1. Can you update us with what is going on with the band these days?
Jeroen: Interviews, interviews, interviews... and a shitload of gigs, haha !
Since we signed a pact with Listenable things are going tremendous fast for us. You might know that Izegrim exists since 1996, but after our drummer and singer left in 2008 it really feels like a new start.
With the line-up change in May 2008 a new period for Izegrim started. We recruited Ivo on drums and Marloes took over all the vocal duties of Kristien. The four of us knew that “taking the band to a higher level” could only be achieved by working as hard as we ever did.
It really was a turning-point in our careers. Till 2008 we kept everything kinda low-level with Izegrim as some members also had other interests that consumed too much of their precious time. Now, with the new line-up we all are 100% dedicated to the band.
Theres no doubt that signing with Listenable also will help us significantly to rise from the underground scene.
2.How would you desribe the musical sound of the new album, and how does it differ from previous releases?
Jeroen: We changed the way we write our songs nowadays.
With Ivo on drums we now have a different approach where it comes to writing our guitar-riffs. Where the old albums like ‘Tribute to Totalitarianism’ exposed a lot of stoner and groove influences, we now have the chance to write more staccato, riff-based guitarplaying. Ivo had a great influence on the overall feel and fibe of the songs. He’s basically a more technical and skilled drummer, so we have more ways to deal with rhythm and we’ve adjusted our guitarplaying a bit to his drumstyle.
Furthermore, we’ve put more attention to the compositions and arrangements.
This style just screamed for more solo’s and additional leads. And in Bart we’ve got a good leadguitar-player, so why not let him show off with his skills, haha ! Every solo and lead is in an interlude within a song, making it more interesting to listen to. With the melodies we’ve created a multiple layered structure of the songs. All the small details we’ve put into the songs were a very time-consuming process, but in the end it makes the arrangements much stronger.
The album is written to be listened to as a coherent and balanced piece, where all the songs fit together as one.
To keep it short : stronger tracks, more thrashy riffage, more leads and the vocals are more fierce on this album.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the new releases explores?
Jeroen: On our previous albums our drummer was responsible for all the lyrics and the whole concept on those albums. Things changed when he left the band in mid 2008 We don’t feel the urge anymore to write cynical lyrics about governmental failures or wars that are ongoing in the world. Lately too many bands are writing about those kind of subjects.
This album is not a real concept album, which tells a story from A to Z. It describes one main theme; The older we get, the more actions and choices we have made in our lives, the more consequences we have to bear. It’s about people that are eagerly trying to reach their goals by any means. This goes from selfish/egocentric behavior to killing your beloved one.
4.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
Jeroen: To play live is our main goal and all bandmembers life for that purpose. Sometimes we have to play on a shitty backline with crappy drums, but we always try to play the best gig as possible. Most frustrating is bad monitor sound or crappy equipment, but than again… we have to deal with it.
Best shows ? When we did our European Tour in 2008 we had a gig in Poland (big festival with Megadeth, Vader and many others). That was one of the best experience we’ve ever had. It was really early, but the crowd was going absolute crazy. With our new line-up we had an excellent weekend in Lithuania. We played at the Devilstone Open Air 2010 (together with Tankard and Mayhem). People over there made this one a concert we will remember for a long time.
5.Do you have any plans for a U.S tour?
Jeroen: Together with our bookings-agency (TMR-Music-Promotions) we are currently working on scheduling gigs in Europe. For now there are a shitload of confirmed gigs (The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium) and a mini-tour with Entombed in the Netherlands. We are working on a European Tour but unfortunately I cannot confirm anything at this moment. Keep an eye on our site(s) where we will update all the information immediately. For now there’s no U.S. tour scheduled, so if there are any promotores reading this article, you know where to find us, haha !
6.On a worldwide level, how has your new album been recieves by death/thrash metal fans?
Jeroen: So far all the reviews have been great. On an average, we get 80 or above. All the big magazine (like Metal Hammer, Rock Hard) and all the leading internet webzines are very enthousiastic. Sure, there are some critical notes, but we’re always willing to take them into account.
As far as our fans: we are getting great response through mail/facebook and all the other social media. It’s great to hear that all the ahrd work of the past few years is satisfactory for our fans.
7.how would you describe your musical oprogress over the years and what direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?
Jeroen: We all got older by the years (for some reason, haha) and we learned more about composing and arranging proper songs. Where in the past we would simply put cool riffs in a certain sequence, we now put a lot more attention to keep a song interesting. This could mean that we add a heavy death passage but also leads are a good way of breaking up a song. We never used as much leads in the past, as on this album, all small interludes to keep the songs (in my humble opinion) interesting. All these small details we’ve put into the songs were a very time-consuming process, but in the end it makes the arrangements much stronger.
Where this will take us in the future ? I don’t know. We started writing again and I must admit that the new songs are a even a bit more aggresive.
8. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Jeroen: Influences for Izegrim are a mix of personal preferences of all the bandmembers. Musically we find our influences in bands like At The Gates, Carcass, Kreator, Legion of the Damned to name a few. But also Cannibal Corpse or even Nevermore can be listed with these names.
9. Outside of music, what are some of your interests?
Jeroen: Besides Izegrim I have my daily job (not that my job is my main interest, haha). If we don’t have a weekend packed with gigs, and the weather is nice, I always go out for a ride on my motorbike (a customized chopper). A great way for me to ‘clean’ my mind, haha. Visiting concerts and having a beer with my friends is also a perfect way to spend my weekend.
10. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Jeroen : Thanks for your time and interest in Izegrim, always appreciated. We hope to see you (and your readers) somewhere in the US in the near future. Cheers to you all and we hope you like our new album. Horns up!