Wednesday, 23 May 2012

ERIC DANIELS/ GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT INTERVIEW - EX ASPHYX/SOULBURN AXEMAN RETURNS WITH NEW DOOM/DEATH BAND!


Ex Asphyx guitarist Eric Daniels is back with a new band and he has
teamed up with his old Asphyx bandmates Martin Van Drunen and Bob
Bagchus along with the newest Asphyx member Alwin Zuur and also Hail
Of Bullets bassist Theo Van Eekelen -  to create some "brutal real
doom death metal". Watch out for the debut album later this year on

Century Media. Eric answered my questions and made this one of the most enjoyable interview I have worked on to date, he is clearly a very passionate, down to earth and humble guy and a pleasure to interview.

You have been involved in the extreme music scene for many years now, but at what age did you first become interested in heavy music and when did you first start learning to play an instrument, was guitar always your first choice of instrument that you wanted to play? What musicians inspired you to pick up a guitar and start learning how to play it, are you self taught or did you go for lessons? 

I started listening to metal-music when I was 13 years old. I really like the sound of heavy guitars and pounding drums, the rhythm and the intense atmosphere a good album can give. When I was 14 years old I started to play electric guitar (30 years ago), I did not have any lessons, cause the lessons were given did not interest me very much. I learned to play the guitar myself, every day playing that thing on my room at my parents place. I earned my first guitar during school-years with a paper route together with my brother. At first I wanted to play the bass-guitar after seeing live-shows from the dutch heavy-metal band “Picture”. That bass-sound was very heavy live, but  I started to play the guitar when I heared the song “black out” from the scorpions. I liked the rhtym guitars on that album so much, it was boiling inside me to play the guitar. Also I tried to play songs from the early Saxon an Judas Priest albums. Quite hard to learn the riffs especialy when I had no lessons how to grab the chords, but never gave up. In a time it became to soft for me, I wanted to play more brutal stuff, keep the emotion in it, a backdoor for my feelings. When Venom’s “Welcome to Hell”was released, I was sold, knocked out, THAT was the style I wanted to play. Technical stuff I liked to listen to, but not to play. Later on I played the early Metallica albums, SOD and Anthrax, simply that was tight playing style I realy liked. Not very technical riffing, but very efficient, and with feeling played. Of course it wasn’t brutal enough. I kept the tight playing, combined with my guitarsound, and that’s up till today my riffing and style. 


At what age did you decide to yourself that you wanted to be part of a band yourself? Were you involved with any bands at school or before you got involved with Asphyx?


Well, I did not planned to be ready for playing in a band. Of course it was the idea to be part of a band, but in the beginning I just wanted to handle the guitar and play the chords right. After a while I was 16 years old I played with friends in a couple of bands in the area I lived. It was not always serious, but it was nice to experience how it felt to be part of a band. Try to play tight and with 2 guitar-players . I also did some auditions at other bands in those days, but they didn’t find me good enough or the style of my playing didn’t like them, well that were dissapointments to deal with, but I always trusted and new I would find the band in which I fit in fine. I did in 1989 when I joined Bob and Tonny in ASPHYX. I lived in the south of The Netherlands and drove every weekend about 450 km to rehearse with ASPHYX in the east side. I didn’t care about the distance, it all matters to me to play in a band which felt good. Just before we recorded the “Crush The Cenotaph” demo in 1989 I was moving and start a life in the east of The Netherlands. Bob and I spended all our time together, we were close friends and still are. We shaped and give a face to ASPHYX, and I am still proud on this day to have been part of it.



Please tell us about the initial formation of Asphyx, who formed the band, was it just a case of a few friends with the same music tastes getting together and starting to play covers or did you set about writing your own material straight away? Did you have a clear vision of how you wanted Asphyx to sound even before you recorded the debut demo? What bands/influences shaped and fuelled the sound of Asphyx in the beginning? 

Asphyx was founded in 1987 by Bob Bagchus(who came up with the name) and guitarist Tonny Brookhuis.They were good friends and lived 4 blocks from eachother. They started to play covers such as Death-Infernal Death,Mayhem-Necrolust,Celtic Frost-Nocturnal Fear. After doing those things they started to write own songs. Bob always had a clear vision of how Asphyx should sound like and in which direction the band had to go. Straight forward doom/death metal. Asphyx learned from each recording and was slowly getting their own sound and style. The influences of the band were/are: Venom, Hellhammer/Frost, Messiah, Slaughter, old Death, old Necrophagia.


