-- Decades of Metal get shredded --

Stijn Daneels
During Turbofest 2016 Decades of Metal's guitarist Robin gave me a flyer for an event in Oostrozebeke on September 24, 2016 featuring his two bands (Decades of Metal and Eternal Breath) as well as other great Benelux bands like Leave Scars and X-tinction. It was an offer I couldn't refuse!

After a great gig from Decades of Metal and Leave Scars, it was time to do what I came for (ok, drinking beer, banging my head and moshing in front of the stage was also part of the plan) and had a talk with Decades of Metal. And the band had plenty to talk about! Their desire to play in New-Zeeland (or was it North Korea?), the bridge they provide between old-school and new-school and how to deal with stage fright! A fun and educational conversation to say the least!

BMS: Let's start with the cheesy question to end all cheesy questions. How did Decades of Metal begin?
Kitte: In the 1990s me and Hans, Chevy's father who also played drums, were part of a band called Decades of Decadence. We eventually retired the band because we couldn't find a suitable rehearsal room.
Kitte: Around 2010 me and a friend of mine called Miguel decided to reincarnate the band as Decades of Metal. At first we just jammed together out of nostalgia but soon we regained our desire to play on stage and went looking for recruits. We first met Bert and then we recruited Sven and eventually Robin. Later on Miguel quit the band because of back problems and Sven left because he couldn't combine Decades of Metal with his other band named Enchantress. So in came Chevy and Patrick to do the drums and bass parts respectively.
BMS: So Chevy's dad used to be your colleague back in the Decades of Decadence days. Then Chevy should call you uncle, huh?
Kitte: More like grandpa! Ha, ha, ha!
BMS: All right. Go on with the origin story.
Kitte: The main reason for the name Decades of Metal is because of the generation variety in our band. Patrick and me are the gracefully aged guys in the lineup and we've got the youthful enthusiasm of Bert, Robin and Chevy on our side. Therefore we can musically appeal to both old-school headbangers and today's wild-living youth.

Decades of Metal from left to right: Robin (guitar), Kitte (guitar), Bert (vocals), Chevy (drums), Patrick (bass). Picture made by Elke Verhelst Photography.
BMS: Describe your overall sound to my readers.
Kitte: Decades of Metal provides a throwback to the glory days of 1980s heavy, thrash and speed metal but with a modern touch.
Robin: Bands like Angel Witch, Helloween, Motörhead and Judas Priest serve as main inspirations for Decades of Metal. In fact we had the intention to cover Angel Witch as our final song for tonight's set but we were out of time. Too bad, as it would've made for a much better ending to our show.
BMS: Yeah, it sucks you had to stop playing. Me and the other people in the crowd were wild with enthusiasm and everyone begged for an encore.
Bert: Next time we'll shorten our setlist so that we can certainly play Angel Witch as our final song.
BMS: Do as you please. Just don't sacrifice your best tracks for one cover.

Picture made by Karina Wijckhuyse.
BMS: Are there any countries you would like to play with Decades of Metal?
Robin: We'd love to play all around Europe but I hope in particular to one day play in New-Zealand. So if there are any New-Zealanders out there reading this article, don't hesitate to contact us!
BMS: Maybe North Korea is interested!
Kitte: If Kim-Jon Un wants to play a private show for him then he may arrange our travel and security. He's got more than enough personnel and soldiers to spare. And if he doesn't like us, then we shoot him in the head before we get capped ourselves!
BMS: Good idea, before they invade us like they did in the video game Homefront!
BMS: Do you have plans to release an EP in the near future?
Robin: A year ago we recorded a couple of tracks with the lineup we had back then. That is Decades of Metal without Patrick and Chevy. Although we're satisfied with the end result, we want to rerecord these songs with our current personnel as well as adding new ones. If everything goes to plan, we'll be able to release some recorded material somewhere in 2017.
BMS: What other stuff do you guys have in life aside from rocking like it's the 1980s?
Kitte: Working my ass off and exploring new, exciting music. Both live and on record. It helps in keeping me young and healthy.
Robin: I've studied philosophy and in addition I also play in the heavy metal band Eternal Breath. I also enjoy testing my guitar riffing skills by trying out fast, technical songs for me to grind through.
BMS: What hard tracks did you manage to master?
Robin: Currently I'm wearing a shirt of the American progressive thrash metal band Vektor and I've got to say that their riffs are quite a bit spicier compared to what I'm used to play. Still a lot of fun, though. Mastering their signature songs will be a huge personal achievement!
BMS: So Patrick, what do you do in life?
Patrick: I'm a proud member of a whiskey club and I'm proud to jam in Decades of Metal along with my stepson, Robin.
BMS: Ah, tasting whiskey. I love drinking that, especially on Friday nights to kickoff the weekend. Be sure to send me some great whiskeys.
Patrick: Then come and join the club!
Bert: As for my life aside Decades of Metal I've recently been happily married to my girlfriend.
BMS: Congratulations!
Bert: Thanks! We're still enjoying the memories of our marriage and honeymoon. It was the most beautiful time of my life.
BMS: Your marriage must have been a true rock n' roll party!
Bert: Well, we asked the DJ to start playing some heavier stuff after 2 AM. Ha, ha!

Picture made by Karina Wijckhuyse.
BMS: Time for something more music related. Are there any Belgian bands you would like to share the stage with?
Robin: Should one day Acid reunite then we'll jump right at the opportunity to support them! Furthermore, in the early days of Decades of Metal we covered a few Acid songs during shows. Kitte: In May this year we had the pleasure to open up for Manilla Road! But as long as the bands before and after us aren't that radically different from ours, we'll be right there to join the party! I think a black metal or grindcore crowd won't get too excited for us.
BMS: Well, I can certainly enjoy many metal and core subgenres.
BMS: Tonight you played a brand new song, but I saw that you, Kitte, were a bit shaken.
Kitte: Although I've never cancelled a concert for that reason, I do suffer from stage fright. I've always had that fear of playing in front of a crowd since I began playing music back in the 1980s. Fortunately, I've always been accompanied by true friends who help me get up and play.
Robin: I've learned from personal experience that the more shows you play, the less stage fright will hold you back. Of course, when you get on stage all eyes and ears are aimed on you so the stress band members experience right before their show shouldn't be underestimated. But even Kitte's stress shell breaks down when he begins grinding his guitar, complete with a custom tuner!
BMS: During tonight's show you gave me the microphone to sing the chorus of one of your songs. I hope I did an OK job because I hadn't heard any Decades of Metal songs before.
Bert: We always love it when people sing along with us. And you didn't fuck your vocals up, so your reputation is safe.
BMS: Ha, if I had any reputation at all! But tell me about Decades of Metal's reputation. What can my readers expect from you when they come along for a gig?
Bert: Our special ability is that in every venue we go, bartenders lower the prices of their beers. Furthermore, Kitte has the fun habit to bring along so much beer that you easily pick one from him.
Robin: Music-wise I'd say Decades of Metal provides a rock solid bridge between old-school heavy metal and contemporary influences. All band members give their proper contributions to Decades of Metal's sound and the result is a type of music that can appeal to a very broad audience!
Kitte: Alcohol, rock and roll and friends! What more do you need?
BMS: Well, me and the other hundred guys who were here to see you play certainly didn't need any more conviction! Thanks for the conversation!

Decades of Metal - Weekend Warrior