A talk with
(Questionnaire by Sloof)
Belgium can I have your points please? Switzerland: 12 points!!! That could be a scenario at the Eurovision Song Contest, but if we draw the line to Metal Releases of 2014, Ever Since is an absolute candidate to receive this maximum score. They blew my socks off, and still I’m deeply impressed about their newest album ‘Bring Out The Gimp’, so it’s time to hook up and have a chat with the band that resides in the South of Suisse, nearby Montreux.
Q: First of all, I hope that you all came back safely from the European tour which brought you to 17 venues all over 9 different countries. I suppose it was an exhausting trip, but worth doing it?
A: Yeah, we came back safely, but totally dead !!! It was a really exciting experience, because that was the first time we spent 3 weeks on roads and playing every nights. We already played 5-6 consecutive dates but in this case that was totally new for us to live 21 days all together. Great great experience.
Q: How comes that you didn’t play on Belgian soil?
A: The tour has been organized very quickly… 2 months before we leave. Many venues already had their program planned for this tour period… so we went to the venues which had an open slot for us. And unfortunately the were no place in Belgian. But I promise you, you will see us On the Belgian soil..;)
Q: The tour started at the end of January, until mid-February. That’s prior to the release of the album. Isn’t it strange that you promote an album that isn’t in the stores yet, so people are unfamiliar with the new songs?
A: We knew this before we leave. But that was the only time in the year, where the tour manager was available to be on tour. So we did with… Except that, that was an great experience.
Q: How was it to support the American band Beasto Blanco, featuring Calico Cooper, daughter of the one and only Shock-Master Alice Cooper.
A: It was really cool, all the Beasto Blanco Musician are very kind and professional. We had fun during all the tour. And Calico is a very smart and funny person, the feeling between both bands was very powerful. We had a clash at the beginning of the second week but we seat, talk and problems were solved.
Q: Was the package complementary to each other? Was the musical barrier not too big?
A: We must say that the musical barrier was too high… We do not have the same public. Beasto play actual Hard Rock with samplers… we play Modern Metal (our label says that..;) The common sounds were the samples… That was a bit difficult to touch the public. Most of them are “old” heavy, hard rock fans… and our kind of music was a bit extreme for them. Anyway we had nice feedback on many dates. But if we have to restart a tour, we will choose an actual band to play with.
Q: Well, now you are all back home, so it’s time to see what is going on with the release of ‘Bring Out The Gimp’. I suppose that you have to sift many articles about the band and new album?
A: The label does good promotion for the moment, we have many articles especially on internet about our new release. It’s nice and the feedback is very good. Next step is promoting the album in specialized magazines… we are working on it with the label..
Q: How is the overall reaction in the specialized media so far?
A: The overall reaction is excellent and amazing for us !!! After a 6 years hiatus it’s difficult to comeback and having the media attention… For the moment Bring Out The Gimp seems to have really good press. Hope it’s will continue in that way.
Q: The band got signed by Mighty Music Records from Denmark. How did you encounter each other? Did you forward some songs to them, with a contract as result, or how did it work out?
A: We send to Mighty Music our first single STEP IN THE HELL recorded in March last year. They were very interested on our music. They said “ Send us your full album and we will check that” It’s what we did, they liked the full album and we got the deal.
Q: Is it a deal for this album only, or do you have options for several albums?
A: At this moment it’s a deal for this album only. We are working on new songs and we will send them to Mighty for the next album deal…
Q: The album is in the stores right now. Do you feel like Mighty Music Records is supporting the band all the way, that they deliver a great job and will be able to lift the band to the next step in the career of Ever Since?
A: They do really good job, the feedback is good and from everywhere. Signing a deal with Mighty Music was one of the best thing for the next step career of Ever Since. Now we are working on specialized paper press to increase the result of BRING OUT THE GIMP.
