-- Leave Scars gets shredded --

Stijn Daneels
A week before Devils Rock for an Angel I was at Oostrozebeke to see bands like Decades of Metal, Eternal Breath and Leave Scars! While I did an interview with the first two aforementioned bands, I also told Leave Scars to get ready for a chat with me the week after.

And so at Devils Rock for an Angel (October 1, 2016) I've got into the Leave Scars' van (disguised as a regular van) with Dizzy, Ath and Paul to talk about random topics like mosh pits (and the collateral damage they may cause), Leave Scars' continuous creative evolution, Ath's six-string bass guitar and our mutual opinion regarding Facebook likes.

BMS: Good evening, folks! I had a lot of fun seeing you play at Oostrozebeke the week before.
Dizzy: Yeah, we also had a fun time there. And it was great seeing you mosh with other maniacs there!
Ath: I've got the habit to get into the pit myself at the final part of the song Final Chance. I drop my glasses and bass and just jump into the action!
Dizzy: It's always hard to resist a good mosh! And we still remain an easy going, accessible and social band.
BMS: Ah, I love such a down-to-earth mentality in a band! I also hate spending much time backstage, after an interview, I go back to my preferred location which is right in the moshing crowd!
Ath: Yeah, it's fun to spend some time backstage to rest and drink for free, but after a while we go outside and spend time with our friends and fans. As it should be!

BMS: Share with me some of your most wicked mosh experiences!
Dizzy: I recall that during a show we did in Vosselaar one unfortunate dude had his foot broken while moshing. The mosh was immediately stopped and the crowd helped the guy up. The poor bastard needed 3 surgeries to have his foot fixed. A similar scenario happened during a show we did at Graspop Metal Meeting.

Dizzy: Another weird incident happened when we did a show in Antwerp. Some guy came to us with his hand all swollen up! Apparently his pinky and ring finger got stuck in the pants of some follow mosher. Yeah, some little accidents happened during past Leave Scars gigs! But don't be too intimidated by it. Such severe injuries very rarely happen!
BMS: I frequently mosh and the overall damage I gained was minimal. The occasional crowdsurfer whose combat boot gets hit by the back of my head, a couple of bruises on my arms and shoulders as well as an occasional cut on my hands or arms. But I know that a mosh can be dangerous, it's the name of the game!
Ath: My most brutal mosh pits were during a gig of Hatebreed at Graspop Metal Meeting. A bleeding nose, a loose tooth and a nearly broken hand. Nothing I can't handle.
Paul: Despite being in my forties I can still enjoy a skull-grinding mosh! A couple of years ago we attended an Kreator gig at GMM and I randomly jumped at Dizzy!

Dizzy: Yeah, it was a sudden but pleasant surprise to see good old Paulo here in action!
Ath: That's the fun thing about mosh pits. You hit and get hit by random people, but after the mosh has ended you hug and have drinks with the same people who wildly charged at you mere minutes before!
BMS: It certainly is! I even got to know a couple of bands (like Infantile) because I moshed with the band members in the past! And it's always a joy to see familiar faces in the pit!
Ath: Two weeks ago I took my brother-in-law to Olenfest and he had never seen such a wild event before! He saw people getting hit in the face only to be pulled back to their feet and getting a beer to soften the pain!
BMS: The thing is that you feel little pain when you get hit in the pit. It's only after the show and subsequent adrenaline has faded that you see and feel what really happened to you in the pit!
Dizzy: Well, we love brutal looking mosh pits but of course we don't want people to get injured. All damage caused is collateral damage!

Picture by Karina Wijckhuyze.
BMS: That's correct. Time to talk about Leave Scars. Are you working on new songs?
Paul: We're currently still promoting our 2015 album Chains of Redemption. In early 2017 we're going to unleash an EP with new material and eventually another fully loaded release in 2018. The songs we're planning for the EP are nearly finished so it won't take very long to get into the recording studio!
Dizzy: Leave Scars are still evolving as of today. Back in the early years we were a generic thrash metal band. For the past five years our lineup has remained consistent and that has allowed us to transition to a more sophisticated and melodic sound while still keeping the raw attitude that Leave Scars are known for. We like to push ourselves as musicians.

Ath: We've got various different influences. Paul is into old school hardcore punk and thrash metal. Djoni is influenced by metalcore. I enjoy the more extreme metal subgenres like black metal and grindcore. I especially love the campy, gory and sexually themed humor that grindcore is known for.
Dizzy: I'm a huge Metallica fan. And yes, I've always supported Metallica's work no matter if it's Kill 'em All, the black album, (Re)Load, St. Anger or the upcoming Hardwired to Self-Destruct. In addition I also enjoy 80s glam rock. I prefer melody above extreme metal subgenres.
BMS: I also enjoy a lot of different subgenres, although I prefer to listen to old school heavy and thrash metal when I'm at home while extreme genres like grindcore and metalcore is something I enjoy the most when I experience it live.
Dizzy: Leave Scars' sound isn't pure thrash metal anymore. We like to put together all those different styles to keep things varied and fun. And as a result we've established a very diverse audience. We've got thrashers, old school metalheads, hardcore and grindcore punks and many more in our fan base! I believe these people dig our music because they hear something of their own musical preferences in Leave Scars.
BMS: Ath, do your colleagues in the band give you sufficient time in the spotlight to show off your bass skills?
Ath: I certainly get my share of fun with my bass guitar. I write all bass lines for every Leave Scars song and we often use that as a base to begin writing material. I use a six string bass and it allows for much more flexibility in my bass playing.
Dizzy: Yes indeed! Sometimes Ath comes up with a riff that I'd rather associate with a regular guitar! It's a kind of bass magic!

Picture by Karina Wijckhuyze.
BMS: What other things do you guys have in life aside from Leave Scars?
Ath: Well, we're sitting here in my ACDNV van. So yeah, I work as a maintenance technician for that aforementioned company. I drive around and fix industrial machinery.
Dizzy: I enjoy listening to and collecting music. I've got a huge collection of EPs, CDs and audio cassettes. I also enjoy gaming and I've got a huge set of both modern and retro games and consoles.
BMS: It seems we've got a couple of mutual interests here, Dizzy! We should one day get together to play a couple of games together while listening to some great metal material! And what about you, Paul?
Paul: I've got a very busy job as well as a family to love and support.
BMS: Is there anything else you guys would like to say?
Ath: People should always support their locals. People in the audience only see the end result of our work. They see us play, they see the merch booth with our CDs and t-shirts on sale but they tend to forget all the time and money we dedicate to our craft. We need to pay for our rehearsal room, for our travel and to get our shirts and CDs printed.
Dizzy: Social media has both helped and hindered bands. Nowadays many people just look at how many likes a band's Facebook page has rather than genuinely explore the charms of a band. Plus the fact that there are so many bands present on Facebook it makes it very difficult to stand out from the crowd, unless you've got a shitload of likes. Personally, we're proud that our likes are from people that genuinely enjoy our work!
Paul: And after all, we're still going to give it our all no matter how many (or few) people show up for the show!
BMS: That's what's important. It's better to have 100 real fans rather than 100.000 "fans" who just like the page without giving an actual damn! And is there anything else you wish to say?
Dizzy: I'll wrap our conversation up with the cliché phrase: STAY METAL!

Dizzy takes a selfie!
Leave Scars - Final Chance