I will always have a place in my metal heart for a band from Holland. BODYFARM is just my latest Dutch band to fill that heart with totally great death metal. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
Is Bodyfarm a good name for a death metal band? Given its more scientifical use in reality?
-Yes, we think it is. It’s short and catchy, and it doesn’t represents something deep or pretentious. We play death metal and our lyrical themes may vary, so we like a bandname that doesn’t say what you can expect.
Would you say that you are part of a healthy Dutch death metal scene? What kind of death metal scene is there today?
-Without being cocky I think we can say that yes. There are so many bands over here. The best known bands are o fcourse Hail Of Bullets, Asphyx, Legion Of The Damned, Severe Torture, and some others. That’s the upperground. I think Bodyfarm worked itself to the upper-underground if you know what I mean. We’ve played some shows outside of the country and we allways had great support from the critics and the media. The death metal scene today in Holland is very big. If you want, you can go to death metal gig in The Netherlands every single day. There’s always some band playing somewhere, and every big tour visits the country multiple times. Because of that, it’s pretty hard to be seen in the enormous amount of bands.
Does it add pressure to you knowing that people expect every band to come from Holland to be good? I can’t remember having heard a single bad Dutch metal band.
-Ehr… do they expect that? Haha. I know we have a rich history and present of death metal quality but no, it doesn’t add pressure. We make music because we love to do it. It’s our lives. We are very happy to know that a lot of people like what we do, but if they don’t: no problem. We enjoy every aspect of making death metal and for us it’s all about having fun, playing gigs and meet people.
Death metal today is divided into so many sub-genres that it is close to impossible to keep track of it. What is death metal in its most basic form to you?
-Do you want names? I’d say Vader, Grave, Vomitory, Unleashed, Deicide, Asphyx and some others. Bands like these have been around for twenty to thirty years and still haven’t changed a bit about their musical style. It’s so pure and honest! Those bands are the godfathers of death metal, and without them there would never have been genres like ‘technical vegetarian djentcore’ or whatever these genres are called. It’s a very natural thing for musical styles to evolve, but I’m very glad that there’s still a great scene for primitive, pounding death metal.
When you have an album out what kind of feelings does that bring with it?
-I can only speak for our latest release ‘Malevolence’ since that is our first full-length album. The whole recording process took a while and I’ve been very busy with it. It took a lot of my energy and at one point I seriously doubted the quality of the songs on it. But since its release the positive reactions have just been overwhelming, so now I’m very proud of it. The other guys too. We never expected that the critics and media would love it this much.
How easy is it to let go of something that is done but you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life like an album recorded and released?
-You can work on something for ages and try to improve it until you don’t even know what you’re doing anymore. At some point the material is just ready for the studio, and you’ll just have to wait and hear how it’s turning out. Letting go is sometimes scary because there’s no way back indeed. We had a lot of trust in Harry van Breda who recorded, mixed and mastered the album. And in our opinion it turned out into something we can be proud of. That doesn’t mean that we can’t do better. We’ve learned a lot from this recording process.
How important is the right kind of art work? What wouldn’t have worked on the cover
-Very important! When I walk into a record store, the artwork of an album is the first thing I see. It has to draw your attention. I also think that it has to represent the content of the album. A death metal album with a Nightwish-like cover would be weird. When we were working on the album cover we took a close look at the lyrics. Then Erik Visser made some sketches and we picked one of them for him to work on.
What kind of importance do you place on lyrics? Do they have to fit the music or are they just a necessary evil?
-From every song we write I get a certain ‘vibe’. Then I start writing about whatever comes to my mind. Lyrics turn out violently most of the time, but when you listen to ‘Heartraped’ on our 2010 EP it’s more of a love song, haha! Basically I write about whatever I want. Personal stuff, war, gore, death (and its beauty) and anti-religious extremity… It’s all there. Chuck Schuldiner wrote a lot about issues in life, love, inner conflicts and stuff. It fit in perfectly, so in my opinion it doesn’t have to be about death and gore all the time.
What lyrics are the most death metal in your opinion?
-I honestly don’t have a clue. The most common themes are of course gore, death and anti-Christianity. You could say that these themes are the ‘most death metal’. But I don’t think that they represent death metal. There’s so much freedom in death metal because there are many sub-genres and you can write about whatever you want.
What can we expect in the future from Bodyfarm?
-I hope that you can expect a lot! We are already writing material for the next album, and we’re planning to ge tinto the studio somewhere in early 2013. Until then we’re playing some nice club shows, and we hope to play on some international festivals next year!
Thomas Wouters, guitarist/vocalist Bodyfarm