A guitar sound like a tank´s roaring, drums like bursting bones under its chains, vocals like fiercest orders to the frontline duty and a bass guitar like continual artillery fire, this is BODYFARM from The Netherlands. A band full of clichés and ambitions, talent and unbroken energy. A band who wants more than being one of thousands! They proof it with their new album The Coming Scourge, and you´ll see, that’s the way death metal has to be!
Hi Thomas, new album, great press, lots of shows, almost stable lineup – can it get any better than right now?
We are very satistfied about how things have been going since the release of the album! We are playing awesome shows and we are on the road a lot. The lineup is very stable since the coming of Harry van Breda. Mathieu’s departure was a sad thing but it was necessary to keep the band going and healthy.
The speed that you run currently is a passion too, right?
Yes, we love how things are going this fast. There’s nothing we enjoy more than being on the road together and end up in weird places you’ve never seen before. Meeting all the people, having drinks, it’s all like a big vacation!
Do you trust the boom around the band? Maybe you have a plan B, when the train comes to falter anytime (God forbid)?
Nah, that’s not our style. This band isn’t our job, we do this besides our regular jobs. The day we don’t enjoy making music anymore, the band will be dead. But that day will probably never come, and so Bodyfarm will live on. Our aim is to become a bigger, better band than we are now. We see the future very possitive.
Is Bodyfarm just a typical band from The Netherlands, or is BodyFarm just BodyFarm?
I don’t think we’re that typical. We’re somewhere between the classic old school death metal, and melodic, dark style of death metal. We use more influences than Entombed and Dismember, which makes the music more versatile and melodic. So I like to think that Bodyfarm is just Bodyfarm. Nothing more, nothing less.
Is there the stereo type of “the typical band” from The Netherlands even exist? Maybe we have to understand the whole thing in a global way, without borders?
Besides that we all wear wooden shoes, smell like cheese and love tulips? Hahaha. I allways hear people talk about the typical Dutch death metal sound, but I don’t really think it exists. For example, God Dethroned and Asphyx have nothing alike. Hail Of Bullets and Gorefest are too very different bands. I think there’s a lot of quality death metal coming from The Netherlands, but I don’t believe in this particular sound.
About the band’s name; is there any thematic connection to Anthropological Research Facility? Or is it just the sound of the name?
Yes, in fact there is! When Quint and I started this band, we wrote the first song in only 15 minutes. We didn’t have a bandname at that time. I wanted to write about the research facility in the USA, because things they research there are.. well.. very death metal, hahaha. So we called the song Bodyfarm. We thought that name was very catchy, and we decided to call the band Bodyfarm. No regrets eversince.
You handle martial themes, means that you like to play with clichés?
Clichés are clichés for a purpose. They work, they sound good, and they’re catchy. Otherwise they wouldn’t be clichés. We love to use recognisable elements in music because we enjoy them ourselves when listening to our favorite bands. The lyrics are all based on humanity’s depravity. Like religion, which is causing war, which is causing crimes, molestation, rape and political rot. It’s a good way to let out my personal frustration about the world and daily life.
The balancing act between brute violence and the requisite grain of technique, the intuition for functionality and fervor seems to be a cinch for you? At least it looks like it!
Thanks! That’s pretty much Bodyfarm described in one sentence, hahaha. When we write a song, we first write the basic frame for it. Some riffs and breaks and stuff. We don’t try to be innovative or technical or something, but 3 minutes of standard polka beats and tremolo picking is just boring. We want a song to tell a tale, so you can often find different kinds of ‘moods’ in one song. In the end, it must blend into a whole.
The album came relatively fast after the last one, so it seems you sit on a boiling volcano full of ideas. When you write new songs, do you still have the “old ones” in mind?
We started writing The Coming Scourge during the recordings for Malevolence. The songwriting for Malevolence didn’t went that smooth since we were searching for our own sound, and we were afraid we couldn’t do as good as we did on the first EP, which was received greatly by the worldwide press. During the recordings for Malevolence we were so glad that the album was in the making, the creativity started flowing again. The Coming Scourge was written in only a few months. We totally let go of the previous album because we wanted to sound a little more mature this time.
Tell me about the video clip, what meaning hides behind the poor devil, who is crawling over the field, covered with blood. Why have you chosen Unbroken for the clip?
