We have worked in several studios in Europe so far. Oh
yes, we do have good studios in Belgium but our label belived this German
studo was the perfect one to record "Fatherland" in. Besides the
conditions were really great: working with talanted people, using the best
equipment in a studio where no other Metalband has gone before and without
any time preasure.
How is it going with the new members?
The new members truely are dedicated and talanted musicians. Each one has his
own style, background and approach and this way an interesting and good
musical ballance is achieved. From a musical point of view propably this is
the best line up we ever had. If this is the final one time will tell,
nothings last forever.
How do you think "Fatherland" is gonna sell? I think that it
deserves some serious attention from the scene.
"Fatherland" seems to have a bigger impact on both press and
audiance according to the reactions. First time in the band's history we were
voted "Album of the Month" in several major Metal magazines (such
as Terrorizer, Mind View), scored very high in established Metal press (95%
in Aardschock, 6/6 in Metal Hammer, entered the Metal charts top 10 on
national radio etc) and even received a very positive response from non Metal
press. Mail has increased and extremly positive recations are reaching us. Of
course it's impossible to please everyone (which never was our intention in
the first place) and propably there are people who prefer the old work but it
remains a fact we never had such a great feedback. I am pleassed to know we
achieved this without jumping on any bandwagon and by following our own path
regardless anyone or anything. How much it is going to sell simply depends on
external factors: on how much the label, magazines and distributors will
support the album. That's s how this music industry unforunately works. I
know far too many great artists who never gained the attention they desreved
because they did not have a major label/management and tons of money to push
them. I do not wish to make speculations on how much we will sell.
Are you satisfied with "Mascot"?
Mascot offer us total artistic freedom, a big recording budget, they promote
well and their distribution, specially in Europe, is quite good. We are not
treated as a number and direct contact on a regular basis is always am
advantage. They do a good job.
Are you gonna tour? What bands would you like to tour with? How about coming
Of course we will tour Europe several times to promote
"Fatherland". The first "Fatherland Euro Tour" should
start in January. A big possibility also Absu and Enslaved (both bands are
good friends of ours) will be a part of the tour but that is not sure yet. It
is too soon to give more details because everything is in the organising
stage yet. Of course we'd like to play Scandinvaia because we have many
contacts there. (Yes, many bands says that they shall play here but they
don't. - ed)
What countries would you like to tour in? Any "strange" and
Throughout the years of our existance we have build up an underground
following worldwide. We toured Europe and in the U.K. several times
intesively but it would be great to play also other continents such as
North/South America, Asia or Australia. A.R. is quit popular in those
underground scenes according to the many letters we recive from these places.
Of course touring the other side of the world costs a lot of money and money
is something our band never had. In the past we have been approached to play
Mexico but it never happened because of financial problems.
What do you think about the Belgian scene? I think that the only bands that
are really known worldwide are Ancient Rites and Enthroned. Do you you think
the Belgian bands deserve some more attention?
For years we have been the only black metal band in Belgium. Since 1994 some
new BM acts have been formed due this BM explosion. While in the past only
very few individuals were interested in our band nawadays I see hundreds of
people unknown to us wearing our shirts. After returning from touring abroad
we suddenly play in front of larger Belgian crowd and some of these new
Blegian acts even play A.R. covers. The situation ideed changed in a drastic
way. Unfortunately many of the people who entered the scene recently will
disappear as soon as another trend comes along. And this goes for the entire
worldwide underground. Fashion victims are like a plaugue and many of them
can be found within the cult. A natural selection again will take place. There
always been interesting bands in my country but due to a lack of support,
professionalism or courage, they all disappeared into obscurity soon. I liked
the Ostrogoth mini lp ("Full Moon's Eyes"), the Black Sheperd
demo's and the Acid debut lp. A new Belgian band I like listening to is Aeon
(ex-Oblivion), they recently scored a deal for DSFA Records. Their demo is in
the atmospehrical Metal style, great piano/keyboard parts! On the whole I'd
say our scene struggles with the same problem as any other scene: too many
bands who purely imitate.
What do you think about:
The new Judas Priest album...
I applaud the fact they are not afraid of trying out something else from time
to time. Nevertheless the new album is not really my cup of tea. "Unleashed
In The East" remains my all time fave Priest album. Old Judas Priest
What to say about the oldest profession? May be prostitution even helps to
reduce rape. I can imagine prostituion is an alternative for those who are
not capable of, or interested in having a relationship and fine satisfaction
in a brief moment of sex. I guess also people who don't have a satisfactory
sexual relationship with their partner turn to prostitution. As far as I am
concerned prostitution couldn't be my solution because after all it remains a
business and I don't find this particulary erotic.
Life didn't treat them well.
La Vey's death...
La Vey was an authority in the satanic scene and I respect his views. His
death did not affect me at all since I do not belong to his order or knew the
man personally. I reserve my emotions for people close to me. Which is an
attitude the man himself always praised.
An authority in the Metal scene. It was a nice surprise to find out
"Fatherland" was voted album of the month (together with Bruce
Dickinson's release) in Terrorizer.
A pity their drummer Dan Vanderplas commited suicide. He was a decent bloke,
always very supportive towards Anciet Rites. We knew him when he still was
playing bass/vocals in death metal bands such as Morbid Death and
Blaspherion. Life can be strange, his place behind the drumkit is now taken
by his old drummer Fabrice.
The cases of pedofilism in Belgium...
Belgium always has been relative quiet place but these last few years the
French speaking part of the country has to deal with a network of criminals
responsible for child muredrs and pedofiliac casses, politicians are
participating in extreme decadent orgies, a mysterious group of well trained
terrorists raided several guns without being interested in the money (which
means it wasn't a normal hold up) and disappeared without leaving a trace (no
one really knows why), a serial killer (who still isn't catched!) is cutting
up women and is playing games with the police by leaving plastic bags with
bodyparts all over the place, his identity still is a mystery! Well these
cases certinaly made Belgium a famous place! Don't know what went wrong in
the French speaking region!
Never expected this trend would have such a big impact on a whole generation,
it is impossible to escape from Techno. I know many clubs which played Rock
(and even Metal) that turned Techno. Certain Hardcore Techno can sound
extreme with over top fast programmed drum beats but the style is a bit too
minimal to interest me.
Ok, this is the end of the interview. Thank you for your time. I wish the
best for the band. Hail!
Thank you Tony for this conversation, all the best with
"Apostasia", keep the flame burning!