Q: It took a long time before ‘Bring Out The Gimp’ was unleashed to the world. Ever Since was put on ice for a period of about 6 years. How comes, what was the major problem, why a hiatus?
A: After BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL in 2008 we had line up problems. Stephan and Ludivine the main singers, left the band due personal reason. We tried to replace them but it wasen’t what we expected for…. Line up changes has always been Ever Since’s problem. Vinc and me tried to found interested people who believe in metal music… and who want to give the best as themselves for EVER SINCE. But unfortunately we missed the point very often.
After trying the replace Steph and Ludi, we decided to put EVER SINCE in hibernation. We needed a break to focus on other stuff and life style than music. Vinc stayed in the music world and built his own project called “Vinc Project” and recorded 2 albums. I stopped playing drums a few years to spend time with my family and friends. During this period I only met Vinc 4-5 times, I think it was a good think, because everyone did his own way as he wanted.
And 1 year and half ago I met Vinc in a friend’s party we were drunk…I confess..;) We start talking on the good time we had with EVER SINCE and we realized working together and creating music was missing us. So we took EVER SINCE out of his hiatus and back again.
Q: Only few original members remained in the band, so we can say that the present lineup of Ever Since is mostly new. Perhaps that’s the reason why the new material and songs are so convincing and of such high-quality? New blood brings life…
A: As I said before we always tried to found line up who want to bring the best as themselves. We met Flo on internet, he was a fan of the EVER SINCE first age and I was totally happy and crazy to join the band. And I must say this guy is the most hard worker and showman than EVER SINCE never had. Thanks Dude !!!
Pedro has his hard rock cover band and we saw him twice on stage. He is a great frontman too. We asked him if he was interested to sing in a metal band, thing he never did before, he accepted the offer and we had our main singer.
We met Tiago before EVER SINCE goes in hiatus. And when we restart the band, he was ready to play guitar in the actual band.
Q: I guess it’s not that easy to find suitable members for a band in Switzerland, perhaps I’m wrong but according to my opinion the Metal scene in Switzerland is rather scanty…?
A: Effectively it’s not easy to find suitable members…. Switzerland is a part of the problem. For sure the Metal Scene is rather scanty but there are some guys. The problem is: found people who want to give everything for the band. Not just for the fun and say : You know, I play in a Metal band it’s really cool…”
Behind playing music, there is a lot of work !!! The actual Metal level is really high ! You have to bring the best as yourself, working, and working again. And not a lot of guys are ready to do this… Actually I thing we have the best line up we never had, we are working together and looking in the same way.
Q: Well, we already talked about the new album, but I suggest to go a little deeper. First of all, what is the idea behind the album title (Bring Out The Gimp)?
A: Pedro has chosen the album title. He was working on the last song of the album and in the same time we needed an album name. During his writing process of the last song he was watching the movie PULP FICTION and there is this great scene with the Gimp. The Officer "Zed" says " Bring out the Gimp" and everyone looks fucking scared, it was great like reaction, So Pedro said to him: “I want the same reaction when people came to see EVER SINCE live, also when they see the cd on the store and listen to it. They expect to see and listen something powerful, and they have to talk about it, asking questions...”
The next day he told us his idea and feeling about the last song and album name… we all agree and very exciting to use this album name… BRING OUT THE GIMP was born..;)
Q: A few weeks ago, when we gathered with some friends to have a beer, I presented this album as an appetizer, and they all went crazy about the heaviness, the unusual concept, and above all the perfect mix between aggression from the guitars and skillful singing. Every song that I played was a slab in the face, and believe me the beers were consumed at high speed. I guess that all this is beyond your own expectations?
A: We are glad to ear those things !! Effectively it’s beyond our own expectations, we thought having done a good album and the feedback is better than we expected. We hope it will continue on this way.
Q: What did you had in mind when you were recording the album. Can I say that there was a feeling like “what we are doing right now, will shock the world”, or are you surprised that there is such a positive feedback and turnout?
