English version of the Soulburn interview,
done back in 09.II.2017.
done back in 09.II.2017.
Interview with Eric Daniels, committed by Alister of Atmosfear.
Originally published in Atmosfear magazine in Russian language, 2017.
Hail to all members of great Soulburn! So Eric, congratulations on completing work on a new album! What is your general impression of this record?
- Thank you very much! Not only mine but all of us we like the new album very much, we worked about one year to complete this one, the result is very satisfied for us. To us it’s the perfect continue album after “The Suffocating Darkness” album.
"Earthless Pagan Spirit" is quite intriguing title. What meaning you put into this title?
- Earthless: Beyond this world
Pagan: Beyond god
Spirit: At one with the cosmic foreverness
This meaning connected to our music gives the right atmosphere we wanted to spread around.
The release of your previous album "The Suffocating Darkness" was scheduled for November 17, the new album release is expected on November 18 - it's just a coincidence or some kind of cyclicality in the bands history? ))
- Sharp notice you have. Yes it was planned this way and also Century Media Records had the release in mind to do this. It’s the right season of the year to release an album, just before winter time! Atmosphere and surroundings.
What should we expect on "Earthless Pagan Spirit", and what is its basic concept?
- Our goal was to make this album more dark and evil, the style we like. Also making the songs bit longer for the right feel. This album has more doom covered, and the structure of the songs is like the whole concept. Every song is connected towards each other so the whole album breaths that kind of dark atmosphere we had in mind. We also believe that with this album we give a true face towards what Soulburn stands for. Dark, black, doom, death.
In general, the album title and its cover evoke associations more with Black metal than Death metal. To tell the truth, on the previous album apart an old school Death metal can be heard the elements of Black metal in terms of sound, some riffs and vocal. Can we say that on the new album you decide to pay more attention to this part of your music?
- Yes as I mentioned in the question before, we wanted to show the real face of Soulburn. Back in 1996 when I had the idea to form Soulburn, what you hear on this album was the whole idea for this band. Dark, Black, Doom, Death. All those ingredients you will find in this one, so we are very happy with the final result. This new album breaths more black indeed, but that’s what we felt to do, and make the songs this way.
Why this time you decide not to seek the help of Dan Swanö for mixing? Did you want to make brand Netherlandish sound without Swedish flavor?
- It still has Swedish flavor. We decided to work with Devo (Marduk) at his Endarker studio in Norrköping Sweden. Bob and I went there for a weekend when Devo was mixing our album. When we arrived at his studio he already had the mix done, it sounded awesome, so, we are very happy with the result. We like his work very much as he did with the Marduk albums. For us he is the perfect engineer for our music. He also mastered the album.
Are you satisfied with the work with Century Media Records? Personally, I think that for a band like Soulburn it’s a great label, given its catalog (my favorite label, by the way). I believe that this label has kept its concept and connection with the roots, that’s why even in today’s label catalog we continue to feel the spirit of those legendary albums that have been released previously, since the 90's. Is not it?
- Century Media Records we are very satisfied with. Bob and I we know them for a along time since 1990 at the beginning of Asphyx. We have a very good relationship and they do a great job for us. It’s really important to have a good back up from the record company. Yes they have an old school opinion about bands from that era, bands which all began with.
A personal question about your bass/singer Twan van Geel. He has played and still plays in many bands besides Soulburn: Legion Of The Damned (special respect!), Bunkur, Flesh Made Sin, Verbum Verus. And he plays on the bass guitar, drums, guitar and vocal in all of these bands. How he manages to combine all this? Is he a regular member in all these bands, or just a session member in some of them?
- It’s all about the good organization and appointments. He can manage and does that very well. We had an agreement from the start since he has commitments with LOTD. We have a professional approach so we manage this. In Soulburn and LOTD he is a steady member, full time member.
Now let’s turn to mega cult band Asphyx. To begin, I ask you an uncomfortable question. Now you play together with Bob Bagchus in Soulburn. That is, it is not just 2/3 of Asphyx, but just you two have invented the classic Asphyx sound! I think this situation is a little strange when you exist along with Asphyx with the only original member in line-up... Or maybe Asphyx now is a “branch” of Soulburn, its subsidiary? And you have plans to create in the future “Death metal concern” of current and former members of your bands? ))
- Well, things went how they went. Asphyx and Soulburn are separate full bands, no “branch” or other strange names for it. We play different kind of music, each of them follow their own path. We are friends along, and we bump towards each other on festivals ect. No plans, we are both busy with our own bands.
