sábado, 11 de julio de 2020


1. Ande was created in 2015, tell us a bit about what the name Ande refers to? And why did you decide to create Ande?
“Ande” is a forgotten old Dutch word which stands for intense emotions like passion, repent and anger. An important reason for me choosing the name is that it stands for both positive and negative emotions, it's a balance like everything in life is. The idea to make black metal had already been in my head for years, but I got involved in some other rock and death metal bands. At the end of 2014 my main band was disbanded, and I had free time on my hands. So I just started writing some black metal songs which evolved into the first album “Licht”.

2. I suppose the first option has been to create a one man band, why did you decide to create this project as a one man band? And what previous knowledge does composition, production and recording have to face a project like this?
Actually I was not that experienced with songwriting before I started Ande. For one band I played the bass and mostly took on the management role. For a death metal band I did write crude riffs and basic song structures, but we reworked those together during rehearsals. I've been in a lot of recording studios, but had never recorded something myself. With Ande I really wanted to write all music myself, and have full control, that's why it didn't transform into a regular band. I gradually learned how to record and produce.  Of course current software and on-line learning platforms make it a bit easier. If I needed to figure out how this all worked in the 90s, it would have been a lot harder.

3. Your first album released in 2015 is “Licht”, a work that garnered good reviews for its rawness and density, influenced by atmospheric black with a classic cut, where aggressive and raw voices shone, and direct riffs, true melody tone, some doom influences and the good use of synthesizers to give ambience to your music, how was the composition and recording process for this album? And being the first, what was the most difficult thing to record about him?
This was an interesting path as I just started with a few riffs at the end of 2014 and didn't know what direction it was flowing to. I didn't have a concept, not even a band name at that point. It all gradually formed in my head throughout 2015. These were also my first steps in home recording, looking around for recording software, plug-ins, hardware and learning how to put it all together. All drums are also programmed on that album. There are probably some parts on that album where you would need 3 or 4 arms and an extra leg to play what I programmed. But in the end it doesn't sound too robotic either. When I finished 3 black metal tracks I wanted to glue them together with a few synth interludes. And that was it, a year after starting I had a first short album ready. I asked a few friends to have a listen, and released it on digital and CD format a bit later. It got a lot more response than I was expecting. Looking back I can't really say what was the most difficult, maybe drums and vocals, but it all came together fairly natural.

4. In 2017 comes the release of the second album “Het gebeente”, a second album that delves into the virtues of the first, but if possible it sounds more direct, more raw, more focused on classic sounds, keeping the pulse in terms of melody, And adding if possible some post-metal influence and some epic, how would you describe the sound of this second album? And how does your sound evolve compared to the previous one?
After the first release came out, I immediately started writing songs for “Het Gebeente”, as I still has some ideas in my head. I think the album sounds more mature, as I tried to bring more balance in the flow of the album, and the flow of the songs. I had the structure and the length of the album in my head while I was writing it. I also started using an e-drum and keyboard to make the drums and synths sound more organic, and recorded the vocals in a different way, while switching to Reaper as recording DAW. My basic setup and work flow for recording has pretty much stayed the same since this album, so this was when I was really starting to get the hang of it. “Licht” sounded a bit insecure at times, but with “Het Gebeente” I think I made a lot of progress in songwriting and soundscaping.

5. And so we come to the most recent "Vossenkuil" of 2020 that may generate some controversy with previous works, perhaps in the sense of having more post or avant-garde influences, however in my view the guitar work on this album is above the previous ones, as well as the feeling of proximity to nature is more achieved thanks to the elaborate atmospheres that emanate from the music. How would you describe the sound of the album? And how has it evolved compared to the previous one?
The biggest changes on this album are the use of synths on top of the metal tracks, instead of just using them as intro, outro and interludes, and that I had it professionally mixed and mastered by Studio Jupiter. I think it sounds great, everything is well balanced. With writing the songs I also made more differences in the guitar playing of the left and right guitars, and even added another guitar layer in the middle on one of the tracks. So there's a lot going on if you pay attention to it. The “Eeuwig Vuur” track in the middle, breaking the album in two parts is something special to me. It's very open and personal, with more of a postrock feeling, generating a “love it or hate it” feeling with most people. “Vossenkuil” also has a concept regarding lyrics and artwork, as opposed to the previous two albums that were more generic.

