Thanatos – the best is yet to come!

interviw with stefan gebedi thanatos

Thanatos were formed in 1984 as Holland’s first ever Death/Thrash Metal band and managed to create quite a buzz in the Metal underground scene in the years from 1985 to 1990, releasing a couple of very successful demo tapes and playing shows with the likes of Napalm Death, Kreator, Sepultura, Bolt Thrower, Autopsy, Death Angel and Messiah. In 1989 THANATOS signed a record deal with Sh**k Records and released their debut album ’Emerging from the Netherworlds’ in 1990, followed by the excellent ’Realm of Ecstasy’ in 1992.

Unfortunately, the German record label excelled in incompetence, resulting in poor distribution and a total lack of promotion. When European tours with both Cannibal Corpse and Exhorder fell through and the relationship with the record company got even worse, guitarist/vocalist Stephan Gebédi decided to put the band on ice in 1992.
In the years that followed, the band received numerous requests for copies of the aforementioned albums. And after seven long years where countless bands tried to copy the raw and energetic Metal sound of the eighties and early nineties, the music of one of the absolute pioneer-bands of the European Death/Thrash scene has once again been made available to a new generation of Metal-hungry mutants…….

Thanatos reformed with a new line up and in September 1999 the band signed to Hammerheart records.

’Emerging from the Netherworlds’ and ’Realm of Ecstasy’ were re-released separately featuring demo tapes/ live recordings as bonus tracks. Following these re-releases, Thanatos recorded a new album, called “Angelic Encounters” which was released in November 2000. After the release of this album the band played many shows in Europe.

In June 2001 drummer Aad was replaced by Yuri Rinkel.

Right now the band is working on new material for their fourth album, which will see THANATOS once again combining the best elements of old school death/thrash metal and the more modern types of death metal…

Beware..the best is yet to come!!!

interview with Stephan Gebédi on 11-8-2001

Please give us a short introduction of yourself?
Well, I’m a 34 year old metal fart. I formed Thanatos in 1984 -we were quite successfull in the underground scene in the years ‘85-’90… We made two albums in the early nineties and then we split up because of internal problems and problems with the record company. In ‘99 I reformed the band with new members and last year our comeback album ‘angelic encounters’ was released.

What was the band starting again? Any personal urge?
I felt I still had some unfinished business left with Thanatos; we only made two albums and I had loads of ideas for a new record. Besides that I still like playing this type of music very much; both work in the studio and playing live.

What do you think of the scene today? Different than 10 years ago?
Well, there are a lot more bands now, the technical ability of most musicians is much higher nowadays, but I think bands sounded more original in the 80’s. Basically everything you hear nowadays has already been done. I also think the scene was closer and ‘more underground’ those days

The last CD has a great line up. What are the reactions to the album till now?
Actually we just had a line up-change last month, we have a new drummer called Yuri Rinkel and to be honest, his style fits the band much better than Aad’s style, who was getting too busy with Sinister and Houwitser also. Yuri is more technical, tighter and has more feeling in his drumming, so we’re quite happy to have him in the band, but back to your question; we got a lot of very positive reviews in the press for this album, the reviews were much better than the reviews we got in the past, so I guess most people liked the new album..

You got reactions from the first edition of Thanatos fans?
Yes, there seem to be more old metal farts out there than I had expected. most of the old fans liked the album, although certain people prefer the debut album and the more ‘thrashy’ drumming of Remo.. well, they will be satisfied when they hear the next album.

Are you religious in any way? Or maybe superstitious?
No, not in any way. I was born and raised catholic, around the age of 15 I became interested in occult themes and satanism… Nowadays I’m a pure atheist, or better put ‘anti-relgious’ as I think organised religion is the root of all evil in this world…Death to all religions!

What is your maingoal with the band?
We don’t have any big goals; we just want to make every album better than the one before, play some cool shows or tours and be treated like the gods we are, haha! Of course I would love to make a living by playing death metal, but I’m afraid that will never happen.

What are your other activities beside the band?
Most of us have full time jobs; Theo works at a steel company (very metal!) and he also writes for ‘master of brutality’-.Magazine, Yuri is unemployed and also playing in Liar Of Golgotha, he’s also busy designing websites, Paul is a teacher and he is the guitarist/vocalist of Creamation. I work at the unemployment benefit office and I also write for Aardschok Magazine.

Still enjoying to perform on stage? Or is this what Thanatos is about?
Yes, very much, but I like recording just as much.

Do you read the newspaper everyday?
Not every day, but I read through the headlines and sportspages quite often.. I wish I had more time to read.

What is the metal capitol in the Netherlands and why?
Haha, you probably want me to say Eindhoven or Tilburg?! I really don’t know; the Rotterdam area has some cool bands like Thanatos, Pyaemia, Sinister, Houwitser and we have this great metal venue called the Baroeg where many cool bands play, but I’m not saying this makes Rotterdam the metal capital of Holland, cause the number of metal fans in Rotterdam is incredibly low… I really don’t know what’s the metal capital of Holland and to be honest I don’t care either!

What kind of music should never be played in public?
‘r&b music’ and most other kinds of ‘black’ music. The worst song ever has got to be Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ ‘Come on Eileen’ though… God, I really hate that song!!!

Your opinion on legalizing drugs? Any adiction your self?
I think Marihuana and even stuff like Ecstasy and Mushrooms should be legalized. I don’t have any addictions, but I drink quite often and I’ve tried various types of drugs.. some of them, like Ecstasy, are pretty cool I think!

Do you drink till you puke or know when to stop?
Sometimes I know when to stop, but most of the time I get totally drunk, I hardly ever puke though.

Do you have a favorit TV program? Or are you a movie lover?
I’m more into movies, especially Italian gore/splatter movies-they rule!

Are you a collector of something?
I have quite a few horror movies on DVD and video, but I’m not someone who is very fanatical about collecting something…

Any hobbies that can shock us?
Nah, I don’t think anybody reading this will be shocked by the fact that I watch ectreme gore movies or that I’m interested in serial killers and like watching extreme gang bang and cumshot movies?! That’s just the profile of the average metal head I guess…

What was your first reaction when you heard metal for the first time? Do you remember which song/band it was?
The first single I ever bought was ‘Hellraiser’ by the Sweet when I was 7 years old… Not really metal , but still hard rock. I discovered Kiss when I was 11 years old and then things got worse with Priest, Sabbath, Venom, Slayer etc… It all happened smoothly, so before I knew I was totally hooked on metal and there was no way back!

Is metal a way of life? And for life?
Metal is the most important thing in my life, but I try to combine it with other important things in my life.. I still have a normal life next to be “being metal”, but to be honest it plays a big part in every aspect of my life.. I think people who are really metal will stay that way untill you die.. maybe they don’t look ‘metal’ anymore when they are 60 years old, but it will always be in the soul

For how long do you want to continue your musical carrier?
I will definitely continue with Thanatos for the next couple of years, but I think it is ridiculous to see a 50 year old guy play death metal, so I see myself continue to play metal, but maybe I’ll start a band in the style of Judas Priest/ Black Sabbath after a few more Thanatos albums

And after your musical carrier? Any profession you are doing or can do?
Most of already have a profession.. so unfortunately we’ll have to continue our lousy jobs until we’re old and grey!!

Last rites?
No not really, thanx for your help and stay brutal!!!

Interviewer: Twan

Aug 11, 2001

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