Thomas! Long time since we last spoke to each other, but I’m very glad to shred
you here. I’m going to start with a question that’s burning on my lips! How did
you become the host of De Zwaarste Lijst?
Last year my band PSYCHONAUT reached the 42 spot on De Zwaarste Lijst and we
were the highest ranked Belgian newcomer. Not only were we extremely
enthusiastic but Studio Brussel themselves began to keep a closer eye on us as
well. I also became good friends with Charlie Buyse, the curator of the StuBru
rock & metal streaming channel BRUUT and in the past we also shared the
stage with some of his bands. Eventually Charlie put me in contact with StuBru
and after a smooth introductory chat and a successful tryout session I
eventually got the part for De Zwaarste Lijst!
Awesome! For me it was very joyful news to see your name appear as the show’s
host. So, is this your first time as radio host?
it is, but I’ve always been a huge fan of De Zwaarste Lijst and I even listened
to a few editions with the rest of PSYCHONAUT, with beers and everything. And
Alex Agnew did a sublime job presenting the whole thing and I’m proud that I
can now succeed him.
editions of De Zwaarste Lijst were the most memorable for you?
few years ago our buddies from Steak Number Eight (now known as STAKE) ended up
at nr 11 and that was an incredible feeling! And last year they reached the nr
10 spot, who knows, maybe they’ll end up even higher this year!
hope so! Personally I simply want a Belgian band at nr 1 and as much Belgian
talent as possible to fill the rest. It doesn’t matter what bands. But with 666
available spots I do certainly expect a lot of Belgian material! How will you
talk together such an immense number of songs?
BRUUT I’ll be talking every half an hour and during those breaks I’ll preview
the next bands on the List. And the listeners have voted for tons of songs so
we’ll certainly get to 666 different songs.
BMS: I think
so too. Tell me Thomas, if you were able to choose, what Belgian bands would
you include on De Zwaarste Lijst?
I had to choose one Belgian band, I’d go for Pothamus. I’ve known that band for
years and last fall they finally released their debut album “Raya” and I was
absolutely blown away by their epic sound! You can best describe their style as
experimental sludge & post-rock, a mix between Om, The Black Heart
Rebellion and AmenRa with a pinch of AmenRa. At times hypnotically calm and at
other times all destructive, a huge recommendation!
already heard of Pothamus and I’m definitely going to check them out! Thanks
for the golden tip! And what song would you love to see at nr 1 this year on De
by Gojira! Last week I had an unforgettable interview with vocalist/guitarist
Joe Duplantier. Not only are he and his fellow bandmembers extremely talented
but they’re also highly engaged to environmentalism. Recently they released a
new single called “Amazonia” and that single’s profits will go straight to the
ingenious tribes of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest to support them in
protecting their rainforests against further deforestation. Joe himself is very
engaged to ecology and recently he started a fundraising campaign with his
metal friends (including Metallica, Slayer and Lamb of God) for nature
incredible! You know, we’ve already talked a bit about your band PSYCHONAUT but
now tell us some more about your band.
describe PSYCHONAUT as a post-metal band with 70s psychedelic vibes but also
with plenty of heavy parts. Together with guitarist Stefan I sing a mix of
harmonic singing and brutal grunting. Last year our debut album “Unfold The God
Man” was released via the German record label Pelagic Records and it received
many positive reviews and plenty of worldwide airplay. For which we are very
we were also very pleased with that excellent album. Something different now, recently
you were a guest on the StuBru stream #ikluisterbelgisch along with some other
prominent Belgian metal figures. Tell us how that day went by.
with the show’s host Rik De Bruycker I discussed Belgian metal songs that would
fit very well on De Zwaarste Lijst and during that episode Channel Zero
frontman Franky De Smet Van Damme was also present as well as Didier Goossens,
a good friend of mine who wrote his master thesis about the New-Zeeland metal
band Alien Weaponry! He has an encyclopedic knowledge about metal! Not just
about the bands but also about the underlying mentalities and cultures. He
assisted me a lot during my preparation for De Zwaarste Lijst and I’m extremely
thankful to him.
certainly going to have a chat with Didier soon. Thomas, what other things do
you do in life aside from PSYCHONAUT and De Zwaarste Lijst?
a teacher in religion and French and in addition I’m a loving husband for my
wife and a caring father for my daughter.
heartwarming! A metal man and a family man! Tell us, what are your future plans
at Studio Brussel and PSYCHONAUT.
StuBru I already recently did interviews with Code Orange and the
aforementioned Gojira and we’ll see what my StuBru path will lead me to. Concerning
PSYCHONAUT, next May we’ll be releasing a split album together with the
Norwegian band Sâver. The release will be called “EMERALD” and both we and
Sâver will both have 1 song of 15 minutes each, so that results in about a
solid half an hour of music.
BMS: I look
forward to it. Now one final question, I noticed that the Belgian metal scene
has been growing nicely in these past few years. I see more and more bands
appearing and our national acts are getting foreign publicity more often. Do
you also see such positive evolution?
I except that within 10 years at least 30% of Graspop Metal Meeting’s lineup
will be Belgian. There are so many young up and coming Belgian bands like Carnation,
Brutus, Evil Invaders and so much more.
BMS: And we
also have our own plans to further support the Belgian metal scene. Thomas,
thank you so much for this conversation and good luck this weekend with De