Please tell us about the local surroundings were you grew up and where the band was formed, was there much of a metal scene back then, any other bands who were thinking along the same lines as yourselves/ Was it hard to find places to rehearse and record back then in the early days before you got the record deal?. 


As I mentioned before I was born and raised in the south of The Netherlands. At age of 23 I moved to the east cause of ASPHYX. It was getting serious, and I didn’t want to spent time to travel so much. It was more easy and comfortable to live in the same area as the other guys. There was not a big death metal scene at that time. It was the period of 89-90 when Death Metal became known. ASPHYX was part of that very beginning. Only some thrash-metal bands were active cause that was the hype and trend but it was slowly fading away and Death Metal became more popular. I remember the first shows we did. People couldn’t give the vocal-style a place, looking awkward but liked the music more and more. It was just a matter of time when it became more popular. So sure we didn’t have any other bands who played the same as we did in the area. For us it was not diffucult to find a rehearsal-room. We always rehearsed at Harrow-productions which had 2 rehearsal-rooms. Harry also started to record overthere and begin his studio. Funny thing to mention was, if he was recording a band, we couldn’t rehearse cause we played so fuckin loud it was hearable at his recordings! Harry was a big important help at the beginning of ASPHYX, and he still is helping. It was natural to record at his place cause we know each other very well, and he knew how we like to record. He was becoming a sort of friend besides us. I still have good memories at those early days, and I have to get him personal credit cause he was the first engineer who handled my brutal saw-sound and managed to get it on tape.


A few demos were recorded before the band got a deal with Century Media, what was the feeling like when CM first got in touch and wanted to sign you? Were they the first serious label that took an interest in signing the band? As everyone knows, you were involved in playing on the first 4 Asphyx albums, out of all of those albums which albums are your fave and for what reasons? What particular songs that you wrote back then stand out to you? You wrote so many classic death metal hymns in my opinion but I guess you have your personal faves!?  

We (Bob and I) were very pleased and excited that Century Media was interested in our music. Bob and I sat together at his attic-room and we both together made a letter to write to some recordlabels. We wrote to Noise records, Roadrunner, and of course Century Media, cause we saw an add from an band in a metal-magazine, it was very neat, so we said well we write to them too. What we didn’t know was that Robert (big chief Century Media Records) already had our demo in his office. That was really cool to hear. We also could get a recorddeal with Peaceville records. My fave albums till this day are “The Rack” and “Last One on Earth”. However I have still good feelings about our very first album we recorded and was released years later “Embrace The Death”. It has an dark atmosphere I really like about it. But on the other hand it wasn’t brutal enough as we wanted to be. We made that right with the 2nd and 3th album. My 4 fave songs are: “Vermin” (it gives so much agression wich I always had to be freed inside my body, I like the brutality of this one), “The Rack” (cause it reflects the playing style doom/death with a great feeling), “Food For The Ignorant” (cause my opinion is that this one sounds and the riffing is like how doom/death has to be), “Last One On earth” (the most sad song I have ever played). Of course I have many more faves but those 4 songs always gave me the right feeling to play the death metal for 100%.




You did some touring back in those early days with the likes of Entombed, what are some fond memories of being out on the road? Any particular shows that stick in your memory from early days/tours? 

Yes, we did 2 tours in Europe. The first one was a mini-tour with Entombed in 1991, started in Hamburg. At that show “The Rack” was officialy released and we got a retail vinyl version backstage I remember that for sure. I had very good memories about that tour, every evening sold out. Bob, Martin and I had a good time spending together with the guys from Entombed, travel together in a nice night-liner from city to city. I liked touring, playing every evening the brutal death metal. The surroundings, meeting lots of people, and having a good time together. The second one we did was in 1992 with Bolt thrower and Benediction. Very succesful tour, and learned a lot during that one. Touring is hard, not for everyone, long time from home, and sometimes to deal with unexpected matters, being creative is the best thing to do at that moment. I am still proud to be part of that package, we played through Europe and give death metal hell to the audience every evening. I can’t point at a particular show to be the best, all shows we did at those tours were awesome. During touring the boys got seperated from the men, and we leaned a lot. Martin already had his experiences with Pestilence, as friends do together feeling comfortable to switch those experiences. Looking back at this period, it was important for Asphyx, and important for us as persons. Looking back at the spare pictures which were taken at this tours, the feeling comes back, sort of time-travel in the past.


