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Thurisaz



We talk to Pepijn De, the drummer for the Belgian metal band Thurisaz, who recently played in India at BITS, Pilani - Hyderabad Campus. We find out how music happened to them, what kind of music do they play and the experience of playing in India

Q. What ’s the story behind the name Thurisaz?
A: At first we were named Modilium, but we didn’t take things serious at that time. When we started to make more mature music we felt like changing our name into something else. Kobe came up with the name Thurisaz. One of its meanings is: the fusion of different opinions. That reflects more or less how and what we are in the band.

Q. And the current line-up of the band is?
A: Peter Theuwen sings and plays guitar, Mattias Theuwen also sings and plays guitar. Kobe Cannière also sings and plays keyboard, Hannes Leroy is our bassplayer and I, Pepijn De Raeymaecker play the drums.

Q. Where did you guys meet? How long have you know each other?

A: We are friends as long as we can remember. For instance, Peter and I met, when we were 5 years old at school. During our years as children we learnt to play an instrument but it wasn’t till we were 16 years old when we started to play together in a band. It immediately felt the right thing to do and we had a lot of fun. And we didn’t had to search very long for musicians because we were already friends and we lived very close to each other.


Q. If you had to pick a genre for you music, what would it be? Who are your major influences?
A: It’s hard to just pick one genre as our main influence. We all like different bands and genres and we listen to a whole variety of music. Even non-metal music can be a source of inspiration to us. From Pink Floyd to Gojira, from Devin Townsend to My Dying Bride... We try to be open-minded about that and we always search inspiration in good music, no matter what genre…

Q. When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?
A: It just seemed like a fun thing to do in the early days. It was in the year 1997 when we started. We were looking for something to kill the time and we simply picked up our instruments and started jamming. The first day we made like three songs already and we never stopped playing since. Six months later we played our first gig at the local bar and we enjoyed it a lot. At that time we only dreamed of still playing together after 15 years. And even playing in India and USA was only a dream. But we are where we are now and a lot of dreams have come true.

Q. How do you go about writing & composing songs?
A: Usually our guitar players come with an idea or with some kind of melody. From that idea we build up the song all together. We all make suggestions or try to put new ideas in the song structure or melody. When we are all 100% satisfied with a song, we put it on the next album. And that’s the reason why it takes us so long to make new songs. If not everybody is satisfied, we don’t use the song.

Q. Are there any main themes to your songs?
A: In our lyrics you won’t find mainly happy vibes. We sing about our darkest moments in life and the doom theme is definitely there.

Q. Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you ever play any covers?
A: We always play our own songs. Except maybe in the beginning when we didn’t had enough good songs to play live. But we always try to play a set with songs from all three albums. Point Of No Return and Scent Of A Dream will always be in our set list, I guess.

Q. How do you guys rehearse and practice?
A: We try to rehearse at least once a week but it’s getting difficult to come together each weekend. We normally rehearse the songs we’ll play on the next concert. Especially after a release of an album. We certainly take a lot of care to perform the songs as good as possible. So after a release we focus on that. But after a while we start to write new tunes and the older songs are put on hold.

Q.  Were you circumspect about coming to India? How was the experience?
A: We didn’t know what to expect when we came to India. It could have been a disaster but fortunately it was one of the best moments in our lives. The crowd went crazy and we felt so much energy coming from the fans. We played over more than 160 gigs, so you can say we have some experience already but playing in India is something else. We were definitely more focused then an average concert, I can say!

Q. How long have each of you been playing your respective instruments?
A: I started playing drums when I was 12 years old at a music school. Peter was younger when he started to play guitar. Mattias played guitar at the age of 14 or 15. Kobe on keyboards and Hannes on bass, learned to play when they were 12.

Q.  What is your take on the western music scene in India?
A: Before our trip to India we didn’t knew any music from India. We were told we would get a spot in the jury for the ‘till death do we part’ – metal battle before our show. So we started to listen to those bands and we were pleasantly surprised by the high quality of those bands. They sounded really good and they were all excellent musicians. I was also amazed that they all knew bands like Gojira and Hacride, two bands I really like, amongst many other western bands… You would think that on the other side of the world people would have a totally different musical taste but the world isn’t that big after all. 



Q. Finding one’s own sound is a long gone-by thing in today’s genre-plagued scene. Do you guys think you have your own sound? What does it take to find your own sound?
A: I guess, our music is a mixture of all our influences in the band. We don’t want to be copy-cats and try to sound like another band or genre. We don’t care if this song sounds black metal and the other one is a doom song. As long as it sounds good to us, we’ll play it. The biggest compliment is hearing we have some kind of our own sound.

Q. Any last words?
A: We would like to thank you for spreading the word of Thurisaz! We would also like to thank everyone who has supported us throughout the years! And please visit our website and Facebook page!

 

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