Izegrim have released Code Of Consequences with great reviews. We have talked with Jeroen, guitar of the band.
Izegrim was founded more than ten years ago. Tell us something about you way and how was the beginning of the band.
I've started Izegrim way back in 1996. In the beginning we acted as a Symphonic Deathmetal band, we even had a keyboardplayer in our band. Hahaha, can't imagine that we would use synths nowadays. As with any band, we had our usual share of line-up changes over the years. We won't bother your readers with a list of names, that would become too boring. We've released some demo's in that period, and a full-length (the sold out Guidelines for Genocide) which was received very positive in the media. Major change for the band came a few years ago in 2008 right after we've released Tribute to Totalitarianism through Rusty Cage Records. After a successful European tour with Flotsam & Jetsam both Joep (drummer) and Kristien (vocals) decided that they had other goals to achieve.
Within the shortest period of time we've recruited Ivo Maarhuis as our new drummer. Marloes (who was already taking care of the backing vocals) took over all the vocal duties of Kristien. Marloes worked her ass off for several months to rehearse all the bass-parts including all the vocals. She did a hell of a job.
We knew we were ready for a shift in style, a more modern approach to thrash-/death. To introduce the new line-up (and the shift in style) we recorded the EP Point of no Return as a mere pre-taster for the full-length.
Code Of Consequences, our latest release, is a logical continuation of the songs on the EP. The new material is more mature because we've put a lot of effort in the actual song-writing and composing, instead of just putting awesome riffs behind each other. Now the songs contain more structure, catchy hooks and awesome riffing.
Performing live is our greatest passion. We are not the kind of people that stay backstage all day at a festival, so if you want to drink a beer with us and we play somewhere near you; chances are good to catch us somewhere in the audience, haha !
In my opinion, you do Death Metal with a lot of influences from Thrash. Am I right?
Well, we don't write our music to be more death or more thrash. It just fits together as a coherent piece. Some songs indeed contain more death-elements, some songs on the other hand are more thrashy/staccato written.
In comparison to the albums with the old line-up (Tribute to Totalitarianism) we've left the stoner and groove-elements behind us. With Ivo as our new drummer we simply have more ways to write our riffs, because he's a more skilled and technical drummer. Our guitarparts now lean more towards staccato/thrashy riffage, but still with enough slower parts to make things heavy.
Before of the EP Point of no Return, you did a lot of changes in you line-up and Marloes had to do all the vocals moreover the bass. How does she feel with this change? It's no the same playing bass doing second voices that being the frontwoman!
When Kristien decided to leave Izegrim, it was pretty clear for us that we first wanted to have some try-outs with Marloes. She already played bass and did the backing-vocals for 4 years at the moment Kristien left the band. So, she already had a lot of experience.
Nevertheless it was a hell of a job for her to learn all the songs. She worked her ass off to practice bass and on top of that all the lead-vocals. In the end it's well worth it and we're all very happy with this solution. She's a perfect frontwoman and she loves her new role within the band. Furthermore it's also very convenient to have 'just' 4 bandmembers. Less opinions to argue about, more beer and more space on stage, haha !
Death Metal and a voice like Marloes' one, it is inevitablyto compare with Arch Enemy although you don't play the same style, but there are some similarities. How do you feel with this? Are you tired of this comparation?
In metal people always tend to compare bands, instead of describing the music. One can always find musical correspondences when comparing 2 bands within the same genre. We're getting compared to Arch Enemy very often. I don't have a problem with it, when it's based on the music. Sure, there are some similarities when listening to the voices of Marloes and Angela. But then again: how many male vocalist do sound the same, yet nobody complains about that. We've used female grunts since the start of Izegrim in 1996, for us it's nothing new, nor something we try to 'copy' from Arch Enemy. It's kind of silly that we aren't compared to ANY other band than just Arch Enemy, that's getting kind of predictable.
