miércoles, 1 de junio de 2022


1. Although Plaagdrager was founded in 2020, it is true that there is an important background of its members in other formations, at what point did you decide to create Plaagdrager? Why did you choose the name Plaagdrager and what does it refer to?

We both have had experience in several bands in the past, but with Plaagdrager we finally found a creative outlet for not only our music, but perhaps for parts of our personalities as well. We choose the name Plaagdrager (“plague carrier”) as a nod to the turbulent times in which we started to work on music together again. It felt appropriate with the times, though we often use the Plague as a methafor for more than just a virulent disease. It also embodies the inner sickness of mankind and it’s self-destructive nature.

2. How was the process of writing and recording your first album “Rampspoed & verdriet”? What brands of instruments have you used in the process? And what main differences can we find, in terms of sound, with what you had been doing in other bands?

It was a very natural process, in which often guitarist N. Riethorst would write a song and vocalist C.W. de Boer would get inspired to write lyrics and record vocals. We started out small, just with two songs, but swiftly we discovered we had so much inspiration during the dark days of 2020, that it quickly turned into a full length album. 

We use several brands of instruments, from high end to budget material. In the end, for us, it is not whát you play, it’s what you pláy.

Plaagdrager differs from our previous bands in several aspects, but the key difference is that Plaagdrager’s music is more ‘our’ story. We are not trying to tell a tale from a different perspective. The songs are much more personal, and we feel the music and lyrics reflect that a great deal.

3. Throughout “Rampspoed & verdriet” we can find a good number of collaborations with musicians from other bands, at what point is the decision made to have these collaborations? Can we say that these collaborations are a sample of the good health that the Dutch black scene has?

In a lot of ways, we wanted to make “Rampspoed & Verdriet” a tribute to all the music that has influences us from the early/mid 90’s. We have both been making music since those days too, and over the years we have met a lot of great musicsians who we respect and worked with.. It felt right to ask some of them to help us out, give the album something unique. The Dutch Black Metal scene has been very active in recent years, which is definitely something that also make the fire in our hearts to create a great first album burn brighter.

4. In “Rampspoed & verdriet” there is a sound that refers to classic black, there is even room for some approaches to styles such as rock, however we can also find a melodic tone, interesting register changes and more current elements, what were your main inspirations when writing and recording this album? How would you describe the sound of “Rampspoed & verdriet” to someone who hasn't heard it yet?

It is good to hear that you could identify all those different elements in our music. We agree, and we certainly have a very broad taste in music which is clearly reflected in our songs. Our main musical inspirations were drawn from early to mid 90’s black metal, but the most important thing has always been to create a specific atmosphere. A feeling, if you will, that balanced itself between the cold harshness of old school black metal and the warmer melodic harmonies of more modern productions.

5. On the one hand the lyrics of the songs are in Dutch and on the other we find a theme far from conventionalism such as humanity or the mind, at what point do you make the decision to use your native language to write the lyrics of the songs ?Why do you choose this theme for your lyrics? Do the texts adapt to the music or vice versa? Is the final phrase of Alberto Camus that appears on the album the perfect epitaph to describe the album?

We have made the decision to use our native Dutch language for the lyrics very early on. It is the best way to express ourselves and to stay true to the vision we have. The lyrics have several themes, most based on personal experiences or (world) issues that we find to be important. Often the lyrics come after the music, but we also tend to work with a theme, and create music and lyrics separately.

The quote from Albert Camus’ work ‘The Plague’ was chosen because of it’s forboding tone. A warning that disease, both of physical illness but also mass issues plaguing our world, can return at any moment.

6. The album cover has been made by R. Tuynman, why did you decide to work with him on the cover design? What does the cover show and how does it relate to the album's content?

R. Tuynman is a very gifted artist and a former class mate from N. The main artwork is called ‘The blind worship of Venus’ and R. Tuynman was inspired to create it after witnessing a vile act of transgender discrimination. This has left a big impact on him and inspired him to paint this piece. Although his experience does not directly relate to our musical themes (perhaps in the way that intolerance is something we despise) we did feel a strong attachment to it and it simply felt ‘right’ for our music. It’s also just a wonderful testament to how creative people seem to find each other again, even after many years. 

