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OCCULT (MAURICE)

HI! HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? Hi, I am fine, thanks. Where am I? At home in Holland. HELLO GUYS! „ELEGY FOR THE WEAK” IS OUT AND VERY IMPRESSIVE. ARE YOU CONTENT WITH EVERYTHING? HOW ARE YOUR FEELINGS NOW AFTER WORK IS DONE? We are very satisfied with this album and extremely pleased with the sound. YOUR LABEL STATED THAT FIRST TIME IN YOUR CAREER EVERYTHING WENT RIGHT WHILE RECORDING, HAVE YOU BEEN SO DISAPPOINTED WITH YOUR PREVIOUS RELEASES? Yes, there have always been obstacles. With our first record, I (the vocalist) had a bad throat infection and when the album came out there was barely any promotion and distribution; as for our second album, we found out that Leon (former guitarplayer) told Harris Johns (the producer) behind our backs that the vocals of Rachel should be turned down, and our bass player wasn’t able to record the basslines. When we were recording “Of flesh and blood” we had problems with Leon and again our bassplayer didn’t find any time to practice his lines. After this album we kicked out Leon and we also got a new bassplayer. Then when we were ready to record “Rage to revenge” Rachel decided to be in 2 bands (Sinister and Occult). Obviously if you are in 2 bands, you are not going to be there 100% for one or another band. In the end we decided that it was better for her to leave Occult and focus on Sinister alone. So now we feel stronger as a band as there are no nuisances hindering us. RACHEL LEFT THE BAND. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO THE CHEMISTRY OF OCCULT? ANY CHANGE IN THE SONGWRITING? DO YOU STILL HAVE CONTACT? I’ve already answered your question. But once again, letting Rachel go improved the chemistry of our band. Besides, Rachel was never involved in songwriting process so the only thing that changed in our music are her death grunts. We are still in touch. She understands our choice, and there is no bad blood. AND HOW DID YOUR COLLABORATION WITH KARMAGEDDON START? ARE YOU CONTENT WITH THEIR PROMOTIONAL WORK? WAS IT SOMEHOW LOGICAL TO SIGN WITH A DUTCH LABEL? Actually the album was supposed to come out on Painkiller Records but this label ran into some financial problems and couldn’t release it. Therefore we decided to sign a contract with someone else who could release the album without any further delay. We met Patrick (from Callenish Circle) who works for Karmageddon on our last tour. Callenish Circle and Occult shared the same bus and Patrick liked our new material so he decided to introduce our album to Guido (the A&R manager of Karmageddon Media). Holland is small, so of course Guido already knew about us, but was not interested in us until he heard “Elegy for the weak”. He liked the recording and we signed the contract with Karmageddon to get the album finally out. COULD YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THE PRODUCTION PROCESS? HAVE YOU WORKED WITH ALEXANDER KRULL AGAIN? OR IS HE COURTESY OF MASSACRE? Alexander Krull? We worked with him 6 years ago and we’ve never heard of him since. “Elegy for the weak” was recorded in Studio One and produced by Andy Classen. The production took only 12 or 14 days. The atmosphere was relaxed and Andy liked the freedom we gave him as for mixing. He was doing a great job, we really didn’t need to meddle too much in his work. WHICH LYRICAL CONCEPT STANDS BEHIND “ELEGY FOR THE WEAK”? THE SONG TITLES OBVIOUSLY DEAL WITH DEATH AND DESTRUCTION You are correct. There is much sickness in the world and wherever you look you get to see some pathetic creature whose twisted existence spoils everything in its path. It makes us angry and that’s why we put anger and violence in our lyrics. You know everyone should fight weakness and conquer it but there are some who just won’t and they will live like worthless scum off of the strong ones. Then you get those who cannot make up their own mind and blindly follow some dogma. Our thrashing attack and sanguinary lyrics are for them. THE ARTWORK IS SOMEHOW PLAIN AND SIMPLE – SHOUD THE LISTENER NOT BE DISTRACTED FROM THE