What was the secret behind THAT guitar sound of yours which became so easily identifiable with the classic Asphyx sound?! 

Well, it isn’t decent to myself to go into detail how I build my guitar-sound. I just can say that my sound is in the effects. I am not guitars and amps – branded. I tweaked the sound for hours and days to get it for my personal feeling. Nowadays it’s easy with digital stuff. I use a 19” rack in which my effects are cabled and stored, and with a pedal-board I can switch between the effects. I managed to store my settings trough an USB output and as a back up on an USB-stick. So it’s nowadays more easy than 20 years ago. Funny to say that my guitar-sound is on a few inches called a USB-stick, but it is handy to do so. Also the type and brand of picks and guitarstrings are important to give that clearity and crunch.  Also the style of playing , not to treat the strings as your lovely house-pet but just be angry at those 6 steel barbed-wire things. Aggressive but tight playing is my thing. The guitars I use now-adays are B.C. Rich, DBZ, and Jackson. All Flying V’s cause to me that’s the shape of guitar for Metal !.  I like the varity of brands cause they all have a different necks which I like, and the mood I am to pick the guitar with that kind of neck when I am playing or composing riffs. All my guitars are neck-through or set-in. It gives more sustain and that I use for the doom-solo’s. All equipped with EMG active pick-ups cause I like the steady sound of it. For the aggressive trem-solo’s I use Floyd Rose original trems. So to give a bit of a secret, as it was back  then in ASPHYX and now for GSBC, my sound is in the effects, I can use cheap guitars and amps or expensive ones, I always can manage to get my sound from any guitar and amp. I don’t like to spend a lot of time in studio or at home or on stage to adjust the sound. The last recordings I did for GSBC it only took about 5 minutes to get the sound for the recordings. I also have contact with Marc Anthony H Bertone from IKON Customs USA, he wants to build a hand-made “horror” Flying V for me, I saw his work and guitars it looks awesome. Looking forward to the final result.

You left the band in the mid 1990's, but it wasn't long before you came back onto the scene with Soulburn who played a very raw style of evil doom/death and unleashed the album "Feeding On Angels" upon an unsuspecting metal scene, please the tell the readers about this band and album, how did that band initially come to life and what are your thoughts on that looking back now? Why did the band only release one album then disappear?.

 No, I did not left the band, after the “ASPHYX” self-titled album, things went not smooth anymore. I was the only member from the early line-up. It felt more and more bad, not to make music with Bob and Martin. I didn’t want to quit after Bob left, and asked him if it was ok for him I went on and started to compose for the asphyx-album. It was fine with him, but at the end it felt not so good anymore. That’s why I did not want to continue, but I never officialy left the band. Bob continued later on for the God Cries album together with Theo. After that album things became quite and it has to be seen as a sort of resting-period. Death Metal was down hardly any good albums came out and many bands quit. But Bob and I stayed in contact and after 4 years I called him, and asked Bob if he likes to write music again with me. We did, no pressure of making an album under the Asphyx moniker. We wanted to do a sort of home-project. We experienced that in the past making the songs for “The Last One On Earth” album it felt good and nice to compose and arrange music together. We started with that feeling making songs for SOULBURN. We choose that name cause if felt more relaxt of composing riffs and arrangements. It went out very fine. We wanted to make a more Black/Death album, but our style we invented like from mid-tempo’s into the doom-parts, it came back in Soulburn also. It’s the way we like and feel. Also for GSBC there are parts of this. It’s our brand we are good at, and why not play it even as we sort of invented this syle of playing. So, the whole feeling was back, we enjoyed it very much, and listen back to the soulburn-album the songs are crushing and with the right atmosphere. So to stick with only one album was pure the fact that it was a project-based album, not have in mind to continue with more albums, but the whole idea felt good, we enjoyed playing together, being busy again with music, we decided to go back to ASPHYX for the next release.