6. Your latest album contains the song "" Mijn Koninkrijk Van Groen ", a review of a song by the Belgians Lugubrum. Why did you find this song interesting to review? Is there a relationship between both bands?
At the end of the 90s I got a hold of this cool black metal compilation tape. It was not an official compilation, but the kind you made for a friend to let him discover new bands, and that was traded onwards. It contained the track “Mijn Koninkrijk Van Groen” by Lugubrum, and I was really amazed by the sound and the feeling of the song. So I started writing them, to order their albums and we kept in contact. A bit later I was studying IT, and they had an outdated website. So I asked if they wanted me to create a new one and keep it up to date with their input. I've been doing that ever since. Over the years I've gotten to know them personally, visiting their shows and having some beers together. They're a cool crew to hang out with, and I've always respected them a lot. So when the idea crossed my mind to do a cover of one of their tracks, I wanted it to be special, and I chose to make a metal version of one of their synth tracks, the first track I ever heard of them. I sent a demo version of my recordings over to hear what they though about it, and they liked it. I wouldn't have released it otherwise.

7. What are your texts about and why do you write about them?
It's very diverse I think. They're about everyday life, things and situations I encounter and think about. Sometimes they're about the beauty of nature, growing and going into hiding again. Or personal memories, a way for me to remember things I lost or feel nostalgic about. But there's also a lot of fiction, things I make up. The lyrics in itself are not really stories and sentences, rather words I put together that generate an emotion and are part of a concept.

8. Which bands are a reference for you when looking for an inspiration to compose Ande's music?
The most obvious ones for me are Burzum, Wolves In The Throne Room and Altar Of Plagues. Setting the right atmosphere by creating layers and repetition is something I keep getting back to. But I can actually be inspired by anything. I once saw a guitar tutorial by Ihsahn of Emperor, and I've used that particular playing style in two songs so far. “Het Gebeente” also contains a riff which is inspired by Nirvana, and “Vossenkuil” contains a part with surf drums. I listen to a lot of different music styles, and when an idea pops up in my head I'm usually not with my instruments or recording gear. So I'll write it down and get back to it later. The difficulty afterwards is getting back the idea and sounds in your head looking at that piece of paper with the cryptic writings.

9. After the edition of three albums, do you consider the possibility of having the collaboration of other musicians at some point, for example to offer a concert?
The first concept I had in mind was that I would create and record an album, and afterwards ask people to rehearse it to play a few live shows. The songs would be reworked during rehearsals with everyone's input. The live shows would then be recorded as well, so it would be a double album containing my version of the songs and the joint effort. Afterwards the exact same process would start for the second double album. But I gradually let go of that concept, because I really enjoy working on my own. If an interesting offer for a live show would come up, I would consider asking some people to join me. But as time passes, the idea seems less and less appealing to me, as I would have to depend on other people. It's not easy getting everyone's focus and attention for details when you're only doing this for one or two live shows.

10. Being your city of origin Bilzen that does not reach the forty thousand inhabitants, how is the extreme metal scene in your area?
I don't think there's much of a scene, it's a bit too small for that. But we did have the Infernum gigs over here for a while, about 4 times a year hosting doom, stoner and some black metal bands. There are a lot of cool bands in my immediate area, like Hückaf and Ivan, that released a cool split album a while back. Also Voidian just released a killer new album “Through Eyes of the Flame”, spiritual intense doom. Why Bother is a bit more psychedelic, but certainly deserves a mention. I have a lot of metal friends, but don't go to gigs that often. When I do it usually involves going to Antwerp, Brussels or Ghent.

