The return of the cult dutch metal gods



.Questions answered by Septuagint after the release of 'Meditation among demons'






 

1. First of all, for those who don't know U, could U make a short sum of the band's history and releases?
Septuagint was founded in 1991 by singer Cees and some other guys. They started rehearsing and later on performing live. At one point they started to become quite a known name in the Dutch underground scene, but due to several line-up changes they didnít had a chance to record something. That changed in 1994, the year bass player Pepijn joined the band. In the fall of that year Septuagint released their first demotape, simply named ĎSeptuagintí. The 300 copies of the tape were sold out in no-time, but that didnít kept the drummer and one of the guitar players from leaving the band. Pepijn and I were already playing together in another band, so it was an easy question to ask me to keep the drumseat warm. It was an easy answer for me too, of course I wanted to play in Sepuagint! With the four of us we started to write new songs, and in 1998 that resulted in our first CD, the mini album Ď...My Darkest Domainí. It was very well received among both critics and fans, which we noticed by how fast we sold them and how many gigs we got. But there was only one problem: we really missed the power of another guitar live... So we went looking for a second guitar player, which we found soon enough. Now with Mike completing the band we could start doing gigs. We played all over Holland and that caught the attention of a small recordlabel. We had already written most of the songs of what would be our first full-length album, so we signed the deal, and went to the studio to record it. But shortly after we started recording the label broke up. But the producer and we decided to finish the album anyway. We did, but because now the producer was the one paying for the recording, he decided how it should sound like. And that was not such a good idea... But if we didnít agree, we wouldnít have an album at all... So, there it was, our first album ĎWhen Good & Evil fall in Loveí. Of course we were proud of it, the songs, the ideas, the album in itself, but we werenít very proud of the production. But there wasnít anything we could do about it anymore. So we went on... that is, until one of the guitar players left. That was a very crucial period. The question was: should we quit, or should we give it all we have one more time? Could we start over again? We decided to give it a try, by first searching another guitar player. Fortunately we found Andrew, a guitar madman! At that point we tossed every doubt we had aside, fired up our engines and started off! New songs came easy, I might say, and we wanted to show everyone that Septuagint was still alive and kicking (and we also wanted to show what Septuagint should sound like) so we decided to record two of our new songs as a promo for the band in general and for the new album we want to record in particular. So we released ĎMeditation Among Demonsí, in May this year, and as gift and thank you to everyone who supported is we are giving it away for free. Of course it is also a way to promote us, and attract new fans and organizations who can help us with our dream, which is to spread the best metal we can all over the world. That is, in short, the history of Septuagint until today...




2. Did U play in other bands before?
I have played in two other bands. The first one was Discipline Problem. I founded that band in 1991 immediately after I got my first drumkit, so you can imagine how it sounded when we just started. But at the end, which was in 1995, we were pretty good, at least thatís what we think. Pepijn was also playing in D.P. and we have always played together in bands. After that band broke up I joined the doom-metal band Pure Breed. That was something completely different from what I had ever played before. It was very slow and depressive music, but I liked it a lot. It was a challenge to play that music. With that band we released the album ĎGuidance Through Lifeí. But shortly after the recording of the second album, and a mini album that band came to its end. So the music we had recorded just before was never released... Nowadays I also play in a fun band, called Slecht (thatís Dutch for bad, evil, sick and miserable...) I play percussion, so thatís another challenge for me, to play with another drummer. Until now, we havenít released anything with that band.

3. Have U recorded more songs than the 2 of the promo?
If you mean if we have recorded more new songs than the two on the promo, then the answer is no. When we decided to record them we only had finished about four or five songs, and we took the two songs which were the most representative for Septuagint at that time. Next year we are planning to record the whole album, including rerecording the two songs on the promo, so they will have the same sound as the rest.

4. Is there democracy in your songwriting or a leader, for ex. a guitarist, who sees to the song structures and adds some advice from the other members?
We are a democracy in the band, but guitar player Mike comes up with most of the riffs of the songs. But in the end we create all the songs with the five of us. That is just the way it grew to be. We have never discussed it, how we should write our songs. We just see how the inspiration comes and what song it turns out to be. But the most important thing is that everyone in the band is 100% happy with the whole song. If one of us has a part in the song he doesnít totally like, then we keep on working until he is. So, in the end, the songs are really created by all of us.

