jueves, 1 de julio de 2021


1. The band has been active since 2005, what led you to create Alkerdeel? Why did you choose the name Alkerdeel and what does it refer to?

I used to edit a fanzine called Noise Magazine at turn of the millenium, with one of my closest friends, Peter – who’s now in charge of the online radio show De Pankraker (He who crushes skull – derived from a Lugubrum song). I was fed up with critising bands and wanted to contribute in a more active way to the local scene. Back at that time I used to have a big car and drove my friends who played in bands to shows. Those line-ups consisted mostly out of death metal,  metalcore bands, and some sparse melodic or third rate Marduk influenced black metal bands. I loathed all of that. My interest was in rawer stuff, second wave black metal such as Beherit or Ildjarn, sludge bands as Eyehategod, Burning Wich, Corrupted and electronic noise. None of that was to be heard on the stages and it frustrated the hell out of me. Exception to this was Thee Plague Of Gentlemen, a local doom band, that had QW as a bass player. QW and I were in the same circle, frequenting a famous bar, called The Frontline, a lot. All bands, from Aeternus to Iron Monkey, played there. Although I knew him already from school and the tape trading circuit, that’s were we got to know Pui and Nieke (guitarist and drummer) better, they were playing a death metal band called Headmeat, that were signed to Killjoy’s Baphomet label. 

Pui had an even more eclectic taste of music, and we decided to start jamming with only one rule: mixing Ildjarn and Eyehategod. That must have been 2005 – and that time, the project was called Dark Torre (a nod to Darkthrone, it means “dark fart”. Yes – a rather high humoristic level). We played long improv jams, all quite primitive, Nieke – who had never touched a drumkit before – hitting a rusty, assembled kit. Unique garage days, with the lawnmower and other garden tools as silent witnesses. Our ambition equalled almost zero, except from producing noise in that rehearsal garage. A local promotor heard about our activities and asked if we were interested in playing a set that consisted out of some kind of Darkthrone medley and improvised sludge riffs. 99% of the audience didn’t had a clue what they saw, it was so raw and primitive, full of feedback and utter darkness. We got superlative feedback from the only few who got it, such as the guys from Sylvester Anfang, and asked if the could release a demo on their Funeral Folk label. As everything became a bit more serious, and we decided to change the name to Alkerdeel. That tape made some buzz in the underground and ended up on the desk of At War With False Noise in Scotland. We were only a three piece back then, only guitar, drum and vocals, and invited QW to step in on bass. Alkerdeel is an old dialect word for shit dispencer or manure tank. We have quite an interest in old dialect words and since our rehearsal space was located in rural area it was the perfect name.

2. With a trajectory of more than a decade and a half, it seems that with your most recent “Slonk” (2021), you have incorporated some new elements to your proposal such as more atmospheric sounds. Are you aware of this evolution in your sound? modified with respect to “Lede” (2016)? What brands of instruments did you use for the composition and recording of the album?

Actually, the influences that are more upfront now in ‘Slonk’ have always been present since the early beginnings, but in some way they are more pronounced than ever. It might have something to do with touring with Turia, from the Netherlands. However they will probably cite other influences, they remind me a lot to bands like Forgotten Woods and Fleurety, and as we played together a lot during the writing of ‘Slonk’, it might be the reason why we embraced those influences. I say might, as our intention was actually to write a very slow and heavy album, while it turned out to be fast and atmospheric. 

QW, our bass player, plays a Fender Jazz bass and uses an SVT classic Amp with two Ampeg cabs: a 4 x 10 and a 1x15. Pui, the guitarist, plays a Gibson Les Paul standard and uses a custom Driftwood Purple Nightmare amp with a Carlsbro oversized cab dating back from 1974 with Greenback speakers. This setup explains our unique and foremost heavy and warm sound. We always carry these with us to gigs, even though if the venue has a full backline avaible. Our sound can’t be reproduced with regular material. It also attracks quite a lot of attention from other interested musicians, haha.

We have always recorded live, in as few takes as possible. The studio we record in since the split with Gnaw Their Tongues, called Bomastudio in Ghent, is perfectly equiped with gear for that. The producer, Fré Segers, has a background in jazz and psychedelic bands and is specialized in live studio recordings. For ‘Slonk’ we used some close micing and two room/overheads, all sent through an analogue desk yet mixed digitally. 