By the way, how often you contact with Asphyx now? How do you like their new album "Incoming Death"?
- I sometimes grab a beer at Martin’s place, we both live in the same town Oldenzaal here in The Netherlands. We like to listen to the old heavy metal 80s era, and drink some nice beers and talk about everything. Yes I listen to tracks from “Incoming Death”. Well played, my respects, and I like what they are doing.
Do you have plans for join performance Asphyx/Soulburn?
- No plans, but in music-land, everything is possible.
Tell us about your split album “Imperial Anthems No. 17” with Desaster. Whose initiative was to release it and what is your opinion of this band?
- We had the idea to do a split 7”. Cyclone Empire did a great job, and CMR also liked the idea. Desaster is cool, stick to their roots and I like the pure old school attitude. That’s why we liked it to join on the 7”. “Monuments of God” we also did another version of this song on our new album as bonus-track, so it’s not their exact copy you listen too. We like the idea to have something special into the 7”.
Tell me, when did you decide to become a professional musician? Was there any album or a band that have influenced your decision to become a musician?
- Yes back in the 80s when Venom’s Welcome to Hell was released, I knew that I wanted to play the guitar aggressive like Mantas did. This band and his playing was my biggest inspiration. I play guitar from my 14th year so almost 36 years I play guitar now, and I still like it very much to do.
Do you have a wish to come and play gig in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine?
- Yes of course we want to play in those countries. If the conditions are good, we come over and play. It would be awesome to do.
Maybe you want to add something to the above, or some greetings to your fans?
- Thank you very much for this interview and towards our fans reading your magazine we say, when we come over and play, we give you the Soulburn you expect and want. YOU Rule!!!
Official Soulburn facebook page:
a conversation with Eric Daniels
(Grand Supreme Blood Court, Soulburn, ex-Asphyx)
(Grand Supreme Blood Court, Soulburn, ex-Asphyx)
on Sadistikk Witchfukk webzine (7th of May, 2013):
(Questions compiled by
Sorin Necrotrooper and Georgius)
Sorin Necrotrooper and Georgius)
Hail Eric, Grand Judge Daniels! How are you now? We 've checked out a video about Grand Supreme Blood Court-show at Turock, Essen. How was your concert?
- Hi Georg and Sorin, I am doing fine, thank you! The concert at Turock was awesome, we had a great time overthere, and we also give our gratitude and thanks for the good time towards our fans visiting there.
Grand Supreme Blood Court's debut album, "Bow Down Before The Blood Court", is one of my favourite death/doom releases of the last year. What is your most-liked track from your debut? Did you started to write some new riffs for the new material?
- First, thank you very much for you like our debut-album, that’s nice to hear. My personal track I like most is “Circus Of Mass Torment”, the fact was this track was composed as last and due to the fact the CD was becoming too short without this song makes it special also, the lyrics are killer-one, and the structure of the song is like continue and continue, the drive of the song is just great. Of course the other tracks are good as well, but this one I like most. Oh yes, ideas are always flowing around, Alwin and me already have some good material as riffs on the shell, we definitely gonna sort them out together and make a new song. But it’s on an easy going base, first we have to support the album as much we can.
Do You have any plans to make a videoclip for one of G.S.B.C.-tracks?
- It sure crossed our minds to do a videoclip. We like to do a killer live-one. However still the ideas are there, maybe after the release for the second album, not sure about that, but we still like to do one for sure.
You put your killer guitar-riffs on a French death metal band called Affliction Gate's EP, "Shattered Ante Mortem Illusions", last year. Share with us, please, some info about this collaboration!
- Yes that’s true. I was asked by Grief if I would like to do a guitar-solo in one of their songs. I like their material very much, it has the pure soul for real doom/death metal, and that’s what I like and did. I heared it back later at the EP, and we both are very happy with the result. It’s not the way I gonna do often to appear as guest-musician, if the atmosphere gets me from the songs I have the urge to do it, but consider it as an one-time activity. I wish AG succes and good luck with their new EP. Just check it out people I would say.
Last year you also did a guitar solo to one of bands of Rogga Johansson, Megascavenger, on the track "To Revel With Vermin". Would you be so kind tell about it?
- Also correct, Rogga asked me a time ago if I would like to do a solo-part on one of his songs he made, and it was far before the recordings for the Blood Court, so I was thrilled to record it. I did the solo at home, and sended it to him, and he liked it very much. I heared it back later and it was damn cool.
