Lonely The Brave

Things will matter’ is the second album from the british band lonely the brave, and they’re more than ready to introduce it to their European fans. We met two of its members in antwerp, where they played a gig later that night. Andrew Bushen (bass) en Ross Smithwick (guitar) were clearly in a good mood -a sunny day in Belgium is definitely something to be cheerful about- and were happy to do a quick recap of the summer they had so far.

Andrew (Bushen, bass player): “We’ve just been bobbing around Europe, really. It’s been amazing so far, but pretty weird as well. We stayed in this small, weird German village some time ago. We had a great time, ‘cause they made really good wine in a local winery, but it was quite bizarre at the same time. Hard to explain why, but it really felt like we were in The Truman Show. It had something of a sixteenth century village with only a couple of 56-year-olds walking around, which was really disturbing, actually (laughs).”
Ross (Smithwick, guitar, vocals): “Just a bit creepy, really.”
Andrew: “But here, in Antwerp, it’s fun as well. We basically just had some drinks, all day long. Some of that good Belgian beer. And I wanted a haircut. Failed. And I also wanted to get a tattoo. Failed that too. So drinking is all we did, basically. Oh, and we’ve had some chips too.”

So touring across Europe is quite agreeing with you?  
Ross: “It’s been fantastic. We’ve played some amazing gigs in Amsterdam, Berlin as well. All great places to have been and perform. Everything seems to be getting bigger. It’s very exciting.”
Andrew: “Berlin is an amazing place to play. It’s quite special to us, I dunno… It’s the way the crowd sings back our songs, the atmosphere… Amsterdam is also a nice place to play a gig. It’s like they really get what we’re about, you know? And as for the rest of the summer, we’re really excited about that too. We’re playing a lot of smaller gigs this year, playing our new record.”
Ross: “We did the big festivals last year, like Reading, Leeds, Glastonbury… But we like playing the smaller festivals this time around.”

Seems to me that there’s no nicer way to spend the summer than touring across Europe.  
Ross: “That’s the best thing about going on tour, seeing one place after another, meeting lots of new and interesting people.”
Andrew: “It’s mainly about just doing the shows and for the fans who want to see us perform. But it’s nice as well to have a day off and see some of the city we’re in at that time. But playing a lot is what we much rather do. Although I quite miss home sometimes (laughs). And my bed. And my girlfriend. And cat.”

I suppose it’s something you’ve gotta get used to, right, being on the road?
Ross: “Yeah, and this time around we had an actual tour bus. It was nice, but not when all power is out and you’re all stuck together in that same bus. Without air conditioning or any windows.”
Andrew: “There were windows?”
Ross: “Yeah, but there might as well couldn’t have been(laughs). It was all quite see through. Anybody could see us in our natural habitat.”

Kind of like the windows in Amsterdam?
Ross: “Yes, but a lot less attractive, trust me (laughs). But yeah, a dozen men in one van that feels like forty degrees, it’s the less fun aspect of going on tour. But it’s been pretty much relaxed, really…”

And did you enjoy playing at the big festivals the most or rather small venues like Kavka in Antwerp?
Andrew: “We definitely like playing both. We’ve played shows where there was a crowd of a thousand, and then during some of them like a hundred people turn up, but it still feels like there’s a thousand of them there, you know? You can never tell, every night, every gig is different. Sometimes we play shows and we honestly thought we played a bad show, but then people come up to us and tell us they loved it.”
Ross: “It’s nice to hear people like the new songs, we’ve had quite a lot of positive feedback. That’s why we like touring right now. Fans have been thankful for the new stuff so far.”

But I wonder: is there such a thing like a boring or not-interested crowd?
Andrew: “The fact people turn up specially to see you play is incredible. Sometimes you have an audience who just listens, people who aren’t there to go mental, but who stand more… stationary during the show. Especially now with the new record, because people don’t really know the songs yet. At other places, you have a crowd that does go fucking mental. You just never know.”  

Talking about the new record: what’s it like playing the new songs live?  
Andrew: “Absolutely amazing. Some people already know the lyrics to some of the new stuff, and we’ve heard a lot of good comments so far… So yeah, we’re pretty excited to play them live.”
Ross: “Our set isn’t filled with new songs, it’s more 50/50. That way it’s more fun for us to play the old songs. During the new material, people mostly listen while they go mental when they hear an older song.”

Is there a huge difference between this one and the first record?  
Ross: “Oh, everything’s changed since the release of the first record. We’ve changed quite a lot ourselves since the debut. The new album sounds more mature, and a lot of stuff has happened during that period between the first and this record. We haven’t only changed as musicians, but as individuals as well. We’ve had an interesting eighteen months… quite life-changing. We’re in the music business now, you have to be aware of a lot more stuff that goes on. Especially when you’re at where we are now, as a band. You’re not only a musician, but you’re kind of forced to be a business man too. But these past months have made us stronger and we’ve gotten closer as a band. We’ve seen and done some amazing things, a lot more good moments than bad ones. What we really like is how we got the opportunity to do exactly what we wanted for the second record, and that they trusted us with our decisions.”

Was it hard writing the new album?
Andrew: “No, not really. There are always difficult moments you’ve got to get through as a band, but you the best out of each other that way. But in general, everything came quite naturally to us. A bunch of the new stuff was already done or we had some ideas for it. We focused on writing for four, five months maybe, to make sure we had everything we need before we got to recording in the studio.”

I’ve read you worked on the record somewhere in a barn on the countryside?
Andrew: “It was like, uh, a converted barn with a little studio in it. We’ve recorded pretty much everything there. It’s a beautiful location to record and write. Closed off from everything. Out of the big city, pure concentration.”

Is the big city not the right place for you to work on an album?
Ross: “Nah, not for us as a band. An abandoned barn in the countryside, now that works for us. Locking ourselves up, away from any distractions. Otherwise we get too easily distracted.”

Did you carefully consider what the new album would sound like?
Ross: “We never have any conversations about how we want to sound like, or like who. We do listens to fantastic music, but that doesn’t mean we want to sound like it… People always try to tell you what you sound like or what or who you resemble, but I personally don’t feel we can label our music or put it in some kind of box. We just play the stuff we like ourselves. It’s a collective of different sounds.”

Would the record sound very different if you’d recorded it in the city?
Ross: “Yeah, ofcourse. Everything you do effects your life… All the choices we’ve made to make this record -music, art work, … – it all depended on the place where we recorded and written the new material. Every experience you go through changes you, or has a certain influence.”
Andrew: “A lot of things would’ve been different. For example, we could have chosen a totally different producer, and then it would’ve sounded nothing like the record we have now. The producer for this album really gave it his own touch, and we’re so glad he did. Everything, absolutely everything would’ve been different. And it’s not only when you’re in a band. Same goes for everyone. The decisions you make always effect your actions. It’s the same thing in music. Just try to do it your own way, whatever makes you feel comfortable, and in the situation you’re in at that time.”

