LEGION OF THE DAMNED frontman Maurice Swinkels has issued a statement explaining or first time the band's decision to change their name from their previous moniker OCCULT. His statement reads as follows:
"I started OCCULT in 1990 together with our drummer. We worked hard to get our band to some point, and in many ways we succeeded. We released five albums, a single, and a DVD. Same as many other bands we had low peaks as well and it was hard to fight against it to keep ourselves above water. For instance, we never had any support from any label. All the tours and festivals (such as Dynamo Open Air in 1997) OCCULT did in the past were arranged by the band themselves. This cost us a lot of energy.
"After the band took some serious turns in their carrier by kicking out second guitar player Leon right before the MORBID ANGEL tour in 1999 and kicking out Rachel, who went to sing with SINISTER in 2001, and after releasing a brutal and HARD kick-in-the-face album 'Elegy for the Weak' on Karmageddon Media in 2003, the media and audiences still remembered OCCULT as 'the band with Rachel,' and many stopped listening to our releases after the release of 'Of Flesh and Blood' in 1998 because it lack of brutality, while many refused to listen to our new 'Elegy for the Weak' release in 2003, the album which you cannot compare with anything that we did before that. Besides this the media and audiences saw me as 'the new singer of OCCULT' after Rachel had been kicked out 3 years before that. This showed us on what spot OCCULT was placed. Our history was a big drag for us and on stage we couldn't perform 100% because of the dificulties. For instance, the mess we got into with our previous record company Painkiller Records who tried to drag us in court for several thousands of euros, lawyers of OCCULT had to fight this...and I am sure any band outthere agrees with me that such negative events can be a big drag. Meanwhile with 'Malevolent Rapture' on stack, and to be released via Boomer Entertainment / Massacre Records, we were all fed up by the situation and we refused to release the excellent long-awaiting album 'Malevolent Rapture' under the name OCCULT, because we were feeling OCCULT was heading against a big thick wall...BIG TIME! So we thought of a new start, a fresh new beginning, a new era and changed the name into LEGION OF THE DAMNED. Twan, Erik, Richard and me would now head forwards with a great album in our pocket and got rid of our big negative history.
"The reason why we never announced anything [about the name change] is that we wanted to start with ZERO, and we didn't want people to state that we still try to gain from the 'popularity' of OCCULT by changing the name and still say we are OCCULT. LEGION OF THE DAMNED is a NEW band!!! Besides we wanted to proof that this album can maximum kill without mentioning any campaign crap like 'we are ex OCCULT'...
"LEGION OF THE DAMNED 'Malevolent Rapture' is released upon mankind and nobody can deny us and beware, because this is certainly not the last time you'll hear from us, because with a powerful promotion campaign behind our asses we will kick maximum power in 2006."
LEGION OF THE DAMNED's upcoming appearances include the No Mercy Festivals tour, plus performances at the Rock Hard, Summer Breeze, Up From The Ground and Brain Crusher festivals.