„The Monolith Deathcult“ kommen aus den Niederlanden und machen – ja was machen die Jungs für Musik? Das wird euch Michiel in unserem Interview zu “V3 – Vernedering” erzählen. Das Album kommt am 14.05.2021 und meine Review dazu gibt es auch bald. Nun aber zum Interview!
Tobi – Metal and Me
Michiel – The Monolith Deathcult
Hello Michiel from „The Monolith Deathcult“. My name is Tobi. I run a Facebook page and a webblog. On this page I post reviews of current albums, interviews, band presentations and reports about concerts that I visit with my wheelchair. On the one hand, to tell other wheelchair users how the venue is equipped in terms of accessibility and on the other hand, how to best proceed to get tickets, which is usually not possible with conventional ticket portals.
In the future I will also write about hygiene measures, as this is important for me as a high-risk patient and for my readers too. Of course, I also write about the bands‘ performance. Today I have a few questions for you about your new Album „V3 – Vernedering“.
Hi Tobi, this is Michiel (guitar/vox) bring it on!
First of all, I want to ask you, how are you and your bandmates doing right now?
We are doing well. Luckily none of us got sick and we used the past year to finish V3. At the moment we are in a very busy phase that is always around the release of a new album. My house has been transformed into a post office, because the orders keep pouring in (just like the great reviews, by the way). Funfact, but we send our orders via Deutsche Post because this is cheaper than sending them from the Netherlands. Long live the European Union!
How would you describe „The Monolith Deathcult“ to someone who doesn’t know you?
I think our style is very difficult to describe. We play a mix between industrial metal (Ministry, Laibach, Strapping Young Lad, Fear Factory and Type O Negative) and brutal death metal in the style of Nile and Morbid Angel. Then there is our orchestral side and you should think more of the work of film composers such as Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL. But we also have a groovy side thanks to influences from, for example, White Zombie and finally there is our doomy side due to influences from Triptykon and My Ding Bride. We ended up calling that style Svpreme Avant Garde Death Metal. Incidentally, I received a very cool compliment this week, namely: “In terms of atmosphere and threat evoked, the V trilogy reminds me more and more of the 1978 War of the Worlds soundtrack.” I think this covers it.
And how are you when you think about May 14th, 2021?
I don’t think May 14 is so exciting anymore. The album has already been “out in the open” via pre-orders and we know the album has been well received by listeners and press alike. What has changed is that the album will also be fully available on the streaming services on May 14. I am always very interested in what the listeners think of the album. We never try to repeat ourselves, but that is not up to us but up to the listeners.
What can we expect from your new Album?
V3 is a very high quality album, in terms of songwriting, lyrics and musical craftsmanship. We do not repeat ourselves and only write music that we would like to hear ourselves. The framework in which The Monolith Deathcult writes music is very broad. Lyrically, the album deals with highly toxic and absurd conspiracy theories that unfortunately get poured out on us every day via social media. But as we are used to, we do this with a dose of irony, cynicism, common sense and self-aggrandizement.
I heard „V3 – Vernedering“ allready for my upcoming Review and was heavy impressed about the brutality oft he Sound and the many Ways Robin can use his Voice. I got a description of the Genre your „placed in“ and that was „Death Metal“. But, in my opinion, there is a big portion of „Brutal“ in „V3 – Vernedering“ and the most of the songs. What are your thoughts about the genre you are placed in?
That of course depends on what the definition of “brutal” is. I think that term comes from “brutal death metal”. For me at the time, “brutal” was mainly the absence of dynamics in the music. We also made an album with 80% blastbeats (The Apotheosis, 2003), but we quickly got tired of that and we started adding other musical ingredients to our sound. The V3 song “The White Silence” is now also “brutal” for me because of the heavy pushing guitar wall and the deep grunts. No 280 bpm blast beats are needed for that. Compare it with two tectonic plates that rub very slowly against each other, that is also “brutal”.
Robin has a great (and clearly understandable) grunt, but he also has a very brutal black metal voice (Not used on this album, but check out The Ensomme Nordens Dronning from the Trvmvirate album). In addition, his singing and speaking voice is a deep baritone in the style of Peter Steele/David Vincent. In “They Drew First Blood” that voice can be heard in the choirs and if it is up to me we will hear that baritone voice more often in the future.
As said before, I don’t think we can be placed in a genre. Of course we have a death metal foundation, but we have so much more to offer. We do not let ourselves be limited and write music that we think is cool to hear topped with a TMDC sauce.
Did you have a song which you like the most on „V3 – Vernedering“?