That album came out in a time when old school raw death metal was not considered "cool" or "trendy" to listen to and most of the bigger labels were signing other types of music and following the musical trends of that time, but Asphyx and your bandmates in Soulburn were following your own musical paths and directions without any care of what was being hyped, was it frustrating to see these trends coming and going within the music scene and true old school style death metal getting ignored in comparison?

 To say, I never felt frustrated about that, cause it is natural what happens with styles and trends. Of course record-companies have their own vision and need to excist so they sign what is popular or become popular. To me personalyy I don’t give a damn what is popular or not. Doom/death is inside me, gives me the happiness I want, and popular or not, if I connect my guitar at home, just wanted to play, I play the things I like. I never and never compose a riff in the way if it fits with current styles or trends. I stick with what I think is good. To me is playing music a feeling. My guitar is an extension of my feelings. What expressions I can’t say or tell, I can express through my guitar. The fact is that it is brutal metal, I simply can’t play or will play another kind of metal. It’s in the heart and soul you know. Maybe difficult to explain, but I tried in this writing. Of course it felt bad and no good if the attention of your music is fading away. But I always say, If I had to play for 4 people audience or 10.000, I always give 100% and to me it matters that our fans having a good time.


The old school style of death metal seems to have became more popular again in recent years compared to how popular it was back in the late 1990's/early 00's, what are your thoughts on the current death metal scene, have you heard any newer bands that have came out that you feel are following in the old school tradition the right way and which stand out to your ears which you would like to recommend/mention?. Asphyx are often cited by newer death metal bands as an influence, I guess that must make you very proud! How do you feel when you read someone mentioning your musical work as a big inspiration/influence? 

Sure I am very possitive about the fact that death metal became more popular again. Only with the right spirit and believe. However I still hear too many bands they think playing the “real” (term I prefer above “oldschool”) death metal, but there is no soul and believe in it. A band has to be a collective, not excists of musicians who will show how good they think they are. The real doom death has nothing to do to put as many technical riffs in a minute or blasting drums. The riffs are gone in one ear and leave direct to the other ear. It’s boring and makes you tired listening to it. I am not point my finger at bands, or think I know best, but we all know there are bands formed cause it’s trendy again or they first played anothers style of music and switch to what’s popular nowadays. Mostly I stick with the quality of bands already known, I sure pick up some new bands, but on the moment to me there are just a few. Also in the process of our upcomming album GSBC, I don’t want to listen too many bands cause I want to have a fresh and clear perspective for the album. I see lot’s of clips on the social networks comming by, only the good ones I remember. My fave is Coffins, I like this band very much, that bulldozer sound comfort my ears. The new ASPHYX album I like very much, and makes me proud to hear the spirit is still there. My respects for this piece of work !. Comming  back at the term “oldschool”, it sounds odd to me, it’s just a label hanging at music from the late 80’s begin 90’s, but my believe is that 20 years ago we sort of created the doom/death, and it’s the style of playing we did and do, I have never left this track, so to me I prefer the term “Real” doom/death more. Of course it makes me and I can speak for the other guys as well, proud that ASPHYX is an influence for newer bands. We are fans too from the older brutal bands like Venom and Possessed, every musician has his influences, and we don’t have to fool ourselves by thinking we are so god damn original. It’s the way of perform it, give it shape, and most important, keep it raw. I cant’t understand to spent lots of time at studio or mixing, if the sound is ok, leave it that way. Shaping and shaping only makes it weaker and weaker, it’s not the kind of music to do so. Basically said, playing death metal is a feeling, skills are not that important. Put the soul in it and it will be ok. 


What has kept a veteran such as youself so passionate about death metal music after so many years and still having that urge and fire to create and write your own music? What advice would you give you younger musicians who are jut starting out in bands/recording their first demos/material?

 Well, as my friends said to me, you collected all those years you were not active as an musician, the riffs and music deeply inside yourself. I am writing music for 2 years already and those hidden inspiration was seeing the daylight when I picked up the guitar again. It was Bob actually who gave me the inspiration and urge to step in again, however we did not planned and spoke about this. It was just a feeling I had to pick up that guitar again, just to see for myself how it will turn out. From two years now I play my guitars every day about one hour. I found out I missed it soo much, be creative and composing again. It gives me a sort of happiness inside, a well-done feeling, no matter if I play only for myself. Lots of things happened at the personal side in those 10 years. Now it feels good to make music again, and most important to have my best friends to make the music which is so true. Well, the best advice I can give towards the younger generation is the same we experienced years ago. Never make compromises about your music and point of view. Just stick with the kind of music you want to play.


from the early 2000's onwards you kind of went off the "death metal radar" what were you doing in the quiet years, were you still playing guitar a lot at home? Or were you focusing on other things in your life instead of music? 