MUSIC? Occult is plain and simple. We are not a complex band – musically or personality wise. Besides, I am not into all these known artists like Jon Zig and Travis or what’s his name!? Our CD booklet is simply a little dirty book, filled with elegies for the weak. HOW DID THE COLLABORATION WITH IAN GOULSTON TAKE PLACE? Ian is a friend of mine who creates very cool experimental and often very dark music or soundscapes. I needed an intro for our live shows and I was tired of using some known soundtrack music that any band can get and use. I wanted something that would be exclusively written for Occult. This way when our fans at shows hear Expire, they will know that Occult is coming. That’s why I asked Ian to make something for us. YOUR SONGS ARE STRAIGHT IN YOUR FACE BUT WITH A TECHNICAL APPROACH. HOW DO YOU KEEP BALANCE? I don’t think that our songs are technical, just tight and precise after years of playing. Also we do sift through the riffs that Richard (our Guitar player) comes with and anything that seems off “balance” – goes out. Richard should answer this… YOU RELEASED A DVD CALLED “TO BE THRASHED” – WHAT CAN THE FAN EXPECT? HAS IT BEEN VERY EXPENSIVE TO PRODUCE? We (Occult) decided to present our fans with something more like a biography. That means not just playing live, but everything from back stage, to recording, to interviews, or simply rehearsing and drinking. On this DVD we wanted to show how we started, and where we are now. We were willing to share not only the good times but also the sad ones and the craziness behind it all. I had tons of footage going back to our early beginnings not mentioning the fact that I am in video business and never part with my camera. Reducing hours of material was hard but I had fun with the editing. As you see we didn’t have to pay any one to do the edit, or the graphics and Ian again composed some extra music that I wanted to throw in. I only had to pay for the pressing, that’s why it’s limited to 2000 copies and it can be ordered only through us (Occult) or my company Lowlifemedia. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE CURRENT DUTCH METAL SCENE? TOO MANY BANDS WITH FEMALE SOPRANO SINGERS? Yes lots of it haha… but there is still a good range of death/thrash bands like: Pentacle, Flesh made sin, Deadhead, Thanatos, Callenish Circle etc… DO YOU FEEL THAT THE DUTCH PRESS SUPPORTS LOCAL BANDS IN A PERFECT WAY? The media mostly concentrates on the bands that are popular at the moment, which makes sense if they want more people to buy their magazines and stay in the business. I know that it kills the honesty from the face of music, but what can you do? ACCORDING TO YOUR NAME – DO YOU LIKE HORROR/ PSYCHOLOGICAL MOVIES? I do like Horror movies and psychological thrillers but our name has not much to do with my taste for the movies. I picked this name when I was into occult and black magic and although our lyrics leaned more towards the topics dealing with violence we decided to stick with “Occult” as our name, since people already knew us under that name. WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER INTERESTS BESIDES MUSIC? I run my own business which deals with video productions. I like filming and working with computers. Most of the time I am busy with that. WHEN WILL WE SEE YOU LIVE IN GERMANY WILL YOU PLAY ANY OF THE FESTIVALS? Nope! YOU EXIST SINCE THE EARLY 90TIES. I SUPPOSE THERE HAVE BEEN SOME INTERESTING EXPERIENCES. ANY FUNNY TOUR STORIES, ANY CATATROPHES? There is always something funny or frustrating going on – especially on tours. For instance when we toured with Dark Funeral, we went through 6 or 7 busses in less than a week, but I heard some tours went through 13 busses in less than a week, so its not even a catastrophe anymore haha WHAT IS THE MOTOR BEHIND YOU STILL CREATING MUSIC IN 2004? Simply having fun with what we do, and NEVER thinking about how many albums we’ve sold, or how much money we could get from playing at such and such venue, that’s our “motor”. ANY FAMOUS LAST WORDS? “Only Death is real, only Black is true” Per Yngve Ohlin

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