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ICONOCLASM – Interview with Bart

ICONOCLASM hails from Belgium and was formed by guitarist Serge Impens and drummer Bart Bonne. About two years later bass player Chris Lagrange was added to the line up. Finally Steve De Muynck joined to give ICONOCLASM what was lacking : pagan screams. They recorded their debut MCD : Preamble to Precipitate the Destruction of Religious Artefacts. A thirty minute long epoch of hate, melancholy and aggression. It contains 5 tracks & 1 intro. Titles are Omens of Approaching Desaster / Never to be Soiled by the Sun / Constructed by Depuration / Back Home (Paradise Burning) / Dry on Your Cross / Levend Vuur. This album brings you some great Black Metal, including some Death Metal influences with a lot of diversity. It is a big F*ck off in the face of the mummified messiah. Shortly after the release bass player Chris decided to leave the band. To compensate this loss, Steve Folens (CATAFALQUE) was recruited to reinforce ICONOCLASM on stage.

ICONOCLASM has played with notorious bands like EMPEROR, MARDUK, ABSU, DARK FUNERAL, ENTHRONED,… Their live-performance is renowned since the show at with a Dragon’s Blaze festival featuring a real ‘bloodbath’. What will the future bring ? Good news for the blackest of hearts among us ! Already five new songs have been conceived, with great power and an old-school feeling to make a pagan heart beat faster. At this moment ICONOCLASM is looking for a label willing to release this newly bred spawn of hatred. Be warned !

Can you tell us something more about your latest release?

Well, we recorded the mini-CD Preamble to Precipitate the Destruction of Religious Artefacts at the MIDAS studios in Lokeren in December 1996. We booked the studio with the intention to record our first demo, but during the recordings, we decided to put the songs on CD and release it ourselves. A CD has much more to offer than a demo (sound quality – artwork) and you reach a lot more people with it. We decided to release the mini-CD ourselves because it was our first effort and we were in control of everything.

How many copies did you sell of it?

Hard to say, because some labels helped us out with the distribution and we do not know exactly how many there are sold yet. We pressed around 1000 copies and most of them are sold, so I think we sold between 900 and 950 and that is not bad for a first release with almost no distribution. We still receive some orders, so within a couple of months it will probably be sold out.

Who writes the lyrics? What are the main topics? Where does the inspiration come from?

The lyrics of the mini-CD were all written by our ex-signer Steve De Muynck, and he wrote about a lot of different topics such as medieval wars, purity of emotion, the destruction of the environment, religions,… The lyrics for the new songs are more difficult. Most of them are related to the dark ages, witchcraft and some black magic. We got our inspiration through daily life, reading, movies, talking to other people,… There is plenty of inspiration about those items if you look around.

Omens of Approaching Disaster : Invocation of Herne, the horned hunter in the woods.

Never to be Soiled by the Sun : A horrifying, raging vampire tale. Love beyond the borders of last breath.

Constructed by Depuration : Our mother will take revenge on those who hurt and torment her. Feel the agony of mankind dying.

Back Home (Paradise Burning) : Lucifer unleashes his wrath upon the golden walls. Blood stains on our body. The odour of burning angelcorpses can be smelled in paradise.

Dry on Your Cross : A big f*ck off to the mummified messiah on a piece of wood .

Levend Vuur : Experience the rage of vikings going berserk. A vision of burning villages and norse men in their longships.

What reactions do you get? What do you think of your latest release yourself?

The reactions were in general very positive. We received fair and positive reviews in the magazines and people are curious to hear some new material as well. The songs on the MCD are more than two years old now, but I am still satisfied about most of them. Looking back, some things could have been better, but it was the first time we entered the studio. It was a great experience and we learned a lot.

Is ICONOCLASM in touch with a label? Can we expect a CD in the near future?

If everything works out, we are going to record a CD in May/June 1999 and some friends are going to start a label so we probably will cooperate with them. We are going to record the CD at our own rehearsal place because our singer/guitarist has built his own studio there. We can record in a common area and we can spend as much time as we want to the recordings. We recorded our promo-tape there as well, but we never released it, because it was only for labels.

Did you perform across the borders of Belgium? Where and with whom?

In 1997 we did two gigs in London and we were supported by some British bands as INFESTATION, FULL OF HATE. We did some gigs in Holland as support of MARDUK/GEHENNA, EMPEROR/BAL SAGOTH, CADUCITY… Last year we played in Rennes with ENTHRONED and in April we are going back there to play on a festival with AVULSED and some French Black and Death Metal bands.

