DEAFCON – A Talk With BENNY BERLANE (Guitar)

Posted on April 20th. 2017

Questionnaire by Stefan on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM

Photo credits by Franky Schutz: https://www.facebook.com/Franky.Schutz.Fotografie/?ref=nf 


 

Benny

The time has come to have a conversation regarding Belgian based, hard-hitting power trio Deafcon. Roadie/longtime brother in Rock & Metal named Juul gave me Deafcon’s first demo a while ago and the pleasure was mine to writing down my thoughts on the effort, as a matter to support my own local Metal scene. They’ve worked for six months to complete the four songs on it and the end result attains a fairly high level. Reach for my review at: http://cdreviewsd.metaltoinfinity.be/deafcon-deafcon-independent/ … I’d like to know more about the band’s establishment period, ambitions, future plans and stuff so don’t wait any longer and let’s get start to business… a talk with axeman Benny !

Q: First on, who’s the one that came on with the idea to set up a band like Deafcon?

A: My idea , there’s almost nothing to compare with, they all play the same material. All I want is something that sound brutal but also a good and nice rock & roll song. Anyway, you know what it’s sound like.

 

Q: Deafcon, any particular reason why you have chosen this name?

A: Defcon is the red phone in the White House and in the Kremlin. If that phone rings, you better beware and get the hell out because it means total destruction ! Actually that’s why our intro is the theme from Armageddon. It was bass player David who finally took the initiative to change the first three letters ‘DEF’ to ‘DEAF’ because of the decibels we create while performing, loads of decibels that’ll ring your ears for sure !

 

Cisse

Q: How the very first line-up looked like – does the current occupation still looks the same or some changes took place over the years?

A: No, only the drummer Jones VanHee has been replaced, he was the first but left the ranks due to the lack of time. The new drummer Cisse Vanyzere lives in my street and actually, I didn’t know that he was a drummer, a looooooooooong story to tell…

 

Q: Does the current band members have a musical background?

A: Yes all the 3 of us, Cisse played with Traffic Jam (Progressive Rock), David teamed up with Motorcity Angels (Hard Rock with heavy riffs almost like …….), and me Morehead , Motörhead tribute band.

 

Q: The first few songs ever played with the band were Motörhead covers I guess, am I right or totally wrong?

A: Totally wrong, we did know that we all loved Motörhead from the heart. life is strange, but after the first 30 minutes jam, we looked at each other and said, it sounds like Motörhead. So it was a blessing for me and said by my own (finally I found them). Anyway, the first song we played was called ‘180’.

 

Dave

Q: Listening to the demo, you guys have a strong connection with Lemmy & Co. Was that one of the predefined ambitions, playing in the vein of these UK legends as some kind of an homage to your idols?

A: In my case Yes, but with a taste of my youth in it (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zep… even Rory Gallagher and Jimi Hendrix… I can’t speak talk for my mates.

 

Q: At the end of my review, I recommend the effort also to some other acts like American Dog, Nitrogods and Nashville Pussy… can you deal with it or not?

A: Hell yeah, I did knew them… , now I‘m hooked on it, special Nitrogods I love pretty much. But if you find the time, take a look at Copperhead, they are one of my favors as well.

 

Q: You guys offering your stuff in a Motörhead way mainly, that’s for sure but I really like to hear you are strong enough to create your own songs as well. Who’s responsible for the song writing duties and what about the textual content?

A: Simple answer; All three ! One comes up with a riff and strange enough, after 1 rehearsal the song is DONE. Only here and there some breaks to fill in and as for the lyrics, all the three of us have great ears for what we want to play, and if we really are able to perform it. It doesn’t make sense to play Satriani stuff if you do not have the skills to deliver it as it should be.  Less Is More , just like Eddie Clarke says !

 

Q: On which topics the lyrics are based on, feel free to guide us through a few of the songs?

A: The song ‘180’ goes about a Dart player, ‘Master In Disguise’ is all about a sick manager and ‘Holy War’ brings the story about the life we live in now. ‘Mean Machine’ about a fast dragster.