11. This last album if it transmits feelings of proximity with nature, perhaps from there the cover that illustrates it? What can you tell us about it?
I like nature a lot, the purity, calmness and watching things grow. So I'm drawn to beautiful places where I can relax. The “Vossenkuil” is a place close to where I grew up. It's a pond surrounded by a small forest of which you can see a picture in the album's artwork. As kids we used to hang out there a lot, all year long. But growing older I still like to visit the place. It's not very accessible, so it's not a tourist spot or anything. The lyrics of the album are also inspired by that place, tales of things that happened over there, and stuff from my imagination. A few months ago I made a videoclip for the song “Beverdansen” with some friends when we were over there at night. You can find it online to get an idea of what the place looks like.

12. What impact do you think the Covid-19 has had on Ande in terms of sales and promotion?
At first it was a bit strange, the album was coming out early April, and I had en entire planning for February and March regarding the pre-orders, posting the artwork, putting the videoclip online, … So those news items got posted while we were going in lockdown and everything you read online was Covid-19 related. Initially it lost a little bit of attention because of that. But all in all I don't think there has been much of an impact for me. It's not like I had a special release event planned or anything. Maybe I missed a few sales since I wasn't able to send physical orders overseas, but nothing too big. General reception and sales have been good so far, so I'm happy with that. 

13. All your albums have been self-released on CD and digital, except for the cassette reissue of “Het gebeente” by Blackwood Productions, have there been no interests on the part of any label to edit your music or are you more comfortable with the desktop publishing?
When I finish a new album, I always send out the promo version to a few labels, but it's not easy to get a label deal. There are a lot of decent bands out there, and earning back your investment as a label is a lot easier when you're dealing with a touring band instead of a studio project. “Vossenkuil” was originally going to be released by an American label, but they vanished all of a sudden, stopping all communication. So I decided to release it myself again, and arranged the CD artwork, digital release and promo campaign. I think I'm pretty good at getting these things organized, but having label support also gets you more coverage. So I'm certainly open to that.

14. How were your beginnings in music and why did you decide to dedicate yourself to music?
I've always liked listening to music, as a young kid I was making compilation tapes with songs I heard on the radio, and watching music shows on the TV. A few years later some friends that were a bit older introduced me to death and thrash metal, stuff like Sepultura, Obituary, Anthrax, … During high school I got acquainted with a lot more bands, underground metal shows, and black metal of course. The first time I heard Darkthrone and Burzum, that was something special! In the early days I was writing people, trading tapes, reading fanzines, … I also wrote reviews for a fanzine myself for a few years, for “HellRazor” zine that was. I got my first guitar when I was 14, but it was mostly playing standard black and death metal riffs in my bedroom until I joined a band when I was 20. I guess I've been involved in making music ever since. Ande is not the only musical project for me, but it's the most important one. Outside of Ande I'm in a death metal band with some friends, nothing too serious. I also do some electronic music, and currently I'm writing a few postpunk songs for a new project.

15. What immediate plans do you have for Ande, regarding future editions, reissues, etc?
I already recorded the follow up album, and retrieved the master from the studio a week ago. So that's currently being sent out to some labels to see if there's an interest in releasing it. It will probably come out somewhere early 2021. The second album “Het Gebeente” is being re-released on CDr by the South American “Mystical Infernal Cult Productions” in September. There's another mini album I recorded early 2017 between “Het Gebeente” and “Vossenkuil”. It's a bit of the missing link between those albums, and it's on the release schedule of “Slaughterhouse Records” in America. The release has been postponed a few times, but I hope it's coming through later this year.

16. Thank you very much for taking the time to Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for the followers of Ande, this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking
Thanks for this interview and showing an interest in my project and music. To everyone reading, I would say: think for yourself and be critical of the outside world. Keep listening to good music and support bands, labels and zines to keep this scene alive.

Housed in a gatefold jacket with a double-sided printed insert and a download card.

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