The prank of Bodyfarm
Bodyfarm was found in the late summer of 2009 by Quint Meerbeek (drums) and Thomas Wouters (guitars, vocals) with the intenstion to play quality death metal with a mind of it's own. The self titled EP released in 2010 received great responses. In April 2012 Bodyfarm finished their debut full-length "Malevolence" (Cyclone Empire Recs) and will be released soon. But before it hit the streets we have a little chat with Thomas Wouters.
Please give us a short introduction of yourself?
Hi there. I am Thomas Wouters, guitarist and vocalist for Dutch death metal band Bodyfarm. I live in a town called Amersfoort, where the Bodyfarm Headquarters lie.
What kind of secrets can you tell about the other three guys in the band?
Besides that they’re extremely gay, there’s not much to tell about them. Ofcourse they’re less good looking, and they’re not as smart and talented as me.
On a more serious note, their names are Quint (drums), Bram (guitars) and Mathieu (bass). They are damn talented, actually.
Bodyfarm started in 2009 with the intention to make quality death metal. Write words/yells/sounds that makes this clear.
We’re releasing our new album Malevolence trough Cyclone Empire Records. Getting picked up by a label like that is a huge honor, and we’re very proud of that. That is the first aspect of quality. The other aspect is that we’re always focusing on our live performance and songwriting. We’re never satisfied, so we push really hard to make good music. That is very important to keep the quality high.
What makes you stand out of the zillion death metal bands in the scene? And how do you try to reach the masses?
We do not stand out at all. We’re doing nothing new or something special. That makes it really hard to stand out and reach the masses, but that’s not what we’re aiming for. We make death metal because it’s our passion, and everyone who likes what we do are most welcome to enjoy our music and interact with us. We’re trying to accomplish that trough social media like Facebook and Reverbnation. We have a lot of friends who are promoting us, and Cyclone Empire Records is doing a hell of a job too.
After the 2010 EP you played several shows. With only 4 songs it is hard to make a show. Which other songs did you play?
After the recordings of the EP we started writing again. With this new material we where able to play live shows. Some of those extra songs where deleted or altered, and some you can find on our new album. For example ‘Sleep Terror’ and ‘Demons Of The Cross’. Those are almost just as old as the songs on the EP! We have been polishing them and uprading them trough the years.
The shows you played obviously were opening acts. With what bands did you play? When do you think you can headline a show? Or maybe a self chosen festival?
That is right. We have played a couple of times with Hail Of Bullets. We have been fans of that band since their first album, and to play with them is a blast! They’re great guys with a very ‘down to earth’ attitude! They’ve always been very supportive towards us and we really appreciate that!
We do not care about being the headliner of a show. We just want to play with good bands, have a good time and drink beer. As long as it’s a nice venue with a nice stage, we’re good! Our great wish is to play on festivals like Party San, Summer Breeze and Metal Camp.
If it could be arranged that you can go on tour, would it be easy to join a package? I assume you have jobs or maybe still going to school. What kind of work/school do you do?
I am a nurse in a psychiatric hospital, Quint (drums) is a plasterer, Bram (guitars) is still studying and Mathieu (bass) is a graphic designer. It’s not a problem for us to go on tour, but it’s not easy to join a package. We see a lot of small bands who buy themselves in a tour for a couple of thousand euro’s. We just don’t have that money, so we patiently wait for the day that we get invited on a tour, but I don’t think that it will happen in the near future.
With the economic recession we're all in, do you think to make some money by releasing CDs, merch or concerts?
Not a single penny! Ofcourse we will sell our CD’s and our merchandise, but that money will be used to finance the next album. Making money in death metal these days is almost impossible. I think illegal downloading is the main cause, and I don’t think that the economic recession has anything to do with it. Everybody acts all hysterical about this recession but we still have money to go on vacation and buy luxuries and all. Downloading music is just being cheap, but I also don’t think that notorious downloaders realise what it takes to make an album, and how much money a band pays for it.
The recession is not only affecting bands but also fans. If they ask you for the solution, what would you say? What is your view about this?