At this moment it is „ They Drew First Blood“, it contains everything were The Monolith Deathcult stands for. But from a songwriting perspective, I think Connect the Goddamn Dots is the coolest thing. This song is built around a mechanical sounding Fear Factory riff while the demo version of this song was more like Triptykon. You can still hear that in my vocals.
I know many Musicians don´t like streaming live their songs, and read somewhere that you didn’t like it too. But, i think, many fans would like to hear the new Songs live, even if it’s only a stream. Would you think about a stream perhaps?
Well, all of our songs are available on the streaming platforms, but I think you’re referring to streaming a live performance? I am not into that. I’ve seen several and it’s all well-intentioned and very professional, but it’s (understandable) not the real thing. I wonder often what I am looking at? It’s not “live” at all, but recorded well in advance (I would do that myself becasue of my total lack of musical skills). I have the feeling that I am watching a long music video with the script “a band giving a performance”. I understand very well that everything is being done to bridge the gap, but we would rather wait until things are back to normal sometime in 2024.
Is there a tour planned already?
No one is going to tour for the next 2/3 years, including The Monolith Deathcult.
How is it to you to stay in contact with your fans via social media in these pandemic times and to find out what the mood is like in the fans‘ camp?
It may sound strange, but not much has changed for us at all. We are always very active on social media and are always in close contact with our fans. Of course everyone longs to go back to the time before Corona, but I don’t think this is going to happen for now. I also think that because of this “Great Reset” many bands and venues will not survive this. The Monolith Deathcult is not a band that relies on performing every weekend, we prefer to stay relevant by continuing to release new music.
How did you deal with the restrictions in the meantime? How much does it restricted you in your working life? I only get the news from Germany about the Virus, and that is enough for me and my peace of mind. How about the Netherlands in May, 2021?
We are still in a partial lockdown. Infection rates and hospital admissions are steadily high. A lot of people think that we will get back to normal in the summer and that by then everything will be over. I don’t think so at all, I think we’re going in and out of lockdowns for over 3 years. People who think that there will be big festivals again soon and bands are going to tour the world again, have not understood. We just have to wait for Wacken Open Air to cancel to seal the fate of the big festivals. In addition, I don’t think people are willing to get tested in order to visit a festival or club show. They prefer to stay at home and put on a Rammstein DVD. I am also a great supporter of vaccination, but I am afraid that many people do not want or dare not.
In the Netherlands there is a group of parents who see the testing and vaccination of children as a return to the dark 1930s (yes really!). By the way, that is the same group who think that we are getting a microchip injected and that 5G radiation is a devilish plan of The Cabal.
How have you spent your free time under Covid 19 so far?
We wrote the best album of 2021.
If you could privately go to a concert in this, sorry for the expression, shitty corona pandemic, which one would it be
Is Heavy Metal and the subgenres also a means for you to switch off everything in this hectic world, to Pause and just listen?
I have only started listening to music again in the last few days. I never feel like listening to music when I have worked very intensively on my own music. I mainly listen to a lot of audiobooks. but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Morbid Angel (The Illud album), the new Cannibal Corpse, Type O Negative and of course Ghost.
Get away from the music a little. What about hobbies?
My hobbies are cycling, working out and Krav Maga.
Do you do „a normal Job“ beside making fucking awesome Metal?
I teach history and social studies to 14-18 years in a secondary school.
What else do you like when you not got to work?
I read a lot of books and watch movies that serve as inspiration for new songs for a next release. I am currently reading the collected works of Yuval Noah Harari and watch For All Mankind
If yout got one wish…?
I would like a small holiday home on the Dutch coast* to relax and to write and record albums there.
* Well known to your readers and their (grand) parents.
A few words to your fans out there in Germany and all the others in the world?
No not really, I think I’ve said everything already. I hope/I am sure V3 –Vernedering will please the masses. We are going to think about what we are going to do next year around our 20th anniversary. Maybe an EP.
Thanks for the interview. Many greetings to all from the band. Something that is important to me: Stay healthy and good luck for the release of your new album!
Thank you for the interview Tobias, I hope you will get through this unpleasant period well.
“The Monolith Deathcult” sind:
Robin Kok | Bass & Vocals
Michiel Dekker | Guitar
Carsten Altena | Guitar
Frank | Session Drums
Das war mein Interview mit Gitarrist Michiel von “The Monolith Deathcult”. Besucht die Jungs bei Facebook und lasst ihnen ein Like da – das dürft ihr natürlich auch bei “Metal and Me” tun, wenn euch meine Interviews gefallen.
Bleibt gesund und freut euch auf das Album der Niederläner! Bleibt gesund!