-- 10 Rogue gets shredded --
Saturday April 27, 2019 I was invited to my friend and fellow WOA Metal Battle Belgium jury member Geert’s birthday party at the Elpee Music Bar in Deinze. He brought along 10 Rogue, the band of Peter Evrard. Yes, the same Peter Evrard who’s best known to the general public as the winner of Idool 2003. However, the man didn’t sit on his laurels and since 2014 he’s got a new band called 10 Rogue! My first personal encounter with Peter and 10 Rogue was at Metal For Angels 2018, we had quickly become acquainted and this private gig was the perfect opportunity for a good old shred!
So after the show I went outside with Peter and guitarist Vincent to talk about 10 Rogue’s origins and its international and multigenerational lineup, the band’s DIY mentality and both Peter and Vincentnt offer a ton of advice for up-and-coming musicians! And yes, we also talked a little bit about Peter’s famous Idool 2003 era!
BMS: Good evening! Tonight was my second 10 Rogue gig and once again I found your music and performance very pleasing. It’s straight-on rock n’ roll without any samples or theatrics. It’s a tightly paced sound with catchy vocals and I must admit that you, Peter, have a true rockstar stage presence.
Peter: Thank you for those kind and honest words! Well, we’ve decided from day one that we would write material that connects with people on a deeply personal level. Not with cheap gimmicks, but through the stories we tell in our songs. Our music consists of elements from grunge, hardcore punk and 1980s heavy metal. The stuff we listened to when we were growing up.
Vincent: Thing is that we have a large age diversity in our band. Our lineup consists of guys in their twenties, thirties, forties and fifties. And that results in influences from many different musical eras.
BMS: Now, 10 Rogue is a pretty recent band, so tell me how this project has come into fruition.
Vincent: I spent much of my teenage years in South-Africa and during that time I was playing in a local metal act with my childhood friend John. Eventually I moved back to Belgium while he stayed in South-Africa and years later we got back in contact with each other through the power of internet and we decided to start a new band together.
Peter: And after they had made a demo they contacted me to do vocals. I must say that their songs instantly clicked with me, so I quickly jumped on board.
Vincent: At first we intended for 10 Rogue to be a studio-only project but after getting much positive response from many different sources (including the US) we knew we had to go live with this! Unfortunately, John was unable to move from South-Africa to Belgium so we recruited Zan as a new guitarist instead.
BMS: Speaking about recruiting, recently Chilean vocalist Daniela Hurtado joined your ranks. How did she join the 10 Rogue gang?
Peter: For a long time I was playing around with the idea of backing vocals. Originally, we tried to have Zan do vocals (since he’s an experienced vocalist from his time with NightmareBE and now Sin Savage) but singing and playing guitar simultaneously is a very difficult task. Eventually we found Daniela and we were beyond impressed with her vocal skills. She also helped us in making our lyrical content more classy and female friendly without losing the old-school rock n’ roll vibes.
Vincent: Daniela complements us very well in both attitude and performance. She moves and dances a lot just like Peter but she doesn’t exploit her sexuality unlike some other rock chicks do. Her voice is her main selling point.
BMS: Yeah, she’s good at doing the high notes, it provides a great contrast between Peter’s lower, snarly vocals. So, what are the future 10 Rogue plans?
Vincent: At the moment we’ve got a few demos, but we take our time to come out with some good songs.
Peter: And there should be enough good songs to fill an album. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of singles since they’re so quickly made and digested. On the other hand, I see albums like novels. Long, engaging stories told over multiple chapters. An album can also represent a certain era of mindset within your band. Vincent: We’re also very self-critical towards the material we put out to the public. Never underestimate the impact your released material has for your band’s chances of success. A well-written, produced and promoted song or album can turn many people into fans of your band, which will result in them coming out to your gigs.
BMS: That’s right! So, what are the two of you doing aside from 10 Rogue?
Vincent: I also play in a few cover bands and I contribute to the projects from some of my foreign friends and fellow musicians.
Peter: I make a living as an IT-technician, both for the company I work for as well as a freelancer. I also am a fulltime husband, father of 3 kids and keeper of a dog.
BMS: Ah, but you also have your own record label, right?