The solution for the scene? That would be stop downloading and support your bands like a true fan would do. I have never downloaded a single album in my life and I’m proud of that. Keep supporting the local metal bands by going to their shows. It shows the clubs and venues that death metal is still alive. Ofcourse, more metal acts will be booked then.
The debut "Malevolence" is about to release and it need promotion. So say in your own words why fans should give it a twist?
Mainly because it’s very listenable. No technical twists here, just grooving stuff. I think it’s a good mix of US death and Swe-death, without being a clone of the old masters. The production is very clear yet raw, so I think the true old school vibe is on there!
How much sweat, tears and blood did it cost to record the album? Any difficulties you came across? And what is the most important thing you learned about recording a full length?
This album was made out of blood, sweat and tears. In the first place, the writing process went very slow, mainly because of the many gigs we’ve played. We have been searching for the particular Bodyfarm sound, so we have tried a lot of stuff in our songwriting. I think you can hear that on Malevolence in a good way. After we finally agreed on the songs we wanted to record, we went to Harry van Breda from Oerknal Studio’s. We’ve known Harry for a long time and he also produced the EP. Harry also is playing bass on this album, and on the EP! He is a great guy who works really smooth and accurate. Trough the process I became more and more tired, and it almost got the best of me because I had to arrange everything. For the layout of the album we went to Fred from Xplosive Design again. He is just an amazing artist and a very good friend. The front cover was drawn by Erik Visser, and the intro was composed by Pasi Pitkänen.
The whole process was very hard because I’m kind of a controlfreak. I’ve learned that I have to let things go sometimes in order to let them work. It’s the best for everybody involved because these guys work very smooth and fast, haha. I’m just glad that everything turned out good and that we are satisfied with the final result!
On the Massacre cover you have guest vocals of Kam Lee! How did you came in contact and was he easy to persuaded? Tell us the juicy story please…
Kam is in The Grotesquery together with Rogga Johansson. We are label mates. We talked to Rogga about doing guestvocals on Cryptic Realms, but then Rogga said “why won’t you let Kam do it?” So Kam contacted us and he was very excited to do it! Kam is a great guy and we have good contact. Ofcourse he did an amazing job on the vocals.
How did you discover Massacre and all the old bands as you were all just born when death metal started.
That’s not entirely true. Quint is 30 years old and Mathieu is 33 years old. They have been listening to death metal for over 15 years. I started listening to metal at the age of 10, and I’m 24 now. Ofcourse you start listening to the classic bands like Alice Cooper, Metallica, Motörhead, Type O Negative etc. But then things are getting more and more extreme, like Cannibal Corpse, Monstrosity, Grave, Entomed…
For us it has always been interesting to discover our roots, so we have know the From Beyond album by Massacre for a lot of years. Hell, I can remember buying Storm Of The Light’s Bane by Dissection when I was 12 years old, haha.
And how much did your parents help? I read that the father of Thomas is AJ who played in Beyond Belief and now in Temple).
That’s a facebook-prank. AJ and I are friends but he is not my father. You’re the first who bought it, congratulations! But on a more serious note, our parents are all very supportive. And so is AJ from Beyond Belief and Temple. Temple is a great band, you guys should check it out! Quint his parent are always attending to our gigs, which is very cool!
From "Slaves Of War" you made an official video. Already got over 30.000 hits. How does that feel? Do you like making videos? Any plans for another one?
Over 30.000 hits.. Amazing isn’t it? Most of the reactions are great too. It feels good to receive so many compliments from all over the world and such good feedback. Making the video was fun, but it was a very hot day so we all got sunbunt big time! The guys who made the video are friends of our guitarist Bram: Rob and Nick. Rob is also our ‘merch guy’. Anyway, they did a great job and we are still very happy with the result! We will sure do another video in the future as we learned that Youtube is a great way to meet people.
Your last change to promote "Malevolence"….
Do you like death metal? With an old school touch? And do you like hear Kam Lee doing his job on Cryptic Realms by Massacre? Then you should buy it. Visit our facebook page: facebook.com/bodyfarmdeathmetal and see how to order it. There’s other great merch too, and the EP is still for sale also.
Anything else you want to share with the readers?
Thanks so much for your patience and reading this interview. We hope to have a beer with you guys one day! And thank you BRUTALISM!