Unbroken is about perseverance and bravery on the battlefield. The battlefield can be seen as a metaphore if you want. The video was shot between a Sovjet field of honor and a former nazi concentration camp. All in our hometown Amersfoort. Unbroken is one of the most aggressive songs we ever wrote. It’s short, versatile, and again: some clichés are in there, hahaha. It’s a very catchy song and we thought that people would like it. It’s been viewed over 12 K now, so I guess people do like it.
Enter The Eternal Fire stick out of the album. Was it a challenge to give that Bathory classic your sound and drive?
Well, since we didn’t try to improve the original song it wasn’t a challenge to cover this song. Bathory is awesome, and since this particular song is a cult-classic it was pretty risky. We didn’t know how press and fans would react. But we justed wanted to do something really epic this time. We rehearsed the song a couple of times and just recorded it along with the other songs. Ronnie Björnström did a really great mix for it, and Pasi Pitkänen provided the orchestrals. I think it turned out pretty interesting to listen to!
Indeed! Also a bit surprising is the acoustical interlude Edens´Destruction. Is it something like a cut in the middle of the album for any special reason?
We are all very big Dissection fans. As you know, Dissection did these interludes a lot and I can’t stop listening to them. I wrote this piece of music myself about 2 years ago for no reason. My fellow bandmates loved it so much that they wanted it on Malevolence, but I refused because I thought it wouldn’t fit between the very brutal songs on that album. The Coming Scourge on the other hand, has more melody and epicness to it. So we decided to record it and found a suitable place on the album.
Do you have any different way of writing, of producing, as lots of the other bands who are looking for the sound and feeling of the 90ths? Or are you just better?
Some of the bands who try to create this early death metal sound are doing a damn fine job, like Entrails. But most of the bands who try to sound like this just sound like pure crap. We don’t even try to sound like old Entombed. We like to use modern techniques to make our music sound clear but aggressive. So yes, we like to produce our music the modern way, but we like the songwriting to sound a bit older. I’d never say we are better than any other band! But I think the old school death metal sound revival is over now. Time to move on.
The shadow of the old ones lies like a curse over most of the newer bands. What about you. Is your creative process influenced by anything in particular, maybe even retarded?
There’s no doubt about us being retarded, hahaha. We listen to a lot of different bands. Dissection, Amon Amarth, Exodus, Hail Of Bullets, Asphyx, Gorefest, Dimmu Borgir and so on. They inspire our guitar riffs. But when we are glueing those pieces together we just do what sounds best in our ears. If you let the arrangement of a song be inspired by what another band those, you’re gonna sound like a clone. And that’s the last thing you want. Clichés are good, clones are not.
Are you prepared for compromise, any concessions? Or are you tenacious and confident straight on your way?
No compromise, no concessions. Never. We do what we do and we love it. No record deal, or money offer can change that. Maybe we’ll sound totally different 10 years from now, but that would be our own choice.
The terminus “Old school” became a bleary term with the years, every halfway talented bands can rage oneself out of it. To call it classical Death Metal sounds better for me. People tend to call Asphyx or Entombed an Old School band, what the hell! Do you think it is immaterial?
Well, I can imagine why people call those band old school. Because they were among the first bands who made this kind of music. Old school, classic, I think both terms mean the same these days. ‘Old School’ however, became a genre a few years ago. Back in the ninetees it wasn’t called old school, haha. It’s a term used by bands who like to compare themselves with Entombed and such. We rarely use that term for our own band. We used to, but we don’t sound like ‘old school’ at all these days. And it was never the intention! We just write things we like.
When you founded the band, did you have a goal in your mind, or was it just about jamming and having fun?
There was a certain goal, yes. The baseline was “we are not going to be one of those bands who still play in local bars and pubs after ten years of existence”. So we never played in bars! Hahaha. When we played our first show, we allready had merchandise and the EP. It looked quite professional, and that’s very important to
If you could accomplish a desire for the band, what would it be?
Do a European tour! Maybe some more news on that next year, who knows… Our desire is to become a well known and respected band in the genre. To mean something in the vast world of death metal. We don’t really care about money. As long as we can finance our merchandise and albums we’re fine. Unfortunately even that is really hard these days
Last spot is yours!
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