Yes I was focusing on other things. Best to see it as a long time rest I needed, after some crazy musical years. Indeed after the “On the wings…” album we did some shows and I needed to focus on other things. I got a job and climb into it till today. It took me some years to reach the job I wanted to do and succeeded in that. I also had a family life, but 4 years ago it went out not so good. I don’t want to go into detail, it’s too personal, but my best friends know and want to keep it this way. Most important is that I needed those years to be a musician again till today. I almost never touched my guitar in those 9 years, and looking back it’s good I did not. All inspiration I kept inside now I used for the upcomming album. A fresh start and in another time. I never thought it would happen again, I also told the other guys, but that’s the most beautiful things in life.


When Asphyx reformed, why did you not join in with the rest your old bandmates? Have you ever thought to yourself since "hmmm..I actually wish I had of joined the reformation now!"? Or have you been happy to just stay on the "sidelines". I must say I think Paul has done a GREAT job in replacing you and emulating your way of playing and the classic Asphyx guitar sound. I know you have travelled with the band to various festivals, and even got onstage with them on played some old songs with them, how does that feel getting back onstage with the band again after so many years? Have you contributed any musical ideas or riffs to the new Asphyx material or do you just maybes give some "advice" and words of (ancient) wisdom?!.

 Well, I was not ready to reformed with the other guys. A lot of things were still happening, and could not focus on music, that’s why I thanked for the inventation to reform again. Afterwards its always easy to reconsider, but at that time I took a decision. I am just happy at the “sidelines”. Asphyx is a oiled machine and I say never change a winning team. Things went this way. I am proud of what the boys do and respect their hard work. That’s why standing at the side-line is fine to me, it matters that the band continuous and perform the true doom/death metal. Sometimes the collective is more important than personal feelings. But I also say, in music nothing is for sure, I am not closing doors, future will decide, on the moment I focus at GSBC, it’s the real music I want to play and makes me happy to work again as an guitar-player, composing, and be part of a band. Paul is doing a great job, I respect him to be my replacement, and as I said before, it all sounds really good and oke, that’s the whole idea. Indeed I travel with them to festivals or club-shows. We are friends and as friends do helping each other out, when I travel along with them, giving a help when needed, no big deal to me. Having a good time and talk I really like. To me it’s the best companionship to be together. Of course digging up old stories together, we spended a lot of time together in the past. Ok in the beginning standing at the side of the stage, it is boilling to pick up that guitar and playing, I think there are not much people who can coop or do the same I do, but the whole feeling is to respect and be proud it continous makes the feeling easier. Asphyx was 11 years part of my life from the morning till I went to bed. I lived for it, and that can’t be erased. I had a great time to play as a special-guest at CM Yardsale in Dortmund 2010. It felt really good after 10 years not on stage. The boys did a great job to let me feel comfortable, and I played the whole show. It tasted good, that good that I will play shows with GSBC later. I made that decision for myself. Playing live I like the most. I did not been involved with the new material, thats up to the current line up. They are good musicians, no need to interfear I will say. Although 3 members are in GSBC, it went out to be 2 very different bands.


When some bands reform they can do a severe injustice to their past musical legacy but I think the Asphyx reformation is a good example of how to reform a band and do it the right way and record new material with integrity! The newer material I think does justice to the classic early- mid 90's material and they stand shoulder to shoulder perfectly with each other. What do you think is the key behind the success of the Ashpyx reformation? What is your personal opinion on the newer material when comparing it to say "The Rack" or "Last One On Earth" for example? 

Sure it is !! The key behind all of this sounds to me it is always true doom/death, heavy, raw, and in your face. No other direction musically, and that deserves respect. Very true to the roots. Unlike other bands leaving their path, or try something different. My personal opion about the new stuff is for sure the much better productions compared in the old days. It sound more mature to me and more complete. I also notice a very big progress in playing, not to say it wasn’t in the early releases but it sounds evolved. On the other hand it fit’s in right in the line of releases. Shortly said, I like it very much, I liked to play the songs from the Death The Brutal Way album…killer riffs and drums pounding like hell. I just listen to it and liked it right away also the new deathhammer album is a killer one. My respects and I am proud the story continues. Keep in mind that the first 2 albums were in a different time-age recorded, the roots of death metal. Those roots I hear back in the new material. If I had some critism I will say it also, but I don’t have at all, so that’s my opinion.