It all does sound a bit like therapy, no?  
Ross: “Everything we do is a way to convey our emotions. But I wouldn’t necessarily call it therapy. Although our lyrics have gotten very personal. The first record was more honest.”
Andrew: “But it is a way to express ourselves.”
Ross: “Especially on stage. Our last gig with the first record… I remember, like, a wave of emotions coming over us afterwards. I dunno how… A lot of the time, you stop thinking about everyday stuff on stage, you know. And then you get off and you start thinking about your life outside, your family, …”
Andrew: “We put a lot of emotions in what we do. It’s all very honest and real. We make music about real stuff, stuff everybody knows about. It always comes up, whether we’re writing, recording, performing… If that wasn’t the case, then we wouldn’t be doing it right.”

There’s always this one song on a record that personally means something more to you. Which one is it on this second album?
Ross: “For me it’s ‘Jaws of hell’. It took me two years to write and finish it. It literally kicked my arse. But eventually I got through it.”
Andrew: “It was the last song we recorded. And the last song on the album. It was quite a proud moment for us, finishing the record. It’s the best feeling ever, when you put all that time and energy into something and finally… it’s done, you know? It kind of feels like baking your own loaf of bread. Every bit of satisfying.”
Ross: “He’s always going on about how he can bake his own bread.”
Andrew: “I love it. I will bake you a baguette some time, Ross.”
Ross: “You do that.”

And what is your special skill, Ross?
Ross: “Oh, I haven’t got one. I’m ginger, for God’s sake.”

Keep working on the new material perhaps?
Andrew: “Oh, we’ll never stop! We don’t get to stop and pause. We’re always working on new stuff, and we’ve been planning quite a lot for the third album.”
Ross: “As long as they let us, we keep doing what we do. We still have loads to do. We just hope people will keep on turning up.”
I honestly don’t doubt that for one bit.
Andrew: “As long as we treat them right!”



During one of Germany’s many festivals, we at RMP had the honour to have a chat with Icelandic folk heroes Skálmöld. They even challenged us to do something extraordinary! Want to know what? You can find out in the interview! So get your mead, put on your kilt and enjoy our chat about lullabies for fire giants, their collaboration with Alestorm, foreign candy and much more!

B: Björgvin Sigurðsson – vocals, guitars
T: Þráinn (Thrain) Árni Baldvinsson – guitars
J: Jón Geir Jóhannsson – drums

Hi, we saw your show today and we thought it was awesome! It was your first time here at Summer Breeze. How has it been?
    •    J: It was amazing! A lot of fun. The crowd was absolutely beautiful, they were really into it and had great energy.
    •    B: For me, it was one of the best festival gigs ever.
    •    T: Yes, it was really a show to remember.

The festival is almost done but are there any bands you want to see that are also playing here?
    •    T: I would have loved to see Testament! But today I’d like to see My Dying Bride but I think we’re doing a signing session at the same time so I will listen to them from afar [laughs].
    •    B: Primordial would nice. T: And Napalm Death! I really like them a lot.

In 2014 you released “Með vættum”, your third studio album. The album is a concept album around the character of Þórunn. Can you tell our readers in short what the story is about?
    •    J: It was kind of an idea of Snæbjörn, our bass player, who writes all the lyrics; he started out writing something in that area before we released “Börn Loka”, our second album. We kind of put those lyrics aside because it was a different theme then the theme of the children of Loki. But now we wanted to kind of change things and have a female main protagonist and base it on the four mythical guardians of Iceland that appear in the epos. There’s not much written about them unfortunately but they’re just really cool creatures so they were kind of the main focus and the story of Þórunn was used to link them together. I like the story!
    •    T: Yeah, on our first two albums we had a story from start to finish in ten songs but this was more like a non-linear story.
    •    J: We follow her from birth ‘till death so we had a bigger timeline we had to tell but yeah, it really was a lot of fun.

Did you like making such an album or was it more difficult to cover her whole life from birth ‘till death?
    •    J: We usually write the music first and then we all talk about what the story should be about and then our bass player writes the lyrics around the music.
    •    B: Usually we have kind of like a skeleton of what the story is about, without any details. For example, when we were writing ‘Baldur’, our first album, we basically had the story and the names of the songs and then we had to fill in the music for the song titles and then Snæbjörn writes the lyrics to that music. First the atmosphere is taken from what’s going on in the story, and when he writes the lyrics, they kind of take the atmosphere from the songs.
    •    J: I think it’s easier like that than write something randomly…

You sing in your mother tongue, which is Icelandic. Was this a conscience choice when writing songs and starting the band?
    •    B: Yeah, we decided to write songs in Icelandic and sing them in Icelandic. We never even thought of releasing them outside of Iceland… We’ve actually never talked about writing in English and I think we will never do that.
    •    J: We follow the rules of the Icelandic poetry – the old strict rules and they just work and make things very rhythmical and interesting. I don’t think we can do that in English. Like on the new album we have this bonus cd with cover songs and there are two songs that Björgvin actually sings in English and he sometimes just sounds like an idiot. It just does not work! [Laughing] It’s really silly! So we’re not going to do that anymore.
    •    T: Yeah, you know, because we get the inspiration from the Norse mythology and sagas and because they’re all in Icelandic and we follow those old traditional rules of Icelandic poetry… To write the lyrics in English would be weird and would not justify the real meaning and content of the Icelandic poetry.

In September you’ll release your fourth album “Vögguvísur Yggdrasils” (“Lullabies of Yggdrasil”). Why did you choose to make an album around those heathen lullabies?
    •    B: Because it’s cool!
    •    J: That’s actually another concept that we have been playing around with for several years. First we thought of just doing an EP or something but then we came up with the idea to create lullabies for each of the worlds in the old Norse mythology. That made it really interesting because how does somebody sing to their child in Hell? It’s not really a nice place. Or in Múspell, you know, the fire giants that have a very destructive kind of power. The music are not lullabies at all, I mean it’s just a lyrical concept and it’s kind of interesting to think about such things.

