Hello guys. Some people might know you as Warbeast. Others might have heard of Warbeast MMVIII, and now the band is called Warbeast Remains. Why is that?
We founded the band in 2008 as simply 'Warbeast.' This worked fine for a while as no other band in existence – of any significance that is – was using the name. However, somewhere around 2009 a US band named Texas Metal Alliance changed their name to Warbeast as well and signed a contract with an American label. Thus they secured the name 'Warbeast' for themselves. To avoid prosecution and colliding with a fellow metal band, we decided to add something to our name, so that it would be impossible to prosecute us on copyright grounds. At the time, we were preparing to dive into the studio and record our first full length album. We quickly decided to add the year of our birth in Roman numerals, being MMVIII. Thus we recorded 'Stronghold', our first album under the name of MMVIII. As the months passed, we realised it wasn't really the best of choices. We realised that putting MMVIII behind the name wasn't the smartest thing to do as it confused a lot of people. So we replaced the MMVIII with Remains. Why Remains? Remains stands for the idea that we will always remain the Warbeast we were when we started out, a band that likes to blend different styles into a whole. And as a statement that our name, our 'real' name will stay where it is as long as we draw breath.
As Warbeast you have released the 'Death Metal Thrashers' demo around 2009. What can you tell us about this one? Is it still available? I understood that the 'Death Metal Thrashers' T-shirts are completely sold out and therefore they are collector's items by now. Right?
Yeah, the demo is a disc that contains our oldest tracks and 'Death Metal Thrashers' was a title that could describe the songs on it. A blend of old school death metal and thrash metal. The demo is still available; we made enough copies of it so the sales would last a few years. So if you want it, you can always buy it at our gigs, contact us via Facebook or email to Warbeast@live.be. You can also buy it in Antwerp in De Rots, they usually have some copies lying around. The T-shirts are not sold out actually, we still have about three shirts left! But they are very small, so I guess they can be seen as collector's items, unless we get some eight year old fans. Which would of course be awesome. All other T-shirts we had are sold out but we are working on new designs.
2011 was a great year for the band. You became second in the Belgium Wacken Open Air finals. You won the Redbull Bedroom Jam and because of this you got to play at the Graspop Metal Meeting, and you got a record deal with Shiver Records. What can you tell us about all of this? Did one thing led to another and did the band grow tighter because of all these experiences?
The internet expression 'Mind = Blown' is probably the most accurate description we could give you. We certainly grew over the experiences, we got a couple of nice offers and had a great time. We have always been good friends inside the band, that didn't change during the competitions, it just gave us more stories to tell. Yes, we would be telling a lie if all of this didn't make some of us float a bit up in the air, but in the end we are all very sober about this. 2011 was, to quote Sinatra, “a very good year”. It made us hungry for more, and we are on the hunt.
The other day we received here at Lords Of Metal your 'Stronghold' debut album. But on the cover the name of the band is still written as Warbeast MMVIII. So how old or new is this album and its songs?
The album isn't so old actually, it was recorded in November 2010 and was released a few months after. The name change to 'Warbeast Remains' happened just a couple of months ago actually. The songs on the album vary over a large time span. 'The Blackness' and 'Face The Prophecy' were written in our first years of existence. 'The Blackness' was already a part of our set list even before we released the demo. Other songs were still in writing mode a few weeks before we hit the studio.
The music from 'Stronghold' is very diverse. Okay, the biggest part can be labelled as death metal. But during a song like 'The Blackness' things become different, it almost sound sometimes as a firm hard rock song. And on the opposite, during 'Infected' and 'Warcry' you are thrashing the hell out of acts such as Slayer! Why is that? Are you getting bored very quickly?
When we wrote 'The Blackness' we had the thought of writing a slower song, something we could play in the middle of a gig to cool down. And yes, 'Infected' is definitely the thrashiest song we wrote. It could be seen as the sequel to the song 'Death Metal Thrashers' itself. 'Death Metal Thrashers' was a real death metal song with fast riffing and blast beats. So we felt we had to do a real thrash song to, to keep the death - thrash scale in balance. As a response we wrote 'Infected', a fast thrash song that doesn't last three minutes. And we're not getting bored, we just like a large variety of genres and bands, and because our songs are born in random jams we do at rehearsals, very different things can happen! We do leave out all the stuff that is too different from what we normally do though, so you'll never hear us play some jazz or death core. One of our roadies likes to describe us as Omni-metal, which is probably the closest you'll get to a decent description of our music. Our inspiration consists of a large number of bands, so it would be weird if it would all sound perfectly the same. We do try to keep in a certain red line in our work so things don't sound too different. But hey, a little experimenting doesn't do any harm when it comes to music.
And as football fan I have to ask: Who is your guest vocalist Lowie Vangaal? I mean, could it be that famous football coach from the Netherlands?
Ha ha ha, no we didn't ask the former Ajax coach as guest vocalist. Our Lowie Vangaal is one of the band members of Demolished, the band that won the 2010 Wacken Metal Battle for Belgium. He is a close friend of the band and helped us out when a former band member dropped out one week before recordings.
What will the future bring for Warbeast Remains? Can we expect perhaps a new album soon? And what about live gigs, maybe in The Netherlands as well?
I hope the future will bring us good things, but then again, who doesn't? We have a new E.P. coming, we're still working out the manufacturing process but let's say it will be ready during summer. And as for gigs, we've got some nice shows coming up. In March we will be playing with Chimaira, in April with Tankard in The Biebob, and also at Pooierfest with bands like Killer and Bliksem. We don't have any shows planned for the Netherlands at the moment, but we want to seize every possible opportunity to grow. So consider this a countrywide advertisement: give us a gig, we'll give you a pleased audience!
Okay guys. This is it for me so far. I wish you all the best for 'Stronghold' and the space here below is yours to add anything you want or to leave us with some famous last words.
We want more, much more. So we will be seeing YOU sooner or later at a gig.