You have decided to become more active again in recent times with a new band called GRAND SUPREME BLOODCOURT which also features some Asphyx members, when did the initial idea for this band come about? How did you go about deciding who you wanted to be involved? I know you have been busy working on your debut album for Century Media, please tell the readers what they can expect from this new band and the first album? I guess with having so many members of Asphyx involved people will automatically draw comparisons between both bands, will that bother you? What do you think sets GSB apart from Asphyx?

 Yess, after some time I started to play again and got the right feeling back with my guitars, tweaked my equipment, bought some nice new stuff and I wrote some riffs, recorded them at my personal tiny virtual studio, and collected numerous riffs. The most of those riffs I sended to the other guys to let them hear what I was doing. They loved it and were thrilled I was back to play music. The idea was to start a project with asphyx members and Theo (HoB) on bass. The project was called “The Company Of Undertakers”, however it never came from ground decent. Bob, Martin and I already wrote, and arranged 2 songs. Those two songs were lift to our new band “Grand Supreme Blood Court”. The idea was to record a mini-album, but in the process inspiration was flowing we decided to go for a full-length. Right now we almost finished the album. Only the vocals has to be recorded by Martin. 10 tracks we did. Concerning the label, it is not definite where we gonna sign. It will be announced which label it’s gonna be. I can’t say anything more about this. It’s in progress. However, the fact that there are asphyx-members playing in this band, I can say people don’t have to expect the asphyx-concept for 100%. It are 2 different bands. GSBC is more basic, raw, downtuned in B, heavy doom/death metal. Of course we have our brands how we play and that will be noticeable, but the whole idea is to separate those 2 bands. It won’t bother me, cause I know the music and production is different. It’s difficult to explain, better is to hear the album when it’s gonna be released. The music will speak for itselves. To me it sounds all fresh, with no pressure to make this album. 




How many songs have you written for this album? Do you have an album title yet? Release date? What made you decide to sign with CM for this band? Were they the first label who took an interest? 

10 tracks are written. We only have work-titles yet. Martin does the lyrics and wrote the concept for the album. The definate album-title as well as the songtitles are in progress. About the release date I can’t say for sure cause we first have to sign a definite contract. But the album sure will be released this year. There were several record-labels interested. On which one we eventually will sign will be announced as soon we have decided and contracts are signed.


Please tell us about the origins of the band name? what was your inspiration for naming the band that? 

It was Martin’s idea and inspiration for the band name. It has a combination between the Grand Jury and the Supreme Court. The whole album will be a concept album telling the sory about the Blood Court, which really exists in history. It reflects perfect the style of music with this concept. Brutal, heavy and to the bone doom/death as we say it. The logo of the band is awesome as well, no modern logo but just a logo fits for death metal.


Do you plan to play /tour in support of the debut album, any shows already confirmed or in the pipeline? 

Well, sure we want to play shows, but first the album has to be finished and of course released. We work in structure, first things first. We already got inventations to play shows, but nothing confirmed for real at this moment. Planning is to do a couple of shows this year, but I looking too far ahead in this one. Our focus is the album right now.


When will people be able to hear some tasters of the music? You describe the music as being "Real Doom/Death Metal". what are some of the influences that fuel and shape this new band of yours? What made you decide to get active again and form a new band? Had it been in boiling in your brain for a little while? What do you hope to achieve with this new band? Can we expect it to be a longer lasting project than Soulburn was? 

That’s up to the record-company we will sign at, as soon the album is mixed and delivered, schedules are made of release the album. Tasters will come along at that time. On the moment I really have no idea when that’s ready. I can’t give a right date, I guess it will be in August/September. Influences that crossed my mind while I was composing, or to be said when I was spitting out the riffs, on an inspiration way. Old Possessed, Slaughter, old Black Sabbath, to say a few. But I never say to myself well let’s compose a riff like this or that band. The process goes natural, what’s inside me to let see a riff the daylight. Yes it was boiling inside me to get started or make a re-start after I find out that life without music is sad to me. So first I had to get the feeling back with my guitars, I played hours and hours till that moment I felt, this is fun, and made me happy again. I missed that a lot after those years. Yes for sure it’s not a one-time album. This one last longer than 1 album, but as I mentioned before the soulburn album was planned for 1 album. GSBC is not for 1 album !. What to achieve, is just spread the true and real doom/death metal.