The evening before we left for Summer Breeze, I saw on Facebook that Alestorm is about to cover one of your songs because you’re going to cover Alestorm’s “Drink”. How did this collaboration come by?
    •    J: We toured with them in 2011 during our very first tour and we are really great friends ever since. And you always have to do some bonus songs for the limited edition and so and we decided to do only covers of songs by bands that we’ve toured with or songs that really means something to us. When they found that out, they were just like “Okay, we’ll just cover one of your songs!” and I think Chris (Bowes, Alestorm) – he won’t sing in Icelandic… Basically he took the lyrics and put them into Google Translate and he’s going to sing the Google Translate English version. We were like “Can we hear the track before releasing?” and they were like “We haven’t heard yours!” so we made a pact that we’re not going to hear each other’s versions until we get the actual vinyl in our hands! So we don’t know anything –
    •    T: – It’s very exciting! [Laughs]

    •    You also chose “Nattfödd” from Finntroll to cover. Why did you choose this song?
    •    T: We’re very good friends with Finntroll too and “Nattfödd” is of course a very good song. We used to sing with them on stage when we were touring together. We would go on stage and sing the choir arrangements for the drop-down part of the song so it was kind of an obvious choice basically to cover that song!
    •    J: The record company actually had this idea that we would do the covers. Obviously Finntroll… We’ve been touring with them many times.

You are very present on all kinds of social media. Is this a group effort or are there some of you that post more than others?
    •    B: When you see very boring posts with only facts about something, that’s me! [Laughing] All the fun stuff, that’s the other guys.
    •    T: That’s not always true, but if it’s facts or practical things, it’s mostly Björgvin’s posts. And we, the rest just… joke around. Like usually when we are on tour we always try to buy some kind of candy and we buy it in bins and cans. So we have a lot of terrible candy! And then we eat it on the tour. I don’t know why we do it but I guess it’s to experience new things.
    •    J: Or the come into mood of the country we’re in. [Laughs]

At the end of October, you will do a tour with Korpiklaani and after that you’ll start the Finnish Folk Metal Maffia tour with Moonsorrow and again Korpiklaani. Why touring with these two bands?
    •    J: They just contacted us…
    •    B: It’s basically booking agents… they do it behind the scenes. And it usually works that way that the ‘bigger’ bands offer a spot to ‘smaller’ bands. Like “Do you want to join us on this, and this and this…”.
    •    J: Yeah, we already with them and we know a lot of the crew very well from other tours, you know. It’s a very small circle of people that touring circle so you get to know people. We’ve always had this mentality when we’re on tour to really try to be nice and likeable because that kind of always gives you something back. So yeah, we’re really looking forward to the tour!

While on tour, do you guys have some sort of pre-show ritual?
    •    T: No… basically we try to warm up, I start playing on my guitar… We don’t sacrifice goats or anything. [Laughs]
    •    J: Yeah, just try to wake up basically and do the best you can every single time.
    •    T: Just seconds before we go on stage, we gather like in a circle and tell each other not to suck! [Laughs]
    •    B: Yeah, it’s a lot of manly laughs and hitting each other on the shoulder.
    •    J: Punching each other on the shoulder to get a good atmosphere…
    •    T: Yeah, that punch can really mean a lot of things.
    •    B: It says more than a thousand words.

Thank you very much for the interview. Do you have any last words for our readers?
    •    T: I challenge all Belgian metal readers to write a metal musical about Tin Tin!
    •    J: That would be really awesome!
    •    T: Yeah, I think so! And while you are writing the music, you should listen to Skálmöld! Or on the other hand, don’t do it! We’ll do it!
    •    J: But it’s their heritage!
    •    T: Yes, we will steal your heritage!
    •    B: And I will sing in Flemish!

I’d like to hear that! Once again, thank you very much for the interview!

King Dude

King Dude, the alter ego of TJ Cowgill and his band of comrades play a more intimate and acoustic based dark folk/ country / rock … To my surprise the mostly hardcore based line up of Ieperfest featured  King Dude this year to play the festival at the Marquee stage on Friday. With a new release just around the corner, we met up with the dude himself to find out all about what drives TJ to create his music and of course the in and outs of his new upcoming album Sex. 

Welcome to Ieperfest, first time here?

Yes, i've never been to this city or this festival. I like it. Is this a city? I should probably check it out.

King Dude has a new album coming out soon, October will be the release of Sex, 11 new songs all about…sex. Can you let us in on the new record?

It's pretty much sex, it says itself. Whenever i do a subject, like Fear is about fear and Love was about love. Sex has the subject of sex. When i approach those albums i have an idea of what i want i think i'm making. But it never comes exactly out the way i think of it. It's kind of strange when i started writing the album called sex i was thinking what is the most sexual music that exists. And that of course that leads to funk, soul disco, R&B and pop music. So i've studied a lot of that music.

You think of sex your mind goes automatically to George Michael or Madonna. Like Madonna espaciall, she had an album named Erotica. Or someone like Prince. These are subjects that a lot of people have written about. I hope that my perspective is a little bit different. I think it is. It's not a pop record but it has more of a rock 'n roll element, more country songs at times. To me it's really imortant. It's a good subject. There's songs you could fuck to if you want. Or just listen to and have an enlightening experience. It can go any way. It has to be done with such care. Especially in this age that we're now in, this is the subject that people should be talking about it and understanding more. All the different kinds of sex that exist. Not just my perspective. So i cover other things.

There's this song on it called Swedish Boys. It's about wanting a Swedish boy. Not necessarily where i'm at but it's a very fun subject to write. You know that kind of songs where the girl is too good to get, she will never be with you. I wrote that about an entire country worth of men. Which is fun. It is different.

Two songs have been released on your Bandcamp, Holy Christos and Our Love Will Carry On. Two different type of songs that reflect the full album?

Soft is a good way to describe it but it is a heavy song too in it's own way. When the chorus comes in and it's subject. It's one of the most love songs on the album. I wrote that one when John Murphy passed away. From SPK and he played in Death In June. He played in a lot of bands. I didn't write it about John but i was that kind of heartbroke. We were supposed to meet up one more time and we never got to meet up again. I was really depressed when i wrote it and it made me feel better. It did it's job. That's what a song is supposed to do.

Holy Christos it's way different because it has bass on it. That song started with the bass guitar. Which is a new instrument to me. I obviously played bass and i play guitar but i never started playing songs from a bass guitar. I did that because it's sex. You've got to think of sexual instruments like the bass and drums. It has something you feel in the frequencies. It's body music, it doesn't hit you in the head. That's also when you think about sex, it's here. You don't want intellectualize it too much. It's kind of ironic because that's what we're doing now. That song sounds a little bit different. It has a more upbeat kind of drive to it.

I wasn't sure which two to pick. With that kind of record there's a lot of different kind of songs on there. I think that's consistent with me. I don't want to make the song track over and over again. I've been accused of being a two trick pony, i'm more of a five trick pony. It's a type of song i really like to write. There's not another song like Holy Christos or Our Love Will Carry On on the album, there's more upbeat songs. Since i started writing with piano too, there's stuff that starts from there. Like this song The Leather One thats starts with the organ and clarinet, which is a weird instrument, very funky. To me it has a Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man kind of vibe to it. I'm trying to really exploit that similarity i have.

You also cooperated with Julee Cruise (Twin Peaks theme song) on a split EP. How did this occasion arise?