3. Returning a little to the weight of the atmospheres in your new album, these are already very present at the beginning of the album with the intro of the song "Vier". How did the idea of ​​working with Stadt to make this collaboration come up? Do you think this new facet in your music has contributed to the final sound of the album?

We have a long background with the members of Stadt. Actually, their guitar player is Fré, our producer. Since I shared a living space with his brother for many years, we have helped eachother out since the earliest beginnings. They share a similar DIY attitude and we shared services a lot, in the way I designed many of their record covers and as a return Fré recorded our music. The in- and outros for our albums have always been composed by our good friend Maurice from Gnaw Their Tongues, however as we noticed the material for ‘Slonk’ evolved to a more atmospheric sound, we needed something different and there entered Stadt. As these guys are multi talented, with a huge interest in kraut, psychedelics and jazz, we knew they could do the job. They got total freedom, however asked for some references: we gave them Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Where Here’, Klaus Schulze, Neptune Towers and Jiri Wehle, a street musician from Prague. As most of our music was already written, it didn’t really influence the songs, but it does influence the perception of the album as a whole indeed. To us, this is a classic intro in the tradition of In The Woods ... ‘He(art) of the Ages’ or Satyricon’s ‘Dark Medieval Times’. 

4. We could talk about influences from surrealism or aspects related to the rural world in your new album, as a confluence of what is offered by bands like Lugubrum or Gnaw Their Tongues that mix those experimental, raw and folk influences from the Netherlands in a very Personally, how would you define the sound of the new album for those who have not yet heard it? What bands have influenced you when composing this “Slonk”?

It would be very cheap to deny the influence of Lugubrum to our band. We’re long time fans, and may call them friends. They’re totally unique and evolved from a rader traditional black metal band to an eclectic, weird and experimental outfit. They showed that there are no limits and that being influenced doesn’t mean being a copycat. Our well of influences is neverending, we have never been limited to black metal exclusively, if the early beginnings were based on mixing sludge, black metal and noise, we embraced death metal, doom, crust, postpunk, ambient, folk and even hiphop. We blend everything in a similar way to surrealism. What you think you hear, might be different from what we’re actually playing.

Although we do use rural elements in our design – hell, the band name means “Manure Tank’ – it shouldn’t be confused with Lugubrum’s brown metal or ‘boersk blek metl’ (farmer black metal). That’s their thing, not ours. As we all live on the countryside, it ofcourse had it’s influence, however there are as much urban or unearthly elements present too.

Working with Maurice from Gnaw Their Tongue on Dyo Dyo Asema was an eye-opener for the band. We realised we shouldn’t stick to the initial formula of mixing black and sludge, that we could do whatever we wanted.

When writing the lyrics for ‘Slonk’ and designing the artwork, I was listening a lot to Lonndom’s ‘Falen Fran Norr’. It was autumn/winter and definately left its mark. Bands that directly influenced ‘Slonk’ are Blut Aus Nord, Archgoat, Hädänfärd, Invunche, Tulus, Witches Brew, Turia and Ancient.

5. However, your beginnings with “Luizig” (2007) are much darker, at that time you were not disgusted by influences from second wave black metal, blues, noise, hip-hop, death and many underground sounds of unknown bands, what remains today of the essence of the band from that time?

Think my answers from the previous question already gave an insight. Think the essence of the band when we started is still present, yet not limited to the idea of sound. The very essence is that we play the music we want to hear ourselves.

6. Another aspect of that search for your more folk roots (let's call it that), is the illustration of the album that contains four animals present in the area where you live, at the same time that it is also the first time that you include the lyrics of the songs. The idea of ​​the album design came up and the possibility of working for it with Luchtrat? How important have the texts been in the new album when dealing with the composition of the album?

Luchtrat is the pseudonym I use for all my design – actually, it was the original name for my DIY label I used to release music with. The concept of the artwork and the lyrics have 100% the same basis, being the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. These elements are the basic elements of alchemy. Mankind have always searched for answers, often found in religion, thus godly answers. However in medieval times, alchemists were looking for scientific answers. One of them, John Dee, was said to be spoken to by angels. He wrote down their language, called The Enochian Key. Visually, something like Hebrew comes close. Each letter has it’s own value, color and chemical element. This alphabet became the basis for the sigyls you see in the artwork of ‘Slonk’. Each song title, lyric, animal and photographs refers to one of the basic elements. However, how it’s interpreted or presented is totally different and even very hard for an outsider to understand. Here surrealism enters again. What you think you see is not necessarily what it means. Not only the lyrics are written in an old dialect, also the construction is very abstract. There’s also lot of easter eggs hidden in the artwork. Nods to other bands, f.e. the abandonned shed you see is a hommage to Borknagar’s debut album. 