 

Q: Do you have an address where to order the demo or other merchandise?

A: At this very moment the demo is available at our gigs and on our FB page, we work on it later.

 

Q: Meanwhile some live gigs belong to the past, satisfied so far or not?

A: Hell no ,we have to grow in it, from small pubs to maybe bigger stages… at this moment we have not the budget to pay a good P.A and sound engineer, we try to do our best with what we have, we still call it Rock & Roll !

 

Q: Some more concerts will come on soon, which dates fans should hold free?

A: As for now, i see that the people that already have seen us, comes back with more people so that feels good. When you hit the stage and see in the front all kinds of people with a Deafcon shirt and a small talk after the gig with them, does wonders. Stay yourself and accept some critical advice, so learn something from your fans to… we are all one family, that’s what I am in for.

 

Q: Can you tell succinctly how a live set of deafcon looks like, what songs do you guys play during a live act?

A: Normally the duration of a live performance is about 90 minutes. We do 10 songs written by our own hands and 3 Motörhead songs of which ‘Overkill’ is always the last one. You got to leave the present folks while they’re still wild and free so they remember you even longer. Starting with ‘180’ followed by ‘Mean Machine’, ‘Crazy Horses’, ’Sometimes’, ’Holy War’, ‘Master In Disguise’, ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’, ‘Night On The Town’, ‘I Got Erection’, ’Life Is Strange’, ‘Deafcon Intro’, Deafcon Deafcon, and at last ‘Overkill’. Bonus tracks we play are ‘Ace Of Spades’, and again one we didn’t play so well , it either feels like a punishment to play it quite right.

 

Q: In what ways the press and media have reacted up to date?

A: Good but not so many people know we exist so we got to make some work to place Deafcon on the map.  We do exist for only one year, so…

 

Q: I’d like to hear more from Deafcon in the future and was wondering if you guys have the ambition to record a full length effort asap. Have you been approached by a particular record company?

A: Yes normally at this end of the year and yes, there is some interesting to do some with us in Holland  but it takes time and money.

 

Q: Would you consider to bring out a self-financed album?

A: For this moment that’s the only choice we have, if you know somebody… feel free !

 

Q: Forecasting the future is not always an easy take to complete, still I’d like to ask for it. What do you guys have in mind to create during the next couple of weeks, months, years?

A: Do the same, in my way I do this because after Lemmy’s dead it was like that kind of music also passed away. Forget it, we try to keep this alive and with all the respect for him and family (Paul) and of course we LIKE IT SO MUCH !

 

Q: May I ask for your opinion about the current Belgian Metal scene – which bands get your preference and why?

A: That’s a tricky one, in Belgium we have so many talented people that I like to pass on this one but anyway our friends of Ironborn do it very well. Cowboys And Aliens, King Hiss, our old brothers from Ostrogoth, and many more… sorry for those I forgot to mention. It’s a loooooooong list but in my opinion, rock and roll is not dead but each band has its own character and own influences which is good. I can’t change my own, I still keep digging a little further back in time and find many good things in Blues and Jazz as well.

 

Q: As a purebred Motörhead worshipper yourself, how did you respond to the death of Lemmy Kilmister and Phil Taylor?  What these guys (and actually the whole band) have meant for you as a musician?

A: It took one week to believe it and I still have the shivers when I talk about Lemmy and Co. Wurzel was actually my favorite guitar player because he did things that didn’t fit in MH. So mean and fast and with a sound of his own… he was a wild one, R.I.P. Michael Burston (Wurzel).

 

Q: Than nothing left to say than thanks a lot collaborating to this conversation. All the very best and hope to catch a Deafcon concert when the time seems right to me. Feel free to speak some final words Benny.

A: No matter what, Less is More… do what you believe and it comes back to you like a boomerang. I hope to see you all on one of our DEAFCON gigs and feel free to have a chat with me… bye, I love you all !

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