She's a beautiful singer. Facebook, Julee is pretty active on Facebook, a mutual friend saw that she posted a Jezus In The Courtyard video. King Dude, what a great band name, this video is so great check it out. Weirdly enough i had already written that song Animal. I was searching for someone to sing it. I had my girlfriend trying to sing it but she hasn't got the right range. I have a demo version of me singing it. I was racking my brain, who can sing it. Then i see this thing, it clicked. If she likes my band i can write here and maybe then she can sing it. Withing a couple days we were scheduling it. It was meant to be. I watched her perform in North Bend Washington for the Twin Peaks festival, where they filmed Twin Peaks. She performed the song and that was probaly my proudest moment i've ever felt. She's an idol to me, i idolize her since i was young. It's so cool. Julee is brillliant.

On previous albums one of the main topics is duality, light and dark, good and bad, love and hate,…The eternal quest for balance?

This is a common protagonist. It's an easy thing to write. Everyone does walk a fine line. No one is good, no one is evil. People do evil things and they do good things. But to say one person could be completely one thing. Obviously there are like psychopath murderers and things like that. they probably still have people that love them and that they love. There's more of a different shade of it. I think i'm more of a balanced person I try to lean towards good. Sometimes you have to embrace darkness. You have to stare in it. There's nothing in the darkness that can hurt us. We all are rocketing towards it if we like it our not, we're heading there as fast as we can and that's death. If you're not willing to stare into the darkness and what death is then you're not really living a prepared life There's nothing in the darkness that should be terrifying. It's just the unknown. The things that go bump in the night, the theing that we are afraid of, the things that aren't real, those things are there to keep us safe from what we can discover about ourselves. That totally makes sense with how i write songs and the kind of protagonists i work with. That's what i'm working on for myself. You have to go past that fear. It's about challenging. I want people to be better, you could get the record and be like, that's a good record. Or you could get the record and listen and read the lyrics and dig down, when it's done really well you could get even deeper into it. You could find possibly spirituality or religion, you could find a lot of things. It doesn't end at the surface. But there is that kind of stupid surface to the whole thing. It's King Dude for god's sake.

Paganism, religion, symbolism, these are all of influence on your music. Like the band logo, the Nauthiz rune. It's like a sigil?

Definitely. It's just a rune. That all it is. People think it's more to it. Some people think it's edgy other people know that it's not. To me it represents the desire and the path that i am on. The need for fire, the need to create, the journey i which. Not the goal but the path. It's a concept that we don't have that often in religion. Just doing it, the cathartic process of making yourself better is also valuable. Not being perfect. It doesn't even represent the attempt, it represents doing.

That's something mostly 21th century i believe. We're used to instant gratification…

I hate that. I hate these things, i hate phones. You have to have a computer, i'm a graphic designer as well at home. This thing is a tool i have to use. That's why i record my own music, i record with this computer. I don't mind that process. If you look back at the past. If this had been presented to A.P. Carter who started the Carter Family, he would have probably done it himself. We live in a time where the tools are presented to us. The technology is presented to us. There's no reason no to do things. You just have to be smart willing and really in line with your will and make sure that is good for other people. You don't want to manifest negative ways that hurts people in the process. I'm very intent about keeping this band, this project, keeping people employed around it, keeping the fans very happy. Having a good impact on people. I'm saying that now but my next record might not be like that. I know what's it's called. You might be in for a surprise. I'm writing it right now. The title is done, the title for the record after that is done but i'm not working on that album yet. It will wrap up a chapter. Basically an eight album arc that i've been working on. Tonight's Special Death would have been the first, Love the second and up untill Sex now which is the sixth. Then there will be a seventh and an eight. So hopefully when you listen to all eight albums you could see that, but i don't know who will listen to eight hours straight like that.

Before King Dude, you've played in full bands. King Dude is mostly a one man operation with additional musicians for the recording and live side. A huge difference of working and getting your music out there?

Oh yeah it is. There's so many things to consider. From how they play the material, to how they get along with each other. Whether they're able to do it, to take the time of work. I wouldn't say we're the busiest band in the world but we are touring three to four months out of the year. That's difficcult for some. Not reaping possibly all the benefits from the other band that they play with. I looked at the classic dynasties, Johhny Cash, James Brown, he's not the best example, people who had bands that were very good. They were more or less treated good. They treat their bands really well. That should be their top priority. Johhny Cash and people like that. I read a lot about what Quincy Jones did with a twenty piece band, when he was just gettting started with the Jazz orchestra. There's was times when he was losing so much money but he had to keep going because it's twenty people on the bus. And that's a lot of people. That's the kind of grind i like. It's encouraging to me. It puts me in a position where i have to care for these people. And there's even more people. Like the people i run the record label with in the States. Just make sure everything works. There's a lot going on.

Today you'll be playing Ieperfest, a hardcore festival featuring a diverse range of bands that quite differ from King Dude. Do you adjust the set for certain occasions?

We'll feel it out. At these festivals sometimes, like we played Wacken and we played Brutal Assault in the Czech Repulic. There's like ballads that might have to come out. We feel that as we go. We don't put the setlist down every night like some bands. We know what we're going to play. There's a lot of process and care there as well. There's some that i pluck some nights. If this is going to be the voice and piano song you might not hear that here. Because it might not be the right environement. Clubshows are better for those. It's more or less the same. I might take one out. We have to consider time as well.

It's really spur of the moment. I always call it out, they have suggestions. But there is only so many songs that they know. So we'll reach a point where they can't play anymore and i can play forty more songs if i wanted. It's too difficult to be really good and train over fourty, fifty songs, for that they have to love me to death. No one does, no one loves my song enough to learn fifty of them. To keep them all fresh. That's my job. I got to do that.

Any last words, plans,… ?

The new record is called Sex. We talked about that a lot. That will come out October 28th. I hope you guys enjoy it. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Interview : David Marote

Photography : David Marote

Useless ID

Useless ID have been representing Middle Eastern punkrock for over two decades already. Straight out of Haifa the Israeli band has always had tight connections with the Fat Wreck type punkrock so no surprises here when they recently released their new album State Is Burning. Currently on their European tour with Lagwagon to promote the new album we had a nice chat with guitar player Ishay Berger during their stop at Ruhrpott Rodeo about Useless ID and State Is Burning.

Congratulations with the new album State Is Burning. How has the response been on this European tour with Lagwagon?

Thank You!
First of all, it was really cool to have a new record out and then go out on the road (and with Lagwagon – even cooler!!!!) 2 weeks after the release date, I mean, this is as good as it can get for us.
The response has been very good, We had people that are on the tour with us and people that came to the shows as well praising our work on the new album and also on the set that we would play every night – that was always packed with songs from the new album.