Lyrically what will the inspiration be for Grand Supreme Bloodcourt? 

The album is gonna be a concept-album about the Blood Court. All lyrics are bounded together for this idea. Martin wrote the whole concept, and what I heared so far it sounds awesome. I am very glad Martin joined with this band, I like his vocals and to me he is the best frontman in death-metal land. As a person we like each other very much we always did also in the past, just being friends who like the brutal stuff as we said. It is too much detail to tell about the lyrics but the main inspiration is that the Blood Court is coming on earth, don’t know where it came from, and will judge everyone inside the court a brutal death. When you are picked out and dragged inside the court you know already going to die. Which way you’re gonna die you don’t know that’s the decision about the grand jury and judges. This is the main inspiration for the album packed in brutal lyrics and of course music.


What is the writing process musically like? Have you been writing all the material at home? Please tell us about the recording process for the album, where has it been recorded? Is the album nearly finished, when can you expect it all to be finished and mixed and ultimately released? 

First I collect the best riffs I made, recorded them at home, and sended to the other guys. Together Bob and I discuss on how a song begins and what kind of song we want to make, like midtempo or doom-like begin of a song. We work that out, and just see how the riffs fits together. On the writing process for this album, Alwin and I did compose a lot together. Most riffs I made however Alwin his ideas and riffs fitted with mine and when I was stuck he filled in exactly. The structure inside the band is very open. Everyone can ventilate their idea’s, it’s not from 1 person only. I like it this way, cause the feeling we all like the definate songs is much more right. The goal is to make the best songs together. Cause I had more time, due to the busy schedules of the other boys, it was natural that I made a lot of riffs. It was relaxed to do so on this way. Alwin has the skills to make demo-songs at home. We played the guitars live in the computer, and he made the songs ready with computer bass and drums, to get the idea of the song and the counts of the riffs. It was fun and thrilled to do so. We did all 10 songs this way, and when we decide the songs are final, we record all songs in studio with the guide of the demo-songs. We recorded at Sonic Assault studio with Frank as engineer, and it was nice to do so. On the moment the album is almost finished, Martin has to do the vocals, and when that’s done, the mixing can begin. We already received 2 songs mixed without vocals to get an idea for the sound, and I must say I am very happy and thrilled with the result. Pounding drums, the guitars are sawing big trees to say, and Theo his bass is awesome. I like the style of playing Theo does, he did a great job and I am very happy he plays in GSBC. So after mxing all goed to the recordcompany, they planning the release ect. Cover-artwork ect. So just a matter of time and patience and this brutal piece of doom/death will see the daylight. After all I must say that I am very happy with this band, the band-members, and all our excitement to play the music we really like.


Will that Soulburn album ever be getting a re-release? I think there would be a lot of demand for it thesedays!

 But than I have great news !. It was re-released in 2009. Re-mastered with better production ,I really like it better than the original, much more in your face sound. And with demo bonus-tracks as well. Like the re-masters of the Asphyx-albums I really like the sound and booklets as well. Great job by Century Media Records. My compliments !.




What are the most proudest and special moments and achievements you have accomplished as a death metal musician? Are there any goals you still want to achieve? Any places in the world that you haven't played yet that you would like to play live with Grand Supreme Bloodcourt? 

The most proud I am was and still am, from the beginning to play in a band and together with Bob we started to shape ASPHYX, of course Bob already knew what kind of music-style it has to be, but it took very hard work and time to achieve this. We did never had lifts from other people we achieved it our own way, pure on our behalves, that’s where I am proud at the most, seeing succes and experience succes by working hard and the big believe to reach it. We had to earn it ourselves, no gifts from anyone, that’s why the succes tasted so good. But we are also down to earth people, not making our heads crazy. Let me say that I have no goals planned for GSBC in this way, it simply can’t planned. Fans have the power to lift you or to break you, that;s why to me they are the most important if you want to spread your music. So that’s the most exciting, just see what’s happening when our music will be released, from that point we can see further. Same fact for playing shows, we just gonna see what’s comming to us for inventations playing shows and where. As I say most important right now is the release of the album, after that, we can go further planning.