7. It is very surprising that to this day “Rampspoed & verdriet” has only been self-released in digital format, would you consider the possibility of making a physical release with a record label or do you prefer to keep this situation unchanged as a format? to have more control over your music?

As of right now, we have actually signed some deals to release “Rampspoed & Verdriet” in physical form! Helhallen Tontrager from Germany has done a complete remix and remaster for a special edition tape release, which is on preorder now via http://helhallen.bandcamp.com and we also have a CD coming out this summer, and Vinyl sometime next year, via Sevan Mater. All three releases come with amazing packaging and artwork, and truly do our music justice. We do like to work this way; having control over our music, but it is great to have partners who support us and our music.

8. The album has been composed between 2020-21, in the midst of the Covid-19 wave, in some way has everything related to the pandemic been an inspiration and has it been reflected in the final result of the album?

We cannot deny that the dark years of 2020 and 2021 inspired us in many ways. Writing music and lyrics for Plaagdrager has been an almost therapeutic experience, helping us deal with lockdowns, uncertainty and a general sense of negativity. To create something pure and personal in a world filled with misery.

9. For the mixing and mastering of the album you worked with R. Aarts from Bolthorn Studio, why did you make the decision to work with him? What do you think he has contributed to the final result of the album?

Black Metal is all about atmosphere. We can enjoy a well-produced and modern sounding album as much as we love the low-fi recordings of the early 90’s. It’s all about making the sound fit the atmosphere we were going for. We have been in another band with R. Aarts (I Shall Move The Earth) from 2010 until 2013, and N. Riethorst has recorded his very first CD with his former band Heidevolk in his studio back in 2003, so we have a long history and friendship with him. That basis of trust helped shape the sound of “Rampspoed & Verdriet” and we are very happy with the results.

10. How were your beginnings in music: first concerts you attend, first albums you buy? What happened in your lives pushed you to want to be musicians?

N.’s history in music harkens back to the 80’s. Pink Floyd, Duran Duran, Joy Division, things like that. But in the early 90’s he started diving into harder types of music. N’s first album was a copied cassette tape of Metallica, and that was quickly followed by Sepultura, Type o Negative and black metal tapes by Emperor, Darkthrone, Satyricon etc. N was a big tape collector (or copier, to be honest), but the first CD was a single (Peaches) by The Presidents of the USA N. knew he wanted to play guitar and more importantly, write songs, back when he was 7 or 8 years old. It was the perfect way to express deep emotions.

C.W. grew up in a home with a lot of classical music. During this periode he started to learn to play the piano. Then in the early 90s, through some friends, he got some tapes of Nirvana and Metallica. Very soon he discovered his first favorite metal band, Amorphis, who had just released Tales from the Thousand Lakes. This was the first album he bought. From there he was introduced to Emperor, Dimmu Borgir and the bands of that era and started to play in some bands as a keyboard player. 

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

Interesting question. We feel that the Dutch Black Metal scenes is very strong right now. Not to ignore the rightful place in history that the Norwegian classics from Darkthrone, Mayhem, Emperor etc. have, currently we are massively enjoying the latest releases from Dutch and Belgian bands such as Fluisteraars (“Gegrepen door de Geest der Zielsontluiking”), Wiegedood (“There’s always Blood at the End of the Road”), Terzij de Horde (“In one of these, I am your Enemy”), Wesenwille (“II: A Material God”), and a little less recent but still very influencial, bands from the very strong Polish Black Metal scene such as Mgla.

12. What future plans do you have for Plaagdrager in terms of upcoming releases, concerts or reissues?

We have a limited edition tape release coming out early June via Helhallen Tontrager (http://helhallen.bandcamp.com) which you can preorder now, and a special edition 7” CD release via Sevan Mater this summer. They will also relese our debut album on Vinyl early next year.

Of course we are already hard at work on our second album! Though, we cannot say when that will be recorded or released. No concerts are in the planning right now.

13. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions for Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for Plaagdrager's followers, this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.

Thank you for the interview! Keep updated on all things Plaagdrager via www.plaagdrager.nl 


Enslaved ‎– Vikingligr Veldi (Unofficial – red vinyl) 15,99 €

Vinyl, LP, Album, Unofficial Release, Red

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