Tour is almost over, i believe last stop is Punk Rock Holiday. Looking forward?

This tour saw Us playing 23 shows in less than a month, so it was real long and cool to do, and as always -, kind of tough and made us look forward to the last date – which is Punk Rock Holiday.

The new album was recorded at the legendary Blasting Room studios with Bill Stevenson. It's not your first time with Bill, how did it go?

Yup, this is our fourth time recording an album at The Blasting Room, and it has been the most fun we ever had making an album…
The system at The Blasting Room is crazy cool, in a way it's like doing 2 days of work in one.
Once we get enough songs done on drums we will start recording Bass while drums are still being recorded and so on…It's not unusual that we will start mixing songs while still getting some vocals and third guitars in another room, so it is very busy, very wonderful time while we're there,
It helps that we had already been recording there to the point where we know how things are going to work and the "Do's and Don't Do's" of the sessions.

State Is Burning focusses heavy on the lyrics, quite some political based songs in a way. How do you feel the record diverses from previous ones?

Our last album (Symptoms) was a different Useless ID album, it was a bit heavier and slower, and the themes Were a bit more personal and grim…
For "State Is Burning" We wanted to change the pace up and have less instrumental bits and more "Wall To Wall" singing…
Also, yes, since the political theme was quite left out of the last album We felt that for the new one We wanted to voice our opinions over those matters more and therefore have a more of a statement rather than make personal songs.

The artwork is rather bleak with the photo collage featuring tanks, bombs, quite apocalyptic. Is this to visualise the burning state in the album title?

Yes, and also, the album title came from a song on the album and in a way I guess the cover art totally describes that song.

The song 45 seconds is living up to it's name, 45 seconds of fast, angry punkrock that sort of stands out to the more melodic album. A certain influence there?

Well, Yotam and Corey have a band called "Spit", it's a fast H.C band based out of Israel and they have a killer record out called " Poison In Your Head"…
I think that while they made that album Yotam wanted to have a song that is a bit more in the "Spit" way for the new Useless ID album, too, so that's where it came from.

A right on tribute is We Don't Want The Airwaves, also the title to you EP on Fat Wreck before the album release. Are Ramones the biggest punk band ever, the alpha and the omega?

The story with "We Don't Want The Airwaves" is a bit more complicated…
When we were younger and into H.C and Punk we always missed out on The Ramones…I clearly remember liking Screeching Weasel, M.T.X and The Queers better than The Ramones and it REALLY took Me over 10 years to finally "get them"…
In writing this song we wanted to show love to all of their albums and all of their songs because they rarely ever missed…almost EVERYTHING on their catalog is great, sometimes for different reasons, but it's all gold. 
So, maybe not the biggest ever, the alpha or the omega, but certainly They were HUGE, and we feel like every punk should take their time in falling in love with the legacy…

Yotam has his solo project where he tours the world, do any of the other members of Useless ID still play in other bands or projects?

Corey still had Kids Insane and Mondo Gecko (while doing SPIT with Yotam)…
Me and Guy, We don't play other than Useless ID.

Useless ID is probably one of the best known Middle Eastern punk bands, but it seems like the scene is growing. Who should we check on the world wide punkweb?

It's always important to check out the best 2 Israeli punk bands, Not On Tour and Kids Insane.

Any last words you want to share

We will be back.



On the first gloomy day of this year’s Graspop Metal Meeting, we at RMP had the opportunity to have a chat with one of the founding fathers of the Norwegian black metal scene, Kjetil-Vidar Haraldstad, better known as Frost, drummer for Satyricon. We had a very interesting talk with him about the 20th anniversary of “Nemesis Divina”, the atmospheric qualities of their music and the notorious black monster drum kit. 

  • First of all, welcome to Belgium! This will be the third time you’ll perform at Graspop. Are you excited to play here again?

Yes, we are! This festival is becoming larger and larger year by year and it seems that our performances here look a little better by each time we play here as well. And we have a rather special occasion for being here this time because it’s “Nemesis Divina’s” 20th anniversary and this is the first of those shows that we do out in continental Europe so of course we’re excited about the reaction and how it’s going to feel to perform the entire album with the audience here. It’s something totally different for us and for our fans as well, I suppose. 

  • As you already said this year marks the 20th anniversary of “Nemesis Divina”. There’s been a reissue of the album and a lot of new merch. Are there any more plans to celebrate this milestone?

Well, we do these shows. We feel that that is a pretty big thing to do but most important for us is basically just put the album back into the focus so that’s why we are rereleasing it and we’re having this new edition that looks a little more timeless and classy, you know. We kind of wiped off some dust and made it shine just a little more but it’s still much like the original because the original is what it’s all about, you know. It’s about what it represents for the band and for our fans and what it symbolises. That really holds a particular value and significance.

  • Lots of fans claim that your first albums were mainly straightforward, blastbeat-driven music wise whereas your latest studio release, “Satyricon”, shows us a softer side. Was this a coincidence or was it really something you aimed for?

I find it very hard to relate to that kind of descriptions. When “Nemesis Divina” was released, it was formidably more powerful than its predecessors; it was way more intense and much more furious. And also, we really needed to increase our skills to master the material we made for the album so like energy wise and intensity wise that was really a step up the ladder, no doubt. I feel that the Satyricon of today has a much richer musical pallet which comes from the fact that we have evolved the material for so many years and the entire band is based on a genuine passion for music and the dedication to it. We really want to be present with whatever we do and to observe and to learn and to get better. As a natural result you will continually develop and you will seek new territory so that’s how it is to be creative, I guess. I find that there’s a much deeper and scarier darkness in the Satyricon of today than there was in Satyricon twenty years ago, let alone even beyond that. I think that we perhaps didn’t have the ability to express ourselves so profoundly; that we have really needed to work longer with music in order to get that capacity and ability. Also about the ‘softer’, I think that at least there are lighter parts and more low key parts and the band is much more dynamic which means that we do music that is less happening and not necessarily very dark or grim or hard or anything but on the other hand we may move to themes that are darker and scarier than anything we did in the early days. You know, there’s so much more contrast. The way I feel is that if you do lighter music as well – and I don’t think ‘light’ as in ‘commercial’ or anything like bands that have this old ratio between hard verses and very light choruses, we don’t do that sort of thing. But we do more mellow parts and sometimes we musically want to go a certain place in order to make the next part really explode in grimness and darkness or whatever. It’s all about expressing atmosphere and emotions which is what this whole musical genre is about. And we feel that if you are doing fast, intense, hard, raw music all the time, that that’s pretty much like driving your car at 200 km/h for a very long time and after a while it doesn’t really feel fast anymore but if you bring down the speed to 40 km/h and then bring it up to 160, then it suddenly feels very very fast. You know, that are the kind of things we’re after and to understand those mechanisms and to apply them in your own music; it’s more about that, it’s not about getting softer or anything. It is really about working with music and finding how to express what you have in you and also to make something that you’d like to hear yourself. That is the Satyricon project. 

