This act surely needs no detailed introduction, and we at the ChainD.L.K. are proud to present an interview with the “genre-leader”. Thanksto Johan Van Roy’s wide success and worldwide recognition the genreEBM/Electro/Industrial got a reincarnation and is more appreciated thenever before. A short note needs to be mentioned here, this interview wasplanned to be published around April/May 2K6, but thanks to some awfulpersonal happenings it got delayed until now. For all of you who haven’theard about it, Johan here gives us here a detailed explanation…
Chain D.L.K.: Hello Johan, all your beautiful plans about doing afestival tour in April had to be canceled due to the sad death of yourfather. Our deepest condolences for this. Now, after a few months oftaking a deep breath, how are the things going around you? Are theresome plans to catch up the canceled gigs?
Suicide Commando: The sudden death of my dearly beloved father certainlyshocked us all and messed up things, but somehow I was lucky to have mymusic as it definitely helped me to get through this difficult period.So obviously a lot of our plans for 2006 were messed up, not only ourtour plans for April, but also our plans for the special 20 years ofsuicide commando anniversary box had to be delayed … so it certainly hada big impact on us all. But slowly things are back on track again andlast weekend we even caught up 2 of the canceled tour shows in Dresdenand Berlin. Unfortunately it was impossible to catch up all canceledtour dates as some clubs were not available anymore for 2006, but wemight catch up those shows in 2007, we’ll see …
Chain D.L.K.: It is not only the release of your full length CD “Bind,Torture, Kill”, we have with this also to celebrate your 20thanniversary year of being Suicide Commando. How would you say, can westop this awful looking guy from Belgium with his lousy music, that hecan not penetrate our nerves another 20 years? ?
Suicide Commando: Well, I guess there’s no way stopping the virus, soyou better get used to it that Suicide Commando will terrorize your earsanother 20 more years …
Chain D.L.K.: In all seriousness, what would you have changed through theyears, if you could turn back the time?
Suicide Commando: Nothing! Obviously I could have done thingsdifferently, especially on the technical side of things (better soundquality, better production …) , obviously I could have made otherdecisions in my life, but I’m not that sort of guy nagging around,telling how good things were in the past and how things suck today … Ijust take the things as they come, and I’m really proud of all thethings I achieved throughout the years with Suicide Commando, so whywould I change anything ? If you told me 20 years ago that suicidecommando would become one of the biggest acts in the scene of today Iwould have called you crazy, so I’m really proud and happy of all thosethings I achieved and wouldn’t change a single thing if I could dothings all over.
Chain D.L.K.: I think you still drive your fork-lift like in the earlydays. With all your success and attention, when is the time right tochange the job into a professional musician?
Suicide Commando: Well sort of as I’m warehouse assistant now. But anyway, this might sound like a boring job and maybe it is, but I just seeit as a necessary evil to have a solid and secure background. Sure Icould have resigned and try to make a living with my music, butfinancial risks would become so big, especially today where the CDmarket and music scene totally collapsed because of the illegaldownloading, CD piracy …
Chain D.L.K.: Lets talk a bit on your current CD “Blind, Torture, Kill”.Dark themes of the human being and murders and death always attractedyou somehow through all the years and releases. Therefore I am not tomuch surprised with the album content dealing with the psyche of serialkillers. Where do you see the differences thematically between the newtracks and classics like “Murder”? Has how you come tointerpret your ideas in the songs somehow changed?
Suicide Commando: In theory there’s not much difference at all between asong like “Murder” and “Bind, Torture, Kill”, so frankly I don’t seethe reason why some people in the scene suddenly got offended by thealbum. All of a sudden suicide commando became provoking , degradingtowards women or even shocking ? But oh well, guess it’s just me … ?But let’s face it, serial killers often act out of hate towards women,so what’s wrong with writing about that or trying to visualize thataspect in the booklet of the album ? Should I just close my eyes forreality ? Hell no I won’t ! I really don’t understand why so many peoplejust close their eyes and stay blind for reality. Serial killers areeverywhere, so it’s definitely not only Dennis Rader (aka the BTKkiller), they even could live next doors to you … so I really don’tunderstand why some people had problems with the fact that my album wasdealing with serial killers. And let me get one thing straight, I suredidn’t want to glorify the brutal actions of these serial killers.
Chain D.L.K.: Some critically review reproach chauvinism as being theleading impression on “Bind, Torture, Kill”. I think you’ve laughedabout this for a while…
Suicide Commando: Like I just said it’s a proven fact that serialkillers often do act out of hate towards women. So all I did was tryingto visualize that part with some pics in the booklet. It certainly hadnothing to do with any hate towards women or whatever, in fact, the girlon the pics in the booklet is my own girlfriend which I deeply love andrespect. I found it was my duty to write about that, I certainly wouldhave felt bad about it if I just ignored this, like some people seem todo apparently. Some people don’t seem to care and rather stay blind forreality as long as it is not hurting them personally. I think somewouldn’t even care if their own neighbor got abused or killed … I reallycan’t stand such ignorance.
Chain D.L.K.: “Bind, Torture, Kill” comes also out as a special limitededition with a second bonus CD having 5 extra tracks and remix works for“Conspiracy With The Devil” on board. Why again the decision to releaseit in two different versions? Isn’t this not hard for the die-hard fanswhich have missed the chance to purchase this limited item in advance?
