Posted on November 29th. 2017
Questionnaire by Stefan on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM
In my review for Belgian based Trouble Agency’s newest album “Suspected”, I expressed my displeasure about the fact that too many well-skilled bands be forced to pay everything from their own pocket. Excellent bands are not treated in the right way, I think. It’s a totally unjustified situation that the goods are standing on their own while less/or worthless bands walking around like real pro’s, within their hands a record deal. Based on that fact, justice is lacking and it burns from deep down inside knowing that so many awesome acts are on their own. A serious problem which actually dates from decades ago. Well, I will discuss about this and plenty of more with Larry Van De Rostyne, lead guitarist in Trouble Agency. Hello and welcome here at Metal To Infinity webzine Belgium Larry. First on, congrats from the heart with the newest cut entitled “Suspected”. Great album anyway but let us talk about that a little bit further on.
Stefan: First on, and for those unfamiliar with Trouble Agency, where do you guys come from – by whom and when the band was formed?
Larry: The band was formed in 1993 by Didier, the rhythm guitar player ! And we’re all from Brussels ! !
Stefan: Was it a hard duty to find the right musicians fitting the game of Trouble Agency those days?
Larry: Yes and no, there are lots of musicians around, but they ‘re amost all playing in different bands at the same time, and we were looking for people who could only focus on Trouble Agency ! So that made it kinda more difficult in a way !
Stefan: How the first line up looked like, a little background history on the members would be good to know Larry.
Larry: The first musicians were ex members of Necrosis, Cyclone and Decadence, plus Didier Meeuws on Vocals ! Later came Aladdin on drums, until the current line-up !
Stefan: Where the band name comes from actually?
Larry: The name sounded great to our ears, but the meaning of it is up to the people, it’s a question of interpretation !
Stefan: You joined the TA ranks shortly after ex-Cyclone guitarist Kalle Vanlint called it quits right? Why Kalle left the band?
Larry: He left because he was looking for something else, I guess ! Nothing wrong happened, we’re still friends !
Stefan: Damn, those were the days Cyclone ruled with an iron hand… best band we ever had in the history of Belgian thrash metal in my opinion. Are you agree with me?
Larry: Right, no doubt about it, I was a young roadie of them in the early eighties and saw them grow as a popular successfull band . I really learned a lot of them ! Great experience for the kid I was !
They opened the doors for all of us Belgian bands !
Stefan: Stepping into the Trouble Agency fold, was it for a particular reason or just by coincidence?
Larry: Didier and me are friends since high school, and I met him after several years of distinct ways at a Death Angel gig, where he proposed me to join the band, which I did with pleasure ! We also played together in our very first band Brain cancer around 87 ! Great memories !
Stefan: Previously you were a member of Decadence – I still remember that special gig in Alcatraz Metal Pub (Ghent-Belgium). To those never heard of Decadence, tell some more of the style you guys delivered and why the band’s existence came to an end.
Larry: we were a thrash band influenced by the bay area bands, it was a lot of fun, and believe it or not, we got a record deal after only one gig !! But the band splitted when Areuh, the bassplayer and myself decided to sell all our gear to move to California, which was a mistake! But shit happened !
Stefan: How many efforts did you recorded with Trouble Agency – feel free to mention the titles of each product and which one(s) you like the most of all, for what reason?
Larry: we recorded 2 demos, one LP”he last shot “(which was also a demo), and 2 CDs Moneycracy and Suspected which is my favourite even if I love some old tracks ! I prefer the last one ’cause it seems to me to be the more accomplished one and the good production gives the final touch !
Stefan: The group occupation has never remained stable, guys left on a regular basis. Do you have an explanation for that?
Larry: Yeah, of course ! Through the years we’ve been facing lots of good and bad experiences such as theft, injuries, etc… and of course all the dedicated years of work and the money spent can make it rough !
Stefan: Would it be because Trouble Agency never been approached by a well-deserved record company? May I ask for your opinion to this statement?
Larry: it’s not a secret that every single band would like a record deal ! ’cause it gives you more exposure to the outside world and allows you to get more focused on music itself !
Stefan: Are you agree with me that it isn’t fair that some of the so called ‘less skilled bands’ may sign a contract while some ‘skilled to the teeth’ type of groups see inking a deal slipping through their fingers? I know outstanding bands from the past never been approached by a label, same story to tell about the nowadays metal scene where the greats are left behind like lost dogs. Give awesome bands what they deserve, a proper record deal ! That’s my opinion regarding the whole damn situation. Speak frankly Larry?
