SEVERE TORTURE – Interview with Patrick

Necrography: SEVERE TORTURE started in 1997. Before that, Seth (drums), Patrick (bass) and Thijs ( guitars) played together for 4 years and with Eric (vocals) and Jelle (second guitar) they recorded a 5-song demo in 1998. After this demo their singer Eric left them to join SINISTER on vocals and they replaced him with Dennis. They got a lot of good reactions but no real offers from labels so they recorded a 2-song promo in 1999. They got interest from several labels and they signed a deal with HAMMERHEART RECORDS. After that their second guitar player Jelle left and they continued a 4-piece band and recorded Feasting on Blood, which was released in Europe in October 2000 and in the US in February 2001. In January 2001 they did their first big European tour with MACABRE, BROKEN HOPE and DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER and in April they played 3 shows in the US. After the release of Feasting on Blood they signed a 2-CD contract with HAMMERHEART RECORDS. They are planning to record the next one at the beginning of 2002.

Discography:

1998: 5-song demo tape/CD: 600 copies: Baptized in Virginal Liquid
1999: 2-song promo CD for labels =>7″ Pray for Nothing ltd 500 copies (DAMNATION RECORDS)
2000: Feasting on Blood CD / PicLP(ltd 500) (HAMMERHEART RECORDS/THE PLAGUE)
2001: 7″ Lambs of a god (HAMMERHEART RECORDS/THE PLAGUE) ltd 500
2. more CDs for HAMMERHEART RECORDS

Line-up. SEVERE TORTURE was the first band of Seth & Patrick. Later on they also played in CENTURIAN. Now they have left CENTURIAN to fully focus on SEVERE TORTURE. Was it a hard choice to make? Because CENTURIAN also kicks @ss! I read the relation between SEVERE TORTURE and CENTURIAN has not changed, there will even be SEVERE TORTURE/CENTURIAN gigs in the future. Can we expect SEVERE TORTURE playing a CENTURIAN cover or vice versa? How is your relation with Eric (ex-SEVERE TORTURE) and SINISTER?

The current line-up is: Dennis/Vocals, Seth/Drums, Patrick/Bass and Thijs/Guitars. Patrick and Seth used to play in CENTURIAN also. Seth because he also wanted to do vocals in a Death Metal band and Patrick because he liked CENTURIAN and because he wanted to complete them. It was no hard choice to make because Wim and Rob (CENTURIAN) forced them to choose. Patrick and Seth always gave 100% for SEVERE TORTURE and CENTURIAN suffered under that. There are no hard feelings and we are still very close friends. As a matter of fact I am listening to the new CENTURIAN right now (Liber Zarzax) and it kicks serious @ss!!! We already did 2 gigs with CENTURIAN since they have new members and the shows were great! But I do not think we will ever play a CENTURIAN cover and vice versa because we both play completely different styles of Death Metal! About Eric, we are also still friends. He lives in the same town as us and he works at the same company as Seth. We also are very good friends with SINISTER.

Feasting on Blood was recorded in FRANKY’S RECORDING KITCHEN. I think they are responsible for the better Death Metal recordings: ALTAR, GOD DETHRONED, … Are you satisfied with the sound? Can I be so impolite to ask how much a studio like FRANKY’S RECORDING KITCHEN charges? Did HAMMERHEART pay for everything? Are you glad with HAMMERHEART‘s work? What do they do?

We are still very satisfied with the sound! Berthus and Robbie did a great job! We also think that they are the best studio in Holland for Death Metal. Also the new CENTURIAN is recorded there and it is their first release on which you can hear all the individual instruments. About the costs, I cannot say how much but I would have to work a couple months for such an amount of money! And yes, HAMMERHEART completely paid the studio. We are very satisfied with HAMMERHEART RECORDS, they do a lot of promotion, have a good distribution and they got us on tour and gave us the opportunity to go to the USA!

The cover art by Joe Maloney is killer! Tell us about his works and how you got in touch with him. Did you give him instructions for the cover or was he free to do his will?

I only know 2 other works from him. He did the last DECREPIT and he did the cover of a SLAYER tribute-CD. Wilko from HAMMERHEART introduced him to us and we studied his style. We made a very clear description of what we wanted (colours, how much blood, how much skulls, etc.) and he did a great job!!

In the thanks list I noticed there was an exclamation mark (!) after CANNIBAL CORPSE, IMMOLATION and SINISTER. Is it because they are an important source of inspiration or because you are good friends or what else?

Both, they all have been a great inspiration but also because we always looked up to them in the past and now we know them and played with them they turned out to be very cool people with whom we can have a lot of fun! They also helped us a lot by mentioning our name in interviews and wearing our shirts at big gigs.

You played live in the USA during the OHIO DEATH FEST and the MASS FEST. How do you look back on this experience? Any difference with the Belgian/Dutch audience? ABORTED was also on the OHIO DEATH FEST. It seems like you are really into their music. How was it like to play with them and what do you think of their music and their personalities?

We only played the OHIO DEATH FEST and 2 more small gigs and it was great!! Especially the OHIO DEATH FEST. We met a lot of cool people and saw a lot of brutal bands. And yes, we are very big fans of ABORTED and also good friends with them. I think they are Belgium’s best export product and they can become very big in Death Metal!