  • Was this idea also the first step to perform with a live choir as in your album “Live At The Opera”? 

When we did that it was very much in line with the kind of projects that Satyricon likes to do. We felt that Satyricon could sound very grand and epic and majestic with a choir because we have those qualities in our music. We haven’t it perhaps with that emphasis. We realised in early 2012 when we were invited to perform a “To The Mountains” with the opera choir at this closed event and it sounded so amazing. We weren’t expecting it to be that great or that it would be such a powerful combination. So after that experience we decided that we should put up an entire show and it turned out the opera choir was very much into that idea as well so from there we really took that idea and made a reality out of it. It truly made us learn that it was indeed a very potent combination and something that was also very motivating and a strong experience. It was something that we have brought with us. If we’re going to do more of that kind of thing, I don’t know but we definitely learned something out of it and we found a quality in the music that became clearer to ourselves through that experience.

  • You also worked together with Sivert Høyem on the instant classic “Phoenix”. How did you end up collaborating with Sivert?

Well, he’s a very recognised artist in Norway. It just happened one night; Satyr was sitting in front of the television one late afternoon, just having a meal after rehearsal and watching Høyem perform on national television with his solo-project. Satyr realised that his songs sounded very Norwegian black metal-inspired; it’s pretty dark stuff as well, and while he was watching his songs, he thought that it was great stuff and his voice sounded fantastic with this kind of music. So was it that a proper black metal band would actually write a song for him, wouldn’t that be even greater? And Satyricon could be that band so we reached out to Sivert. He’s a really private man and it took some time until we got hold of him but eventually we got in touch with Sivert and he wanted to do such thing because he’s a fan of some of the older Norwegian black metal bands and Satyricon was one of them. As we found out that he was on board, we got to work and we wanted to just do a Satyricon song, in a classical Norwegian black metal way – that was how the song sounded before Sivert’s voice was there anyway and that gave some space for him to really shine. So eventually he started to come to rehearsals after we had laid down the foundation for the song and then we found out where to take it further and it ended up being a fantastic song, I think. You know, we also talk about a kind of potency here. I think there was a strong potency in the collaboration with Satyricon and the opera choir and the same was really the case with us working with Sivert and his very particular way of singing. It’s a different darkness but it’s still very dark. 

  • Satyricon always existed of you and Satyr. Why is that?

Experience has taught us that we need to be in control of the creative work in the band and then it’s very difficult to allow more members into it. Because if you’re a member of the band that means you have to be granted certain rights and for us that would mean giving away some control and perhaps letting others have an impact on how songs are written and other creative issues. We just can’t have it like that so we need this model with the core being Satyr and me and then extend the band like we do for example with the live band which are also really members of the live ensemble and not some random session musicians. So Satyr and I are in control of all the creative work and that model works for us.

  • As a drummer myself, I’m intrigued by the Pearl Super-Pro GLX also known as the ‘Black Monster’. Can you tell our readers a short version of its history and why it’s such an important drum kit in the world of Black Metal?

That old drum kit was originally Hellhamer’s (drummer for Mayhem, red.). He used it on their “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” for instance and it was also borrowed by many other bands for their recordings like Emperor, Darkthrone, I on some early Satyricon rehearsals because we were actually sharing a rehearsal place with Mayhem back in the day, Enslaved used it, and so on. I guess it was like the best drum kit in the extreme metal scene of Norway in that day; it was a very proper kit with huge dimensions and musically the kit also sounded very proper. It had the proper sound for a black metal band: it sounded very thunderous, and it was a high-quality kit so it sounded really great in the studio. As Hellhamer was changing to a different kit in ’93, I decided I really wanted to buy it. I didn’t have that much money but I scraped together what I had and bought it from him. While I had it, I used it on many many recordings since. I even used it on the latest Satyricon album! It’s very worn-out now but it still sounds great and there’s something musical about the tone and you still hear it’s really a fantastic kit. So it’s ready for retirement now but it has done more than its share of duty, I guess.

  • You’re also the drummer of 1349. In what way is it different to play with Satyricon or 1349? 

They are two different worlds; I operate in different ways in those bands. I’m perhaps doing more creative work in 1349. In Satyricon, I’m not really part of the song writing process because we have Satyr doing that so it feels very unnecessary really. But I guess it’s a different model of teamwork in 1349 and also 1349 is very much about full-blown intensity and the grinding teeth and constant volcanic eruptions. It’s really a musical chaos that I really like a lot. But that’s how that band is and I like to have that. Satyricon on the other hand has a very different approach to writing and performing music. We analyse and evaluate it all the time and we try to have a very high level of consciousness and try to challenge ourselves all the time to get a little better, go a little further and learn something new and that’s great. I started out as a musician that was self-taught and could hardly even play the drums, you know. I knew that that was the instrument for me but I spent many years even just learning the basics. So to have an arena for that, has proven very helpful and I also liked the music of the band a lot. I liked that challenge also – the musical challenge that is, and the evolution that takes place in the band. I really liked to be part of that so if you look away from just liking the music, I think the processes are ones that I really like. The 1349 process for what that is and Satyricon’s way of working for what that is.

  • One last question: will Sivert be joining you tomorrow?

We would love to but he has his own band and I think he’s working on an album. We actually brought him with us on the show we did last weekend in Sweden. He performed “Phoenix” with us then because it was possible. But we couldn’t bring him here because he was busy working on his own projects. We would love to have him there every day and we know he likes to perform with us so it’s not about that but it couldn’t be done unfortunately. 


Each metalhead that didn’t know Halestorm before, has to know them by now after their intense show at Graspop Metal Meeting! Our interviewers had the chance to have a playful chat with Lzzy, her brother Arejay and bass player Josh to talk about their rocketing career, their energetic shows and all the things they do for their fans. So grab a beer and enjoy!


  • Hi, we’re long-time fans of Halestorm and we we’re really excited to interview you guys!

Lizzy: That’s awesome! Thank you!

Josh: Yeah, good for you guys, awesome!

Arejay: Cool, dude!


  • First of all: welcome to Graspop! It was the first time you’ve played here and the show was really awesome! 

L: Thank you so much!

J: Thanks, man!


  • You played a couple of shows in Belgium over the years and now you’re here for the first time. How was it to play here at the Graspop festival?

L: Amazing!

A: A dream come true!

L: The crowd was great, and even though it’s wet and rainy, nobody flinched.

J: No one cared about the rain. And the festivals over here are just incredible. It’s so neat to see the size of them and also see all of our friends backstage and meet new people. It’s wonderful being in Belgium right now. 