7. How were your beginnings in music: first concerts you attend, first albums you buy ... What did you do in your lives that made you want to be musicians?

Here I can only speak for myself: the first music I heard was blues or seventies hardrock such as Led Zeppeling, music my dad loved. I must have been 10 or 11 when my mom announced she was going to a market and my brother and I asked of she’d buy a cassette for us. We gave two options: AC/DC ‘The Razor’s Edge’ and some newbeat project. At that age there weren’t any genre limits. She returned with AC/DC and that tape was the only one blasting through my mono record player for more than a year. I started dubbing the vinyls of my older cousin, who listened to Iron Maiden and Danzig – he actually give me his ‘Life After Death’ copy. Cd’s only came later. I do not really remember my first cd though, it must have been an Iron Maiden bootleg, My Dying Bride’s ‘Angel And The Dark River’ or Paradise Lost’s ‘Lost Paradise / Gothic’ combi release box. In the same period, I was hanging out with a friend that was more into alternative music, such as Smashing Pumpkins and stuff, and he was disgusted with those guttural vocals from the music I listened to. One day, he insisted me to listen to a tape he got from his brother, who was dating a girl who’s brother was into obscure stuff. The tape mentioned only “Unholy Black Metal”, no bandname. I didn’t really understand what I heard, my interpretation was something like satanic punk. I answered “not really” to his question if I liked it, followed by “May I take it at home?”. For more than a year I didn’t know what band it was, until finding out it was Darkthrone. Then everything went very quick, the few money I had went to bying music and except from one local guy, I didn’t know anybody into this kind of music. I was 14-15 so to young to attend bars and meet people. That guy was Peter, the same one I talk about before, from De Pankraker radio show. He was one year older, and attended the same school since kindergarten. We thought he was a dickhead and he tought of me similar. Until we crossed in the street one day, and he was sporting a Rotting Christ shirt. No more words needed. He introduced me into tape trading and that’s how I got to know a lot of people, of whom I still in contact with to this very day. One of the guys from Terzij De Horde/Nihill from The Netherlands, Jelle Agema, for example, I shared tapes with. Peter and I wanted to contribute to the scene and started a fanzine, called Noise Magazine. We only released two copies before, inspired by the internet boom, going online. The bands we interview already showed the eclectic range of music, that also influenced Alkerdeel. We published articles with bands like Burning Witch, Graveland, ThirdEyeFoundation, Joyless, Satyricon, Primordial, GodspeedYouBlackEmperor etc. After a while I got bored by reviewing bands – here we come full circle, that explained in the first question of this interview.

8. Consouling Sounds and Babylon Doom Cult Records have taken care of the vinyl and cd edition of the new album? How did the possibility of working with them come about? Are you satisfied with the promotion and editing work by both record labels? importance do you give to the possibility of offering your music in physical format?

Consouling Sounds have been our label since ‘Morinde’ in 2012, and are the reason why we can offer such amazing releases in physical formats. How crazy our questions might be, they always try to realise what we’re asking. Where can you find that? Also, they have/had bands like Amenra/Wiegedood/Jozef Van Wissem etc. on their roster, quite some known names we can benefit a lot from. However, they operate mostly in the post-metal field, and since we’re a bit more rough and obscure, we sought for a way to get in the attention of more traditional extreme metal fans. As Babylon Doom Cult is operating more in that field, and the owner not only a big fan since our beginnings, but since then also a good friend, we asked if they were open for a co-release. We never got as much attention as we had with ‘Slonk’, the reviews were stellar, and when having the album in full glory in my hands, I can’t thank both labels enough for their efforts and energy.

9. "Slonk" (2021) has been composed and released in full confinement due to Covid-19, how do you think this situation has affected the final result of the album? How did you deal with not being able to offer concerts and the consequent lack of contact with your fans?

