Deathrasher magazine recently conducted an interview with former PESTILENCE/ASPHYX/BOLT THROWER and current DEATH BY DAWN frontman Martin van Drunen. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Deathrasher: Old metalheads prefer to stay with their classic bands and are not interested in listen to the new hordes. Are you one of them? What other styles besides "metal" do you listen to? What have you been listening to lately? What do you seek in music?
Martin van Drunen: Not really... I was out of metal for a while because I got bored with it. I think it was the time when black metal started to become a trend. For a guy like me who grew up with VENOM it was all a big pile of crap. Norwegian evil kids propagating nazishit. Call it fascist metal but not black. Damn. Sometimes I read about those wankers and I’m astonished the press even publishes this rubbish. Whatever happened with the attitude that metalheads should be like brothers and sisters worldwide, no matter if they are black, yellow, red or white. Ignore those fuckers, beat the fuckin shit out of 'em as soon as you get the chance and close this embarrassing metal chapter. Only VENOM can claim to have been black metal, but that was pure entertainment.
"Anyways, I was ready for a lot of new influences like gabber, dub, underground hip-hop and blues, even latin stuff like salsa, cuban or bossanova. There's too much good music in the world. Never forgot the old gods though. I'm a metalhead in the first place, with punk roots, but these new discoveries somehow gave everything a fresh boost for me. Yesterday I got stoned and drunk whilst listening to BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. New MOTÖRHEAD is a killer one too. I'm also completely into DEATH ANGEL's 'The Art of Dying'. NECRO (death rap, you should check that as OBITUARY's featuring on his album) and VIBRONICS is a superb dub band from the U.K. I like also SOULFLY ('Dark Ages') at the moment. Max is putting a lot of cool influences in it. And things like AMPARANOIA, ZEBDA or PAULINE EN LA PLAYA. And last but no least HOLY TERROR: 'Mind Wars'. Godly stuff. All these things I played over the last 48 hours.
"Music to me is the ultimate way to express myself. It feeds me. I breathe and eat it. They may take everything away from me, but if they take my music I'd slowly die.
Besides I'm very lucky to become a musician myself. In DEATH BY DAWN we do whatever we want musically but we are all aware that there is something rotten in the world. So I try to sing about things that bother us all."
Deathrasher: Which was the reason for your departure of COMECON. Was it because you were signed in BOLT THROWER or SUBMISSION? Tell us about your work in these two bands…
Martin van Drunen: COMECON was as said a studio session job. I never was a member. Only did them a favor. SUBMISSION recorded one demo with me. Randy called me up and asked me if I was interested. So we jammed a bit and there we had this weird mix of heavy metal with my vox. But then BOLT THROWER asked me to help them out and it was impossible to combine the two together. I taped all BOLT THROWER songs and practiced five days a week for the coming Euro tour. One week before the tour I flew to England. And we practiced the set for about a week. I stayed with Gavin and Jo-Ann and later with Baz. They treated me like a family member and they did everything to make my stay as comfortable as possible. And so I did two tours with 'em. Which was a great experience.
Deathrasher: Do you like DEATH? What is your opinion about Chuck Schuldiner both as person as much as musician?
Martin van Drunen: "I like their first and a bit of 'Leprosy'. The rest weren't that good I think. 'Scream Bloody Gore' is a death metal classic every fan should have. Just like the demos. Killer material. Chuck, however, wasn't a sympathetic man. I got to know him on the U.S. tour and I never liked the guy. Very unpredictable. He canceled shows for no reason. Treated bands, fans and roadies often like shit. In the end his roadies Louie and Walt (where the hell are you now guys??) were sleeping in our van 'coz they couldn't stand his company. That says it all. Therefore his death meant not much to me. He wrote some killer songs in the beginning and he had a good voice too, but later on he lost it all.
"Everybody's always talking about Chuck. But nobody remembers Fred from French MASSACRA. Now for that man I would do a tribute. A nice man and friend. A 100% metalhead. Never forgot he puked all over my toilet, haha. Bonjour, Fred, RIP. This glass is to you..."
Deathrasher: Martin, would you had liked to record some album with BOLT THROWER?
Martin van Drunen: Yes and no. Yes, because I'm still curious what it would have sound like. No because I like to do my own things like writing lyrics and creating the lines. In BT I was only like a mercenary. I did what they told me to do. But I need freedom as a performer. They would never have given me that."
Read the entire interview at www.deaththrasher.com.