jueves, 19 de enero de 2023



Good evening, thank you very much for answering these questions, how is everything going for Venray?

Thanks for the interview! Things are going well in Venray at the moment. Various projects are being recorded as I speak. Asgrauw and Meslamtaea are very active. In addition, two new projects – Stuporous and The Color Of Rain - will roll out of the studio this year. Finally, Schavot's second album will be released on January 27. There is much to look forward to!

1. Schavot comes into operation around the year 2021, however perhaps its origins have to be sought much further back in time. At what point did you decide to create Schavot? Why did you choose the name Shavot and what does it refer to?

The idea of making music in the style of Schavot had been there for a long time, but there was always lack of time. Thanks to the lockdowns and enforced social isolation, there was more time to spend in my studio. Various projects were finished. I have the ability to record at home and do everything myself (except mastering). That makes it possible to be productive just at home. When we were locked up indoors again, I decided to try to record one song in a traditional 2nd wave black metal style. I liked the result and soon more followed. A few months later, Schavot's CD ‘Galgenbrok’ was on the shelves. Schavot means scaffold in Dutch. Because the lyrics are based on old folk tales, I thought this was an appropriate name. 

2. If I'm not mistaken, you are involved in other bands like Asgrauw, Meslamtaea or Sagenland, bands all related to black metal, but with particularities within each of them, especially if we talk about Meslamtaea, how does Schavot and what can this new project offer us differently from the other bands in which he is a part? Is it the fact that you are the only member of Schavot and thus offer a much more personal sound, one of the fundamental reasons for carry out this project?

Indeed, one of the fundaments of Schavot is to be able to write & record music on my own. Without any compromises. That doesn't mean that playing in a group is less satisfying. I’m glad to be part of Asgrauw, that is a full-fledged live band. Some of our projects are being recorded ‘remote’ over the Internet. I gathered a little group of musicians, that are as passionate about making music as I am. For example, we’re now working on a record of The Color Of Rain (TCOR), which is progressive post-black with Cynic influences. Our guitarist Gerhans - who writes the basics - comes from a different musical background than me. More modern and technically advanced. That's why I have to completely get out of the comfort zone in terms of drumming and bass-playing. This project also needs another approach of producing and mixing. In this way I learn new techniques. I like traditional black metal, but I also like to do new and exciting things. So, one project is not enough for me.

3. You will soon see the release of your second album "Kronieken uit de nevel" which gives continuity to your previous "Galgenbrok". What has the process of writing and recording this second album been like? How do you think the sound has evolved? Between both albums? As the only member of Schavot, what is the part of the whole writing and recording process that resists you the most?

There was little time between writing 'Galgenbrok' and 'Kronieken', I just continued to record after the debut was finished. I think there is a fluid continuity between the albums. I did take more time for 'Kronieken Uit de Nevel', though. The album has a little more musical depth. But don't expect a shocking style change. I fully liked the result of 'Galgenbrok' and with that debut, the path has been paved for Schavot.

By ‘resist’, I gues you mean what I don’t like about the process? Actually there’s nothing dat I don’t like, it’s just a hobby that I fully enjoy. 

4. You previously commented on the different characteristics of the black sound offered by the different bands of which you are a part. For your part, in Schavot your sound seems to be influenced by the second wave of Scandinavian black metal. How would you describe the sound of your new album and which bands or styles have been an influence for you in defining your sound?

Schavot is absolutely inspired by the 2nd wave bands. Especially from the second half of the 90s. Reviewers say they hear Emperor and early Dimmu Borgir. And they are right! Bands from that time, such as Ancient, Ulver and Obtained Enslavement, didn't just make fast, loud metal. There was always some glimt of beauty hidden in their extreme music. Exactly that - a contrast between darkness and beauty - is what I wanted to make with Schavot... Music in which you see images passing before your eyes, like a landscape. I love suble synths in music, as long as it is not over-used. I do think that Schavot is a completely own identity and not a copy of these examples.

5. For some time now it seems that the Belgian and Dutch black metal scene have been determined to offer something different in terms of sound, as if the evolution within the scene is a bit taking shape in these countries right now. What is your opinion regarding the evolution of the black sound, as something necessary or rather inappropriate? What is your opinion of the current black sound regarding its beginnings?

That’s a good question. The ‘old vs new music’ thing is quite a discussion lately. Personally I don’t like many modern productions, that sound so perfect that it feels almost inhuman. Like drums (that often sound like a pinball machine) that are ‘quantized’ in software, so you can no longer hear if it’s programmed or played by a real musician. So I keep coming back to the metal classics most of the time. To me the black metal genre peaked in the 90’s. In retrospect, it's really bizarre how many fantastic records came out in such a short time. That era was pure magic. 

But that was then. Now there’s a totally different era. Every new generation just needs new music. Because otherwise it will die. That's why my personal musical perception doesn't really matter. It's fine for the new generation to have a different taste and every now and then a record is released that I really like. Especially in the contemporary experimental black metal genre there are some true gems. 

The Netherlands and Belgium are doing well in the black metal scene. There are a lot of great bands and musicians around here. In venues we see more and more young people coming to black metal shows. That’s fantastic! Old and new music can go well together.

6. Regarding the lyrics and the theme of your songs, they are written in Dutch, dealing with themes related to the folklore of your country, why the decision to adopt Dutch to write your lyrics, against the current general use of English? What new legends are we going to find in this new album? Do the lyrics adapt to the music or vice versa?

