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Taranis – “Old School Metal can never sound good with a drum computer!”

taranis – “old school metal can never sound good with a drum computer!”


  • Band(s): Taranis
  • Interview Date: November 13, 2007
  • Author(s): FilipD

Sometimes a band falls out of the sky and sounds like it has been there for years, even when the band has only released one album. Thus also the Belgian Taranis. “Taranis” does not only sound as the work of an experienced band, they also sound like they’ve been there for years literally. Björn Desmet is the big chief behind Taranis. In fact it’s a one-man project, helped out by drummer Henne from Demonizer. Old school Black Metal is the law!

First of all: are you satisfied with your debut album “Taranis”?
You bet I am!  Of course there are always things which can be improved, but that’s just the normal case when it comes to a band’s debut album.

In my review I wrote: “Even the less tight played parts have their charms – As if it’s done on purpose”, on which drummer Henrik replied it IS done on purpose. So tell me…
The drum recordings were solely based on guitars and vocals. There was no click track used on “Taranis” – Making it a bit hard to sound ultra tight. But whether it’s done on purpose? Hmmm…

When your debut album was recorded there was, besides Iron Pegasus, also the Belgian Nepherex (and probably some more labels) showing interest. What made you choose for Iron Pegasus? And it’s just a one album record deal?
I think Taranis totally fit the Iron Pegasus concept. In fact, most bands on Iron Pegasus are definitely what I search in music. I didn’t doubt a second to choose for Iron Pegasus. Plus they gave damn good conditions, so why not? Even though there’s nothing signed yet, I can confirm for almost 99% the second album will also be released by Iron Pegasus. To be continued, I would say!

I haven’t heard much about Taranis before the debut album, even though you’ve released a demo (“Feeding the Ravens”) last year. Did you spread many copies? I also didn’t catch up any reviews or news items on various internet platforms.
In fact Taranis is a hobby which has became more and more serious. I didn’t feel like playing in a band again, but I somehow needed to release my creativity. So I bought some equipment and started the experiment. That’s how the demo came into existence.  I’m a rather cautious person who first likes to see what happens. That’s why I didn’t make that much fuss about it. But the sales were pretty good, better than I expected initially. This all gave me an extra push to continuo.

You’ve recorded the demo using a drumcomputer. What made you decide to go for a drummer of flesh and blood? And was Hendrik from Demonizer an obvious choice? It’s also correct you’ve been part of Demonizer?
Old school metal can never sound good with a drum computer! De demo was just a teaser for the next thing I would do with Taranis – Whether it would be with a drum computer or not. I’ve always been in close contact with Henne and he gave in immediately. So the choice was quite obvious indeed. About Demonizer: Kris and I started the band until I got some problems with my wrist and had to shut down the Demonizer fun, haha.

The promo didn’t include any lyrics, nor are they printed on your website. Can you clarify them bit more?
Both Iron Pegasus and I wanted to keep the artwork very sober and basic. It’s a debut album, so we should start easily, haha. And I think it’s quite useless to publish the lyrics on the internet when they aren’t in the booklet.

Why did you actually choose Taranis, the Celtic god of thunder, as a band name? The lyrical concept is an important facet of the band, so a more Flemish related name would be more obvious. Right?
The texts don’t deal only about Flemish history, but also about the rich ancient European past. For example, “Father of Storms” is about the gods of our European forefathers. Also I don’t share the opinion a band name should be linked directly to the lyrics, Taranis just sounded good. That’s why.

You’re very extrovert when it comes to the band’s background. Songs like “Honour”, “Bloed en Ere” (from the demo) and the information on your my Space site (influences: RAC, OI, World War I & II,…) are more than just obvious. Don’t you fear the bigger part of the scene will boycott Taranis for its ideology?
I don’t give a damn what others may think of Taranis. If you should care about what others may think of your own music, what the hell is next? I just want to be honest when it comes to making music and writing lyrics. When people want to boycott me, I would say: “go ahead”. This will not keep me awake at all. You should dare to look the enemy right into the eyes. I can only say one thing and give them a punch in the face: “good night left side!” Hahaha.

If you should tell us one thing the world must know about Flanders, what would it be?
Flanders is a beautiful puzzle of ancient Europe sinking away in a sea of the present multicultural failure. Flanders yearns for independency!

What do you think of one big The Lowlands, as in Belgium and The Netherlands united?
That is the solution! We should get rid of the Belgian federation and make a new deal with The Netherlands. I think it’s about time our little artificial country breaths its final breath. The recent political crisis in Belgium again underlines it’s obvious we cannot work together with Wallonia. And then I’m not speaking of the French speaking part in particular, but more about the southern dictatorship here in Belgium. Seen from economical and cultural views, Flanders fits one united Netherlands way better. When Belgium was given birth in 1830 the Flemish population was suppressed instantly. For example, during World War I the soldiers from Flanders were mostly kept back to become an officer, all in favor of the Walloons. It didn’t take long before the Flemish people used the battle cry: “here our blood, where our right?” Today it’s not about blood anymore, but about a billion of euros. Heil Dietsland!

Several times you stated Taranis will not play live. Why not? It’s the best promotion a band can get and you already have a drummer. So I guess it’s not a big problem finding a suitable line up.
I admit playing live would increase the band’s popularity. It only takes a lot of time. I work as a driver and have very little free time. I rather spend it on more precious things than rehearsing. As only member of the band I have total freedom when it comes to creating music without caring about external influences. When I’m not satisfied about certain riffs I can only blame myself and drink a Duvel out of frustration, haha. Taranis don’t have a drummer as part of the band. I want to use another drummer for each release. This is better for the variation.

How is the scene from Brugge doing? Some years ago I know the West-Flemish scene around Beveren-Leie was very alive and kicking. Nowadays it seems like the flame isn’t burning that heavily anymore.
Man oh man, those were times! Haha. back then the “With A Dragon’s Blaze” festivals were a blast! I don’t have a clue either what all those guys are doing today. Though I have the feeling it’s improving again. The West-Flemish metaljugend is rising one more. I also have the feeling the younger metalheads prefer the older stuff more and more. And that’s all we need!

Do you have some kind of goal with Taranis? I mean, do you have a personal reason for making this music? Some things must inspire you.
No, there’s no real reason for doing this, it’s more like an outlet. All my energy and emotions are put into Taranis, the political as well as the musical aspects. Besides my beloved wife, Taranis is the best thing that happened to me. And the audience even likes it, so what do you need more?

Iron Pegasus will also release the album on vinyl (which is essential for this music, I think). Can you tell us more about it? There’ll be something special on the LP release (extra songs, special vinyl, different artwork,…)?
The LP version should be out around the end of November. The first press will be made of colored vinyl. Keep in mind the print will be limited; this is just the debut album. Patience please!

Is the next album already written? Enlighten us a bit about Taranis future, would you.
On the 17th of November I will enter the studio to record the drums for the new songs. The drummer will be the mighty Fynbrenn o Torcklan from Wapenspraak en Drinkgelag. Expect an even more eighties sound, haha. The new album will contain 9 tracks, all old school styled. Iron Pegasus will probably release the album somewhere in the spring of next year. The Taranis panzer will be marching on full speed!

Thanks for the interview and eternal horns with the band!