Hi! Tell me about SONS OF A WANTED MAN. Why did you decide to name the band with such title? What kind of ideas do you explore?
Some people told us “Sons Of A Wanted Man” doesn’t really give you a specific idea of what kind of music we play. That might be a good thing, since we like it when people don’t really know what to expect from us and this might mean that it isn’t a cliché sounding name. We also like to experiment with a lot of influences and genres. But the name does kind of suggest what the band stands for: a gathering of young men playing dark and heavy music.
“Black Days Black Dust” album going to be released on March. How does that make you feel? Do you feel you have put album into masses without any wishes to change something now?
We are really glad with the result and we can’t wait to see and read people’s reactions. We are also extremely happy that the guys from Pulverised Records wanted to release it. We have worked with Koenraad Foesters in his Studio Jupiter and he was able to really catch the sound we were looking for on an album. The EP is quite a good example of how we play live and it really shows what kind of band we are at the moment. Nevertheless, we are always trying to experiment with new sounds, new elements etc. So who knows, maybe the next release will be something completely different. We already have the feeling our sound has changed a bit since we released the 7” vinyl in 2015.
Tell me more about “Black Days Black Dust”? Album conception and etc…
“Black Days Black Dust” was inspired by everyday life around the coal mines. We are a band from Limburg and we all grew up next to the old mining buildings of Genk and Beringen. The mining industry had a huge effect on this region and we all know friends and family members who have worked in these mines. Life in those days was very hard and working in the mines was extremely dangerous. In the late 80’s-early 90’s they decided to shut them down, which caused a huge rise of unemployment here. The ruins keep reminding us of the universal messages behind these stories about life, history, morality, etc. And these stories can be found everywhere in the world, so that’s why they inspire us.
Where do you take all inspiration from?
We believe inspiration can be found anywhere. Whether it’s in movies, literature, art, history, in dreams or even in everyday life. Our music is pretty dark, so the subjects are obviously in the same context. We are not sticking to one single topic or theme like the coal mines, although that’s something we often use because we really feel connected with that. Another huge source of inspiration are other musicians of course. We always keep our eyes open for new artists and albums and we are always interested in new sounds or techniques to experiment with.
In your opinion, what is the best way to define SONS OF A WANTED MAN’s sound?
Our sound is inspired by both darkness and light. We are an extreme metal band but the most extreme aspect about our sound is probably the dynamics involved. We try to make music that comes naturally and we are inspired by a lot of different genres; post-rock, black metal, hardcore, shoegaze,… That means that you can find atmospheric post-rock riffs and aggressive black metal blast beats in the same song. We tend to call ourselves a “post-metal” band and sometimes we use the term “blackgaze” but we will probably not settle with one single sound. We always want to surprise ourselves and our listeners.
So, are you on hiatus now, just relaxed and looking for album feedbacks, or did you started to compose new stuff immediately?
We were already writing new songs after we recorded the EP and before we actually released it.
So no, there is no real need for relaxing right now. We are already working towards a new release and we can already hear some new elements in our sound. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t looking forward to the album feedbacks. We are really curious to what people think about our music and we also try to play a lot of live shows to promote our new EP.
What are your main musical influences? How huge is their influence in your sound?
We listen to a LOT of different artists and genres and like we said; inspiration can be found anywhere. We are glad about the fact that we are all very open-minded musicians so we can
easily talk about death metal, hip hop, ambient, grunge, 70’s funk, drum and bass, etc. But not all those genres directly influence our sound of course. Some bands that have heavily influenced all of us are Russian Circles, Gojira, Deafheaven, Cult Of Luna, Alcest, Year Of No Light, Neurosis, If These Trees Could Talk, and many more. But we can also find inspiration with bands that we have played with. For example, bands like APOA, All We Expected, SPOIWO, OHHMS, Upcdownc, Astral Tide, Psychonaut, etc. have actually become pretty big influences too. We recently played with a Polish band called Tarpan and we really liked their dark and heavy sound.
Is there some well-known musician in particular that you would like to use in one of your upcoming albums?
We are open for a lot of collaborations but we haven’t really done that yet. That might be a good idea for our next release and is definitely worth a brainstorm. It would be pretty cool if we could have some guest vocals by Nick Cave or Mark Lanegan. Or even by Katy Perry! Plus an extensive photoshoot of course! A guitar solo by Charles Manson wouldn’t be too bad either 😀
What is your personal strategy for making your music heard by a larger audience?
Playing live shows is what we live for. So in an ideal world, we could reach everyone through live shows. Unfortunately, reality is far from that. So of course, we use social media like Soundcloud, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bandcamp, etc. to try and reach a larger audience. We are also blessed with having friends in bands all over Europe who really like our music and who have no problem promoting it in their local scenes. Releasing our EP on Pulverised Records also allows us to reach an audience on a larger scale and we are really glad to have found this label that fully supports our music.
Do you have any other hobby beside music?
This band isn’t just a regular hobby like playing tennis or making soap on a jolly Sunday afternoon. We try to rehearse at least once or twice a week and our writing process is very intense because we don’t settle for “okay” songs and we need feedback from everyone in the band.
Therefor it takes a lot of time and creativity to write and rehearse our songs. There really isn’t an awful lot of spare time left because this music means a lot to us and we really needed band members who prioritize this music in their lives. But that doesn’t change the fact that we like to check out shows when we don’t rehearse or play ourselves. We are blessed with some pretty cool venues around here. And some of us also like to read books or go to the gym or go skateboarding or play football or basketball etc. and have some beers afterwards of course.
Are you all supported by your relatives towards your devotion to music?
Our music might not be the kind of music that all of our relatives prefer to listen to, but we are really blessed with their support. They understand how much this means to us and they really support it. We are really glad about that. When we went to record our 7” in 2015, the studio engineer Johnny Remans told us rock ‘n roll is another mistress in our lives. We all laughed when he said that, but he was completely right when you think about how much time and effort we put into it.
How’s the metal scene in Belgium right now? Is it easy to play gigs, to buy records etc there these days?
Buying records is very easy. Ordering records online has made it a lot easier to find those hardto-find underground records and you can even buy metal records in local libraries here. The Belgian scene is pretty great. There are a lot of cool bands like Aborted, Amenra, Oathbreaker, Wiegedood, Steak Number Eight, The Black Heart Rebellion, Ancient Rites, Enthroned, etc. These bands have a very big influence on the Belgian scene and are probably responsible for the fact that it’s growing again. Other bands worth mentioning are probably Evil Invaders, Leng Tch’e, Marginal, Carnation, Marche Funèbre, Saille and our friends in Human Vivisection and Predatoria. The Belgian scene always provides exciting new bands worth checking out. We also have a lot of cool festivals and organisers around here who are willing to support the local scene and that’s something we really need to cherish. But it’s not like the Belgian scene is just out there for us to take. We still have to work hard to get a lot of gigs.
So we would say Belgium is a pretty good place for a metal band and we absolutely appreciate every effort other people make to promote our music here. But Belgium is a pretty small place too, especially for an extreme metal band, so we always keep our eyes open for opportunities in other countries.
Thank you for answering my questions, see ya on the road!
And thank YOU for this interview, we really appreciate it.