If I gave you the choice of only using 5 words in which to describe GSB how would you use those five words?!

 Heavy…Brutal…Doom…Crushing…Real.




When you compare the modern scene to the old scene what things do you miss about the old days? Are there any aspects of the modern metal scene that you particularly dislike?

  That’s a really good question, now-a days it more easy to start a band, get a very shiny and well-done home page, professional like to say, but there are so many bands, its like playing a live show and the audience is filled with musicians, well, sort of say it is very difficult to get to a higher level as a beginning band, the competition is very large, that makes it sort of un-structure and not visible to stand out for good bands, I think record-companies have a rough time to sort out quality bands. However, on the other hand what I see at festivals and live shows, it’s more professional organized, than it was in the eraly days, that’s progress wich makes me happy. I knew the times no fences were in front of the stage, people could stage-diving during the shows, it was more contact with the audience, now adays fences are standard equipment at shows. Well this veteran is from the stone age haha, but I like what I see now adays. I can’t really point some negative dislikes, maybe the fact that I am a cigarette-smoker, and you need a map at an vennue where you can smoke haha, like the old days even smoke at stage.


What is your opinion on the current dutch death metal scene when comparing it to the early-mid 90s, do you take much notice of the newer old school style death metal bands from your country such as Entrapment etc..? 

Well at that early mid 90s a lot of bands formed to play the real death metal, it was different, it was new, now-adays it’s more like playing the old style to pick it up. I have respects for bands who wants to play the vintage style regardless the hype and trend on this moment. I like Nailgun Massacre very much, and Entrapment yes very cool, we saw them live couple of weeks ago and having a good time watching them live. Those bands know the spirit and right feeling to play the true death metal.



If you could tour with ANY bands with GSB then who would you love to hit the road with?  What would be your perfect gig line up?! What have been some memorable bills you have played on in the past? 

Well, that’s not only my decision. The whole band has to be happy and satisfied the bands we play with. There are numerous to mention. The future will tell on which bill we come to play the heavy brutal notes as shows. If I say bands I want to play with, I exclude others which are cool also. In the past when I played in asphyx we played with numerous bands like Entombed, Boltthrower, Benediction, Samael, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Testament ect. Those gigs were memorable, but I also liked playing with less well-known bands. If the atmosphere is good and we can get along, I don’t really care which bands we play with.


To you what should real doom death sound like? I guess aswell as being a fan of the old death metal classics you also listen to Doom bands such as Candlemass etc? What kind of sound and feelings should real doom/death evoke?

 Well, to me real doom/death is playing with the soul and feeling as I mentioned before. Riffs which stay in the mind, and not hasitate to play a riff longer if that one is good. Also not technical shit waved in it, it will damage the structures of the songs. A song made of 3 riffs or 4 is our trademark, if it feels and sounds good, the goal is acchieved. I always have been a fan of bands whom sounds as an collective, such as AC/DC for example. But Electric Wizard I like as well, the old Black Sabbath. That kind of doom I realy like. Candlemass of course the first albums. It breaths an atmosphere I realy like. Soundwise, to me real doom/death has to be huge, massive and heavy, switch between mid tempo and doom is the way. Midtempo has to be raw and sound like a saw-machine. Well just listen when the album will be released and I am 100% sure I am telling no awkward things here.


Ok Eric it has been a pleasure to interview you, please tell us the plans for 2012, and how people can get more info on the band, check out music/websites etc?? the last words are yours! thankyou for your time!. 

Thank you Kat for this monster indepth interview, the pleasure was mine to do this one. Plans for 2012 is to finish the album, get released, and play some shows this year. There is no official stand-alone website, will be in progress. Info and updates are found on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/GRAND-SUPREME-BLOOD-COURT/192091974181458 and contact-adres: grandsupremebloodcourt@gmail.com Towards our fans I like to say. Take care…stay brutal… and my personal thanks for your eternal support also for the times I was not there. YOU RULE !!!


There is no links to any Grand Supreme Blood Court music yet so here is a couple of videos from Eric's old bands:-








                                       

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