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RHYMES OF DESTRUCTION – Interview with Bart

Rhymes of Destruction was formed somewhere in May ’94 as the follow up for the members previous band Phlegm. The main intention, bringing some refreshing and quite original music was obtained when the band found its own style after a couple of months of rehearsing. A style called then “symphonic pagan metal” dealing with the bands attempts to combine black/death metal with doomy and melodic/classical parts while textually being inspired by quite exotic pagan elements taken from both Aztec and Inca cultures.

After the releases of some tapes, in ’96, the band thought they were ready to make their first full-length album “Requiem / In Remembrance of your Gods .The CD was released on the now buried Resplendence Productions, the label of two of the members. However the CD was released by the band itself, it sold quite well. A new promo (’97), with some songs from the upcoming album impressed Shiver Records a lot so they signed us … The deal results in the 2nd full-length album “A Sun Revolution”. On this album Rhymes of Destruction goes even further in their own style, still being aggressive combined with experimental and melodic parts. The interest in ancient mythology felt away and the lyrics deal more about the feelings, emotions and expressions of daily life and life in general. All in all Rhymes of Destruction has proven they’ve become quite a mature band, still in search of an own style and with an open mind.

“A Sun Revolution”, contains six regular tracks and some intermezzo’s, together for a quite tong playing time of about 66 minutes. The CD will come with a complete lyric book in Dutch and English because most of the lyrics are written in Dutch. The idea behind the translations is give about everyone the possibility to read the lyrics (as Dutch is not that well known, except where we live). We hope everyone will like this album as much as we do…

– Dark pagan wartunes stray above the land of huarochiri (demo 95)

– Under the spell of the mist (Promo 96)

– Split tape with Cosmic Interfluvium of Silence (demo 96)

– Requiem / In remembrance of your Gods … (CD 96)

– Onan (live tape 96)

– Promo tape (Promo 97)

– A sun revolution (CD 99)

Can you tell us something more about your upcoming release?

We will release a 2nd album on Belgium’s Shiver Records called “A Sun Revolution”which should come out around now (20/3). The music is still about the same like our debut album, though there are some changes and the music has grown mature and more technical. There are 6 songs on it and intermezzo’s and intro, a total playing time/torture of about 65 minutes. The layout and so on should be cool too (in my eyes it is…) and it comes with full lyric sheet (English-Dutch). We hope it will sell better than the first one,

How many copies did you sell of your first album?

Our first album “Requiem. In Remembrance of your Gods” sold about 1300 copies, but maybe Some more will be sold after the release of our second album. What the new album will sell is still a hard question for us. We hope it sells enough to satisfy us.

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

I mostly write all of the lyrics. For “A Sun Revolution” I wrote them all, and I think I will continue writing all the lyrics. Not that my lyrics are superior to those of the other members in the band, but I don’t like singing lyrics of other people that much. In the beginning most of the lyrics dealt with mythology and uninteresting things like that. Nowadays the lyrics deal with daily life and life in general. It goes about what I see, think and stuff like that. Maybe not interesting at all, but those who are will find them in the booklet.

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

We received various reactions on our debut album and some on our promo 97, a tape we recorded in search of a label. A lot of people seem to like our music, others just hate it. We don’t care that much about it. We believe in what we’re doing, and if people like it or not, that’s their case…

Are you in touch with a label? Can we expect a CD in the near future?

We signed to SHIVER Records (Belgium) for two full-length albums. We got a fair deal and Shiver was the only interested label who was able to release our album in the right time. Besides we know Hans already for years and he helped us out with the pressing and distribution of our 1st and self-released CD. As said a couple of questions ago, our 2nd album “A Sun Revolution” should be out by now, and we think it is already a lot better than the 1st one (and the demo’s).

Did you perform across the borders of Belgium?

No we didn’t. But maybe we will work on it. The problem is that we’re looking for a drummer for the moment. We would like to have a real to combine with the drum computers, it would give us a more powerful life sound. If we don’t find one, we’ll try to go further on like now. I have already a lot of contacts outside Belgium, not all in the metal scene only, so it should be possible to do a small tour one day…

Can you describe a ROD-gig?

Kind of weird question, I never saw one. Well, we try to play our things life, which is mostly difficult because a lot of PA man don’t understand how to get decent monitoring for a band using a lot of synths and drum computers. We hope the people who come to our shows enjoy it and like it. There’s not such thing as a complete show-act, we just stand and play.

