr. This will be re-released after the summer on New Scream Industries as a double disk. The second one 'Reeking Pained And Shuddering'came out in September 2007 on Paradigms Recordings from the UK. Checkhttp://gnawtheirtongues.blogspot.com/for an extensive description of all the releases. Re-releases this year will probably be the re-issue of 'Die Mutter..' EP with extra tracks making it a full lenght! It might be on vinyl aswell! Then there's the re-issue of 'Spit At Me..' with a lot of extra tracks and some special merchandise!
Is artwork and thus image important for Gnaw Their Tongues ? Who is responsible for the ideas and the art itself?
I do all my own artwork and I think great packaging is important. As I'm a graphic designer in my day job, I like great sleeve art. Good sleeve art, creates a 'mood'.
Tell us more about your label Burning World. How did that happen? Are you satisfied with all they are doing for Gnaw Their Tongues ? Are they offering what you need? I think the now defunct (at least I heard) Cold Meat would be the perfect label for music like you? Do you like this label?
Burning World and Crucial Blast both did a great job with 'An Epiphantic Vomiting Of Blood' . I know Cold Meat Industries, I even got some of the their CD's. But I think Gnaw Their Tongues is to metal for them. I remember a disclaimer on their website saying that METAL bands need not send their demo.
What is it that you want to achieve with Gnaw Their Tongues? What are your goals? What is it that you want people to remember about Gnaw Their Tongues? I mean, you say on your site that this LP is your piece of resistance. Why do you consider this your masterpiece? Is this the best we can expect from Gnaw Their Tongues ever? Or are there more dark secrets to be revealed? Lets pray there are!
Ha! There are always more dark secrets. I already got some 'special' things planned. 'An Epiphantic Vomiting Of Blood' was the climax of tension that has been building since december 2006 in my head. So it's really a kind of eruption of ..whatever.. I create so much music and everything keeps mutating. Gnaw Their Tongues's music is always in motion. I don't know what I want to achieve. The ultimate goal would probably be living off the music/touring/running a studio whatever. But I think that will not happen with this kind of uncompromising music. Ever.
What are the future plans of Gnaw Their Tongues? Anything ready yet for a coming release?
Coming up are a seven inch (great!) on www.atwarwihfalsenoise.com which is already recorded. Then I also already recorded a fifty minute EP Called 'For All Slaves.. A Song Of False Hope'. The next full-length will be released around Januari 2009. Keep the checking the myspace site for updates and stuff coming out. Thanks for the interview!