DYSCORDIA – A Talk With MARTIJN DEBONNET (Guitars/Vocals)

Posted on January 11th. 2020

Questionnaire by Stefan on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM


On the seventh of January 2020 this Belgian seven-piece band released their third album entitled “Delete / Rewrite” ! Four years have passed since their predecessor saw the light of day and believe me on my word, it has been more than worth the wait. Regarding the previous album “Words In Ruin” and more, Dyscordia was willing enough to give us the necessary information, I’m glad they’re ready to play the same thing again in regards to their latest work, a masterpiece that left a clear impression on me. Let’s not waste time and get straight to the point…

L-R: Wouter Nottebaert (bass & vocals) / Martijn Debonnet (guitars & vocals) / Piet Overstijns (lead vocals) / Stefan Segers (guitars & grunts) / Guy Commeene (lead guitars) / Wouter Debonnet (drums)

Stefan: Thanks for having you guys on board again, a proof of respect and willingness ! Your brand new album “Delete / Rewrite” has recently been released. What are the predefined expectations / are you guys satisfied with this way ed result?

Martijn: Hi Stefan, thanks for having us, always a real pleasure. Expectations for Delete / Rewrite were pretty high, since we’re always trying to better ourselves. It’s been a long journey, but we’re all really happy with the result, even if it meant sacrificing a lot of hours of work from time to time…

 

Stefan: I suppose the last four years have been spent working on the new album, which seems like a considerable period of time to me. Has this waiting time been due to unforeseen developments that occurred during the recording process or something like that? It may also be that you have spent all the necessary time to create a perfect album, speak freely.

Martijn: No disasters or bad luck, just our plain old perfectionism. Some songs were discarded altogether after months of work, because we didn’t feel like they were up to our high standards. Some songs went back to the drawing table and turned out something else entirely. We even segregated ourselves for a long weekend in the Ardennes, so as not to be disturbed in our creative process by anything or anyone. We worked hard from early morning to… well, early morning every day, planning and sanding all the time to hone the songs to their full potential.

Stefan: Who took care of the texts, who wrote them and what subjects are covered?

Martijn: Piet, our lead vocalist, writes all of the main lyrics, and Stefan adds the grunts. They mostly tell the simple tales of normal people, living their lives in all beauty and ugliness that is the world today. So the lyrics should feel very real and very recognizable for anyone with experience in life.

 

Stefan: Can you tell me a little more about creating a new song. How is this process handled in Dyscordia’s camp?

Martijn: Most of the time, songs start with a small idea, some inspiration, a riff, a rhythm. These ideas are recorded in my computer, and by building on these, slowly a song emerges. Sometimes these become a Dyscordia song, sometimes they don’t. But sometimes we jam in the rehearsing room and a song is born in an entirely different way.

When a song structure is ready, we try rehearsing to check out how it sounds for real. Oftentimes, after that it’s back to the drawing board. Also, all band members have final say in their parts. Adding lead vocals is the last step, most of the time.

When ready for the cd, we all record our parts and bring them together for a demo. And after that, the finetuning begins. Sometimes it happens that a song is discarded in this stadium, because it just didn’t work out.

 

Stefan: The production was again in the hands of the famous duo Bogren and Lindgren. Your past shows that the collaboration with these two masters is going very well. How did this collaboration actually come into its own?

Martijn: We couldn’t be happier with this duo, the massive sound they deliver is fantastic. Oftentimes, we think our demo sounds pretty good, but then the mix of Jens just blows that away easily.

Actually, this is the fourth album that they are producing for us, we knew them with our previous band Gwyllion. And we haven’t changed since, why change a winning team?

Stefan: I suppose the move to faraway Sweden has been more than worth it. How are these two gentlemen in everyday life, pleasant to work with? How much time did you spend there?

Martijn: Apart from being the very best metal producer of this universe, Jens is also a very nice guy. He really listens to our input, although he won’t let us make any changes if he thinks we’re wrong (and trust me, if he says so, we are!). And with the production of our previous album he took us on a fishing trip. For this album, we were so confident that we didn’t go to Sweden. We got regular updates to listen to, had a great cooperation, and we’re extremely happy with the result.

 

Stefan: What can you tell me about the cover artwork, provided by guitarist Guy Commeene. What’s the story behind the image that’s on the front side?

Martijn: Yeah, Guy is a great visual artist. He’s also a great tattoo artist, by the way. His inspiration seems limitless, and this is what he came up with for the theme Delete / Rewrite. I think it’s somewhere between a dream world and harsh reality, inner feelings visualized, but that’s what I make of it. I guess anyone can find their own connection to it.

 

Stefan: The new album was preceded by the beautiful video for the title song. What can you say about the recording process?

Martijn: We had real fun, going into this ruin of an old school. We had to bring our own generators, and all furniture and lighting and lots of gear. All of this footage was recorded by Yngwie Vanhoucke in two days, and several hours went into moving stuff! Still, we got it done in two days, but the production process after that took a great deal of time.

Stefan: When I heard this song for the first time, it took some getting used to. The typical Dyscordia sounds were present, yet I heard room for some new elements. A somewhat newer approach is always good for the confidence of the band, how did the fans and media react to that?

Martijn: I think for the most part, we write the music we like playing and listening to ourselves. We’ve been very lucky so far, since an ever growing fanbase likes this music, too. The first reviews are very positive, and our new release got us a gig at Alcatraz Hardrock & Metal Festival 2020. That’s great!