A: We are surprise of the positive feedback and turnout…When we have written this album the first thing was the pleasure to play again and created something new inside Ever Since. We didn’t had any intention in mind. Although...
Q: Several tracks on the new album have samples and keyboards. A track like ‘Run’ has a very intriguing opening, that keeps coming back. It’s like the spine of the song, although it’s always in the background. This sample makes the difference between an average track and a masterpiece. How do you decide what samples are needed?
A: We always have used samples, electronic sounds and keyboards since the beginning of the band. In this album we finally found the good mix between the Metal part and the sample part. The evolution of the samples came from the collaboration with our ex keyboards player JP. He has a great sense of electronic sounds and can say what it’s useful or not. Drop (ex-Sybreed) also give us a big hand for this album. He has the ear for electronic parts in Metal music.
Q: Perhaps, you start writing the song, and afterwards you add some ‘special effects’ to give the track a leverage?
A: All songs are written in their entire part. All sounds include samples, keyboards are at the beginning of the song creation. But they are improved and sometimes totally modified by JP, Drop and us.
Q: ‘Circles’ starts also very weird, until the vocals drop in and the headbanger is breaking loose. It’s like a trademark of Ever Since, it’s like you intentionally want to start a song totally unpredictable…
A: Yes, it’s what we want, we try to surprise the listener. Every song must be a total surprise.
But we keep for the listener some benchmark like verse, chorus and all around we built something new, and handmade by Ever Since… The EVER SINCE’s trademark in fact.
Q: The track ’10.000 Feet’ starts very commercial, so I guess that this could be the perfect single to promote the album, but you choose to release ‘Step In The Hell’. How do you decide?
A: “Step In The Hell” was the first song composed for the album and when we recorded it, 10’000 feet wasn’t written. This is why we used “Step” for promotion. But I totally agree with you if 10’000 feet was ready to record we would have used for promotion…for sure!!!
Q: The opener of the album is the most special track, and isn’t really comparable with the other 8 songs on ‘Bring Out The Gimp’. Was it written shortly before you entered the recording studio, or is this one of the older tracks, as I have the feeling that this one can be considered as the misfit of the album…
A: Really…???!!!! It’s the album name song… For us it’s one of the most powerful and accomplished song. Actually electronics part are most present in the opener but it sounds cool… As you can see the opinions are note the same… and it’s good. That means we did not the perfect album and we have to work again..;)
Q: What I like a lot are the breaks that speed things up. The way how ‘Step In The Hell’ accelerates is really brilliant (those that want to know what I meant, should play the track and focus at this point of time: 1:17), I guess that you pay a lot of attention to create songs that are interesting and defiant to listen to several times?
A: We create songs as we feel it. We do not focus on special form of composition or how many time the listeners have to listen our songs to feel them… Vinc write a big part of the songs then, every member put his own touch. His own feeling, creation. We can say, it’s a really group activity.
Q: How will you manage to add these samples at live gigs, is it mixed in from the sound desk?
A: It’s Ever Since secret…I’m kidding… We use backing tracks from an external soundcard. All is managed and synch with clic by a computer. I launch the song and I play on it. I can’t do any mistakes another the song is no more synch… That’s my job. In live gigs backing tracks are mixed with the rest of the band from the sound desk.
Q: Another highlight on the album is ‘No Way Out’. When I listened to this track for the first time, I thought that this would be the ballad of the album, but dude, it’s bursting out into a real neck-breaker with again a fantastic performance of vocalist Pedro. When I listen to this song, goose bumps guaranteed!
A: Once again, it’s a surprise for the listener… Ever Since trademark.. Actually Pedro is just amazing what he can do with his voice. I think we found the right singer..;) No Way Out was at the beginning the ballad of the album… We wanted a song calm and peaceful… Damned !!! We missed it ! ;)
Q: Can you tell us some more about the lyrical content of the songs. Is it about everyday life, about things that you see all around you, in the news, in the papers, or do you prefer to write about fiction?
