God Dethroned. Henke
Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Etichete: Concert Interzis La Oradea, God Dethroned, Henke, Holland, Impaled Nazarene, Melodic Deathmetal, Ministry Of Terror, Oradea
BANNED IN ORADEA!
Here is a Melodic Deathmetal band from Holland that was recently censored in our country.
The country I am talking about is Romania, it is in Eastern Europe. A barbaric land north of the Danube you find out about in all sorts of Discovery Documentaries about Thrace, Goths, Mongols, Huns … but they never seem to get around to the Dacic tribes that have been living off the land here for thousands of years, that have been constantly pushed back into the mountains or occupied by the Real barbarians, some of which I have mentioned above, that came through here, but never were from here.
We became an Eastern Orthodox country (that is a Christian Religion, under the influence of Constantinopole, later modern day Greece).
The Melodic Deathmetal band from Holland we are talking about is God Dethroned.
Now, I don’t know if God Dethroned would have considered going by another name when they started out 20 years ago if they knew that it might upset some mayor in Oradea, Romania two decades down the line, or if they had used a nickname for the ONE of hundreds of tour dates they have lined up this year, just to get that extra gig checked on the list …
I do not think so.
Fate had it that the confirmed gig at the Blue Monday Club in Oradea, Romania on July 5th, 2009 would never take place. Three days before the promoted and confirmed gig, all HELL broke loose in the 200,000 settlement on the border with Hungary. After a month of studying philology, translation dictionaries and praying to oracles of ancient wisdom, those chosen to reside at the local Town Hall found out what the two words God and Dethroned meant in English…
The town leaders banned the gig!
Yes, our calendar is also pointing to the year 2009, and yes, we are part of the European Union now. No, there have not been any witch burnings recently, but we are left to understand that the Inquisition is just months away from making it’s first reappearance on the scene.
So, here at ClickZoomBytes, we have tried to talk straight to the Artists accused of Blasphemy....
Henke, the bass player, band leader, a Dutchman and founding father of God Dethroned answered our questions. Here they are. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE MUSIC
CZB: Is Passendale a Dutch village? Do you live close to Ypres?
Henke: No it’s a place in Belgium, close to Ypres. We all live in The Netherlands (Holland) about 5 hours away by car.
CZB: Do any of the band members have great grandfathers or relatives who died in World War One?
Henke: Not that I know of.
CZB: Is this a concept album? What surprise elements did you use in your shows on the current East European tour?
Henke: This is a concept album indeed. The whole album is about the WWI. We played in Sarajevo on the same day that Franz Ferdinand was killed.
CZB: What is the logic of splitting a band after releasing a debut album?
Henke: It's been almost 20 years since then. I think it had to do with some member changes.
CZB: Why did you decide to regroup the band in 1995? This is one of the most interesting band bios I have ever read.
Henke: Very simple. After God Dethroned split up Henri started a new band called Ministry Of Terror. When he was on tour with this band, together with Impaled Nazarene, a lot of people asked him why God Dethroned split up. So when the tour was finished he started to search new members to reform God Dethroned.
CZB: Why did you consider it important to take a break from playing? Do you have a small child now?
Henke: None of us have children. We had a little ‘break’ the past couple of years because of some personal family stuff.
CZB: I spoke to a Paradise Lost band member and he said the music keeps him on the road for 7 months a year, and he spends the other 5 with his family, year after year after year.
How do you make family life and artist life work on the road?
Henke: Most of us have a relationship, but not kids. That makes it maybe a bit easier. But secondly, we are not 7 months on the road. Most of us have jobs and the music is not our main income.
CZB: You had a US Tour in 2007. Who put this together. Who is your distributor in the US?
Henke: First Row Talent is doing our tour in the US and we are still on Metal Blade so they are the distributors.
CZB: How do you compare US audiences to West European ones?
Henke: There are differences even within different West European countries, so it’s a bit hard to explain. I think there is a difference between the US and Europe, but I think the big difference is more in the way they treat the bands … there is not a big difference in audience attitudes to be honest.
BANNED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN EAST EUROPE
CZB: Is this the first time you played Eastern Europe? What were you expecting from this tour?
Henke: This was the first time indeed and we where very looking forward to this. We had no idea what to expect because you don’t really know how people like your band, because you have never been there before. But it was really great. Every show we did was great with really great audiences.
CZB: When did you find out that the gig in Oradea would have to be cancelled?
Henke: I think it was about a week before the gig. We where very disappointed at that moment.
CZB: What is the explanation you got that the gig in Oradea was cancelled?
Henke: Something about the Mayor of Oradea who did not like the band name on posters in his city.
CZB: What did you understand about this decision?
Henke: I don’t understand anything about this decision. Of course we did had the same problems before, but then I’m talking about 10 years ago.
CZB: Did your tour manager try to move the gig to another location, or was time too short?
Henke: The time was to short for any other options I think. For us it was really disappointing, but for the booker it’s a lot worse. He spent a lot of money in advertising this gig and now he won’t see any money back. So he did all he could to get the show going.
CZB: Have you ever been censored before?
Henke: Yes, even in a little place next to where we are born. But like I said, that’s more then 10 years ago and we have played there two times since with no problems at all.
CZB: What is it like to be censored? What feelings did you have as you understood that the Town Hall of Oradea was banning your band in their town?
Henke: It’s a strange feeling because you think you do something cool and nice. We are not out to shock people, we just want to play our music. So when somebody tells you, you can’t play here because of your name…..it feels very strange.
CZB: You have always avoided mixing politics with the music. How do you feel now that Politics has messed with your promotional tour and stopped you from playing Transylvania for the first time ever?
Henke: I’m afraid that’s the way the world is. Everywhere you go it’s the same. I’m not happy about it, but there is not much you can you about it. As long you have people in the politics that don’t understand the metal culture, it will never change.
CZB: What was the gig like in Bucharest?
Henke: Really great! People where amazing and then it’s even harder for people to find out if you only play one gig in Romania.
CZB: What is the impression you have now of Romania? Will you be returning?
Henke: I think you really could see that Romania is busy rebuilding their past and that’s something we did not notice in all the countries from the Balkan tour. The people in Romania were very cool, so yes if the possibility is there to play again, why not?
CZB: How have you explained the problems encountered in Oradea ... How has the press back home dealt with this story?
Henke: Just like it was, that the politics canceled our gig. Here in The Netherlands nobody from the press is interested in this kind of story, so I think most people don’t even know…
CZB: Thank You and I am extremely sorry for this happening to you in our country.
Henke: No problem and I’m sorry for the late response. In a couple of weeks we will go for 2,5 months touring and that needs some preparation and time.
Interview conceived by RiCo for CZB
sent: July 10. 2009
answered: August 18. 2009
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