-- Lethal Injury gets shredded --

Stijn Daneels
The second edition of Paul's Metal Fest in Den Ast was a great successor to the inaugural edition that I also attended. With a varied lineup featuring well-respected local and international bands such as TurboWarrior of Steel, Speed Queen and the Polish headliner Terrordome there was plenty to enjoy there. And I've had interviews with two bands, Purtrid Inbred (COMING SOON) and Lethal Injury!

Shortly after Lethal's show, I sat together with the band to congratulate them on opening up for Anthrax in fall 2015, their original songs about plastic PMD bags and seagulls and Anthony's fertility! So grab a beer and enjoy, folks!

All pictures expect for the traditional me-posing-with-band shot are made by Sandiya Weynants during TurboFest 2016, which took place a week before this interview.

BMS: Before I start my usual chitchat, congratulations on opening up for Anthrax in November last year! Tell me how it all came to be!
Solar: It began when the event's promoter suggested to us that we might be allowed to support Anthrax during their show in venue De Zwerver in Leffinge. We decided to take our changes although we never thought we would've actually ended up playing alongside Anthrax. After all, Lethal Injury had only been around for seven months and we thought the opening spot would've gone to a more experienced band.

Solar: Things turned for the better when we did a show in the same venue as Anthrax would be playing later that year. The crew from De Zwerver were very impressed with our performance and later contacted us that we got the spot of being the only band opening up for Anthrax in Leffinge!
BMS: Once more, congratulations! Being allowed to warm the crowd up for one of the biggest names in the thrash metal scene is certainly one huge honor! Now share with me what happened during the Anthrax event itself.
Solar: We've got a taste of how high-tier metal bands do things. For instance, we had to keep the stage clean from beer bottles and beverage stains. We obviously were nervous but it was a huge learning experience.
BMS: My best experience with Anthrax thus far was the band's signing session during GMM 2016. I love collecting autographs and they were a friendly bunch of people.
Josha: They're friendly but also pretty reserved. They did give us plenty of autographed stuff because we asked them for it. That's the way Anthrax work, they're cool guys and they can give you a favor if you're polite enough to ask them.

BMS: How did Lethal Injury come to be?
Rambo: Solar and me used to have a metal band but I wasn't a big deal and when our drummer at the time couldn't make enough time for the band anymore, we retired that band. Still, we had a lot of fun and did several shows. Once Jonjo joined in, we repackaged our band and style and became Lethal Injury.

Solar: Yeah, the rebrand was my idea. I wanted people to take us seriously as a band and so I wanted a second guitarist, a more dedicated drummer and a new name for our group.

Josha: Jonjo helped us in bringing Lethal Injury to the next level. More kills, less frills! It all helped in getting the ball rolling and a few months after Lethal Injury's induction we jumped into the studio to record a demo EP.
BMS: Speaking about the EP, how did the production go along?
Solar: Anthony, who became our new drummer, owns a recording studio called ATH Recordings and he gave tremendous support during our demo's production. It was a strenuous but productive weekend with many bottles of beer and little hours of sleep. But overall, we're all very satisfied with the end result and the demo helped in getting the gig with Anthrax that we talked about earlier.

BMS: Anthony, share your part of the story!
Anthony: On Saturday night Solar and I worked together to fulfill the demo's mixing and mastering duties while the other guys were dead tired from recording all day long! In addition, it was daylight saving time so we had one hour less to do our work. But we beat the odds and we can look back at that particular weekend with pride.

Josha: I can remember how smoothly and efficiently everything went that weekend. After I recorded my bass tracks I went home to get a few hours' sleep and after I came back to the studio everything expect for a few vocal lines were already recorded! It was great to see how dedicated we all were in getting everything done in time and with much attention to detail.
BMS: What are Lethal Injury's future plans?
Solar: We're now working on new songs and hope to release a full album in the near future. There still is a lot to be done and we want to apply everything we've learned so far in order to make it a truly awesome release! We remain down-to-earth despite our early success. We know that we've come this far thanks to our work ethic and love for the craft and we want to keep on getting bigger, better and badder!

Josha: That's why we're rehearsing a lot nowadays as well as doing some occasional shows. One big event we've got coming up is the Evil Or Die Fest in Roeselare in October this year wherein we'll be playing alongside Legion Of The Damned as well as several fellow Belgian metalbands like After All and Spoil Engine.

Anthony: Next year we'll playing a couple of shows in Switzerland and we hope to visit other places outside of Belgium in the future!
BMS: Time for something else. Rambo! How did you get your nickname? Do you also love action movies as much as I do?
Rambo: In fact I've never wanted to be called Rambo as I'm no fan of action movies despite my rugged good looks! Ok, when I was around fifteen years old I began exploring the metal scene and started growing out my hair. When I started my fourth grade in high school my hair was just long enough to hang in front of my eyes and forehead but not long enough for a proper ponytail. I also bought a bandana just for the fun of it and I had worn that thing during these hot late summer days even when class was in session.

