Posted on November 28th. 2018
Questionnaire by Officer Nice & Stefan on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM
Hello Dario, here Rico, aka Officer Nice and Stefan from the Metal To Infinity webzine. We have some questions for you, hope you’ll like them.
Officer Nice: Thorium is a new band and still unknown for the Metal community so please, introduce yourself to our readers? Who are the members and what about their musical background?
Dario: Thorium started off in 2016 as a project of Tom Tee, Stripe and myself. As you probably know, indeed three bandmates in Ostrogoth. While writing music for what would become the new Ostrogoth album, we came across some difficulties and different points of view with the other members considering the new tracks. The three of us on the other hand, were really convinced these were good songs so we decided to form our own band for it. After picking the name Thorium, which , at that time, was a name no other active band was using, we started of and made it to the point where we are today.
Officer Nice: The front man of the band was found in Holland, not in Belgium…. How the collaboration came to be?
Dario: Well, basically we started searching for a vocalist who would preferably be from Flanders, for logistical reasons and the ease of speaking the same language. However, although we looked quite hard and had several auditions with really good singers, no one seemed to be fit for the task due to several reasons.
Stefan: Have you first searched for a vocalist from your own environment, Belgium – why did you prefer David Marcelis above some others?
Dario: We definitely did, but no-one seemed to be willing to invest time and too much effort in a new project, although everything was written and demo-recorded, even lyrics and all guide lines. With David, we found someone who was immediately willing to go for it all the way, in a professional manner. His audition for the band was the entire “four by number, four by fate” song, the whole 15 and a half minutes. That made very clear that, besides being an excellent singer, he was willing to go to the full to make this an album and band where we could be really proud of . He has the vibe of the perfect frontman, clear, strong singing abilities and a friendly chap off stage as well.
Stefan: Is David still active in Lord Volture as well?
Dario: Yes he is. As we are working on a professional base with the band with a good agenda and planning for the next couple of years, it’s perfectly combinable to have different things going on without one band needing to refuse or decline offers because the other band has something going. As a matter of fact, everyone in the band has other side-projects besides Thorium. That’s no problem at all.
Officer Nice: Thorium just released its great self-titled debut. So, you have all the freedom to tell us more about the debut album and to make some advertisement. What kind of Metal are we dealing with and why should our readers buy this record?
Dario: Thanks a lot. We are very happy ourselves with this result. All reviews are raving and sales have started pretty good for a new band. As we speak now, that band has already been touring in Spain, Germany, Holland and Belgium in order to promote the album and will go on all the way 2019 to keep on promoting it. Now, considering the style, that’s always a hard one. Let me put it this way… when we started writing songs for this album, we set ourselves no real boundaries in what would fit or not. As you may know, me and Tom love a lot of different styles of music, while me being more a US metal and Bay Area fan and Tom leaning a bit more to progressive metal and European Power metal while Stripe holds on to the Original NWOBHM Maiden style. So putting al this together, would sum up pretty good what’s going on on this record, but we blended all these styles together in songs that represent what Thorium stands for. And we will be keeping on working this way for the next albums.
Officer Nice: How were the reviews about the new album until now? Will the record be available worldwide?
Dario: Nearly all reviews we’ve seen so far are excellent! We were convinced about our album, still it’s absolutely fantastic to see reviewers pick up the stuff that good!
Well, we have a worldwide licensing deal with Empire Records, so the physical copies should be available to everyone who wants to buy it, where ever they may live. People can always buy directly from our shop as well of course, via our website www.thoriumband.com/merch. As for the digital license, we are working with Rock ’N Growl Records, and we are basically available on any digital legal platform I’ve come to think of. Want to hear the entire album before buying it? Please be our guest and stream it on spotify, deezer or another streaming facility. Or download it digitally on iTunes. All good 🙂
Officer Nice: Did you read our review? Agrees or disagrees?
Dario: No, just feeling very humble by reading all these kind words. We found out that there are really people around taking the time to listen to the music thoroughly and giving their well documented version of what they believe it sounds and feels like.
Officer Nice: We wrote in the review the band logo is fantastic. Who created it and what’s the message behind the band name?
Dario: The logo was created by Stripe and Sara Decat, who happens to be my girlfriend. The meaning of Thorium? It’s a a radioactive metallic element. You can find it in the chemical elements table. A strong fierce name, really representing the music we play.
Officer Nice: How was time in studio? Who’s responsible for the song writing?
Dario: Most songs were written by Tom and me, while also Stripe delivered the goods with “All meaning of light” and he co-wrote “Icons Fall” with me. Studio time was really a blast, seeing the songs come to life and having our drummer Louis van der Linden doing the most crazy shit on our songs hahahaha. And David really outperformed on this one. A real joy to watch all what we had in mind come to reality.
