Monday, September 12, 2016

Detonation Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

Sure! Right now, we're focused on the re-release of 'Reprisal', our 4th full-length album. VIC records offered us a deal to finally give this album the release we feel it deserves. We're very happy with this unexpected offer, and hopefully it will lead to some more activity on our side, since we haven't been very active lately as a band.

2.Your last album was released in 2011 how would you describe the musical style of the current music and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

The songs on 'Reprisal' are indeed quite different from our earlier releases. Without doubt more straightforward, more brutal and less melodic. There's several reasons why that’s the case. After 'Emission Phase', our 3rd album, and also final release for our previous record company 'Osmose Productions', we were in a difficult situation. Due to circumstances we had to part ways with our founding drummer Thomas, and had to change the line-up of Detonation for this first time since the beginning of the band in 1997. Luckily we found a new drummer almost instantly, Michiel van der Plicht (also God Dethroned and Apophys) and started working on new songs. Things looked promising,  and both Mike and myself took this change as an opportunity to try something different musicwise. I mean, we had been doing the same thing for more than 10 years, and we needed a fresh outlook on our music to keep ourselves motivated. So I decided to lay down the guitar to focus mainly on the vocals. It was a gamble, to be honest. That way we would be able to write more diverse, since I wasn’t restricted to both instruments any longer. And we also wanted to bring more ‘show’ to the stage. Without a guitar I could do that better, we figured. So we got ourselves a new guitar player to fill my shoes (Danny Tunker, - Aborted, Alkaloid, amongst others) and started working from there. It was a fun time, and we actually did several great gigs that year, supporting bands like Entombed, Cynic, to name but a few. But after the recording of 'Reprisal' we kind of became lazy and made some bad decisions. Things went downhill. We did not put enough effort in the band to keep growing. In the end we lost our motivation, although we actually tried to keep things going a couple times. All without success unfortunately.

3.There has been no new music since 2011, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?

Well, like I stated in my previous answer, Detonation basically bled to death. We tried everything, but there was no way for us to continue the band at that time. But completely disbanding, and calling it quits felt like a terrible decision, so we simply didn't do that. Mike (Ferguson, founding member together with Koen) and I talked about it, and decided to tell the fans that Detonation was temporarily on hold for the time being. Which was the truth. We just needed to find a way to get a fresh new start. But in the meantime we all started focusing on our individual 'careers', and that made things even more complicated. During the past 5 years Mike and I always stayed in touch and together with new drummer Matthieu Boer (Scenario II, From Earth) we started working on some new tracks every now and then. Slowly, we're getting there. We're really working towards a return. We'll see where this will take us.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer material?

Detonation lyrics have always been very personal. They often tell stories about daily life struggles and frustrating issues, wrapped in poetic words. On 'Reprisal' we took a way more direct approach, which led to the aggressive tone in the songs. The main theme is that about 'the vigilante', so taking revenge into your own hands, and not wanting to deal with any kind of bullshit any longer. That was a new, but at the time necessary approach for me. This also led to the higher pitch you can hear in my voice on this album. That kind of happened automatically. I guess that particular demon had to be unleashed.

5.Originally the band was known as 'infernal Dream' what was the cause of the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Detonation'?

When ‘Infernal Dream’ was chosen as a name, we still wanted to be a black metal band, and that name suited the vision we had at that time. But within the 1st year of existence our musical style changed. Without intent, we gradually became a melodic death metal band. It was just the style that suited us, and all felt comfortable doing. It gave us the opportunity to put in our more melodic and progressive ideas. So we needed a more suitable name. That turned out to be a difficult task. But after a while we came up with Detonation. There’s no real deeper meaning behind it, just a powerful word that suited the intense, in your face melodic death metal we were aiming at.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Thinking back, it’s hard to pick out the best shows, but we had our fair share of cool gigs. A couple of great tours, supporting Dimension Zero, Decapitated and Gorerotted. But the best shows were probably the ones we did outside of any specific tour. Playing 2 shows in India in 2008 was definitely a highlight for us, but also a couple shows we did in our early existence, when we just released ‘An Epic Defiance’, in our home town Utrecht. In all honestly, we never reached a point in our career where we got to play large festivals for immense crowds, like we are fortunate enough to do nowadays with our other bands. Sometimes that stings, you know, knowing that we could’ve achieved so much more with Detonation, but hell, the future is yet to be written. We’re not dead yet.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

At the moment, sadly not. But we are thinking about returning to the stage in the near future. Nothing scheduled or planned yet, but don’t be surprised when Detonation starts hitting the stage again in 2017. I hope so.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of melodic death metal?

Pretty good, I think ;) Although we’ve always been an outsider in the scene in my opinion, not being Swedish or Finnish that is, like most bands in the genre. Funny thing is that, if you check out our songs on youtube for instance, there are still many people that discover Detonation these days. I guess we never had the distribution we needed, otherwise we could’ve been a bigger fish in the (back then-) completely saturated pond of Melodic Metal. We definitely had our share of bad luck with releases and such.

9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?

Otto started playing bass in Delain, and has been doing that for quite some time now. Mike became guitar player in Picture, and later on God Dethroned (Together with Michiel van der Plicht, who was already their drummer). Mike recently quit Picture and started a new awesome band ‘Lovell’s Blade’ together with some of the other leaving members from Picture. I also had my fair share of new bands the past couple of years. I played bass in Disquiet, amongst others, and recorded an album with them. I also joined death metal band Apophys (Also with Michiel on drums) as guitarist and recorded their debut album with them, which was released by Metal Blade records. But this past year I've been live guitarist for Heidevolk, I left all other projects and bands in the meantime except for Heidevolk, because of multiple reasons. I became father of a beautiful son, and also got my first sci-fi novel published. Talking about a hectic time…It took me some time to realize this, but I’m more than happy with just 1 band nowadays (besides Detonation, which is much more than just a band to me). I want to focus more on my family and my writing, and not spend 5 nights a week in the rehearsal space. Music is still very important to me, but I somehow have to find balance in everything I do.

10.When can we expect new material and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

I can’t tell you exactly when, but rest assure there will be another Detonation album in the near future. Could be next year, could be another 3 years. Time will definitely tell, but we already finished a couple great songs. I will start working on lyrics soon, and hopefully early next year we will be able to get together again and transform all our ideas into songs. From what we’ve written so far I can tell you that the songs are a combination of early Detonation and our 3rd album ‘Emission Phase’. It’s definitely more melodic and atmospheric than what we did on ‘Reprisal’.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your current music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Our influences vary with each individual member, as it has always been within our band. Not only by music, but basically by life itself and everything that makes us the people we are today. Personally, I’m experiencing a ‘classical music’ period, as in Bach, Chopin and Mahler to name but a few. But when I’m driving my car I usually listen to metal, mainly old school bands like Dio or Iron Maiden, but also to the occasional progressive band. Like the Faceless, or another death metal band. Could be Shining, or Pain of Salvation. Whatever suits my mood.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

I’m a huge sci-fi fanatic, which might not come as a big surprise knowing  that I wrote a sci-fi novel myself. I read books about the different subjects, watch tv-series and documentaries. Investigate things on my own on the web, out of curiosity. Besides that I like reading and writing in general, playing games on my PS4, watch sports or go outside and explore nature. All of these things inspire me in a creative way.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Hopefully many of you will take the time to check out ‘Reprisal’. It’s really an album we’ve put our heart and souls into, and I strongly believe it is worth the effort to give a spin. Thanks and keep on rocking! – Koen Romeijn


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