Congratulations with the release of your demo. Is this the first of many to come?
Thanks, let's hope so, because we are really proud of our demo! It took us a long time to finally release it, but in the end it was worth the wait. We are very eager to make a new demo, because our new songs are even better then the ones on 'Horrifying Visions'. We are still growing in the process of building songs and you will hear on the next demo that the structures and riffs are more mature and more a band effort. We are still very satisfied with 'Horrifying Visions' though, but anyone who likes this one will really get into the new stuff.
Since day one, you didn't exactly walk a paved path until this release, have you?
That's right. After three or four rehearsals we had to look for a new vocalist already! Then we had a good time with some good gigs, but at that time everyone wanted to play music of their own personal taste and couldn't accept the ideas of the other bandmembers. The drummer wanted to play Dream Theater stuff, the guitarist was into playing easy black metal riffs, Ronald wanted more death metal and I was into the old Bay Area thrash and wanted at least a bit more technical songs. We couldn't agree with each other, so after two years we decided to quit. Ronald and the guitar player rehearsed for a few more times with another drummer, but then also parted ways.
Have you even considered calling it a day permanently?
Actually, we did! After we stopped in 2002 the old drummer never played drums again, Ronald continued for a few years in different bands, then also stopped singing. The guitar player joined Onheil and still is with them. I even stopped playing bass completely and sold my bass and equipment in 2007. After I left X-Tinxion I was so fed up with this whole band thing and being around people that had different ideas than me that I never wanted to join a band ever again. But then I was asked to join a band with Tibor, but that didn't work out. At that time I was thinking about making a new start with Aratron, but then I got asked to join Stigma, which was an offer I couldn't resist. During my time with Stigma I called Ronald and the drummer of Stigma advised me to call Arnold for playing drums, so that's how Aratron made a restart.
What makes you perseverant?
When we stopped in 2002, we had just one really bad demo. Recorded with microphones in the rehearsal-room. It sounded so bad that we didn't want to release it. But the songs were pretty good though, so it always felt like unfinished business to not have a professional recording of our songs.
So I always kept wondering how the songs would sound with a good drummer, a good guitar player and a good sound, because I knew the songs had potential. When we started again, our main target was to make a demo with our best old songs and a few new ones. Which we did.
There are five songs on the demo, have you got many spared, for a full length, or are you in writing mode for that?
We have three new songs finished already which we will play live and that will be on our next demo and we are working on a new song at this moment. In fact, we are always working on new material, we have to move forwards! I have some riffs and ideas for another song, so when we have five songs we will record our next demo. We haven't got any plans for a full length album yet, but who knows what will happen.
Could you tell us a little about your musical background, that made you come to your style and sound?
We all listen to different types of music, but the music we play with Aratron is exactly what we all like. Arnold listens to stuff like Six Feet Under, Soulfly, Rammstein, etc. Ronald is very into the classic death metal bands, Tibor likes the super-technical death metal like Origin and Dying Fetus and I listen to bands like OverKill, Bolt Thrower and a lot of primitive black metal.
The songs all seem to deal with classical death metal themes, am I right in that judgment?
Yes, Ronald is fascinated by war and the lyrics of the songs deal all about war, destruction and what goes on in the twisted mind of a traumatized soldier. It's the classic death metal style lyrics, no political bullshit or anti religion stuff.
What inspires you to write?
When I write songs, I want them to be simple and effective. The bands I listen to have an effect on me when I write songs, because these bands make songs that are very easy to play but they sound great.
Everyone that has a little bit musical skills can play an Obituary or Darkthrone song for example. But it's really difficult to make a song which is easy to play and sounds good to. So I keep in mind to make songs that are easy to listen to and which are fun to play as well. The most important thing is that we ourselves are satisfied with our own music.
Another thing I noticed is that your guitarist is mentioned as a session player. What if you were now invited to do a tour for a couple of consecutive weeks, would that be handled properly?
That would be difficult because we all have good fulltime jobs which we won't quit, so a tour of consecutive weeks will not be possible at the moment. Tibor will join us as a live guitarist for the weekend gigs though. We got some gigs planned for this autumn, so if all goes well we can play a few live shows.
Are you actively searching a replacement or addition?
No, not anymore. We are satisfied with the way things are going right now. Tibor joins us almost anytime we rehearse and really has some good ideas of making the riffs that I deliver into a good song. I basically write songs at home, than bring them to the rehearsal room and then we start playing and working on them until we are satisfied with them. Tibor helps us a lot with this, so there is no need for us to look for a fulltime replacement. And Tibor will join us of course for the live gigs. We don't have the need for a second guitar player, because the music doesn't have the need for more guitars. We keep it pretty simple and won't do any radical changes which will require a second guitarist. We keep dedicated to the old school death metal sound.
What has been the highlight of the band, to date?
Except for the release of 'Horrifying Visions', our gig at Elektra (Sliedrecht) was pretty good. Also the new start we made in 2008 was a highlight for me. We'll see what the future has in store for us!
Are there any exciting new highlight planned for a near future?
After this summer we hope to do a lot of gigs and then at the end of the year we will start to record our new demo which will really be a killer.
That's about it for this time. Thanks for your time. Is there anything I forgot to ask, or you would like to say to close this down?
Thanks for the interview and showing some interest in the band! Our demo is still available so check our website and we hope to see you all soon at one of our shows.