  • Are there any bands you want to see that are also playing here today?

J: Cadaver!

A: Yeah, we’re going to see Cadaver! And I want to see Volbeat tonight; I hope they’re bringing some pyros that would be cool. 

J: We’re good friends with Rival Sons so hopefully we could watch them. And hopefully Black Sabbath as well. They’re on our bucket list. 

L: Yeah, that would be cool!


  • The last time we saw you next to today was at Pukkelpop last year. You hadn’t that much audience at that moment because The Offspring was playing at the same time, but you still gave it all and put out a great show! What’s the most fun to play for: a big audience or a small audience?

L: We like it all! We don’t discriminate. 

J: We just like to play music. 

A: There are different levels of energy: like with the small, intimate crowds where we’re very close and – 

L: – we’re we can sweat all over everyone.

A: Yeah! [Laughs]. You can like reach out and high five people. But playing in front of a massive crowd like this is just so much fun too. You can just get them all chanting, especially in Europe, like they really love to participate and they love to chant and clap and jump. They’re really really interactive. 


  • You always have a very powerful and energetic live show and you can see as a fan that you guys really enjoy performing. How do you keep that energy up each and every time you enter the stage?

L: Because we love it! You kind of just go on stage and you’re on this high the whole time that you’re on tour. We love each other and we hang out and we laugh a lot with each other. Our crew’s amazing so… I don’t know; I think when you’re having fun –

J: – There’s just such a positive energy all the time.

L: Yeah, you’re just flowing on that level!

J: And we feed off the crowd. If they’re getting excited – well, if I’m watching that I usually make a mistake [laughs] and I’m like “Woops! Well, at least I’m having fun!”. 

A: It’s a trip playing for so many people.


  • After Graspop you’re going to tour the US, are you excited for this? 

J: Very much. When we first started touring nationally in the US, it was with Shinedown. And for two or three years of just touring, we usually toured with Shinedown. But we haven’t in some time, actually in years! In mean, we did a small tour in the UK with them. So it will be like a big family reunion to tour with them again and –

A: – and with Black Stone Cherry!  

J: Yeah, indeed. So we’re really excited to have a big US Summer tour. I mean, I think we could do this every day but –

A: – Whiskey Myers will be opening too! There really awesome too. They’re going to be opening for the Carnival tour. 

J: So we’re really looking forward to that US Summer tour. 


  • You recently released your new album “Into The Wild Life”. While recording, you played together at the studio to capture that spontaneous feel, you have at live shows. How was it to record an album this way?

L: It was difficult actually. It was lot harder than putting everything together separately and fitting it together. That was easy! This was much harder because when you’re playing: if one of you screws up, the entire band has to do the whole song all over again so we just kept dogging each other like “What the fuck man, why did you do that?!” It was great!

J: It was very rewarding though once we did get the take and we all knew that that was the one. Sometimes it only took a few takes and sometimes –

L: – it took like twenty! [laughs]

J: It was like “Maybe we should come back tomorrow and try again!” But the whole experience was so rewarding. I think it was something that we wanted to prove to ourselves. We pride ourselves on being a good live band and then we thought “Why not be a good studio band?” [laughs]. 


  • For “record store day” you brought out a limited edition vinyl with four live songs from the album “Into The Wild Life”. Why did you choose those four songs?

L: We chose those four songs because they’re songs that aren’t normally chosen for those special things. Everybody always wants the single, everybody wants full rockers… so we did a lot of unique things on that tour. We did a whole tour that was just us; there was no opening band or nothing so we played for like three hours and did everything. So we really wanted to gift our fans with something a little unique.


  • Do you guys have some sort of pre-show ritual?

J: We do! And if we don’t do it, we know why we didn’t have the best show [laughs]. But usually one hour before show, it’s time to start warming up and get everything ready. But it’s also time to write out the set list; we change the set list every day, every show is different and so we all need to just get together and talk like “Hey, let’s do this,” and “Let’s try that” and just all get thinking the same way. Because we have had shows where we don’t do that, where we were like “Yeah, just go out and have fun!” and afterwards we’re just like “What the fuck just happened?”. So that’s really our ritual: just to start creating that communication, that musical language and having those talks one hour before we go on stage to get us all centered and together. 

L: And then we also have our ‘good luck handshake’! Arejay’s looking at me now like “I don’t want to do that with you now; it’s not show time!” [laughs].

A: Yeah, sis, no! [laughs] Anyway, for me, I always try to focus like doing some cardio before I hit the stage. Not just my hands or wrists warmed up but I want to get my whole body warmed up and just get liberatingly loose before we hit the stage.

L: I always do the complete opposite actually. No exercises the entire tour! 

J: We start drinking an hour before! [laughs]


  • Arejay, you started to play the drums at the age of three. So you’ve been playing drums for almost whole your life. Have you always made music with your sister? 

A: Yeah, I was ten years old when we started the band –

L: – Who else were you going to play with? [laughs]

A: It was originally me, my sister and our dad who was playing bass at the time until it got uncool to play in a band with your dad.

L: Sorry dad!

A: Yeah, so got Josh because he’s way cooler! 

J: Oh, lucky me!

L: Yeah, you’re actually cooler than our dad!

J: Well, you know for a bass player that’s pretty good! [laughs]

A: Yeah, for me it felt like the best way to express my voice was through drums, you know. I was stoked to start a band and have a kind of a family band and it is kind of that way ‘til this day. Even Josh and Joe, our guitar player, who is sick right now, that’s why he’s not here, and our crew; it’s just all a big travelling family, you know. So I think that ‘family vibes’ sums up the entire band, you know.


  • Arejay, you have the big trick with the big drumsticks. Are those sticks custom made? Or how did you come up with this idea?

A: No! Those we’re just big novelty drumsticks. You can get them… probably at any music store or whatever. 

L: They’re meant to be hung on the wall.

A: Yeah… well, I got a pair as a gift once from a buddy of mine and he was like “Here are some big sticks! You can put them on your wall!” and I was like “No, I’m going to see if I can actually play drums with them!”. So I did it at a show and the crowd was like “Oh my God, how did you do that?” and I was like “It’s not hard, I’m just hitting drums with big sticks!” 

L: We’re going to get him really tiny sticks next! 

A: It’s kind of become a staple of our live shows now, like “Wow, that drummer was playing with baseball bats or whatever!”. 

J: Or we could give him a really big drum kit. And really tiny sticks.

A: Or a really tiny drum kit and really big sticks!

L: That would be fun!

A: Yeah, it’s fun. It’s kind of helps me getting rid of some aggression so I don’t take it out on them [laughs].


  • Josh, as mentioned previously: you replaced Roger Hale as the bass player. 

A: The great Roger Hale [laughs]!


  • How was it to replace the father of two of your bandmates?

L: It was such a relief [laughs]!