Can you describe an ICONOCLASM-gig?

Every gig is different but when we play live, we are 200 % motivated and it is great when the energy we release on stage moves up to the audience. But anyway, the best you can do to figure it out, is by visiting an ICONOCLASM-gig.

How many letters does ICONOCLASM receive a day?

It is different from week to week. Sometimes we receive no mail within 2 weeks, and there are days that we receive 5 letters. In general we receive about 3 to 4 letters a week.

Which band are you listening to right now? What song do you want to be played on your funeral?

Right now, I am listening to The Rage of the Northmen from IN BATTLE. I like their no-nonsense style and I never get bored of that ultra-fast drumwork. On my funeral they must play In the Mist by the Hills from SATYRICON. A hell of a composition!

What are your favourite bands/styles?

I prefer the Scandinavian Black/Death scene with bands as DISSECTION, MARDUK, DARK FUNERAL, SATYRICON, DARK THRONE, IMMORTAL, NECROPHOBIC, … but also some real Death Metal as MORBID ANGEL, VADER, SINISTER, DEICIDE, …

What is your ultimate playlist?

A very diificult question for me, because the song I put on number 5 is as good as the one I put first. I do not have a particular song I prefer most, it depends on the mood I am into.

MARDUK – Of Hells Fire

SATYRICON – In the Mist by the Hills

DARK THRONE – Natassja in Eternal Sleep

IMMORTAL – The Sun no Longer Rises

DISSECTION – Black Horizons

What do you think when you hear the following tags?

Black Metal?

Magnificent style. No other genre (except Death Metal) can even come close to the mighty Black Metal music. Is on the other hand a name for too many styles. All those commercial synthesizer sh!t is not Black Metal for me. Real Black Metal is obscure, dark and aggressive and for a lot of people it is a life style, connected to Satanism.

Death Metal?

Reminds me a lot of my youth because I started listening to it when I was 14-15 years old. Excellent style to unleash all your aggression.

Heavy Metal?

Never like that guitar-orientated style with the high (almost female) vocals.

Hard Core?

Belgium has some good Metal Core bands like LIAR, DEFORMITY,… but the real (American-orientated) Hard Core sounds like sh!t to me.

Thrash & Speed Metal?

Those two terms always remind me of SLAYER‘s Reign in Blood. No other Thrash/Speed LP from the 80’s can reach the level of that one.

Doom Metal?

Not really my cup of tea. When I am in the mood I sometimes listen to WINTER or the first CATHEDRAL, but that is it.

Grind Core?

Can appreciate some bands (if their songs are longer than 2 minutes), but get bored with it after a while.


A genre for people who want to be dark and mysterious, but who are too weak to listen to some ‘real’ Metal. Hate it!

What can we expect from the new songs?

The new material is very diverse, but it stays raw and aggressive. Some things are in the vein of Preamble to Precipitate the Destruction of Religious Artefacts, but we are better musicians now, so the fast parts are faster, the songs are better arranged and they are tighter as well.

What is the available merchandising stuff?

Besides the mini-CD, which you can order for BEF 350 (US$ 10), we have printed new T-shirts and long sleeves. (Front print shows the cover from the promo-tape, the back-print some live pictures) T-shirts are yours if you send BEF 400 (US$ 12), long sleeves are BEF 500 (US$ 15).

What do you think of today’s Metal/underground scene? Which Belgian bands do you like? Any promising bands in Belgium?

The thing I hate about today’s Metal scene is that a lot of bands use the ‘sweet’ keyboards and female vocals. I have nothing against keyboards or female vocals as long as it is only for some variation, but with a lot of bands the keyboards are more important than the guitars or drums. Such bands have lost the Metal-spirit completely. Besides ENTHRONED and ANCIENT RITES there are some decent Belgian bands, but it is hard to mention any names, because within a couple of years, the Metal-scene could be totally different.

Any other activities you are involved in?

No, most of my time I am busy with rehearsing and promotional stuff for ICONOCLASM, so there is not much time left to do something else.

How would you describe ICONOCLASM‘s music?

It is always hard to describe your own music, but it is basically (fast) Black Metal with some old Death/Thrash influences.

What are the plans for the future?

First we have to finish some gigs and after that we are going to record the new CD. We hope to release it around August and after the release we are going to do as much gigs as possible to promote the new album.

Some last words to the readers?

Just keep supporting the underground and do not follow any trends or rules! If someone wants more information about ICONOCLASM do not hesitate to drop us a line.

Thanks, Bart & ICONOCLASM