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The Charm, The Fury at Download: The Benefits of Female Vocalists

How have you found the UK metal scene differs from the Dutch metal scene?

Mathijs: It’s very very different, I think the UK scene is all about paying your dues, and it’s very… it’s not dog eat dog but it’s so competitive, and the Dutch scene is a bit more mellow because there’s less competition, and so you notice instantly when you play a show in the UK it’s like… it’s not like you’re treated like royalty here it’s like you have to pay your dues, so here is how we’re going to start you off.

Lucas: It’s like ten other bands are coming to fill that place in for you for free.

Mathijs: Yeah, there’s ten other bands and half of them at least are really good, maybe better than you.

Lucas: Yeah, it’s pretty competitive!

Did you enjoy your set?

Both: Yes!

Lucas: There was so much more audience than we actually expected, because we were kind of early on, and it’s a Sunday and everybody’s hungover… we saw everybody coming from the campsite.

Mathijs: It’s like they’ve come straight from battle, like it’s WWI and they’ve been in the trenches.

I was actually sat outside because I couldn’t get into the stage, your set was awesome! What are your plans for after Download? 

Mathijs: We have a pretty packed festival season, it’s not a full on tour so we’re returning home and after this we’re doing Graspop in Belgium.

Lucas: We’re playing with Slayer this Tuesday.

Mathijs: That’s a bucket list right there!

Lucas: We’re playing in Hungary, Finland.

Mathijs: Finland will be the first time we’re doing Scandanavia which will be great.

Lucas: Czech Republic has a festival called Monsters of Rock. So all of Europe?

Mathijs: We’re mostly played UK and one or two gigs in France and Germany, and obviously the Netherlands because we’re from there, and then we’re doing all these new countries that we’ve never visited before which is really cool.

Are there any challenges that come with being a female fronted band that you didn’t expect?

Lucas: Well maybe not that we didn’t expect, but there are some challenges!

Mathijs: It has benefits and challenges, it’s easier I guess to get in the public eye, but the public eye is gonna be negative, it always is and the first question that they ask is… either they find you not to be deserving of anything, because you’re female fronted and you’re probably shit, or they say the exact opposite, the band us alright but it’s shit because there’s a woman, and people will always frame their opinions based on a woman being in there, so we have to address that first, and then if the music is alright then that’s secondary. But then the benefit is it’s easier to get noticed, but then to get taken seriously it’s maybe harder.

You don’t think you’d have the same challenges if you had a male vocalist? 

Lucas: Different challenges, probably, it would be much harder to get in the picture.

Mathijs: But then, once you start out it would probably be much easier for people to actually listen to the music and see if it’s any good.

Lucas: To look at it without any prefound opinion that people have of female metallists in the music industry… it kind of sucks.

Mathijs: To be fair we get part of it but Caroline gets most of the flack… or appreciation.

Lucas: She gets asked a lot, ‘who are you, are you the girlfriend of the band, are you the manager’ like no, I’m actually the lead singer.

Mathijs: To start off, you’re not in the band, what are you doing here? [Laughs] It gets a bit awkward sometimes.

Do you have any advice for upcoming bands like yourselves?

Lucas: Well, first just set your goals. Do you want to have fun? Do you want to take it somewhere? And then go and do what you want to do. If you want to take yourself seriously like we want to go and get this somewhere, really put every effort in that you can.

Mathijs: Don’t understimate it, it’s very easy to underestimate it, and I think no one in our band ever thought that we were underestimating anything but then when we were thrown into the mix, it was very challenging.

Lucas: What we did from the start was not put anything out that we weren’t totally happy with, so your first track, photoshoot, should be at a level that you yourself are totally confident that it’s right.

Mathijs: Your own opinion should never be ‘this is fine’, it should be ‘this is amazing’.

Which group would you love to support and why?

Mathijs: Probably Metallica. [Laughs]

Lucas: So this is a realistic standard, maybe what we could do in a year.

Mathijs: If I could pick a UK band, I would really love to support While She Sleeps because I feel like they are one of those bands that are refreshing the whole metal sound. They’re the freshest thing coming out of the UK right now and they’re really good live as well.

Lucas: I think our second tour show was with them, and they were nearly as big as they are now.

Mathijs: And they were still kicking ass.

Lucas: We thought they were amazing back then.

So on the flip side, which group would you love to support you guys and why?

Mathijs: Ooh, that’s a hard one!

Lucas: We might actually need to think about that for our upcoming run in Holland, there are some cool Dutch bands.

Mathijs: There are lots of band that are on our level that we would love to support, but we’re not really sure who should be up there as the main act! I still remember at our release show for the previous record, Heart of a Coward supported us in our hometown. Like right now that would be ridiculous, but it was pretty crazy.

Lucas: It’s hard, but the coolest Dutch band are Static.

Mathijs: So our regular guitar player broke his wrist so he couldn’t be here, but our supporting guitar player has his own band and that’s Static. 

 

Keep your eyes peeled for news on The Charm, The Fury!

 

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