Let’s start with congratulating you guys with your new album. Compared to your previous albums you have changed quite a bit. In the review I compared your development to Tribulation. How do you see this yourselves?
Hello Pim, thanks a lot! Yes, it’s right that we developed a bit again since our last album. But I wouldn’t call it a change, at least not a radical one. It’s just what it is: a development that happens in a natural way and that isn’t forced by thoughts of being outstanding at any costs. Tribulation is a good comparison in this case, as we’re big fans of their first three albums and their development. Especially ‘The Formulas Of Death’ has had a massive impact on us, because it was something new and unique. It’s always very exciting to see bands going their own way and dare trying something new. As long as it’s authentic. After our first album it was no option for us to stay stuck in one single musical direction. For this we are all way too much nerds who love too many styles of music, so it was very quickly clear that we will dare to let flow more of our musical influences into our own stuff and see what happens. Seems like this turns out quite well so far, haha.
Has this change of style got anything to do with the things that changed in your lives during the last couple of years?
Not musically, this development would have happened anyway. But the lyrics are a bit different this time. On our last albums they were inspired by classical fantastic and horror literature, but this time they are more personal. I sadly cannot say too much about it, because they were all written by Laurent and Ced, but especially their life has been very stormy during the last years. People marry, people pass away, things change, and all this stuff called life had brought enough inspiration the last years to write lyrics for a handful of songs.
Where Tribulation incorporate mainly New Wave elements in their death metal, I feel you draw influences from 70s progressive rock. A style that also influenced The Devil’s Blood and I mentioned them in the review as I feel that this hits the nail on the head. I’m curious though how you feel about this comparison and if you can tell a bit more about your influences that lead to your latest compositions
I think The Devil’s Blood brought back some kind of seriousness into the music that it lacked of for many, many years. For me it’s still one of the most important bands ever, so it’s certainly an honour to be compared to them. They renewed the scene and no matter whether you like them or not, they had an impact like no other band before in the last let’s say 25 years. And they divided the scene, what was so important in my opinion. They separated the wheat from the chaff so to say, the underground from the mainstream and brought finally back some excitement into this scene, which was almost dead in the early and mid-2000s. Even if the others in the band aren’t such big fans, The Devil’s Blood are nevertheless a huge influence somehow. Not only for us, I guess the whole musical surrounding we’re moving in is still massively affected by their work, directly or indirectly.
I think the main influence to our music is our different tastes in music, that all culminate in the sound we’re playing up to date. We certainly have our common favourite bands, Type O Negative, Morbid Angel, Tribulation, Black Sabbath…just to name a few, but besides that our tastes partially differ widespread from each other. Laurent is very into classic rock from the 60s to 80s, Ced has a more punk, wave and NWOBHM background, David is more into classical Heavy Metal and Rap music and my own taste is completely undefinable, somewhere between The Beatles and Neurosis. All this different sounds have more or less an influence on us in some way.
Can you also tell a bit more about your transfer from F.D.A. Records to Ván Records? With your newfound style it does seem you are more at home at Ván? And in addition; were you free agents after the two albums for F.D.A. and how did you get the deal with Ván?
There’s not that much to tell, the deal with F.D.A. was running out after the second album and due to the development of our sound we looked for a label that could fit a bit better with our attitude. Luckily Ván Records at this time were searching for some new bands and as we knew each other before, as we’re living more or less in the same area, the events were taking their course. And what can I say, we couldn’t be more lucky! They are fantastic people who give everything for music, totally enthusiastic maniacs, just like us. So, yes, we definitely found our home.
The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Laurent, your singer/guitarist. So, can we conclude that Sculpt Sound Studios is your own (his) studio? If so, has he done many other productions so far?
Yes, one of the things I mentioned before, that were happening in the last years, is that Laurent build up his own studio, Sculpt Sound. It’s also our rehearsal room, so we’re in the luxury position to have the possibility of being completely independent from time schedules and all that annoying crap you have if you rent a studio, haha. He hasn’t done so many productions yet, as It only opened up last year, but some names I remember spontaneously are i.e. Witching Hour, Ketzer, Cherokee, Kwade Droes and a handful more. He’s a very talented guy and I think he’ll make his way.
The cover art was done by Timo Ketola, but I think you had other artists involved to make the booklet complete. Can you tell us a bit more about that? For instance how it was to work with the artists and were they able to capture what you were looking for?
Yes, we’re very happy that we had the possibility to work with Timo, who has done the artwork for so many important albums before. We sent him our ideas and it turned out that he already had something in mind for a while that would fit and that he would be happy to finally have the possibility to realize it. And that turned out to be our album cover, and we really love it!
The illustrations inside the booklet are all made by WÆIK, a German artist and friend of us. So far she has made artworks for bands like i.e. Wound, The Spirit or Slaegt and does also very great paintings you can purchase from her. Check her out on Facebook or Instagram. And she’s done a great job illustrating our lyrics with very weird stuff, really awesome. You’ll see a lot more from her in the future!
Have you guys got any concrete plans to show the world what Chapel Of Disease is all about right now? In other words, any plans for tours or festival appearances?
Yes, sure, we definitely want to be present live again in the future, and there are also some things in the making. A handful of gigs are already confirmed and there will be a lot more. At least I hope, haha. So far there are no festivals confirmed, but let’s see what the upcoming year will bring.
That’s all from this side. Anything else you might want to add?
Thank you for the interview, it was a pleasure! And never forget to listen to King Crimson!