Stefan: Do you mind to guide us through a few of the songs, lyrical wise?
Dario: Well, Ostrogoth is all about the rise and fall of the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths, so bummer, but it has nothing to do with our former band as such, Court of Blood handles the Spanish Inquisition and the cruel Duke of Alva and what he did in our countries to those who opposed to the Spanish regime. Icons Fall is all about people trying to manipulate others to reach a higher level themselves, while at the end of their life realizing what they’ve done to others all those years before. Powder and Arms handles about the thirst for adventure throughout differents era’s in time, Return to the Clouds is about the RAF contingent where a lot of Belgian pilots flew and fought against the Germans during WW2……
Stefan: What about the distribution of the album, in which countries can the album be purchased?
Dario: Normally everyone worldwide should be able to order or find a copy of our album. If not, do visit our website where we have our own shop and so you now all income goes directly to the band. You can find it here at www.thoriumband.com/merch
Stefan: Pretty quick, you got the opportunity to sign a deal with Empire Records to release the effort… tell me about please.
Dario: well… we had the songs…. Empire had the label…. That’s pretty much it hahaha… But seriously, I’ve worked with Empire Records in the past, and to us, they seemed the right partner for us in this first adventure. They liked the music, so everything worked out pretty fast.
Stefan: Were there certain conditions attached to the contract?
Dario: As a vinyl lover, I had one important condition: I wanted to release this album on vinyl. But that’s always the case with any Empire release.
Officer Nice: Some of you guys used to play with that other Belgian band, Ostrogoth. One track on the album calls ‘Ostrogoth’. Is there a specific message behind this?
Dario: not really. It’s all about the rise and fall of the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths in the Dark Ages.
Stefan: For what particular reason you guys left the band – how the rest in Ostrogoth responded on the news of your departure?
Dario: Allow me to skip this question. I feel no need to live in the past, but more importantly, want to look onto the future. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and the road is equally long. No reason to look back at the past. As a friend of mine always says; No retreat, No surrender.
This being said, I love the period I was inside that band and we did some really wonderful concerts and meet a lot of great people. I hold dearly to that.
Officer Nice: I suppose you guys follow the Metal scène from very close… So, from 2018, what were the best releases, in your opinion, until now?
Dario: Pppphhheeeeeeewww….. that’s a really hard one… with so many releases coming out…. I do love the latest Visigoth album, and the new Heir Apparent and Fifth Angel records are killer.as well. Pretty much blown away by the new Witherfall as well I must say. I really love the Groundbreaker release as well, the new project of FM singer Steve Overland. And I still have to dive in that new Attacker that came out a while ago…
Stefan: Tough one, what’s the best Belgian band(s) at the moment – why?
Dario: that’s a real tough one, and please allow me not to answer this question since I don’t want to create mixed feelings by some of my fellow musicians and friends in Belgium by forgetting some bands or people by mistake.
But I definitely can say this: there are a lot of good bands hailing from Belgium the last couple of years, a lot of talent out there. No need to look up to bands from Holland or Germany or UK anymore, that time’s past long due. We have equally quality bands, but we still need to convince the people abroad of the New Wave Of Belgian Metal. For me personally, I think there lies the biggest achievement for Belgian bands to make in the near future, convincing people in other countries about our talents.
Stefan: Same question in regards to the international Metal movement – which foreign acts get your preference?
Dario: Hhhmmm I have a very big list….to keep it strictly metal here are some: Armored Saint always deliver what they ask hahaha….Fates Warning, Liege Lord, Attacker always kick major ass, our friends in Q5 as well, Visigoth, Striker’s a real good live band, I mean… there are so many…
Officer Nice: I know Thorium already played some gigs. How were they until now and what is the strategy – talking about live concerts – for the next period?
Dario: Really well actually. We’ve done like 15 shows so far and are in the planning of 2019 with a lot more concerts all over Europe. Playing keeps on being the best promotional action a band can undertake, as well getting to know your fans and music lovers in general.
Officer Nice: I noticed the album is available on CD and vinyl. What’s the address of the homepage where it’s possible to order your music and merchandise?
We’re also on instagram and so on…. Go check us out 🙂
Stefan: Future oriented, what are the ambitions?
Dario: Being able to really do a new interview with you guys on a pretty short notice. That would mean we’ve worked really hard and fast on a new album and you liked it 🙂
Officer Nice & Stefan: Thanks for your time answering our questions and be sure that we’ll spread the word of Thorium as good as we can ! Maybe some last comment for our readers?
Dario: First of all, thank you guys for these interesting questions, sure took some thought to answer them! To the metal music lovers: please go out supporting us by the links provided above, check out the album and come to one of our concerts. We hope to see, talk and share a drink with as many as possible of you out there. And do check out the Belgian metal scene in general, you’re in for some great bands out there in different styles. Cheers!!!