After the self-titled debut demo that came out in 2009, a lot of people predicted a great future for I Chaos. In a previous interview on Lords of Metal, the band stated that the ultimate reachable goals for the band was touring internationally to reach as many metal heads as possible, but first you focussed on your debut release. Well it's out now. How do you look back on the past two years?
It was an interesting process. We have learned a lot about our sound and the way we want to record our music. It was a trial and error thing and it definitely took more time than we expected. So we also learned to be careful when it comes to expectations! Looking back I think we have set out our course for the future. Right now we're busy promoting the band and getting shows, which we all do ourselves. No tour yet, but some nice separate shows. Enough work to be done!
Was it hard to live up the expectations after the release of the debut demo which was adored by fans and press? In other words: was anyone but yourselves putting undue pressure on you to for the release of your first full-length CD?
We have not been, and still are not concerned about expectations other than our own. We're very happy with our current musical course. This is of the greatest importance I think, because everything you hear is what we believe we should be doing, not what we think people would like us to do... It is as true as it gets. Compared to the 2009 EP, 'The Human Repellent' has a more straightforward approach. Fortunately, it is appreciated by quite a lot of people.
Nowadays it's a bit difficult for a band to get a good record deal. Is this the main reason why I Chaos self-released the 'The Human Repellent' CD or does this come from a do-it-yourself point of view?
Somewhere along the way we decided to stop wasting time trying to convince labels we're not fooling around. Right now we're glad we did. There's total clarity and control. It is a shit load of work though and you never seem to be done... Trial and error!
Will there be a vinyl version of the 'The Human Repellent' CD on the market as well?
We have had no plans up until now... Maybe somewhere in the future. That would be quite cool actually!
How are the reactions on your full-length debut CD so far and could you tell me how to order it for those who gained interest in the band after reading the review or this interview?
We've had some great reactions lately. Good reviews in zines and e-zines but most of all from death metal fans worldwide. It's great to get good responses from people who know their way around death metal. People interested in the album can visit our website to check it out and maybe even buy it!
The album was recorded at the well-known Excess Studio in Rotterdam / Holland. Could you share some recording experiences with us?
At Excess we only recorded the drums. Guitar and bass were recorded at Rory's "Earrape Studio" and Harry recorded his vocals at his own "Oerknal Studio's". His skills as an engineer have been of great use in the whole process. The thing was mixed at "Nutsville Noiselab" by Michiel Eilbracht and Harry. The mastering was done by Harry, again in his own "Oerknal Studio's". The actual recording took the least amount of time. The mixing took a bit longer....
Apart from putting MP3's on your website and My Space, live performances are the best way for a band to promote their music to people all over the place. How are you guys going to achieve that?
You're absolutely right about the importance of live performances. Right now we do two things. In the first place we try to create a demand by getting our product to the right people. For this we obviously use the net. Secondly, we try to convince the bookers at venues that we can deliver a serious death metal show that will satisfy the customers. Right now that's all we can do. Lately there have been some requests from smaller venues, some of which have the right atmosphere. We're working on that. A few weeks ago we had a blast supporting Aborted, Mnemic and the Devin Townsend project at a brilliant new festival called "Into The Grave", in the north of the country. We were told about this festival by a fan on the net after which our drummer Koen contacted the organization. First we were supposed to play in a pub at an afterparty but then Waking The Cadaver fell out and there we were on the main stage doing our thing. Mind you, this has very much to do with our mp3's circulating on the net!
At this point in your career, wouldn't it be better to hire a professional (a.k.a. a manager) who will get this job done for you guys so you can solely concentrate on making music in stead of arranging gigs and so on?
On the one hand that would be a better situation. Right now we're happy to be doing what we can. We had to make a choice. Instead of putting a lot of time in writing, rehearsing and trying to convince “professionals", we decided to write, rehearse and promote the band ourselves, by which we got some decent shows to start with! We're open to new ideas and people to join the camp in time...
Some of you are or were active in other bands or projects as well. How do you decide which riffs or ideas are appropriate for which band and how do you guys divide your time between your musical activities?
In these other bands none of us have been really writing material. We played the music that was already there. Of course our taking part had its influence on the sound but that's another thing. Right now Harry also plays bass(!) in Detonation, Rory is only busy with I Chaos, writing killer material! Koen and I are both busy with several projects beside the band. I play and teach bass guitar for a living, so I play some music that is not so "death metal" every once in a while.... It's fun though! I Chaos is where it all comes down for all four of us. We're proud as fuck of this thing and it keeps growing and maturing. Our individual qualities all fall into place here. Time is always an issue but as long as priorities are clear, all goes well.
Recently, your drummer Koen Herfst opened DJ Armin van Buuren's gig at Queensday in front of thousands of people and he is even on the frontcover of this month's “Slagwerkkrant” (a Dutch drum magazine). Do these kind of side projects and exposure affect the interest when it comes to I Chaos you think?
Maybe some people will be surprised by the fact that Koen also does these things. I don't believe metal heads know much about Armin van Buuren except that he's a very rich Dutch DJ. I don't think they care. So I don't think it will be of much influence on the status of the band. Him being on the front cover of "Slagwerkkrant" is a different story. There's a good chance that metal drummers reading the magazine will check us out! One of the good things about death metal is that its listeners don't care much about what musicians do for a living beside this craft. They care about brutal music!
Well Joost, my deadline is due. Do you have anything to say or add? The space below is yours…
I would like to thank the people who have shown their appreciation for our thing and the people who have actually bought our album! Hailz!