Interview with LARZ and LUC from Catharsis and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (https://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
LARZ: We are a Belgian Death metal band, we incorporate many different styles into our music but death metal is the one genre that we have the most affinity to.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
LARZ: Gert (bas) and me live in the vicinity of Mol ( Antwerp), Werner (guitars) & Luc (drums) live near Tongeren ( Limburg). We’ve all been involved in several bands since our youth. Death’s Bride, Solipsist, Signs Of cain, Brutal Exposure to name but a few. We are all going to, or are in our 50’s already. So we’re quite old geezers with a lot of experience. Me myself I started playing or fiddling around with music since I was 16. I guess you can say the same for each member in this band.
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
LARZ: I’ve been a Metallica fan since 1986. They are what and who inspired me to start playing drums and Max Cavalera & John Tardy ( Obituary) were my first influences for singing the way I do. So many bands have influenced me and my writing that it would take a page or two to mention them all but the most important ones for me would be David Vincent (Morbid Angel), Dan Swano (Edge of sanity) and Chuck Billy from Testament. But I’m just as intrigued by my friend and former colleague Raf Biesmans who wrote the lyrics for Death’s Bride. I still go back to those lines he wrote, to learn how to evolve my writing. As a band I think we draw from the gigantic well that is metal in general.
LUC: the whole 80’s metal scene was my inspiration, but when “beneath the remains” came out, I knew that was what I wanted to play. Igor’s playing was my inspiration for playing death metal.
LARZ: Going to the ‘what’. I need music as my steam-vent. It’s my way of dealing with everyday life. My lyrics are mostly are about coping with life, but I also write about serial killers or the insanity of war. If some subject triggers me, I’ll investigate the matter and I’ll start writing about it. I was watching an episode of ‘Help My house is haunted’ on TLC the other night and that triggered me to write some lyrics about a haunting. ‘Bassa Villa’ might be a song on the next record. So anything that interests me really
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
LARZ: We’ve been around and our aspirations aren’t the same as 40 years ago. Now we focus on creating good music and presenting it to the best of our abilities. We’re no longer interested in going on world tours or anything like that. We love to play live and would love to play with the bigger bands but considering we all have families and jobs we decided to keep it low-key. We’re just as happy playing the local rock & metal pubs and smaller metal festivals. But if a good opportunity arises we will not pass it up either of course.
Luc: having fun in what we do and try to do it as good as we can. We’ll see where our journey takes us.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
LARZ: For me, opening for Morbid Angel back in 99 on their Christmas tour through Europe.
that was an awesome line up; with Amon Amarth, Gorgoroth, God Dethroned, Krisiun and Occult.
And the release of our first EP with Catharsis is ofcourse the first proud moment in this band’s career and we hope there are many of those moments to come in the future.
LUC: Opening or playing on the same bill with bands as Flotsam and Jetsam, Hell, Cryptopsy, Gojira or Symphony X were things I was proud of, as well as releasing the new EP and all the releases I played on.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
LARZ: The WWW has opened some many opportunities to promote ones band it’s becoming like a bottomless pit. It’s hard to see the forest for the trees. We use the obvious platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp etc to get our band promoted of course and we have the support from our Label ‘Gio Smet Records’ which we joined in April. They will re-release our debut EP ‘I’ somewhere by the end of this year. And they will release our next two albums also.
LUC: Making sure we give our best on our live shows is also a good way to promote ourselves.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
LARZ: At first we made use of our old contacts to get shows. Now being under a label, we have a booking manager who will get us into the good places and festivals. We mostly use facebook to promote our shows and the old fashioned ‘posters in every local pub’ way.
We have 3 shows and a Live-radio performance coming up.
September 2nd – Pumpkes – Tongeren(B) with Avert your eyes
September 16th -Rockkelder – Balen (B) with Wound Collector
October 14th – Walhalla – Bruges(B) and on October 17th we will be live on the radio at Radio Benelux a local station.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
LARZ: We have nothing against it. As long as our music get spreads, it’s fine. With spotify, I feel the whole illegal downloading business like with Limewire and napster kind of got smothered? Everybody has a world of music in the palm of their hand for 9.99 a month. Of course as a small band we don’t or hardly get any revenue from sites like spotify but it helps to get our music published and listened to by the world out there.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
LARZ: I’m gonna leave this question for …, but lyrically about anything James Hetfield wrote. Just because he can give lyrics a deeper meaning. I like lyrics to have a twist.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
LARZ: The music industry has changed a lot over the years, especially for smaller bands. There’s no more (big) budgets like there used to be 30 years ago. Most of the times now you have to invest 75% or more, yourself, to get something done. Of course the really big bands get what they want but for us its hard work and lots of money to get something released. If I had a label and the money I’d support a band full on. There is the issue of overexposure of course. About every town has a band of youngsters trying to make it big. You can’t throw money at all of them.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
LARZ: We’re writing material for our next album “Ithnayn”. We like to take our time to get it just right. And of course a lot of practice for the upcoming shows.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
LARZ: best place to go would be our Facebook and go on from there, here are some links
Our merch can be bought through the webshop of our label.
In Nomine Catharsis!
Thank you so much for this interview!
Larz & Luc