Besides the fact that I can express myself better in my native language, I also think it has added value for outsiders not to be able to understand the lyrics. In the early days I also thought it was cool to listen to Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish bands in their own language. That gave extra mystique to the music. I write lyrics and music separately and look afterwards what fits best together. The atmosphere has to match. As the cover art suggests, some lyrics are about the witch hunts. Ghost ships and haunted houses also have a special place on the new album. The single 'Onmens' is about Goede Mie: a respected woman from the city of Leiden, who turned out to have poisoned many of her clients with arsenic to collect money from funeral insurance.

7. The cover of this new album is richer in nuances than its predecessor, who was in charge of the design of the cover of the new album? Maybe the cover is inspired by one of the stories that take place throughout? from the album?

While writing 'Kronieken' I got the idea that art was needed in the style of the famous Dutch illustrator Anton Pieck (1895-1987). I came into contact with Bram Bruyneel who is not only a very good illustrator, but also has a background in history. Since the lyrics are about folk tales and local historical events, everything fell in place. As said, a number of lyrics are about the witch hunts in the Netherlands and this theme is incorporated in the cover art. Bram has added a number of historical details, such as the book cover of the 'Malleus Maleficarum' that the executioner holds in his hand. Other details are less historically correct, such as the church in the background of the town Ootmarsum where I grew up. You also see me as a spectator of the burning. Bram did a great job and the process of making cover art with Bram, to me, was really added value to an album. 


8. You have worked again with Void Wanderer Productions and War Productions, have you forged a link with them to release all your editions? Which physical format do you like the most to release your music, and which format do you use yourself? 

I've been following Void Wanderer Productions since the very beginning. I know the label owner, since he’s in Asgrauw and Meslamtaea. He raised his label purely out of passion for music. When I’d recorded the first Schavot track, I let him hear the raw track without telling him it was mine. He was immediately interested and asked if I knew the guys from this band. Which I did, haha! VWP often works together with War Productions from Portugal, because with a co-release the music is better spread. 'Galgenbrok' sold really well for a debut, also thanks to Dead Mill Media who helped us out! When the follow-up album 'Kronieken' was recorded, it was obvious to release it through Void and War again. 

I like the CD format because the music sounds exactly like the master-files. But I like vinyl even more because of the big size cover art, plus I love the crackling sound of the needle on the record. Nowadays I have a love-hate relation with digital streaming. I hate it on the one hand because it downgrades music to ‘fast food’. No one listens to entire albums anymore. On the other hand, it makes music available everywhere and I use it to check out new stuff. Still, nothing beats the good old vinyl record.

9. Is there any possibility of taking Schavot's music live by collaborating with other musicians, or on the contrary, would you prefer not to take that step?

The music would be suitable to play live, but putting together a live band would take too much time and energy. My priority is to create music and I love being in the studio. You can find me on the stage with my band Asgrauw though. We played some great gigs recently! 

10. How were your beginnings in music: first concerts you attended, first albums you bought? What event in your life pushed you to want to be a musician?

I think this is the same story with many metalheads my age. It started with bands such as Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Van Halen, then followed more extreme music like Slayer and Sepultura. With Paradise Lost (Gothic) came the interest in dark atmosphere in music. Thus the road was paved for Ulver and Emperor. The interest in prog and technical metal such as Cynic, Death and Dream Theater also came early, and with it came a love for fusion jazz rock. In high school I started playing drums in rock bands. When my parents gave me a drum set, there was no stopping it! I couldn't find band members for a black metal band and started learning to play guitar and bass myself and in an amateurish way the first Meslamtaea tracks soon were recorded on tapes. This was in the late 1990s.

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

Oh that’s a difficult question! Do I cheat if I name two albums? Bergtatt by Ulver is definately my go-to black metal album. I remember hearing “Capitel II - Soelen Gaaer Bag Aase Need” on some sampler CD and being completely amazed! The intro with the flute and acoustic guitars which turns into blastbeat frenzy, that also has this calmness due to the choirs and the walking bass-line. This must be one of the best black metal tracks ever, if not the best. But also Emperor’s ‘Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk is a total masterpiece. Atmosphere, songwriting, technique, all perfect. This is the kind of production that I like. Drums and vocals that are a bit buried in the mix, the opposite of nowadays productions where drums and vocals are really loud. Dimmu Borgir’s Stormblast also is a masterpiece (of course the original, not the re-recorded version). Now I’m cheating anyway, I like to mention Fleurety’s ‘Min Tid Skal Komme’, which is to me the ultimate experimental / avant garde album that inspired me a lot for Meslamtaea. The last album that I bought is Hellevaerder “In de Nevel van Afgunst”. A Dutch horde that I enjoy a lot. 

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

Schavot is not dead and buried yet and as I speak I’m about to start to write new music for a split album! The cd’s of Galgenbrok were sold out and we planned a 2nd press on jewel case by Void Wanderer & War Records. Also we arranged a vinyl of ‘Kronieken Uit de Nevel’ by the label Zwaertgevegt! Can’t wait to see the artwork in 12 inch format. 

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

Thanks for the interview! Keep an eye on the Zwotte Kring page to be up-to-date about what happens in our circle of dedicated musicians. There is a lot happening lately and expect some great releases from our circle. Glad to see that the scene is alive and support the underground!


Ancst ‎– Ghosts Of The Timeless Void (Trans Green w/ Black Smoke  - 100 Copies) 32,99 €

Limited edition LP, comes with colored insert and download code.

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