Actually, we find our influences in bands like At the Gates, Kreator, Carcass and even Cannibal Corpse or Nevermore. It's somewhat strange that over and over again the Arch Enemy comparison is following us. Our sound is much rawer and dirtier. Ah well, there are worse bands to be compared with, but once in a while it seems that people are a bit narrowminded with their conclusions. On the other hand: if we sell as much cds as Arch Enemy, you don't hear me complain, hahaha !!
Code Of Consequences is your last album, and it's released not long time ago. How it was the recording time?
Recording this album was a blast ! We now have the luxury of our own rehearsal-room which we can use 24/7. I've bought some proper equipment to make decent recordings. We've put a lot of time into the pre-production this time. Every note/break/solo was worked out, before we entered the Soundlodge Studio in Germany where we recorded the whole album. The pre-production saved us some precious time in the studio. As stated before we've spend a lot of time on the arrangements of the songs. We could simply put some guitarriffs in a certain sequence, but that does not make a song a good song. For the actual recording at the Soundlodge Studio, we needed 2 weeks to record the drums and all guitarparts. Vocals and bass we've recorded at my own studio at home. With these recordings we went back to the Soundlodge, where engineer Jörg Üken (known for his work with God Dethroned and Dew-Scented to name a few) mixed and mastered the whole album.
The reviews are quite good, isn't? And the fans, how are they responding?
Yes, so far the reviews all have been very good ! Well, judging by the feedback we get on Facebook and Myspace, our fans are also very pleased with the final results of the new record. During live gigs we also get very good responses on the new songs, really cool to see that people like our new stuff !
You have move from the discography and now , you're with Listenable Records. Why do you do this change and how do you feel with this new label?
Our former recordcompany Rusty Cage Records got broke, like a lot of small underground labels nowadays. At the time we've got that message, we already had scheduled our recordings at the Soundlodge. We all decided to continue with our plans and after the recordings we would go on a search for a new recordcompany.
We sended our material to several recordcompanies that were eligible for us to work with. Responses on the new material were positive and in the end we knew that Listenable was the best partner to sign a pact with.
I already knew Listenable for its work with Textures and Hate. Great promotion and they put a lot of time and effort in the bands on their roster. We don't feel like just "another-band-on-the-list". I'm confident that our cooperation will turn out to be a fruitful one !
Have you any tours and gigs soon?
At this moment we have some single weekend-gigs, no tour yet. But, I hope we can announce some good news within several weeks. Just keep an eye on our website and you'll find out what I'm talking about ! For the time being, I cannot give you any more details.
Which are your influences like a band, and individually?
All the bandmembers have different kind of favorite bands, but the main thing is: it sounds like Izegrim when we put all these styles together.
Bart, the guitarplayer likes Nevermore, Carcass to even Cannibal Corpse. Ivo ,the drummer is found of the more technical stuff like Textures and Sylosis. Marloes and I tend to listen more to thrashy music like Exodus and Kreator. Voila, and when mixed together you might hear some Izegrim within this melting pot, haha !
From our distance from you,…, how is it the metal scene in the Netherlands just now?
We have a small country but as far as metal is concerned, we play a big part in the scene. With multiple great Open Air festivals, as well as great venues all the fans can easily go to concert every weekend. With bands like Hail of Bullets, Pestilence, The Monolith Deathcult, Asphyx we can easily compete with bands from abroad.
Curiosity, do you know any spanish metal band?
To be honest; I'm not the kind of metalhead that knows everything about all bands. I'm really interested in the scene, visit a lot of concerts and get to listen to a lot of new bands. But I'm not on an constant look for new bands. Perhaps you can help me with some good suggestions of Spanish bands ?
From Satan Arise we wish you really good luck with your album and thank you for this interview, if you want to say something else...
Thank YOU for your time and interest in Izegrim, it's always really appreciated. Just keep an eye on our websites, we might have some interesting news within a few months !!
Cheers to you all !!
Interviewed by Sergi "Helloween"