Peter: That’s right! It’s a very practical thing since you can do whatever you want while still having a proper platform to sell and promote your music. Fact is that I come from the hardcore punk scene and as a result, me and the other guys have a DIY mentality. I, for instance, can properly record my own vocals at home and Vincent here can do the same with his guitar parts. Then we hire someone to mix the recordings and we put it out!
Peter: The point is that, if you know what you’re doing, you can save a lot of money that you would otherwise spent on studio recordings. Recording at home isn’t as complicated or expensive as many people think and it allows you a lot more room for trial and error. After all, you’re not on a time limit and can record when you feel like it.
BMS: Very interesting! Now, let’s talk about your iconic participation at Idool 2003! I read that you had jokingly told VTM that you were working in the nuclear fusion sector!
Peter: Yeah! And as I had expected, they believed that shit! Back then I was actually working in construction but I already knew that the mainstream press wouldn’t go through the effort to fact check that ridiculous claim and even today I still meet people who actually believe that joke! Good thing you didn’t fall for that, because I use that lie as a little test, to see if the reporters who’ll be interviewing me are genuinely interested in who I am as an artist and as a person.
BMS: Yeah, I like doing my homework before I go out to an interview. You also had a short guest appearance during the recent “30 Jaar VTM” celebration show!
Peter: Indeed. They asked me if I could sit in the audience and then pop up for a little cameo and sing the chorus of my “signature” song “For You.” I had a good time being there and meeting up again with all those people I had worked with during my Idool 2003 period. In fact, I’ve got much respect for the mainstream Belgian TV-stations, VTM, VRT, etc. They’ve always treated me with great professionalism and were very communicative.
Peter: But I also admit that I have never been a big fan of that “For You” song. It was written by Jan Leyers (of Soulsister fame) and it’s a well-written tune, but it’s not the kind of music I prefer to perform.
BMS: I agree! Your 10 Rogue material sounds and feels much more suitable to your natural strengths as a singer. Now, last November I met you at the great charity event Metal For Angels! How were your personal experiences during the event?
Peter: Me and the guys had a great time being there. Professional crew, great PA and a small but enthusiastic crowd! Sylvie and Ronny (the founding couple of Metal For Angels) both did a tremendous amount of work to bring their event to life and they deserve a lot more recognition! And so I asked her to join me on stage to personally thank her in front of everyone and to motivate her in keeping up the fight!
BMS: That’s right! Metal For Angels is a highly underrated festival and I’ll be bringing my A-promo game for the next edition! Now, Peter, you’ve won Idool 2003, have worked with various musicians and built a sizeable reputation as an artist. What advice could you give to the next generation of musicians?
Peter: Genuinely believe in yourself! Look yourself in the mirror and envision yourself as a successful artist! Because you can only sell what you believe in and people are quick to see through any fake façades you may put up. Also take as many opportunities as you can! Be active on social media and get in touch with as many promoters, venue owners, reporters and fellow musicians as you can so that they are aware that you have a band and have some fun material to show them. Always bring your A-gam no matter if you play in a bar for 50 people or on a festival stage for 5000 people since there can always be someone in that particular crowd who may be impressed enough with your show that they share your work with other people.
Vincent: And always remember that success rarely comes overnight! Rarely does a band break-out in an instant and mostly it takes at least 3 or 4 years of consistent hard work before you’ve built up a solid fan base! And in most cases the road to success isn’t a straight line, like Peter just said, you may land a major gig one day and then play in a cozy local venue the next day! In addition, sometimes things will go perfectly smooth and other times you may end up with a crappy PA or damaged equipment! But no matter what happens, always remain confident, professional and make the best out of every situation!
Peter: Communication can make or break a band! I often see bands wherein one or two of the members call all the shots and the others just have to fit in or get out! Always remember that every musician is unique as an artist and most importantly, as a person! So be a good talker and an equally good listener. Be respectful to everyone inside and outside your band!
Peter: And speaking about respect, don’t waste time bashing other bands! No matter how deeply you’re convinced that they don’t deserve the recognition they’re getting! It won’t damage their reputation one bit but it will make you look like a grumpy sourpuss! Instead, just go out and show the world what YOU are made of! Be defined by what you are, not by what you aren’t! The best music is the music that tells a story and people can always relate to a story, especially when it’s told from the heart!
BMS: Very inspiring words! So, is there anything else you wish to add to this lengthy shred before we’ll have our picture taken?
Vincent: Keep up the good work! Peter: Yeah, we need people like you to shred bands like us!