 

Stefan: In the meantime I’ve been able to admire all the new songs and to be honest I admit that this time you’ve surpassed all your previous albums (and they were already so damn good!) in terms of musical perfection. I’d like a reaction from your side guys.

Martijn: Thanks! We really wanted Delete / Rewrite to be as perfect as possible. A lot of time went into every detail, to make sure that the album sounds exactly the way we want it to, and we’re really proud of the result!

 

Stefan: In order to write a review that was as objective as possible, I had asked an employee of MTI to take care of this, and Holger B. did this with pleasure and dedication. What hardly ever happened I made a double review of it by adding some lines of myself, this out of pure respect and appreciation for the mighty Dyscordia. May I ask how you have digested this review?

Martijn: We’re always very happy if people really take the time and effort to listen and review our entire album. So a very big thanks, and thumbs up! Also, it’s a nice boost of our ego when people are that positive! 😊

 

Stefan: As far as I’m concerned, Delete/Rewrite took some getting used to in the beginning, but after some time the power and musical perfection crept deep into my soul, meanwhile I proclaim the album to be a real masterpiece. The best Belgium has to offer in terms of melodic death and progressive power metal. Have there been other reviews, how have they reacted to your new album?

Martijn: Yes, we’ve had a few, in Dutch, English and German so far. Generally they’re really positive, so we have high hopes for some more gigging in the future. We think our genre is not very mainstream – metal, and we always have to work a bit harder than your average dead or trash metal band. But we love the music we play, and we feel very lucky that so many others do as well.

Stefan: As far as the bonus number is concerned, I personally have my doubts. This a cappella version ‘Rise And Try’ gets an approval but only for the performance delivered; not because I like this kind of song. In other words, I would have preferred a typical Dyscordia song where power and melody are central. Whose idea was it to end your album with a song like this?

Martijn: Actually, this was an idea for a song by Piet. He recorded all lines with his vocal, intending to make this into a full Dyscordia song. But when the rest of us heard this, we thought it sounded so great and funny that we wanted to use it as is, as a bonus track. So it’s kind of a gimmick, really. We shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.

 

Stefan: If you have read my review you already know what my favorite songs are. May I ask which one you prefer, and why exactly?

Martijn: Well this is very different from band member to band member, actually. My own preferred songs are This House, because it’s strong and versatile, and The Cards Have Turned, because I really dig the riff in the beginning. But I love all songs, off course, as do the other band members. The songs that we didn’t all love, didn’t make the album!

 

Stefan: Is the new album also offered abroad, how is the distribution done in the camp of Dyscordia.

Martijn: Yes, the CD’s are distributed by Dutch Music Works throughout Europe. CD’s and merch can also be ordered from our website www.dyscordia.com. Vinyl will also be available, but in a really limited edition red vinyl. They will only be sold at live shows.

And off course, we’re on all the digital platforms: spotify, i-tunes, … .

Stefan: I think a band like Dyscordia, who radiates so much talent, should play more abroad. On European soil you are far above the musical average as far as I’m concerned. That’s why I argue that Dyscordia, who doesn’t only shine in Belgium, should also introduce the rest of Europe to this kind of talent. I don’t know if this plea will ever be followed up, I hope so and ask you guys to respond to this statement.

Martijn: Well we think so too 😊 And we’re really open to any shows abroad. Actually, we’re actively looking for shows in Germany for the moment. These days, there are countless incredibly fantastic bands, however, and they all want to play.

The more we can play, the happier we are, so if you’d like a Dyscordia show near you, contact info@dyscordia.com ! 😊

 

Stefan: In terms of live gigs, what is already planned for this new year 2020? The confirmation of taking part of Belgian best event called Alcatraz Hard Rock & Metal Festival must be one of the highlights, right?

Martijn: Yes, actually playing Alcatraz in 2017 was one of our greatest experiences ever. It’s a great festival, Belgium’s Finest in my opinion.

There are some more we can’t disclose yet, but here goes:

18-01-2020 Delete / Rewrite release party, De Kreun, Kortrijk (sold out)… online

17-05-2020 Waregemse Metal Day, Expo Hall, Waregem… online

And off course we’re proud to be part of Alcatraz Festival 2020, Kortrijk… online

Stefan: On January the 18th. your CD release concert will take place, unfortunately I can’t be there due to physical problems… What can the visitors expect?

Martijn: We’re going to have a blast! There are a lot of new things happening, both visually and soundwise, so for us it’s very exciting. We’re always looking to better ourselves, and not afraid to take some risks from time to time. The digital drums and elimination of guitar cabinets certainly were such risks, and a bit scary. But now we’re really confident that our sound on the release show will be killer!

 

Stefan: Would you like to tell us something about the support acts, who are they and what do they have to offer?

Martijn: Shocker and Chalice are two local bands that really deserve the chance for a bigger audience. They surely will not disappoint, and they’ll probably start the party early!

 

Stefan: We have just plunged into the new year 2020, what are the intentions?

Martijn: Hopefully playing lots more gigs, hopefully a bit further from our home town.  Most importantly: staying together as a band, and continuing our friendship. Taking care of our incredible Dyscordia Army Fanbase, without whom we wouldn’t stand where we stand.

 

Stefan: I’d like to thank you very much for answering my questions. If there’s anything else you’d like to add, feel free. Cheers !

Martijn: A very big thanks to you Stefan, for having us again. Let’s support each other in the metal community. And horns up!

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