The Prematory band was born in 2007 in Belgium. In few years they became one of the most promising thrash band in the metal scene. Their latest album, "Corrupting Influence", was published in 2014 and it is having an excellent success of audience and critics. ROCK AND METAL IN MY BLOOD have interviewed them to know more about their history and their music.

R&MIMB: First of all congratulations for your latest album "Corrupting Influence". Could you please tell the readers of ROCK & METAL IN MY BLOOD something about your biography? When and how was Prematory born? And how did your collaboration with Punishment 18 come about?
Prematory: (Simon): Our story begins in 2007, we were very young and we had just learned to play our instruments. We founded the Prematory also to improve our music because we believe that playing in a band is the best and most interesting way to improve. During the early years we realized how much we loved playing live and this led us to a more serious commitment to music. In 2010, we published our first EP "Suiciety" which had a great success and whose promotion led us to play in Holland and Germany. We traded with same labels and they traded with Punishment 18, so they contacted us to congratulate after listening to a copy of "Suiciety". They told us they could see a potential in our music and that they were interested in our full-length album once ready.

R&MIMB: In your latest work "Corrupting Influence" there are lyrics about all different types of issues regarding the world and people, where do you take inspiration from? Does everyday news inspire your work? Who writes the lyrics?
Prematory: (Simon): I write the lyrics of our songs taking inspiration from real life and everyday news, and sometimes I exasperate it. We prefer to write lyrics which deal with serious and common issues because for us music is a serious matter. We talk about the problems and situations all around us such as poverty, health, the loss of a friend and above all we highlight the importance of having the strength to be ourselves always despite everything and everyone. (Jonas) When you're angry and your lyrics speak about the reason of your anger you play with more energy!! (Simon) It's right, if you believe in what you're playing, your music is stronger and even the audience feels more involved because they identify themselves in our songs.

R&MIMB: The song "Sentenced for life" seems to refer to crime news, a man affected by a personality disorder commits a crime against his family members. Was this song inspired by a real tragic event or is it a clear analysis of the news we often read about in the papers?
Prematory: (Simon): It could be one of the many pieces of news that we read about every day in the newspaper, that make me think every time about how many crazy people are living in this world! In Belgium, unfortunately, we have several cases of crimes similar to the one described in this song. I thought it could be interesting to write a song about the psychological conflict of one of these persons as I imagine that even if they commit such heinous crimes to satisfy their insane impulse, they could still feel repulsion and shame about it.

R&MIMB: The title of your latest album is 'corrupting influence'. What is this influence and who exerts it?
Prematory: (Simon): The cover of the album shows two men: the first, in the background, dressed with a suit, keeps the second one tied with a rope. The man in the background is the one who exerts this corrupting influence, and you may think that this man represents society, but it would be an understatement because that man represents everything that tries to exert influence on our way of being, of thinking and looking. What we mean is that you should never be swayed in any way and that we should allow no one to interfere with our way of being.

R&MIMB: Which song of the album "Corrupting Influence" represents you the best?
Prematory: (Joeri T.) I would choose "Hold My Breath" because the lyrics have a strong meaning and for the groovy sound. (Simon) "Down the Train" because it talks about the importance of making the right decisions and especially about the importance that the decisions are taken in complete freedom. (Jonas) Each song of the album represents an aspect of us, so it's hard for me to pick one. (Thomas) I love the song "Grace Raiser" for the lyrics that speaks about the Second World War. (Joeri VDS) To me, the most representative song is the title track "Corrupting Influence."

R&MIMB: One aspect that we particularly appreciated while reviewing "Corrupting Influence" was the sound. It is clean but still very old school. How was it to work with Sven Janssens? Did you already know him in the music business?
Prematory: (Simon): We knew him because he was the bassist of Aborted which is one of the most popular metal bands in Belgium, but we had never met him personally before. We did a a good job in the studio, the sound has a good quality, but the experience was different for each one of us. (Thomas) We had to learn a lot and quickly, for me it was the first experience in a studio, as I joined the band after the release of "Suiciety" and it was...difficult.

R&MIMB: After the transition from being independent to working for a label, did something change in your style or in the relationship with your fans?
Prematory: (Simon): It is only a month that we are with Punishment 18 and it is a too short time to say if something has changed! For now, we have received a positive feedback from our fans, many of whom already knew Punishment 18 for the other bands they produce. Punishment 18 has in fact contracts with many thrash metal bands and we are very pleased to be working with them, nevertheless, since almost all the other thrash bands and our first EP have an 'old school' style, we are afraid of being labeled in the same way, and it can be difficult for us to change this idea. We want to feel free to experience all we desire and to evolve into something personal and unique. Summarizing, we are happy to have Punishment 18 as our label, but we are also worried that it may distort the idea that the public has of us. (Thomas) It's a great label which has a very wide coverage of trade. (Joeri VDS) Our album is on sale even in Japan and in Canada and, when I think about it, it is a great satisfaction! But for us the freedom of experimenting is very important, even if it means to move away from the old school. (Joeri T) We aren't 'old school' even in our way of dressing, at the beginning we tried to do it, but we were feeling uncomfortable and so now everyone dresses as he likes.