Rambo: I recall a mathematics teacher who had already given me several remarks about me talking during class and eventually he shouted to me: "Rambo, will you shut up?" And from that day on everyone calls me Rambo, even my girlfriend, mother and grandmother call me Rambo. So I eventually decided to keep my nickname. Hell, my real name isn't even mentioned on the band's facebook page.

Solar: Of course not! People know him more as Rambo Exodus than as Kevin Van Eeckhoutte! And besides, Exodus is Rambo's all-time favorite band!
BMS: I myself do have a huge appetite for both Exodus and the Rambo movies! Plus all those other 80s action flicks from back in the day!

BMS: Now what are your other activities and interests in life? I'll start with you, Solar.
Solar: Aside from Lethal Injury I've got two other music projects. One of them is called Subsequent and I'll be doing some tryout shows with the band soon. The other is a studio project that is still too premature to actually discuss here in public. And when my attention isn't focused on work or music I like to go skateboarding. Fun fact, in Lethal Injury's original lineup (that is every current band member except for Anthony) everyone was into skating.

Anthony: Well, I've got my job as a full time drummer for Lethal Injury and as a sound technician and I've got my wife Nathalie and our seven children!
BMS: Seven?! That's impressive! And you still have enough time on your hands for all that other stuff!
Anthony: My wife is very supportive of my passion for music and I can't thank her enough for that!
BMS: And what other things do you do in life, Jonjo?
Jonjo: Music remains my number one passion. And if it isn't Lethal Injury or anything else metal related I explore other music genres like reggae and more commercially friendly rock music. And of course there's skateboarding.

Josha: I work in a hospital as a nurse and other than that I've got music to get me through the day.

Rambo: My girlfriend and I recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of our relationship and we've just finished in renovating our home. We also go to a lot of shows together and enjoy all the good things in life. Tomorrow we're going to Lokeren.
BMS: Great, me too! I can't wait to see Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies again! Now something else, Rambo, you've written songs about trash bags (PMD) and seagulls (The Flying Shit Machine). How did you get up with such, let's say, original themes?
Rambo: I remember one day entering the rehearsal studio and the other guys came to me and said they've written riffs for a song they named PMD (Plastic, Metal and Drinks). So I had to come up with lyrics about those blue PMD trash bags. I was thinking the guys were out of their mind to come up with something as stupid as that. But I did take my changes and we eventually ended up with a cool song!
BMS: Now about those seagulls.
Rambo: As every inhabitant and visitor to Ostend knows we have a lot of seagulls and they constantly attempt to steal people's food because they've gotten used to the idea of being fed by tourists. I once saw a picture of a seagull picking some fries from a tourist and so I came up with the line: "they steal your fries before your eyes," and that turned into a song!
BMS: I've already visited Ostend several times but I've never given any food to those damn gulls! And they don't dare to pick my food either. That would've been their biggest and last mistake they'll ever make!
Rambo: Another memory from high school was that every time we came back to class after the break a flock of seagulls landed unto our school's playground to eat all the cookie crumbles we've left behind.

BMS: Aside from Anthrax, are there any other bands you hope to one day open up for?
Jonjo: For me, Sylosis. For the past few years I've attended every Sylosis concert in Belgium and I hope to play along with them one day.

Rambo: Exodus of course!

Anthony: Man, I've been playing music for thirty years now and I've seen so many bands and met so many people. However, if I have to take one band that I can open up for, it would be Slayer!
BMS: I completely agree with your choices. And what about the countries you one day hope to play in?
Jonjo: I've got plenty of locations where I want to play. Especially Scandinavian countries and the US.
Anthony: Unfortunately sponsored by Donald Trump!

Jonjo: Fuck Trump!
Rambo: Yeah, fuck him!

Jonjo: I also hope to one day play a show in Russia. Think about it, how many Belgian metal bands can boast that they've played in Putinland?!

Anthony: In that case, I want to play in North-Korea as well!

Rambo: My dream location isn't a state, but a ship. 70.000 Tons Of Metal!
BMS: Is there anything else you want to add before we wrap this one up?
Solar: I want to thank Pieter Nyckees from Shellshock Studio. He's already helped us numerous times in getting our sound tight during our live shows so thanks Pieter!

Anthony: My gratitude goes to Lethal Injury themselves for allowing me to become their drummer. I love these guys and support them with all my heart and soul! I may have aged a bit more than the other guys, but I'm still young at heart!

Rambo: Now let's get loaded on beer!!

Lethal Injury - Live at the Zwever 10/10/2015