In this modern internet age things tend to move fast if the stars are aligned. I received an email with a video track from a new Dutch band’s first demo, I gave it a listen and liked it, I responded to the email and a little week later received the demo on CD – gave it some spins and a review, and now a week later, I am ready to present a small interview with the mastermind behind DEGENERATE, Rens, who willingly answered all my curious questions. DEGENERATE delivers a powerful display of groovy and hardhitting Thrash delivered with a feel of the 80ties Speed/Thrash Metal scene, done in a modern, but not too sterile manner.
Hi guys, please start of by introducing yourself and tell us, how you ended up in the path of Metal?
Hi, I’m Rens. I’m 28 years old and I live near Amsterdam. I’m the founder of DEGENERATE and I am responsible for writing and recording most of the band’s music. On “Demo 2016” I did all guitars and vocal parts myself.
Ever since I was a child I always had a passion for hard and aggressive music. I started to get interested in metal because I listened to mainstream Rock bands like SLIPKNOT, THE OFFSPRING and METALLICA. I was introduced to their music through pirated tapes and by watching MTV. Later on, while growing up in the late 90’s, the internet was at your fingertips and I broadened my horizons. It was then when I found out that there is so much more beautiful music both Metal and non-Metal as well.
DEGENERATE is a quite new entity, how was the band started?
After a decade of touring with various bands as a session guitarist and merchandise seller, I decided to throw a different approach. At the end of 2015 it was time for me to start my own band and not long after I met Melle Kramer, a big name in the Dutch scene as it comes to technical Death Metal drumming. I decided to show him my ideas and I noticed that he was very excited about it. And not more than four weeks later we already started to record the demo.
As it is now the band is a duo, are there plans to get a full line-up, do some gigs etc?
Yes, the feedback on our “Demo 2016” has been great so far. People really seem to like it and want to hear more. Currently we work on new songs and on a massive line up for the band. I hope to do some gigs before the end of the year.
You released your first demo “Demo 2016” a little while ago, how has it so far been received by the mad Metal crowd?
It’s going really great, some quite awesome publications from all over the world write very positive articles and reviews about our music. It’s so great to have this type of feedback on your work, it only makes you want to work even harder than you did before.
Did the music and the recording turn out as you had planned, is “demo 2016” the perfect expression of DEGENERATE?
Yes and no. I took the time to get the production exactly how I wanted it to be. So in that case you hear the perfect expression of how DEGENERATE wants to sound. But now a few months after the release, I start to hear what we’ve could have done differently. I guess it’s part of the process of growing as a musician. I think you always should be honest and critical to yourself if you want to grow musically. So that’s what I did, I think you can expect some slight differences in the upcoming material.
When you started the band, what did you then have in mind and what can we expect from you and the band in the future?
The only thing I wanted to do is to make the best record I was capable of and that’s what I did. I am therefore very glad and proud that I have released this demo and now I want to gig the hell out of this material and play the best shows I am capable of.
Where do you find inspiration when writing music and what do you want to give us, with your music?
I find my inspiration in science, spiritually and personal affairs. I guess you can
summarize that as in life itself. And the audience can expect some fucking great music that I like myself!
I guess you also are writing the lyrics, what topics do you touch, and how important are the lyrics to the comcept of DEGENERATE?
The lyrics are as important as the rest of the package. The words have to fit the feel of the songs and vice versa. The topics we’ve touched in our lyrics are the same as those that inspire me in real life. These mainly are: science, spiritually and personal affairs. But I like to write the lyrics in a poetic way so that everyone can project their own feelings on to what they hear.
What should we read out from the band name DEGENERATE?
Whatever someone feels to it. There are no political or ideology thoughts behind this name.
What five albums have you been listening a lot to lately?
CHILDREN OF BODOM – “Hate breeder”
MEGADETH – “Peace sells”
W.A.S.P – “W.A.S.P”
IN FLAMES – “Clayman”
VEKTOR – “Terminal Redux”
Thanks a ton for answering my questions, and I am looking forward to hearing more music from your hands, and if you have anything to add, feel free to add it now!
Thank you for this interview, there will be more DEGENERATE in the future, like us on Facebook and you will find out when its there.