-- October Changes gets shredded! --
Interview conducted and written by Stijn "Metal Shredder" Daneels.
A while ago I asked Mike De Coene from Hard Life Promotion to arrange me an interview with the Belgian gothic/industrial metal act October Changes, especially since the band’s vocalist Wendy has been a prominent follower of Belgian Metal Shredder. And with the band now having released two singles this year, “Decay of Sleeping Beauty” and “The Puppet Factory,” it’s about time that I get them shredded, through Skype giving COVID circumstances of course.
So I called up the band's vocalist Wendy Van Craen to talk about October Changes’ metalcore-inspired origins and band name, the making of “The Decay Of Sleeping Beauty” single and how it compares to their usual work and we talk some Disney stuff.
BMS: Hello Wendy, great to have you here on Skype. Tell me, how did October Changes begin?
Wendy: Pleased to hear from you, Shredder. Well, the story of October Changes begins in 2018 when Luk, our rhythm guitarist, came up with the idea to start a metalcore/rapcore act with male vocals. By the end of that year, however, he changed his view for the band towards a more Linkin Park inspired band and eventually to a more atmospheric rock style with female vocals. And that’s how October Changes gained its current creative form.
BMS: So you joined the band at a later time, right?
Wendy: Indeed, I’ve joined October Changes in February 2019, when the band’s name, style and concept was already established. But what I can tell you the idea behind October Changes’ name. Luk has always been a big fan of metalcore bands like Texas In July and August Burns Red and since he gave the band’s music style such a big change back in October 2018 Luk decided to call his new project October Changes.
BMS: Well, that kind of makes me think of the October Revolution.
Wendy: Yeah, you’re not the first one who’s having that idea (and probably not the last one either), but the name has nothing to do with world history, only with the history of our band itself.
BMS: Now tell me something about the creative influences behind October Changes.
Wendy: Although we get much inspiration from our daily lives we did want to have some consistency within our songs’ themes. We eventually came up with the idea to base our songs on fairy tales but combined with contemporary elements. Events from our own lives of from what we hear in the media or even sound effects we discover in the Sound Library.
BMS: I see,
now, one of your most recent songs is “Decay of Sleeping Beauty.” I’ve noticed
that this particular single’s style has a more intimate, guitar-driven and
straightforward style compared to the more industrial sound from your other
single, “The Puppet Factory.”
Wendy: To be honest, “Decay of Sleeping Beauty” is quite a unique song while “The Puppet Factory” is a more accurate presentation of October Changes’ usual style. Our goal is to give our material a good sense of variety with aggressive industrial tunes like Puppet Factory and soft-spoken ballads like Sleeping Beauty. Something for everyone!
BMS: Great plan! I do genuinely like your sound, it’s heavy and compelling and your vocals give the whole thing a symphonic touch. Now, I’d like to know more about the making of behind “Decay Of Sleeping Beauty,” because, as you said earlier, it’s a very different song compared to the usual October Changes mold.
Wendy: Sure! The song began with a couple of piano riffs which I had come up with and had sent to our drummer Wesley, who finished its composition. While searching for lyrics for the song, we decided to take the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty since it’s story fitted the music’s atmosphere. But as always, we’ve given the tale a darker and much more tragic twist since in our version the prince doesn’t come to save her which results in Sleeping Beauty spending a 1000 years in isolation and her eventually coming to the realization that the prince has completely forgotten about her and that gives her a full mental breakdown. Wendy: We also made sure to visualize this story and that’s why the lyric video features desolated city landscapes, a tower surrounded by barbed wire and of course plenty of roses and blood.
BMS: Indeed, it’s a very visually stunning video. Now, I’d really like to know whether you, like me, are a huge Disney fan?
Wendy: I admit I can certainly enjoy a good Disney movie and who knows, maybe we’ll add in some classic Disney film references in our future songs.
BMS: My favorite Disney movie is the Lion King, so if you ever decide to make a song inspired by the Lion King I’d listen to it all day long!
Wendy: Thanks for the tip!
BMS: Don’t mention it! So, what were October Changes’ initial plans before the Coronavirus pandemic?
Wendy: We were busy rehearsing our setlist since we were planning to do our first live gigs this year. Originally the weekend of June 6 was supposed to be our live debut and we even had 4 more gigs planned afterwards. Now, our first gig might be next year in the Ragnarok Music Club in Bree along with our friends called Cathubodua. Obviously that will depend on how this horrible pandemic will evolve, but we remain optimistic and keep our eyes open for any gig opportunities.
BMS: How did you rehearse during this year’s lockdown?
Wendy: Since we live quite far from one another we didn’t often come together to all rehearse at once. During the lockdown period we rehearsed separately in our own homes using a rehearsal track wherein every single instrument can be turned on or off separately. In addition, we hold an online meeting every Friday wherein we discuss new creative ideas and the other practical aspects involved.
BMS: I see, very good. What other things do you do in life aside from October Changes.
Wendy: Aside from raising my toddler son I also have a keen interest in graphic design (I handle all of October Changes’ artwork) and social networking, something that our founding member Luk has much passion for as well. Wesley, Sven and Bert, our drummer, bassist and second guitarist respectively, are all passionate gamers and finally Wesley also plays in a cover band called Döst wherein the play classic rock songs from the 1960s and 1970s but with a heavier twist.
BMS: That’s quite interesting, since I’m quite a fan of 60s & 70s pop and rock music myself. I’ll check it out!
Wendy: You do that, and thank you for the shred!