-- Sons of Lioth get shredded --

Stijn Daneels
Sons of Lioth’s performance during last year’s Metal Against Child Cancer festival was as enjoyable as the other bands who performed that night. And yes, that means it was fucking great!

A few months later I arranged to meet up with the band during the Metaaldetector festival (February 13, 2016). And I was in luck, because Kristof, Danijel and Ben had already finished their sound check and were relaxing and drinking in the venue’s main lobby. And so we decided to immediately tackle such tasty subjects like their latest EP Judge Hammer (fuck yeah!), 80s action movies (more fuck yeah!) and whiskey (triple fuck yeah combo!). Ready? Then get yourself a glass of Glenlivet whiskey and enjoy!

BMS: Ok, folks. You call yourselves Sons of Lioth and I read on your website that Lioth is some kind of godlike being. Is he (or she) based on an existing mythology?
Danijel: As with every other band in the world we had to come up with a name. Ben and I simply came up with the name Lioth. Originally the name Sons of Lioth was meant to be placeholder name but it stuck and we’ve been keeping that name for over 11 years.

Ben: Danijel and I are huge fans of high fantasy movies and literature but the name Lioth isn’t based on any fantasy story or mythology. You could say it’s based on our philosophy as a band that everything is creatively permitted.
Danijel: Yeah, we mainly created this Lioth character because we could.
There’s no other reason for that.

Sons of Lioth current lineup from left to right: Tim Van Herck (drums), Ben Cavens (guitar), Danjiel Cecelja (guitar), Davy Van Bel (bass), Kristof Van Den Bergh (vocals).
BMS: Interesting, but where do you actually get the most inspiration from?
Danijel: We deliberately base our themes on clichés. For instance, you could say that the theme of Large Hadron Collider Spider is inspired by giant cinema monsters like King Kong and Godzilla.
Kristof: In fact, heavy metal is the only music genre that allows the use of such Hollywood clichés. We also feel most comfortable when we stick to that pop culture cheesiness. We dislike writing songs about politics or social issues as so many other bands tend to do.

Kristof: Ben, Danijel and I were high school classmates and we grew up watching 80s action movies starring the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Steven Seagal. And yeah, as a kid you fantasize about being such a buffed-up action hero, doing heroic deeds, shooting and beating up bad guys, getting the girl, saving the day. With our music we want to give that same larger-than-life action movie feel to the audience.
BMS: I also grew up watching action movies and I still love watching these old, cheesy flicks today. In fact, they are more like documentaries as we see these guys do their day-by-day duties of fighting bad guys and saying witty one-liners.
Kristof: Legend has it that there’s one movie in which Steven Seagal laughed, but that movie was never found! 
BMS: Well, he did get shot twice with a shotgun from point-blank range in Hard To Kill. The only time I saw Seagal taking real damage. But he still didn't die. He really was hard to kill.
Kristof: Hence the title.
Danijel: My absolute favorite Seagal fight scene is in Out For Justice in which he fights off an entire bar full of bad guys using the pool’s cue ball and sticks. He beat them all up without breaking a sweat!
BMS: Fuck yeah! And that final fight scene with the movie’s main villain Richie! That was a Seagal overkill at its finest!
BMS: Time for something else, how did the production of Judge Hammer go?
Danjiel: We took more time to record the album. Our producer, Fillip De Bot, was very experienced and cooperative. He has a talent for spotting wrong notes but he didn’t notice any of course. In fact now that I come to think of it, I don’t know if I can verify this talent. Seems we did a pretty good job.

Ben: It was our first time we worked with a guy who was so closely involved with the production process.

BMS: I agree. It’s always better to work with someone who has a, like the French say, “savoir-faire.” I don’t know if I have a savoir-faire for writing about metal but people haven’t complained about my work yet.
Danijel: I’d like to add that producing a metal album requires more contribution than just from the band members themselves. For instance, a sound engineer is mandatory to create an epic sound to your recordings so that they don’t sound like cheap bootleg crap.

Danijel: Another thing I want to mention is that we also switched artists for Judge Hammer’s artwork. I made the artwork for its predecessor, the Collider Spider EP, but for Judge Hammer, we wanted something less cartoony. JH’s artwork is made by Eric Philippe. Does his name sound familiar to you?
BMS: Not really, I suck at remembering names.
Danijel: He made all the artwork for bands like Killer, Ostrogoth and many others.
BMS: Ah yes, now that rings a bell! In most cases an artist is better known for his work rather than his name.
BMS: What are your future plans now that you released Judge Hammer?
Danijel: We’re planning on releasing an LP version of Judge Hammer in addition to working on new songs.
Kristof: We’re also looking for a booker as we want to do as many gigs as possible.

BMS: I read on your site that you have a fine sense of humor. Heard any good jokes lately?
Danijel: We usually make a lot of fun of Tim’s girlfriend but since she and Tim are sitting right next to us we better leave it for another time.
BMS: What are your other activities aside from Sons of Lioth?
Kristof: I work as a director and editor for several national TV productions.
Ben: I’m learning to become a web designer. I also have a wife and two kids so that’s pretty time consuming.
BMS: I understand. My cousin’s two children had spent the entire day at my home today and they always seek my attention to play hide-and-seek or to play a board game. I love their company but they do come at the price of sacrificing other hobbies.
Danijel: I practice sports, mainly running and skateboarding and I work as an IT consultant for the VDAB.
BMS: I also used to “work” for the VDAB. But as a job seeker!
Danijel: In addition I love cooking. My favorite dishes are Flemish stew and ossobuco, which is an Milanese dish of veal shanks with vegetables, white wine and broth.
BMS: I never tried ossobuco before, but it sounds delicious.
Danijel: Then feel free to come over and have some!
BMS: That’s an offer I can’t refuse!
BMS: I read that you used to be a goofy power metal band but you have now changed to a more serious approach.
Ben: We were sick and tired of “acting” on stage. In those days we didn’t take our band seriously until we noticed people did enjoy our music. We decided that the music should speak for itself and now we enjoy performing a lot more. We still keep some goofiness in our songs and performances but we don’t overdo it as much as we used to.
BMS: Do you have any rituals before you start a show?
Kristof: We drink some whiskey before we get it on. We usually get a bottle of Jameson but we would love to have some less mainstream whiskeys.
BMS: I also love whiskey. Do you know any good ones?
Kristof: I love drinking Tallisker, Oban and the Glenlivet, simply because it’s Tony Soprano’s favorite drink!
Danijel: Aberloup is one whiskey well worth checking out!
BMS: All right! Is there anything else you want to say?
Kristof: Thanks for the chat!
Danijel: Keep it metal!
Ben: Enjoy our show!
BMS: I’ll be there. And next time we meet, I’ll bring along a bottle of Glenlivet whisky so we can all feel like the Sopranos!

Sons of Lioth - Judge Hammer