No doubt about that! There are plans for a video entitled Butchery of the Soul. It will be released through LOWLIFE MEDIA. Am I right? Could you tell us more about this video? Suppose you are the director of a movie…

We already recorded a video for Butchery of the Soul. It is not released by LOW LIFE MEDIA, they are the company that recorded, mixed and edited it. It is mainly for broadcasting on music shows and it will be used for compilation CDs and promotion. If I was able to produce a movie I think it would be some sort of Quentin Tarantino movie like From Dusk till Dawn. Just read our song titles and you can imagine what the movie would be like!

The show you played in the FRONTLINE with MANGLED and REBAELLIUN was really astonishing!!!! How do you look back on that gig? What do you think of MANGLED and REBAELLIUN? What do you think of the FRONTLINE?

Thank you! I think that gig was the best of that mini-tour. We did 4 shows and the one at the FRONTLINE was the coolest! We really like the FRONTLINE, we played there 3 times already and we have been visiting it a lot of times for REBAELLIUN, DYING FETUS, EXHUMED-shows and many more. We are good friends with Alain and Christine and the FRONTLINE has a very good atmosphere. About REBAELLIUN and MANGLED, I like both the bands very much. REBAELLIUN is one of the best Brazilian bands (after KRISIUN) and MANGLED is also one of the best bands in Holland. We had a great time with them!

CANNIBAL CORPSE. Is this the major influence of SEVERE TORTURE? You covered Perverse Suffering from the Vile album for the CANNIBAL CORPSE tribute on DWELL RECORDS. Was it an honour for SEVERE TORTURE? Why this song? Did you get reactions from CANNIBAL CORPSE? Normally, it would have been Hammer Smashed Face. Why did it change?

Yes indeed, CANNIBAL CORPSE is our biggest influence. It is the first brutal Death Metal band we covered. It was an honour to record a CANNIBAL CORPSE cover. First we wanted to do Hammer Smashed Face but that song was already chosen by another band (FLESHTIZED) so we had to come up with another song. All the other bands on the tribute play songs from the first 3 albums so we decided to play a newer song. Our choice fell on Perverse Suffering because it has cool tapping parts for both guitar and bass and Alex Webster explained the song to Patrick some time ago in a dressing-room.

Any Death Metal bands you would recommend? Any Dutch revelations? What do you think of our Belgian Death Metal scene (ABORTED, SUHRIM, ILL FARES THE LAND, BLACK BLEEDING…)? There seems to be a geographic pattern in music. Also in Death Metal: e.g. Dutch Death Metal vs Brazilian Death Metal vs Swedish Death Metal vs US Death Metal. Do you agree? How would you explain this phenomenon? With bands like old GOREFEST, old PESTILENCE, SINISTER, ALTAR, GOD DETHRONED, ASPHYX, CENTURIAN, INHUME, SEVERE TORTURE, HOUWITSER, PLEURISY, MANGLED, JUDGEMENT DAY, OCCULT, PENTACLE the Netherlands belong to the most important countries concerning Death Metal. Is there some explanation for the obvious fertile soil for talented brutal Death Metal bands?

Have you heard the new PYAEMIA yet? The CD is called Cerebral Cereal and it is pure f*cking brutality!! Other new Dutch bands you are going to hear from are DISAVOWED, VIRULENT, PUTREFIED and EXPOSING INNARDS. From Belgium I only know ABORTED, SURHIM and ECTOPIA and they are great bands!! About these geographic patterns in Death Metal, I like that very much. I like the Brazilian scene with KRISIUN, REBAELLIUN, ABHORRENCE and NEPHASTH, but also the Swedish scene with good old DISMEMBER, ENTOMBED, GRAVE and more. But the strange thing about the Dutch scene is that all kind of scenes are represented!!

Best mail order?

I do not order much from distros, I only see them at gigs or festivals. I think RELAPSE, REVENGE and REPULSE are good ones.

Compose the ultimate album:

vocals: Frank Mullen (SUFFOCATION)
lead guitars: Doug Cerrito (SUFFOCATION, ex-HATE ETERNAL)
rhythm guitars: Thijs van Laarhoven (SEVERE TORTURE)
bass: Alex Webster (CANNIBAL CORPSE)
drums: Derek Roddy (HATE ETERNAL, NILE)
logo: does not matter, it has to readable but still brutal
cover art: JOEY MALONEY or DAN SEAGRAVE
label: METAL BLADE
studio: MORRISOUND
medium: CD & picture-vinyl

What is your opinion on the fact that demos are released on CDs nowadays instead of on tape?

It is a good thing that it is easy to make a CD. Still there is a big difference between CD-R or an official release.

Is internet a good or a bad thing for the underground?

It is very good for the underground! It is very easy to keep up all you contacts and make new contacts every day.

Anything else you want to say?

Thanks for readings this crap! For everyone who has not got our CD yet: GO F*CKING BUY IT!!!! Check out our website at http://www.severetorture.com and stay f*cking brutal!!!!!

G: Thanks Patrick & SEVERE TORTURE!

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