Musicscan: Words like apocalyptic and nihilistic are used a lot, when people try to describe Alkerdeel. Is that what you're going for? What does those terms mean to you?
Alkerdeel: Pui: We're really glad to hear words like that, we indeed try to create an atmosphere of downfall, apocalypse, people drowning in a pool of filth, etc ... Our friend Morries from Gnaw Their Tongues knows best how to make such an atmosphere, that's why we asked him to do the in the intro and outro. Every listener ofcourse makes up for himself what to hear in Alkerdeel but the terms "filth" and "nihilism" come back often.
Alkerdeel: Pede: There's however no celebration of any apocalypse nor nihilistic ideology involved. See it more as a contra reaction towards today's glossy society and attitude in various forms. Small reminder from the backside of the album: only live is real. And that's not a spelling mistake but for this answer you may change the "v" to "f".
Musicscan: What influences you to make this kind of a black metal-doom-sludge-noise-controlled chaos? Does most of the influence come from personal experiences and moods, or from listening to similar bands?
Alkerdeel: Pui: The four of us listen to all kinds of extreme music since 1990 and we are ofcourse influenced by a lot of bands we grew up with. We're ofcourse talking about old Darkthrone, Burzum, Master's Hammer, Winter... but throughout the years other bands got our interest so you'll hear influences from Burning Witch, Eyehategod, Thralldom, etc ... The three musicians from Alkerdeel always played in several bands from black metal up to grindcore so we all have our ideas about music and Alkerdeel finally is the band which blends all those ideas together. Our taste in music is so wide that we can put all kinds of influences in our music. Where the demo "Luizig" was mainly filthy sludge you'll now hear more black metal but also ambient rock things like the end part of "Du Levande". We also wanted a very very extreme part in the vein of Revenge, Conqueror, Black Witchery etc ... so that's the explosion at the end of "Hessepikn" where the song started like a very atmospheric black doom thing. The songtitles and lyrical parts come from personal experiences, depending what mood we're in but we are mainly pretty happy people so you won't catch us running naked in the woods by night, no, we'll be inside at the stove, watching a DVD of Little Britain.
Musicscan: There are a lot of bands now that are heavy without really using metal aesthetics. Do you feel like a part of that? What current bands do you think
of as your peers or bands that you feel a commonality with?
Alkerdeel: Pede: It's true indeed we're not this archetype kind of a metal band or apply to what most people's image of an extreme metal band is. There was this guy at a friend's place, who's more into indie rock but knew the "Luizig" demo. I was introduced to him as Alkerdeel's singer and his reaction was: "You, fuck, I imagined a fat bloke with a beard and needles through his skin". We're not Sadistik Exekution and we neither pretend to be. We're not that concerned about personal image, dropped that after our teenage years but have the background or luggage to look like this average Wacken visitor. Nothing's wrong with that, just not only our cup of tea. Musically, we fall between two chairs: when composing music we can be very conservative as Warhammer but at the same time as progressive as Blut Aus Nord and beyond. We know how extreme metal in most of its genres should sound, and more important, where those bands and their music come from. This knowledge allows us to play literally with the music and the aesthetics and even introduce some humor. Can't imagine the devil being a serious guy. While our origins rest with those bands mentioned some questions above, it's hard to say what other bands we feel commonality with. Some people say Amen Ra or Wolves In The Throne Room but personally I'd rather say Unearthly Trance.
Musicscan: Do you sometimes see people not take you seriously because you’re not of that elite black metal type from - let's say - Norway?
Alkerdeel: Pui: When we played black metal at the end of the nineties with a former band When Autumn Ended we had those people as fans and we sometimes gave shows with corpsepaint haha but we grew out of that, I think most of the fans we have already parted ways with that serious scene. We do see some very serious motherfuckers in the crowd but I think they understand what we do here, it's not like we're joking on stage, we always try to preserve a certain atmosphere so okay, we're not Shining or Ondskapt but people take us as we are, with honest music and a no-nonsense attitude.
Musicscan: Your style of playing could be criticized for being nothing but outlandish noise. Others could view it as one of the most challenging but rewarding styles of extreme music around today. What do you say to those contrary
Alkerdeel: Pui: I just got a file with all the reviews and they go from 4/10 up to 9,5/10 with the most around 8 so okay, we knew that not everyone would understand the album but we don't really care. We put a lot of energy in writing songs and maybe this mix of black, doom, drone, sludge will be described as more intelligent or whatever, that's maybe why we played on art exhibitions and have hipsters amongst the fans but this is a style that still sells well with people supporting the bands they love. People are honestly interested in what we do or bring so it indeed is challenging and also rewarding. The only persons saying Alkerdeel is outlandish noise are our parents hahaha.
Alkerdeel: Pede: there are far more outlandish bands or extreme kinds of music around. Search for some of the bands reviewed in The Wire and then you'll hear some weird stuff.
