-- Cult of Scarecrow gets shredded! --
Interview conducted and written by Stijn “Metal Shredder” Daneels.
Back in early 2019 I was a jury member for the Wacken Metal Battle Belgium. During the first semi-finals (which took place at youth bar Asgaard) one of the competing bands was the epic doom metal band Cult of Scarecrow. While they didn’t move on to the finals (that honor went to the bands Hunter and Primal Creation) their atmospheric and orchestral take on the doom metal subgenre left a very positive impression on me.
And to keep up with my goal to Skype shred as many bands as possible in this ongoing Corona virus lockdown, on Friday April 3, 2020 I called up Cult of Scarecrow’s keyboardist Eddy Scheire to talk about the band’s origins, their guitar-centered songwriting and their many ambitious plans for the future. A rather short, but still very interesting shred.
BMS: Hello Eddy! Great to have you here! Tell me, how did Cult of Scarecrow begin?
Eddy: Hi there! Cult of Scarecrow rose up from the ashes of the crossover thrash metal band Dead Serious (later renamed Die Sinner Die) which had Jan, Ivan and Gunther on guitars and bass respectively. They eventually regrouped to start Cult of Scarecrow and they invited me to play keyboards since they wanted to make their doom metal sound more orchestral.
BMS: I see! What I like about Cult of Scarecrow’s sound is that, while doom metal at its core, your keyboard tunes and Filip’s clean, high-pitched vocals makes the whole thing sound more grandiose and unique compared to the typically grim and grunted style of doom metal. However, one thing I would like you to change in your future songs are the lengthy openings, particularly in songs like “Hour of the Blood Run” and “Cult of Scarecrow.” Both are great tunes but they do take a bit too long before they’re up and running.
Eddy: Thanks for the honest feedback. I believe one of the reasons for our unique sound is because the guys and I all have different musical influences (with metal being our common ground). For instance, I’m very inspired by Deep Purple’s keyboardist Jon Lord while the other guys are influenced by thrash metal, doom metal, classic heavy metal and more.
BMS: Beautiful! So, how does the songwriting work at Cult of Scarecrow?
Eddy: All of our songs start off with a guitar riff provided by either Jan or Gunther, we agree with Nico for a specific drum beat and then we all start experimenting. Sometimes it leads to a brand new song, sometimes it gets thrown out. All six of us contribute to songwriting and while we’re very open to new things, we do maintain a perfectionist attitude towards our own material.
BMS: That’s a great work ethic. So, what were your initial plans before the Corona virus outbreak?
Eddy: First off we had a spot at the semi-finals of Rock Tribune’s Alcatraz Music Bash (which was scheduled to take place at the Elpee Music Bar on April 4th), we had also arranged to record 6 new songs this month. Fortunately, the Corona outbreak didn’t cause a full standstill for us, since I’ve just finished recording all my synthesizer parts and I’m working on creating drum beats via computer. Once that’s done, I’m sending those rhythm sections to my band colleagues so that they can add some parts as well. Simply put, we’ll be well-prepared by the time this lockdown’s over.
Indeed! Keeping up the spirits! So, what other future plans do you Scarecrow
cultists have in store for the world?
Eddy: We’re planning to make a music video for at least one of those upcoming songs, just like we did earlier with the song “Last Words from Black Birds” (which you can check out at the end of this article). Another thing we’re working on is our stage presentation, our current visual style is a bit too bland for our tastes, and perhaps we’ll be making some custom stage attires or put more props on stage to further amplify our music’s dark ambient atmosphere.
BMS: Personally, I’d suggest some smoke and dark-colored lightning effects and maybe some ceremonial ropes (especially for Filip since he has a powerful, hypnotic voice, like a priest). Nothing too dark since your music is more colorful and orchestral than the usual doom metal stuff.
Eddy: Thanks for the advice!
BMS: You’re welcome! So Eddy, do you have other musical or non-musical activities besides Cult of Scarecrow?
Eddy: Recently I’ve reunited with my band members of 90s metal act Ramses to prepare for a reunion show (I used to play keyboards in that band as well). Ramses can be best described as an old-school metal act with Egyptian themes. I was also recently recruited by melodic rock band Beyond the Labyrinth to provide songwriting and keyboard support for their upcoming album. And finally I also make some money as a 1st Dan black belt judo trainer.
BMS: All right! Is there anything else you wish to add before we publish this great shred?
Eddy: Like everyone else in the world we really hope that this Corona crisis ends soon. We keep in contact with each other and our fans and as you’ve learned through this interview, this cult has a lot of ambitious plans for the future! Join us!