Suicide Commando: With the decline of the CD market and sales droppingdrastically over the last few years it became more and more important tooffer something special to the crowd, and that’s why limited editionswith special packaging, extra content … became so important these days.We also made sure to release enough extra editions this time, so thatall our die hard fans get the opportunity to buy the special edition.
Chain D.L.K.: Please explain us the need why an Industrial act covers anIndustrial act… How was it with Tommi Stumpff’s track “Massaker”?Didn’t Tommi realize the big chance to start a comeback through yourcover version when he would have included his voice for this track? Orwasn’t this a point of discussion?
Suicide Commando: I accidentally bumped into that track while I wasworking on the new album and as I always loved that song I thought itwould fit perfectly to the new album and concept behind the album, evenif “Massaker” has only 3 words. I also think many people, especiallyfrom the younger generation, don’t even know the original versionanymore, so one more reason to pack it on the album. I didn’t have muchcontact with Tommi, but I do know he liked the new version and we evenconsidered of doing the new version live together on stage, so whoknows, some day …
Chain D.L.K.: You gave “Bind, Torture, Kill” to the X-M-P studios of theGerman act X-Fusion to do a professional mastering. Why this decisionand how satisfied are you with the result?
Suicide Commando: I know Jan for quite a while now and since I waslooking for another mastering studio the choice was really easy. Janalso did the mastering for the new Dioxyde album and since we all werevery satisfied with that result I decided to master “Bind, Torture,Kill” in his home studio as well. I think the result is reallysatisfying, so I’m really happy to work with Jan.
Chain D.L.K.: You have said it often and long in online forums. What haschanged your point of view to replace your more experimentalPowernoise-inspired side of your earlier day with more mass-compatiblesynth lines? Does this question and the need to explain this somehowpenetrate your nerves?
Suicide Commando: In my opinion it’s just a natural evolution as anartist. I never made music on command, music for me has to come from theinside, from the heart, so music for me has all to do with feelings. Youhave to see all my albums in their own time frame and although I stilllove every single song I wrote over the years, I wouldn’t do any songslike “traumatize” or “save me” in 2006 anymore. So that doesn’t meanthat I don’t like these songs anymore, I still treasure them as much asI treasure and love songs like “Bind, Torture, Kill” or “Godsend” …And no, it definitely doesn’t penetrate my nerves when you ask thisquestion, in fact I think it’s one of the first times that someone asksme this question, so actually I’m pretty happy I could explain you mypersonal opinion about it.
Chain D.L.K.: At autumn 2005 you renewed your contract with Dependentand there were some rumors that you maybe would change the flags to yourcountrymen of Alfa Matrix. There was also several trouble between bothlabels. Could you give us a more detailed insight about this pasthappenings?
Suicide Commando: There indeed have been some minor problems betweenDependent and Alfa Matrix, but as far as I know these problems aresolved now and were only between Stefan Herwig and Alfa Matrix, so I hadbarely little or nothing to do with this discussion. So I rather spareyou the details.
Chain D.L.K.: As a fine note you have now also built up a special andstrategic sub-label to Dependent, NTP (www.noiseterrorproductions.com).Please try to explain us the ideology of your label.
Suicide Commando: It’s always been a dream of me to run my own label asI love to help out and support new and unknown talents, so when Stefangave me the opportunity to start and run NTP under the protective wingsof Dependent, my decision was made really fast. The main ideology behindNTP is to offer new and unknown bands a platform to release theirmaterial and above all to mature and grow as a band without the stressand pressure from most labels. With Suicide Commando and Insekt weobviously also have 2 well known and older acts on NTP, but that’s moreout of necessity because it became almost impossible to run a label withonly newcomer acts these days, running a label with only newcomer andunknown acts would mean suicide. We don’t want to be the new Noitekk orAlfa Matrix, we don’t want to be the next competitor for other labels …NO, I only want to give good bands the possibility to release theirmaterial on a decent label with a good background, and I do believe incollaboration with other labels just to be able to release our dearlybeloved music, because music still should remain the most important.
Chain D.L.K.: Maybe a bit early to ask for, but which track did youchose out to be the “single” release out of “Bind, Torture, Kill”? Anydates or release plans you can already confirm here? What else does thefuture hold for you personally and musically?
Suicide Commando: Right now I’m working on the special 20 years ofSuicide Commando anniversary boxset which will include 3 discs, being alive DVD, a best of CD and a remix CD including remixes from bands likeAgonoize, SITD, Spetsnaz, Soman, :Wumpscut: Combichrist, X-Fusion …Furthermore this box will include a special booklet including lots ofphoto material from over the years, and it will include a specialsurprise which I can’t reveal just yet, but many will call us crazy whenthey find out, that’s all I can tell you ! ?The box will be called “X20” and is planned to be released early 2007.Perhaps we’ll also do another single (maybe even on vinyl), but that’snot for sure yet.
Chain D.L.K.: Any final words to conclude this interview, Johan?
Suicide Commando: I hereby would like to thank all our fans for theirnever-ending support ! Without them I would be nothing !
Visit Suicide Commando on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Tommy T. Rapisardi]