Musicscan: What exactly does Morinde sound like from your point of view? Is it any kind of departure to what people might expect from Alkerdeel due to the visualization of the album?
Alkerdeel: Pui: Hmm, interesting question, for us it is the natural evolution after "De Speenzalvinge" but it sounds pretty different from the first demo which we still love though. We talked a lot about the lay-out of the album and decided not to put everything in black again, it's very hard to sell at concerts you know, our previous albums look the same in the dark hahaha. We love Godspeed's album "lift your skinny fists ..." and wanted the album in that kind of cardboard.
Alkerdeel: Pede: We tried to create something that reflected the music as close as possible without using cliché elements. "Morinde" is actually a dialect word for some kind of duck that lives in our area, a very ugly one actually, and we really wanted to have a duck on the sleeve. Never seen that for an extreme metal album. As with the music, where we sometimes wonder how Portishead would play a certain black metal theme, you could say the visualization of the album and it's cover illustration was very inspired by Banksy and DIY-art. Maybe it's because we're Belgians and Magritte with "ceci n'est pas une pipe" is always lingering somewhere in the back of our heads.
Musicscan: How important are the elements of volume and physicality to Alkerdeel and your sound?
Alkerdeel: Pui: we have the reputation of being a loud band, we use oversized cabs and vintage material so things can get loud live. We always use three white lights on stage and try to create an atmosphere to get you on our trip and the moment we have you, you'll enjoy our show. The first gigs we did we used a lot of samples and also had a beamer to show disturbing images but we got to a level that the music does enough to create that atmosphere. We'll maybe use images again sometime for a special occasion, we'll see.
Alkerdeel: Pede: a couple of weeks ago we played a local gig without P.A., the people around us, completely covered in smoke ... those white lights occasionally back-uped by strobe. This describes the ultimate Alkerdeel setting, everything and everybody connected. On a larger stage we also stand rather close to each other to have this rehearsal-room feeling.
Musicscan: Alkerdeel seems to thrive on contrast musically. True? How do you approach
Alkerdeel: Pui: I write 90% of the music together with the drummer and then show everything to the bass-player and singer after a few rehearsals. They are the jury and make sure we don't draw outside the lines too much. I have so many ideas that I'd make a song that mixes Primus, Mr. Bungle with Burzum and The Cure so mainly our singer deletes riffs and ideas haha. For the future it's possible that you'll hear more different ideas and songs, right now we have four short punkblack songs ready for a special release so the contrast will only grow hoping that people still understand what we do and if they don't, well that's too bad then, maybe we'll make some ambient songs as well, who knows ...
Musicscan: What is it that band and sound offer you personally, and what are you trying
to accomplish with it?
Alkerdeel: Pui: we are all pretty busy people and this is our main hobby, an escape from the daily duties. I never expected myself to make metal for eighteen years now and I can't think of a reason why Alkerdeel would quit. It's possible that for some reasons we give the band a pause but we'll never quit since the drummer and I play in bands since we were 14 and can't miss each other to make music. Our main goal is to make the music we like and miss in the current scene, the feeling of the nineties with an analogue live production mixing black, doom and whatever we come up with.
Alkerdeel: Pede: it's all about creating and releasing energy.
Musicscan: Have you been able to play any of the new stuff live yet? What are your
feelings on performing live? I assume that improvising is a large part of
what you guys do - due to the nature of the music…
Alkerdeel: Pui: We play "Winterteens" and "Horsesaw" for a long time now and since the last gigs we took "Hessepikn" in the set. The main part is the song "Du Levande" which lasts up to 22 minutes live and takes an important place in the set, we played it twice now and is a brilliant song to catch you on our flow combining everything Alkerdeel does, from fast black to monotone riffs, slow droney atmospheres etc ... We really enjoy playing live but try to keep it as interesting as possible for everybody, we'll do max 10 shows a year divided over different places and we always have a lot of visitors. The very first Alkerdeel shows had a lot of improvisations since I was the only guitarplayer but with the coming of QW on bass it worked out better to make decent songs instead of combining different riffs and ideas. The rehearsals the first three years were always improvised sessions and normally we'll release one of those recordings on a limited edition since it really is too cool to keep in the closet. So to be honest, the Alkerdeel sets now are well prepared but we still make a lot of eye contact to get everything right, some riffs keep on repeating that we have to look to eachother to go to the next one all together hahaha.
Musicscan: Lastly: where in the process are you guys at the time, what’s been already
done in 2012, what’s left to be done? What are the touring plans for
Alkerdeel: Pui: Most important of course is the release of this album which was on February 24th, we had the release show with Celeste from France and the main event now is our show on Roadburn where we finally got invited to. We have no touring plans for the moment and wait a bit how the reactions are on "Morinde". This year we'll normally release a split 7" with our friends from A Den Of Robbers and maybe some other stuff, we already have a lot of new ideas since "Morinde" was written more than a year ago.