-- Shaârghot gets shredded! --

Stijn Daneels
Back in fall 2017 Dennis Aspeele, organizer of the Rock Balegem festival, began teasing me and the fans about the lineup for Rock Balegem 2018! One of his teaser images was the symbol of the Paris-based trance and industrial metal band Shaârghot! I hadn’t heard of the band before but after watching their music videos I was hyped as fuck! Dennis was also more than willing to introduce me to Shaârghot and his team of shadows and arranged a meeting with Shaârghot himself and his bass playing shadow Clem-X before they prepared for their gig that night. Shaârghot and I talked about the band’s beginnings and inspirations, their explosive music videos and equally explosive visual presentation and Shaârghot’s impressive creativity and work ethic!

BMS: Hello there Shaârghot and Clem-X! I’m pleased to finally meet you in person. Tell me how you started your music act.
Shaârghot: I started my band four years ago. Before that I was a drummer and I played in various bands, but I wanted to try my hand at being a singer and a frontman.
Clem-X: I also have past musical experiences, mainly as a guitarist. At Shaârghot I do live bass and programming.
BMS: Now tell me what the main inspirations are for Shaârghot’s sound and themes.
Shaârghot: Music-wise I wanted to combine dark electronic tunes with shrieking heavy metal inspired guitars. A bit similar to bands like Rammstein, Rob Zombie and Combichrist, however, I wanted to better balance the heavy metal with the electronic influences. I’d say that you can best compare Shaârghot’s style to that of Punish Yourself, which is also a French band, well-worth checking out.
BMS: Ok, I certainly will! I also noticed you’re a very visual band, so tell me some more about Shaârghot’s presentation.
Shaârghot: On stage I aim to create a dark, post-apocalyptic steampunk world, inspired by movie franchises like Mad Max and Blade Runner and the French comics book series Neige by Didier Convard and Christian Gine. Those comics take place in a future version of Europe, where a malfunctioning weather controlling supercomputer turns the entire continent into a snow-covered wasteland as well as causing a terrible epidemic, eventually causing Europe to be completely barred off from the rest of the world.

Shaârghot: To create that dark sci-fi atmosphere, I add a lot of objects (like barrels and barbed wire), lasers, smoke and stage lightning to our gigs. We also paint ourselves completely black and wear black clothes to make us look like shadows and thus completely blending in the post-apocalyptic setting. Me and the guys also do many theatrics like violent headbanging, stage diving and fighting among each other, and finally I invite people from the crowd to come towards me so that I can paint Shaârghot’s logo on their faces. I want to treat the audience to a visual spectacle accompanied by hypnotizing trance beats and heavy guitar riffs.

BMS: And how do you physically and mentally prepare yourself for such explosive, adrenaline-fueled gigs?
Shaârghot: I do a lot of long-distance running and other endurance-focused exercises in order to maintain a high stamina level during the gigs. As for the body paint, I need at least one full hour to fully apply all that black paint and one week to take it all off! It’s a lot of work, but it’s well worth-it. When I’m in my stage gear I fully become one with my stage persona and I’m all pumped to break the stage and the bodies of all those foolish enough to get in my way!
BMS: Yeah, you’re one scary looking motherfucker when you’re all dressed and painted like that! But let’s say you’ve got unlimited resources to create your ultimate Shaârghot gig, how would it look like?
Shaârghot: Well, I’d love to add pyrotechnics but the thing is that you need a license and plenty of other administrative paperwork filled in to make that happen. It’s a long-term project, but we’re thinking about it.
BMS: Tell me, is this your first time here in Belgium?
Shaârghot: Tonight will be our second Belgian gig. We did a show in Magazin 4 in March last year. But I can already tell you that me and the guys love to spend time here in your country. You’re professional and well-organized!
Clem-X: And your beers are delicious!
BMS: Thank you! Last autumn you released your EP Break Your Body, the successor to your 2016 debut album Shaârghot Vol. 1. Tell me something about it.
Shaârghot: Break Your Body is the first release that Clem-X and I composed together since he was not part of the band until after the release of Shaârghot Vol. 1. I wrote that first album pretty much all by myself, but Clem-X here gave me the motivation to write the songs on the Break Your Body EP together.
Clem-X: I was responsible for the programming and synthesizer parts of Break Your Body. It was a lot of fun working with Shaârghot on that EP and I can’t wait to work alongside him to further expand on Shaârghot’s sound and presentation.
Shaârghot: Fact is that I have a lot of ideas in my head and guys like Clem-X as well as the other such as Brun´o, our live guitarist, help me make that dream become a reality. So I can’t thank them enough for their support!
BMS: It’s great seeing such camaraderie between the two of you! So, what’s in store for Shaârghot’s future?
Shaârghot: We’re finishing production on a music video for Break Your Body’s title track and Clem-X and I have written about 10 new songs together which will be featured in the next Shaârghot album release, which we plan to bring out later this year. So you can consider the Break Your Body EP as an appetizer!
BMS: Impressive! You’re a fast worker, Shaârghot!
Shaârghot: I believe that if you want to be taken seriously as a music artist, you’ve got to be keep on moving forward! Continue writing material, expanding your fan base, building your stage presence and looking at your existing work with a critical eye. I have a consistent work ethic which means I always aim to release one EP or album and one music video a year. Making a Shaârghot music video takes a lot of money, staff and planning, but I’ve always been very satisfied with the end result. And it seems people love it.
BMS: Yes, they certainly do! When I watched the music video for Trades Must Die (I included the video on the Halloween 2017 episode of Shredder Sunday) I thought I was watching an unofficial (and much more violent) sequel to Fight Club! It’s beyond impressive!
Shaârghot: Thanks a lot! But I can already tell you that the Break Your Body video is even more spectacular! Check it out below!
BMS: Me and my readers will definitely do that! Thanks for the good time, Clem-X and Shaârghot! I’ll see you after the show for a picture!

Shaârghot - Break Your Body