How many letters does ROD receive a day (on the average)?

I don’t count them exactly, but it will be around 150 a day. I wished it was, normally not much, and not much fan mail either. It depends, when we release a new album it grows a bit, but we’re working on a decent follow up to the people who write us/me.

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

I’m now listening to Esoteric’s “The Pernicious enigma”, brilliant double CD. If you don’t have this one, you should focus your entire life on obtaining it. I don’t think I want to be buried or cremated. If I’m dead everybody may do with me whatever he wants, except for sadness and crying.

What are you favourite bands/styles?

I’m open-minded a lot and I don’t only listen to metal, so I give you a list of bands I like: Grief, Esoteric, Winter, Liar, Mindstab, Congress, Low, Codeine Shellac Trottel, Phased 40F, Harmful, The Flying Luttenbachers, Opthalamia, Katatonia, Sopor Aeternus, In-quest, Agathocles, Spazz, Cavaty, Hammerhead, The Cows, The Wipers, Vader Avulsed Voodoo Muzak Headdeaner, Starfish TX, In the Woods, Forgotten Silence, De Kift and many many more…

What is your ultimate play list?

Besides the fact that it changes all the time I’ll give you the one of this weeks:

Katatonia: Discouraged ones – Brave Murder day – Sounds of decay

Esoteric: the Pernicious enigma

The Wipers: Live

Low: Songs for a dead pilot

Taetre: Promo for “Out Of Emotional disorder” 

What can we expect from the new songs?

Most of our new songs are a bit faster and some are more experimental. They don’t sound like one but they’re written during a period of about a year and a half, a period in which all our members changed (we don’t stop changing….). At least it’s become all more mature and technical. The songs on the first CD were more a collection of riffs, we think our new songs do sound more as a songs, but they’re all different…

What is the available merchandising stuff?

We have long sleeves available for the price of 20 us* (BEF 650) post-paid. They’re cool and have front design, back: logo and sleeve print. There are still some left. If the CD goes a bit we will release new merchandise stuff like Hooded sweaters (we already did on 10 copies) and so on. But ask me again within 6 months.

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

The scene is growing and is getting more commercialised. This means it’s easier for a band to get distributed if you’re on a good label. If you’re not it’s getting harder and harder. It’s called capitalism. But it still is underground, except for some bands maybe but it’s not really my problem.

I like the following Belgian bands: Mindstab, Congress, Liar, Deformity, The Hot Rod Honeys, Janet Adkins, Vandal X, In-Quest, Excess of Cruelty, Infernal Beauty, Agathocles, Rubbish Heap, Faroutski, Cornucopia, Intestinal Disease, Unhinged, Patton, No Tomorrow Charlie, Aborted, Ex-noisea, Family Of Dog, Spineless and lots more … A lot of them are promising, some others are already well known.

Do you have other activities? Like a ‘zine, distro, compilation or side-project?

I’m quite a busy guy and involved with all kind of things. Besides ROD I play, with our bassist in ROPE (one song finished) and in the famous Deep Throat Consortium Musicae perversae, a man only choir for people not able or not well able to sing.

I’m also doing a ROD newsletter and writing for an upcoming underground newsletter. I still have a distro and maybe, maybe we’ll start up an open-minded label in the future with some cool guys. I’m also active in The Pit’s, Kortrijks underground club, we’re doing a lot of concerts and are specialised in Punkrock/garage, guitar-noise, hardcore and sometimes metal. That’s about it. In my free time I’m still a student (it’s a long period dedication).

How would you describe Rhymes of Destruction’s music?

We used to call it symphonic pagan metal, but maybe melodic and experimental doom/black/death metal fits better. It’s really not important, people should better check out music instead of studying the label bands give to themselves.

What are the plans for the future?

Getting rich and bored. Getting old and frustrated (or staying young and frustrated), p!ssing of the people.

We don’t know that well, we’re not that busy with the future, it’s already difficult enough to control what’s happening now (at least, for me it is).

Some last words to the readers?

Support ROD or not! Everybody interested should contact us, if possible include some postage money. If you want to receive our newsletter, let us know. And thanx to Gerrit (and Davy) for the interview.