Going back to the past you played death/doom for almost 25 years. Some other Netherlandese death metal bands such as Pestilence, God Dethroned, Gorefest to name a few, changed their style to something new. Would you like to try something new too?
- Well, I realy don’t care what those other bands did or do concerning there playing style, that’s their decision, bit for me and I can say also us, we just play the real doom/death metal how it was and is mentioned to be. I realy cant understand why they will do that, maybe they felt bored of what they were playing, I don’t know, or it was trendy to play death metal. If style will change, believe me, the true soul will be gone. But I don’t speak and judge about other bands, what we know, we just do what we think are best in. We are no super musicians, but people don’t have to try to learn us how the right music is played with heart and soul. There are so much possibilities within our music, be creative, no style to change, or try something new. Its like, bands don’t have to think they are original nowadays, all kinds of metal is invented, the circle is closed. The challenge is how to bring it on an pure way.
You are one of my favourite guitarists of Death metal and I'm always fascinated about your awesome sorrowful solos. From where do you get inspiration to create them?
- Thank you very much for the kind and nice words, that makes my day! Well, back years ago around 1989 when I joined ASPHYX we were reharsing for the 2 songs 7” Mutilating Process, at the rehearsal I just played some long notes inside the song, it wasn’t hearable, but when we listened back the tape of the rehearsal, Bob called me and said, hey Eric what did you do there on the song..it sounds amazing. I was realy flattered about his words. I cant play fast soloing, only by tremolo, I like to abuse that thing to the core, but normal fast soloing I hate to play, so I decided just to play the solo’s very slow and doomy, it went super and it feels great to do. It gives more atmosphere. I play those solos only with a digital delay pedal, nothing special. It wasn’t planned, it just felt to play the solos this way. It are the base-riffs behind the solos which give me inspiration. When the right doom-riff comes up, the doom soloing is a perfect match for it. Not technical skills for that but I can say with all the feeling I have inside my body I play em.
Were you in contact with bands from Eastern Europe? Can you recommend us such bands from this area?
- As you know I was off from the metal-scene a long time, almost 9 years, so I had to dig up in a short time now almost 3 years to hear good metal-bands again. Sorry, you have to fill me in here for the Eastern Europe-bands, cause its sometimes hard to find the right and good bands. I follow the stream of facebook and when I am curious about a youtube vid, I click it. I hardly listen to music from LP’s or CD’s, I use the internet a lot. That’s one of the progress matters since the last years. The digital period is nice to develop and follow. The band I realy like is: Coffins, the tank rolling sound, the voice, all the right and pure ingredients of death metal. We play with them on the Party San. Hope I can buy a shirt from em there, looking forward to that!!
Which are your all-time favourite albums?
- I give you my all-time favourite top 5:
Possessed - Seven Churches
Venom - Welcome to hell
Bathory - Hammerheart
Riot - Fire down under
Sacred Blade - Of The Sun + Moon
As we noticed you are into movies also. Which ones are all-time faves and what movies do you wait this year?
- Owhh I have so many movies I like, this would be a very long list, but I give you also my top 5 favourite movies:
Evil Dead (original)
The Shining (original)
Halloween part 1 and 2
Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 1
I wait for Evil Dead the remake and the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Also the new Die Hard I like to watch too. All this movies I haven’t seen yet, but for those movies I take time to watch them.
Can you recommend us some kind of Dutch tobaccoes and coffee?
- Well, I can only give you recommends about the things I like myself, it’s a personal taste, I like “van nelle export” tobacco, handrolling, I am not a cigaret-freak, I don’t like the filters on cigarets, and I like douwe egberts coffee fresh made, however I use my senseo coffee maker most of the time, in the morning strong tasting pads, to wake up better.
What recommendations do you have from Dutch cuisine?
- Stew, kale with sausage, dutch winterfood I like most, however I am not an kitchen-prince, I like Italian food the most, pasta, pizza, ect, but since my heart-attack 2 years ago I managed to live more healthy, it’s something to face. I like lots of different food, not much I don’t like to say. A nice dinner, tasty, I can enjoy that very much.
Dank u wel, Eric, your message to the readers of Sadistik Witchfukk webzine?
- Graag gedaan and good-luck with your webzine!! Your Dutch is great! To the GSBC readers of Sadistik Witchfukk i say, thanks for your support to the Blood Court..you RULE !!, and towards the GSBC-unknown readers I say…check the album out, we sentences you to…pure brutal Death Metal !! We hope to visit you all soon ! in the meantime..check our facebook-site :