Interview with XENO, Progressive Death Metal Band from Netherlands

Interview with XENO, Progressive Death Metal Band from Netherlands, Interview with XENO Progressive Death Metal Band from Netherlands

Interview with XENO, Progressive Death Metal Band from Netherlands

XENO is Progressive Death Metal Band from Netherlands. XENO are Joris van Hemert - Bass, Damian de Muijnck - Drums, Daniel de Coninck - Guitars, Tim Schaling - Guitars, and Ruben Willemsen - Vocals & Keyboards. XENO gave us some information. Check it out.

Tell us about XENO?
A nice straightforward question, we like that! To keep it short, Xeno is the name of our band (duh). We're five guys from the Netherlands making music and memories together. On guitars we have Tim and Daan, on bass we have Joris, Damian is our trusted drummer and last but not least we have our singer Ruben, who also plays keys. When we started out we wanted this to be an adventure, we want to play live, we want to create. We want to be inside our own little place when we want to, and out in the open if we feel like it. 

The name Xeno is actually derived from a the Faceless song: 'Xenochrist'. We just felt like this is us, this is who we are going to be. So here we are!

What are lyrical themes of XENO?
Well, most of the lyrical themes in Xeno are based on our own ideologies, current (world) politics and the bitter tastes these things leave us. This ranges from the reaping of nature to the enslavement through religion and/or corporations.
To further enlighten you on this matter, let's take a look at the title of our debut album that we've aptly named 'Atlas Construct'.
It is based on the concept of not only seeing and acknowledging these issues, but also feeling the responsibility to actually carry these burdens, instead of leaving it out there for others to deal with. Choosing to be a part of the solution instead of standing at the side of the playingfield saying "yeah, that's some fucked up shit..", like a bunch of sheep.

We want this idea to be like a virus, resilient, highly contagious. The smallest seed of an idea can grow, you know.

What are your influences?
We have a widespread amount of influences running through our veins. This of course differs between each member in the band. Our influences vary from black metal to djent/groove metal, post rock and progressive. Even classical music finds its path to our ears sometimes, also blues and jazz are things we listen to. 
To name a few bands we like: Xerath, Lamb of God, Periphery, Textures, Opeth, Born of Osiris, the Faceless, Mastodon, Animals as leaders, Intervals, Humanity's Last Breath, Vildhjarta, the Ocean, Gojira, Meshuggah, Alcest, Taake(we can keep going forever on this list, haha) Anyways, the diversity amongst us enables us to create something what we perceive as new, which keeps us on edge and helps to keep things interesting.

How were the songs written?
That depends on the song. Sometimes Tim would wake up in the middle of the night with inspiration and ends up with a new song. Other times it's a group process which develops naturally, and other times still it would be Daan who comes up with the main features of a new song. Even our drummer has his share of ideas for new songs, which makes things refreshing. This ultimately means that our creative process is as diverse as the music we like to listen to. There is no set method for us, it flows the way it does, in the many easy or difficult forms it takes.

How did the recording process go?
Bluntly speaking, it was hard. This was going to be our first record ever, we didn't really have any experience with recording an album. Adventurous young gods as we saw ourselves, we said to each other "let's do this!", so we did. Underestimating the entire process of course.. We had a very low budget to work with, which made things more difficult than we would have liked it to be.
We started recording ourselves,  at our own homes. When we were almost finished we had our soundguy come over and listen to it, who then found out most tracks were clipping. The palm to face action in the room was undeniable, as you can imagine. This meant we had to start over anew.
We would play for a minute (figuratively speaking) before having to tune again. Secondly, Daan lives about 200kms away, meaning some of us were left with a lot of extra work in his 'downtime'. We had some really rough weeks back then, and even ended up with some minor things we were unable to get right the way we wanted it. It cost us an extra half year to finish our product because of all these setbacks.
We eventually made it thanks to our fans and support who told us to keep going. The band got a crowdfunding project going, so we could finance things like physical copies and promotion. this also had a positive impact on our drive to keep on going as well! Without you guys, we never would've made it. Thanks! As an ending note, we've learned and grown a lot since finishing 'Atlas Construct' and we are going to implement these sometimes hardlearned lessons and experiences into our future recording efforts.

What are your future plan?
Up next for us there is an EP in the works. There is no release date set yet, we are still writing material and grooming/tweaking existing stuff. We're also looking to take 'Atlas Construct' with us to as many venues as possible. Our aim for now is to get known better throughout our own country (the Netherlands) before jumping the borders and exploring countries around us.

Are there any countries you're interested in touring or performing in? Why?

Pretty much anywhere where the audience can feel our energy, and we can feel theirs. The best thing you can experience as a musician is to be one with the music, and in my opinion the best thing you can experience as a music enthousiast is to feel that music inside yourself. In any and all countries that we could get that experience from, is a place we'd like to perform. For touring, eastern Europe always appeals, since touring there costs less due to cheap living expenses. But we haven't gone there yet. Plans for the future maybe, since we've still got lots of venues we haven't seen in the Netherlands.

What bands would you like to play alongside?
Any band that has had an influence on us. Remember the long list at the start? We're not picky, haha. For now we can say that Textures is high on our list of bands we would like to play with, since they are Dutch as well and feel much more approachable to us than a band like Lamb of God for example.

Xerath would be high on our list as well, since they are one of the rare bands that fit our style of music in our opinion. But to be on stage with any great musician/band is a blessing in itself, we try to learn every time we see people performing.

Any last words?
Sounds like we're being executed.. Not without a fight though! Never give up, never surrender!
All jokes aside, thanks for your time and interest in us, and we'd love to see you at a show one day hopefully!

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