5. Can U explain to us the cover and the lyrics of the 2 songs?
Itís a bit difficult to explain the lyrics of the 2 songs on the promo only, because they are two parts of one large story. All the lyrics of the next album combined tell the tale which is actually the follow-up of the story which is told in ĎWhen Good & Evil fall in Loveí. In that first part Good & Evil were in love (of course...) and that was a disaster to the world. In the end the two of them were separated avoiding the total downfall of that world. The lyrics of the next album will tell what happens to Evil after being separated from Good. I came up with the storyline and thatís also why I write all the lyrics of Septuagint. Of course I work on them together with Cees, who has to sing them, so he tells how and where he wants to sing, and then I try to give him the words that make him able to sing that way, and I try to get the tale in as clearly as I can. In short, ĎMeditation Among Demonsí is telling the process in which Evil is regaining her strength (which she had lost at the end of the first album) by dwelling in her thoughts in the fires of the Demons. Thatís also what the cover shows. The reason why Evil is shown as a woman is simple. Good is also shown as a woman, so noone can complain that we are discriminating. And the reason theyíre both women is that we find women more attractive to look at then men... The lyrics of the second song ĎFury... and a Darkening Mindí tell how the evil creatures in the world discover that half their population is slaughtered by good creatures, but they also discover where Evil is, and how she can help them. Maybe I am a little vague about the lyrics, but that is mainly because I donít want to give away too much until the next album sees the light of day. When itís released I will tell you more...

6. Power-thrash isn't popular anymore and Holland used to have great death metal bands and also some good Heavy Metal ones. Is it a case U play this sort of music or a choice to differentiate Septuagint from most of Dutch bands?
No, definitely not! We donít play the music we do to be different, we play it because we like it so much! We also know it isnít as popular as it has been, but... we donít care... We only play what we want to play, and we donít think about what other people think of it. If they like it: great! If they donít: ok, go and listen something else! They only thing we care about is playing the music we do in the best possible way. Donít think we are being stubborn or narrow minded, because we are not. All of us also listen to other music than the one we play, but we like power and thrash metal best, thatís what we can play with our hearts as well as our minds, and I believe you can hear that. Maybe we also could play good death metal, but it wouldnít be the same, because our hearts lie elsewhere...

7. What about your live shows (Calendar, and what kind of show U set up)?
We currently havenít pin-pointed any dates, we are still negotiating with a lot of Dutch, German and Belgian clubs, so thereís no calendar yet. But there will be soon... We are also trying to plan a European tour in the summer of 2004, through Germany Czech republic, Austria, and we are trying to get as far as Greece. But we also want to visit the Italian clubs! Itís pretty hard to get everything organized, because we donít have a booking agency, we do all the work ourselves. So we could use some help from you! If you know clubs who are interested or people who can help us, maybe yourself, just mail us! (info@septuagint.nl) What can you expect from a live show of Septuagint? Well, a very intense experience, I can tell you. Because thatís what we do best: play live! And thatís what we like best too, and that you can hear and see!

8. Have U written new songs and how do they differ from the old ones?
We have almost finished writing the songs for the next album, and theyíre not very different from the songs on the promo. They arenít the same, but they are all Septuagint is what I mean to say. Weíve got fast songs, mid-tempo songs, and semi-ballads, some with a lot of melody, some with more aggressive riffing. I... really donít know how to explain the best, I guess you should hear them...

9. What do U suggest a young band: to find a record deal, even if lousy at once, or wait and self-produce one's CD's until a decent offer as U're doing at this time?
What we do works for us, and I can recommend it to other bands as well. A lousy record deal can do your band a lot of damage, as we have experienced. Of course itís hard to self produce everything, especially self financing everything, because it costs a large amount of money. But since we play for the music and not for the money, we have decided to go on this way. If there comes a record label with a decent offer, we wouldnít refuse, of course, weíre musicians, but not stupid...

10. Do U rehearse very often a week or not and why? (Job, distance...)
We rehearse once a week with all of the band, that is on Saturdays. During the week we all have to work, so thatís difficult, with all those different work schedules. The distance isnít really a problem, because most of the bandmembers lives very close to another. So we do get together during the week, and work on the songs, or on promotional activities.

11. Do U have any side projects?
Iíve got one side project, besides Slecht, and I have it for quite some time now... But it is not really a side project, it is very much connected to Septuagint. Iím trying to write a book, and itís titled ĎWhen Good & Evil fall in Loveí... (sounds familiar, doesnít it?) Just before the CD was released I wanted to write out the lyrics more in detail, so they would be easier to follow than the lyrics in the CD booklet, and maybe put it on our website. But, when I had finished writing out the first lyric I had about 35 pages... So thatís when the idea of a book come up, clearly enough... But it takes a lot of time, and it is a side project, so I only work on it when I donít have anything to do for Septuagint, which isnít very often... Iím almost always busy for the band...

12. Tell whatever U want I haven't asked U (Message, threat, info for your Italian fans...)
I guess you pretty much asked everything... The only thing left I want to say is thank you! Thanks for asking me the questions, and giving me the opportunity to tell something about our bands. I'd also like to thank everyone who helped and supported us over the years, and of course I would like to thank you, who has just read this interview! I hope to see you all live one day!


MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 15/11/03



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