Covid-19 only influenced the recording process, the album was already written before the pandemic struck. The initial studio date was scheduled two weeks after what happened to be the beginning of the lockdown so we had to reschedule. As no-one had any idea of how severe all this would be, we planned a weekend mid-summer. A good choice as there was this kind of plateau in summer after which infection numbers went sky high ending up in a lockdown that lasted until a couple of weeks ago.

I will not minimalise the quality of the music, but I’m of the impression that the lockdown and people being bored at home contributed to the amazing acception of the album. The whole music business was flat, but there was a lot of online activity, with people supporting bands. We received a lot of attention so I’m convinced it was a perfect timing to release an album, although it was unintentional, we postponed the initial release date with more than half a year, but as it wasn’t made public, nobody knew. Glad we could find a new date for the release gig with Ved Buens Ende and Lubbert Das, as that’s a line-up we never counted for possible.

10. How do you see the Belgian black metal scene over the years that you were present with Alkerddeel and how would you describe it? Do you think there is a strong connection, almost a scene, between bands from Belgium and Holland, for example, in terms of a similar and very recognizable sound and proposal?

I always find it hard to speak about a scene in Belgium, let alone a musical connection with bands from The Netherlands. We’ve had some famous bands such as Ancient Rites, Enthroned, Paragon Impure of Verloren, but to call this a scene wouldn’t do reality justice. There have always been plenty opportunities to meet people though or see gigs. Metallysee, a famous booker (the Sadistik Execution gigs in Europe, the footage of that infamous Youtube documentary about black metal in Belgium was also on one of their events) was based in Belgium, the Frontline in Ghent, Biebod in Eastern Belgium, With Dragons Blaze Festival etc. we can’t complain about the activity though. Alkerdeel has always worked independently, in contrast to scene that’s build around Amenra – The Church Of Ra. That’s something that comes closest to my idea of a scene, but we’re not a part of it, although we’ve played with them before, on their events. But ofcourse we’re connected to people and bands, that we work together with or support. In Belgium: Lugubrum, Witch Trail, Hemelbestormer, Moenen Of Xezbeth, Perverted Ceremony, Apovrasma ... as the closest, in The Netherlands I should mention the people behind Haeresis Noviomagi (Turia, Lubbert Das ...), Nihill, Gnaw Their Tongues and many individuals of the underground scene. The Netherlands have always been very welcome to us and one of the earliest to offer us a stage, thinking Aurora Infernalis, Roadburn, Incubate, Baroeg and little Devil (legendary clubs) ... Going back to the Belgian scene, I should mention that there’s more happening than ten years ago: Medieval Prophecy from Wallonia (french spoken part of Belgium) is releasing super interesting music, also Gramschap and Haunted By Ill Angels are labels to check!

11. Which album represents for you the essence of black metal? What last albums have you bought?

Darkthrone’s ‘A Blaze In The Northern Sky’ and Beherit’s ‘Drawing Down The Moon’ are to me the most essential black metal releases. ‘A Blaze’ because it was my first encounter with the genre and also, there’s no denying, that’s the most important black metal album for the Norwegian scene. Beherit because it’s totally misunderstood and underestimated. People mostly refer to Beherit for it’s savage nature, but to me, this is one of the most psychedelic black metal albums ever. Latest I’ve bought were the rerelease of Poccolus (an old cult band – think Forgotten Woods meets Graveland with influences of Baltic folk), the Satyricon reissues of ‘Dark Medieval Times’ and ‘The Shadowthrone’ and the rerelease of ‘Those Who Carress The Pale’ of Ved Buens Ende, the only band I buy every single version of each release of.

12. The edition of “Slonk” (2021) is still very recent but you are already thinking about new songs with a view to an upcoming album? Have you already thought about the possibility of offering some concerts?

Due to the lockdown we couldn’t come together to rehearse as a band, however the drummer and guitar player manage to play quite regularly and some early hints for new music is already there. We can finally reveal some new gigs, there’s this major festival called Alcatraz in summer that invited us, and some gigs in autumn, such as the release gig for Hemelbestormer’s new album with Ultha and Sun Worship. We hope to play abroad next year again, never been to Spain with the band, so if some promotor’s read this, we’d love to come over. 

13. Thank you very much for the time dedicated to Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for Alkerdeel the place. I hope the questions have been to your liking.

Thanks a lot for the interview! The questions allowed to go in depth, which is much appreciated! 



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