J: He gave me a very stern talk [laughs]. No, no, I knew their band a year or two before I joined so we had become acquaintances. Before that, when they asked me, I was very excited and it was easy for me, I mean, it was like it had always been family, as it still is. So it was a very easy transition or whatever. I picked up, we started playing; for me, I came from a more jazzy background but also from more singer songwriter stuff, not very rock ‘n’ roll so they had to teach me the ways of metal [laughs]! 

A: It’s really cool, like the drum and the bass, like the rhythm section has to really lock in together. I had a great chemistry playing with my dad because we are related, you know, when Josh came and play with us, it was just an instant click. He just chilled right in there. 

J: I’m just the bass player.

A: Yeah, Joe on the other hand [laughs]!

J: He’s not here because –

L: – we poisoned his food [laughs]! 

A: Yeah, he did a bad show, he’s on time-out [laughs]!


  • Lzzy, you also released a clothing line. Can you tell us more about that?

L: Sure! It’s something I do occasionally. I’ve actually been focussing most of my creativeness on music right now so I actually haven’t been doing that for a couple of months. But it’s just something fun. I think I do it kind of selfishly because I want to create clothes that I like so that I could just have them and then yeah, I just want to share that with other people obviously. I like doing clothes and a create a lot of my own jewellery because it’s cheaper to do that than to pay 300 dollars for something that you could just make. But it’s also a kind of therapy for me because it keeps my hands busy and I stay out of a little bit of trouble by focussing on that [laughs]. 

  • Thank you very much for the interview. Do you have any last words for our readers?

L: Thank you so much for listening to our music and thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us. That’s what it’s all about, we all do this together.

A: And thanks for keep rock, metal and punk alive!


Belvedere have been paving the way for Canadian skatepunk for over two decades. In the middle of the 2000's they even called it quits and disbanded. Luckily for their legion of fans the band has risen from its ashes again and has returned with a killer new album Revenge Of The Fifth. With a new drummer amongst the ranks we found Jason from Belvedere backstage at Jera On Air festival and had a nice chat about the new album and their upcoming tours.

Congratulations with the new album, The Revenge Of The Fifth, it was released on May 5th.

How has the response been?

Actually really positive. We hadn't done an album in thirteen years or some ridicilous amount. When i started writing some songs for it and Steve started writing songs we didn't what it was going to turn in to. We really collaborated on this album more instead of each person writing their own song. It served the band better. We've been pretty stoked.

It's the first album in 12 years, Belvedere has been reunited since 2011 so 6 years break and 5 years in the make?

Some of the songs, like i had the music for Hairline written back when the band broke up in 2005. It's was pretty much the same as now. Kind of when the band got back together. We didn't start thinking about an album untill Casey joined the band. Casey has a recording studio and he was really pushing us to record. You know we've got some stuff here. So we got a studio we could record at. We probably could have done it in half the time we did it but we didn't want to go rushing into the studio.

For this release you worked with Bird Attack Records doing the US release and Funtime Records an Effervescence in Europe. How did you get together with those particular labels?

Bird Attack is sort of blowing up in North America right now. Our favorite bands like The Decline, Counterpunch, Darko, Adrenalized, Mute, friends from Canada. All saying beautifull things about this label. Like these guys are great. Garreth is awesome to work with. We met Garreth a few times over the years. When it camedown to we've talked to bunch of bigger labels in the States and it was just the same old politics and bullshit it was when we were younger. We were kind of looking at each other, do we really play this game again. Kind of trying to be in with the cool kids. Where Garreth is a really passionate person, a very focused and driven guy that really gets what all his bands are trying to do and understands them. And cares about them, what you don't find a lot in labels these days. He had a really good distro, so we said yes, let's do it. It just made sense.

You've also played the Funtime fest yesterday.

Funtime fest, it was great. We've played with Homer and a lot of Funtime bands many years, almost every year we toured. I love playing in Belgium.

You've played a four show mini European tour this week, Jera On Air today is the closing night. What may we expect?

It's the last day, it's party time. We're going to put up a show and check out some bands as we can, get in the crowd, talk to people.

You all have jobs and families at home, so Belvedere has become a one off band that must fit in your schedule of life?

Yeah, I don't have kids, Casey has kids. Steve has an eight month year old baby, Scott has two girls who are like four and six now. We've all got full time jobs, It's hard to get away as much as we would like to. We can go two or three weeks, that's the longest we can get out. When we do these tours it has to be in little chunks. We're still going to do three or four months of touring a year but it's going to be a week or two week tour, not like one month at a time like we used to do.

I've noticed a lot bands that started playing again on a more independent base, out of passion for the music, seen to be more content now with the way they operate than when they were a full time band. How do you feel about this new approach?

It's ten thousand times easier. Like i said. We're not invested into the ratrace of the politics of being in bands. The one thing i hated. Last night we talked to kids about Warped tour, we used to do it all the time , you do it year after year after year. It's like you're being a kid again in High school you walk into the cafetaria at Warped tour, you've got your lunch from catering and it's like who am i cool enought to sit with. It's like all these big bands. The rudest band you're going to run into are like the crew people that are not in the bands. But they are alway the ones that got that attitude. There's this urgency, like play sort of the game. We can't say anything bad even if their cocksuckers and fucking dickheads. Maybe there will be a tour with them, maybe they know somebody. We always try to make connections. And we fucking hated it. It's not why i joined a band. We all started playing in punk and hardcore bands when we were kids because we didn't want to do that shit. We wanted to put our own tours, do it ourselves. When every transitioned in the late '90's, when this music sort of got popular. Major labels started taking over the music. I miss talking to people, i miss the camaraderie. We don't give a fuck about that bullshit.

I think that's mostly American festivals that are like that.

European festivals are completely different than American festivals. American festivals will be like, here's a parking lot, concrete, here's some skateboard ramps and tons of merch, there's beer and water and overthing is overpriced. I find in Europe at least there's an intergration with the villages, the land, the community. There's a camaraderie you still feel. I remember the first time we played Groezrock back in 2004. You have the people passed out drunk in the field. They're safe, nobody's fucking with them, nobody's robbing them. Nobody's fucking with the girls. Maybe in Canada, but not in the States.

One of the songs that struck me most was Generation Debt, an open letter to your kids about how we screwed the world. Is it ever going to change?

That one, i wrote the music for that one and Steve, that was another one that he gave the song and run with it. He wrote it lyrically to his child. It's a letter to his kid. He did an amazing job on that song. Vocally and the passiong that comes through. It's funny when people review that song, they love it or they hate. There's no in between.

Any last words?

The new album just came out. We'll see how that one goes. There hasn't been planned to release anything else. We've been talking about it but not for now; And later on the year we'll be touring Europe again, spring time Japan and Canada too.