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2014 Bandpic Guilty As Charged With LogoBelgiske Guilty As Charged slapp for litt siden et over snittet bra album i 'Leap Of Faith', hvor jeg blant annet skrev at "...thrasherne er ikke voldsomt tekniske, men de overbeviser med et fett sound, kontrollert thrash og melodibruk." For å spre navnet og promotere gjengen, var det naturligvis bare å hanke de inn, vokalist og gitarist Jan samt bassist Heinz er mine motparter i intervjuet.

Les hele anmeldelsen HER .

Hey, and welcome to :) How's life in Belgium?

Heinz: "Hello, thanks! Life isn’t bad in Belgium. We’re all doing okay, we got day time jobs and still have enough time to create and play music!"

Just to start off with some historical stuff; you guys started out back in 08, is the lineup the same today?

Heinz: "Yes, before ’08 me, Heinz, & Jan were already jamming together, but then the drummer Matthew and the lead guitar player Dempsey joined the band. Since that moment Guilty As Charged was born. On a few occasions me & Dempsey had to be replaced for a few gigs, but the official lineup has always remained the same."

And apart from a demo, you haven't released anything besides this new album? Your debut? Why? Most bands tends to release a tad more, is it a matter of quality over quantity? Or is it another reason?

Heinz: "You’re absolutely right. We’ve not released as much as some other bands because of several reasons. First of all, we’re not the fastest writers, and we’re very sceptic about what we write. Only the best ideas made it to the studio. And when we finally want to record the songs we thought fit to release upon the world, we chose for quality again. Quality has to be paid for, so we needed to save up to be able to pay for everything. Also, due to time management issues, it took a lot longer to record every audio file than foreseen... At every step we decided not to rush things, and now we’re proud of the result!"

Belgium, few bands spring to mind. I am an oldie, so I remember the 80's, where some bands from Belgium got some attention abroad; Crossfire, Acid... These days? After All, I know very well and love!

Heinz: "There are many bands from Belgium going abroad, most of which do it with management/booking agencies, we’re still looking for the one that will push us further. Funny that you mention After All. Their sound guy Bart Vennekens recorded our drums, and we recorded bass and guitar tracks with the guitar player from After All: Christophe Depree. We loved their sound as well, so we got in touch and got the same guy to mix and master the album: Dan Swanö. "

Regarding the band name, who’s guilty? Who’s on trial?

Heinz: "We’re all Guilty As Charged for playing heavy metal, I guess!"

And the title, does it mirror the lyrical aspect? What do you use as the basic when writing lyrics? Any topics?

Jan: "No the title of the album only reflects on the song Leap Of Faith… It’s not connected to any of the other songs, they’re all unrelated. Leap Of Faith is about thinking about things we all could end up with in life if we go for something. For some people it’s getting a new start and for some it’s just surviving!"

I found your thrash to be controlled and melodic, with a great production. You agree?

Heinz: "Yes, definitely. As mentioned before, the mixing and mastering of the album was done by the great Dan Swanö. We knew what we wanted, he agreed and provided with pleasure! All of our band members have different preferences when it comes to different styles of metal. This probably influenced the fact that our music is both thrashy and melodic. We’re used to finding the middle ground for everyone without losing feeling or quality."

I am a thrasher for sure, but tend to lean more towards the technical stuff. How is the album compared to the demo? Is it similar in style, or have you evolved a lot since then?

Heinz: "I think the album is similar in style, but we did evolve a lot in songwriting and sound quality. Our demo was also a mix of clean passages, heavy metal riffs and thrash bits. The combining of all these elements makes it very musical to us, and kind of defines us right now."

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From the band photo I can't easily tell your age, are you old dudes or young studs? 

Heinz: "Perfect, we’re not too young and not too old. Our ages go from 24 to 30. Another element in the healthy mix! Different styles, ages, characters,... "

What kind of musical upbringing did you have? Was it one where you found the happening bands? Or did you look back and fell in love with the older stuff? What inspires you?

Heinz: "For me personally: I really got in touch with metal through Papa Roach and Slipknot. After checking out these bands, then I just looked up the biggest names in the genre: Iron Maiden, Metallica, Korn, Megadeth, Slayer, In Flames, Arch Enemy, Soulfly, Black Sabbath, Children Of Bodom,... But I also checked out bands like Nirvana and Green Day, some of which certainly influenced my bass playing. I guess I fell in love with the older stuff before tracking down newer bands. Much the same for my fellow band mates, we all found common ground in the heavy metal scene from the ‘80’s."

You mentioned you had done quite a lot of live activities. What is the coolest gig ever?

Heinz: "Yeah, I think we’re averaging 15 - 20 shows per year or so. We’ve had a couple of awesome indoor shows, among which our own release party. More than 300 people came out to support us and went crazy while we performed the best we could. 

The coolest gig ever has to be Masters @Rock 2012 though. It was the first time we played the main stage in open air. Although we were opening the festival, many fans came out to support us. The backstage was mind-blowingly professional, the catering was awesome and with our white bracelets we could drink for free anywhere, needless to say we had a fucking blast! And later on Soulfly performed as main act on the same stage we were on... It was just perfect."

And is doing gigs the shit? Or do you fancy the studio? Some bands only enter a studio to have new material to play live, a "necessary evil", some vice versa. 

Heinz: "I kind of like both experiences. Playing live is awesome because we get a lot of energy from people going mental on our music, and we get to mess around, have fun, impress,... Obviously the biggest thrill is to be found on the stage! 

In the studio it’s more about creating something that is well-nigh perfect to us. It feels like your officially and definitely making something that will be decisive for the future of the band. And of course it’s also trolling each other, having fun and laughing together as a band."

How is your local scene? Are there many bands we should check out? Any hot tips?

Jan: "Honestly, I don’t really know… That depends on your specific taste I think…"

10442995 10152234946393877 3176631742445510634 NHeinz: "If you like death core there’s Crimson Falls, Signs Of Algorithm, … If you like heavy metal there’s Ostrogoth, Fireforce,… Other thrashers are obviously After All and Evil Invaders,… It’s a long list once you get into it!"

And I guess being a musician in Belgium is rather easy? I have interviewed a lot of bands from different countries, and not everyone have the privileges some of us have. 

Heinz: "Yeah, I saw a documentary about a metal band in Bagdad. Holy shit, the stuff these guys have to go through just to be able to make music they love together... It’s insane. We have the absolute freedom to do as we please, write what we want, etc. And on top of that, we have the technology to make everything easier: recording programs to exchange riffs/ideas, social networks for discussions/agreements,... "

Thanks a lot for accepting this interview, I really appreciate it! Any final words? Death threats? Declarations of love?

Heinz: "I believe we’ll go with a declaration of love: thanks for reaching out to us and have this interview, thanks to all readers, fans, listeners,... Be sure to check out our brand new website,  if you don’t, a death threat might follow haha!"