Larry: Well that’s a difficult question, but to my opinion it’s a matter of meeting the right person at the right time and someone who believes in your music ! I really think that having the right relations can make the difference, nowadays ! But no hard feeling, we go on….and who knows ?
Stefan: These days you have to pay a lot of cash to unleash your own product, right?
Larry: Right, we payed for almost everything on this CD, only the artwork and the pictures were done freewill by great people who accepted to take the challenge ! As I said, we paid for the rest with the money made on gigs and merchandising !
Stefan: My respect to Trouble Agency is honest and sincere for two reasons. First on you guys’ way of metal fulfills my musical desires – secondly you never give up the fight, no matter the cost. You’ve proved it multiple times in the past, I mean bringing out your efforts independently and keep on going on… respect mate ! Let us talk about your latest recording, the mighty strong “Suspected” album. What about the current line-up, some new guys around the block?
Larry: Yep, Swa the drummer and Kevin the singer came from a band called BREATHSTEALER and Simon the bassplayer has been introduced by friends of ours ! They ‘ve been around, now, for 5 or 6 years, more or less !
Stefan: Where and by whom the album has been recorded, mixed and mastered?
Larry: it’s been recorded in the city of Aubange on the French, Belgian and Luxemburg border ! The place is called EAR WE GO Studio ! We heard his previous productions and were pleased with the sound of ’em ! So we decided to work together ! His name is François Dediste !
Stefan: By whom the songs were written – guide us through some of the lyrical contents please.
Larry: Almost all the songs are written by Didier (music and lyrics) and we add some ideas to finish the songs ! The lyrics are about society issues, or personnal experiences ! But the idea behind it is to avoid to give any lessons but to relate the facts that matter to us !
Stefan: Can you give me some more information about the cover artwork? I see Trump standing in front of the White House, I see armed to the teeth police officers and I see masses of people which apparently stand up for their own rights … I’d let you do the talk right now.
Larry: once again it’s up to everyone to interpret the cover artwork the way they want it! But personally I see it this way ; a politician comin’ out of a courthouse or other state building and getting in confrontation with the people asking him for explanations or more ! It’s pretty scary, I love the idea behind it !
Stefan: How would you like to describe the style of “Suspected”, to what type of metal freaks you’d like to recommend the album?
Larry: People who like genuine thrash metal, with melody, power , rhythm changes ..all packed in a ballsy stuff !
Stefan: I already penned down my review for “Suspected” and want to know if you guys are agree with the words I wrote. Once again I’d like you to speak frankly.
Larry: What can I say, it’s great to read so many positive things about our music, it’s an achievement for the work done all over the years and the fact that it’s done by someone passionated by metal, gives it more value! That’s my opinion !
Stefan: What about the distribution of “Suspected”, is the album available in Europe or just only to be ordered in Belgium?
Larry: For now, you can get it by contacting us via our site or facebook, and of course, when we play live, but in the near future we’re looking forward to find a distributor or to get a record deal, wait and see, I should say !
Stefan: IMO – this is Trouble Agency’s best album up-to-date, with all do admiration to the older stuff as well. How have the fans, the press and the media reacted to “Suspected” so far?
Larry: Great, but it’s too early to take conclusions, yet ! We’ll make the diagnose in a few months !
Stefan: Has the album release concert already took place or not – if not, when will it happen?
Larry: Not yet, but we’re planning to make the best event possible and to choose the right place for everyone! Stay tuned !
Stefan: If there is one band you want to share the same stage with, who will it be and for what reason?
Larry: I can’t give you an answer since we all like different bands ! Everybody is welcome, as long as it remains a metal party !
Stefan: May I have your opinion on the nowadays Belgian metal movement? Which acts get your preference, what makes them so special to you?
Larry: There’s a lot of talent out there, with great musicians, but I don’t know all of them !
I’ve seen so many good bands which I don’t even know the name, unfortunatly !
Stefan: What are your future ambitions with Trouble Agency and other musical interests?
Larry: We ‘d like to progress as a band and play our music wherever we can, to let the people from everywhere discover our music ! And of course still trying to get a record deal !
Stefan: From my side, I wish you and the rest of Trouble Agency nothing but the best of luck and success with all things metal coming up during the next following days, months, years,…. Thanks for telling your story, if you might have some last words to our readers… shoot but don’t kill ! Cheers man!
Larry: Thanks bro, and keep thrashin’! Thanks to all metalheads for reading this interview ! Cheers !