A: I asked your question to Pedro, here is his answer:
“Well !! I prefer to write about fiction, so I can imagine some scenes in my head and then go really far with a story. There is also something about everyday Life, even if it's not my life. I wanted to be dark and cruel for this album. And maybe I have always dark and sad thinks in my head. I'm not an optimist person…”
Q: In my review I wrote: “Pedro’s vocals are perfectly for Metal bands and I’m sure that this band will have to keep their eyes open, as proposals from major bands in the metal scene aren’t unthinkable and unimaginable”. What’s your idea about this remark? Aren’t you afraid that Pedro will join a major band and that could be eventually the end of Ever Since?
A: Yes, you’re right… the zero risk does not exist…!! We will keep him locked in a flightcase and we only take him out for the shows… as the Gimp.
Q: One thing is for sure, this new album will end up high in my personal list of 2014. I guess that many people are elated and super excited?
A: Thanks for your compliment. When a new release come out you are always excited and a bit anxious too. Because you gave the best of yourself on the disc and you are waiting on the press, fans, friends opinion. Now that we had good feedback, the anxiety has been transformed in happiness, but the excitement is still there to promote and to play gigs for a new album.
Q: What is going to happen for the next weeks and months. The pre-release tour has ended, so I guess it’s time to move up to support the album on stages all over Europe once again… Any ideas, any plans already confirmed?
A: We are waiting for some gigs confirmation through Europe. But for the moment nothing is confirmed, except some shows in Switzerland for September 2014 and January 2015.
We try to found a booking agency it’s easier to book gigs. If someone is interested.. you’re welcome.
Q: I do hope that you will be able to play in Belgium and Holland as well. And some metal Festivals would be awesome of course! Is playing live the ultimate goal for a band like Ever Since?
A: Yeah, playing our songs live in front the public and having fun on stage is the ultimate goal for us. What is better to share you songs with your fans and listen to them having fun and singing your songs..? Nothing so 2014 will be the Ever Since Live year..
We already played in Belgium in 2004 in Mechelen, Ghent, Liège and Arlon. It was excellent!!! People in Belgium are very nice, we had fun there. Hope to play in Holland too we never went there… maybe in 2014. Will be nice.
Q: We started this interview with some questions about the pre-release tour, perhaps there is a funny story to tell about things that happened? What was the most memorable event that happened? Something that you probably will never forget?
A: There were many funny stories… but for me the funniest one, was when we played in St Maurice in Switzerland. The nightliner was parked in front the venue and plugged in 230V socket. Suddenly during the night the power shut down. So we didn’t have any heater and we weren’t able to open the doors. The problem was… Chris and Jan the guitarist and the bass player of Beasto Blanco were outside totally drunk and weren’t able to go inside the bus. The temperature was about 4° with a cold wind… so it wasen’t possible to sleep outside... We tried to explain through the windows that the power was down… but impossible.
The guys didn’t see their hands anymore… We woke up the driver and explain the problem. He told us: There is possibility to get inside the bus. It’s through the bay. There is a small passage, you must unscrew a trapdoor under the stairs and you can get inside. So we gave them the key of the bay through the door rubber joint with a small paper written on it what they have to do. And trust me… it took about 2 hours to see their frozen and drunk faces to get inside the bus. They used the key to unscrew the trapdoorand they hit their head so many times against the step of the stair before they came inside..that was… like in comic movie. But on the moment we weren’t laughing at all.
Q: I would like to thank you for your time and of course for bringing such a great album to us. We hope to see you guys on our stages and wish you all the best in the near future. Perhaps there is still a message to tell, before we end this conversation, go ahead, as this is your spot!
A: Thanks to you for this interview and for your great feedback on our album. We are looking for gigs all around Europe and more… if there are possibilities. We are open of any propositions.
Thanks and cheeeeers from Switzerland !!!!