R&MIMB: Between your first album "Suiciety" and "Corrupting Influence" four years have passed. Was this period so long because your songwriting was maturing and you wanted to try something more elaborate? Or is there also an economic reason behind it all?
Prematory: (Simon): There were several different reasons: economic reasons, as recording in studio is very expensive, then we changed the drummer and this took some time and mainly because we had to figure out what and how we wanted to evolve. "Suiciety" is a good album, but we wanted to create something different. There are a lot of thrash albums that are limited to fast drumming and it was not what we wanted to do. (Joeri VDS) In these four years we have worked a lot on each track before being satisfied with them and we also excluded some of them because they didn't work as we wanted. (Thomas) To tell the truth the album was ready one year ago, but we had other problems, the next album will be ready faster. (Simon) The problems which Thomas refers to, have been that once we finished mixing we sent the material to a mastering studio in America, which seemed to be the best for us. It was February 2013 ... we have never seen the master, neither the money we paid! (Jonas) It was scandalous! (Simon) ...and it was our last money, so it took another five or six months to collect enough money for another mastering studio.

R&MIMB: How did you change during the last four years? Do you feel musically different from your first album?
Prematory: (Joeri T): We feel quite different, our lyrics have a deeper content, our music has evolved and also thanks to that people are starting to take us seriously. At the beginning we had some difficulties because of our young age, the people did not believe that we were capable, but now the public recognizes that, although we are still young, we play quality music and we have a great energy on stage!

R&MIMB: If I ask you for an adjective to describe "Suiciety" and another one for "Corrupting Influence", which ones come to your mind first?
Prematory: (Simon): For "Suiciety" I would say 'funny', while for "Corrupting Influence" I would say 'mature'. (Joeri VDS) ...'mature' but not less funny!

R&MIMB: Many of your lyrics deal with the usual life of young, and less young, Metalheads. How autobiographic are lyrics like "Thrash Olympics" from your first album? Are these songs about the fun you have on and off the stage?
Prematory: (Simon): I cannot say why I wrote that song. Now, when we play it, I find myself thinking 'what am I saying?' I mean, the song is funny to play, but... (Jonas) We played it many times and it is known to our fans who sing it with us, but the lyrics are simple and it is no longer what we are. (Simon) Thinking back to the lyrics of our first album, I'm a little ashamed, we started this interview saying that our music has meaningful and serious lyrics, while the lyrics of "Suiciety" are light and funny! We do not want to write any more songs that speak only about drinking beer... (Joeri T) ...I like drinking beer! - everybody laughs - (Simon laughing) Sure, we like beer! But it is not the message we want to give with our music.

R&MIMB: You come from Belgium, from the Brabant. What possibilities are there for a metal band to emerge in your country? Is there a good metal scene?
Prematory: (Thomas): To be precise, Jonas and I come from Antwerp and here the music scene is more alive than in Brabant, especially for hardcore music. We've always had more fans in Antwerp than in the rest of Belgium. (Simon) This was valid two years ago, but now the Prematory have changed and we always have a great public. In Belgium there is also an additional difficulty for new bands because in the north we speak Dutch and in the south French. For example we play nearly every weekend in the north but we still haven't played in the south, it is easier for us to play in the Netherlands than in the French Belgium. (Jonas) I think the music scene of the south of Belgium is similar to the French one, and in France there isn't a big attention to metal music. With the exception of HellFest, there aren't many other concerts compared to Germany or the Netherlands, so it is easier for us to be invited to play in these countries than in the south of Belgium. (Thomas) In September 2014 we will have our first concert in the south! (Joeri T) And after that we will have another interview to tell you how it went! (everybody laughs)

R&MIMB: Are there other new bands in Belgium ready to emerge, like you? Do you like any in particular? Among the new bands is there brotherhood or competition?
Prematory: (Jonas ): I just read on internet that at the moment there are five thrash metal bands emerging, but they are very related to the old school thrash. (Joeri VDS) These bands want to be similar to the thrash bands of the 80's and it is not what we want, so we have a different audience. (Thomas) A band that I like are the 'Evil Invaders', but they play more heavy/speed metal than thrash . Then there are the 'Toxic Shock' that are a crossover band, but they are not really active at the moment. (Simon) There are many very good bands out there, but the problems are always management and visibility. Belgium is a small country and there are so many bands that it's hard to get noticed. Every Saturday night there are maybe 6 different concerts in an area of 300 km and for this reason many bands fail to make themselves known and cannot demonstrate their potential. (Joeri T) And that's why Facebook exists!!! (Joeri VDS) Another thing that I find hard is to play outside Belgium, we played in the Netherlands, and sometimes in Germany, but never in other countries, I mean, our label is Italian, but we've never played in Italy....please invite us! (Simon) The nice thing is that there is brotherhood between the bands, on stage we can be in competition, but in the end we are all friends.

R&MIMB: What were the strongest influences on your music? What are your favorite bands of all time?
Prematory: (Simon): We all come from very different musical backgrounds, so maybe we can list two bands each. (Joeri T) I listen to various genres of music and I especially love English music, I could say that the two bands which are very important to me are 'Gallows' and 'Led Zeppelin' (Simon) ... I like 'Dismember' and 'Dissection' that are two bands who play a very different type of music from ours, but they have influenced me a lot, I love their music! (Jonas) I will choose only one, I do not need to name two, the 'Gallows'! They are my favorite band, I like them! (Joeri VDS) I don't have two favorite bands, but to write the guitar riffs of our songs I take inspiration from modern thrash bands like 'Havok' and 'Warbringer'. (Thomas) The best band in the world are 'Iron Maiden'! But I also take inspiration from more modern bands like 'Vektor' and 'Revocation', I also cannot forget the 'Big4'!

R&MIMB: Could you tell us about your first experience on stage? When and where was it? Were you excited? Are the sensations you feel on stage today different, or are they still the same? What has changed?
Prematory: Our first concert was in front of 40 or 50 'grandparents' and twenty children 5 or 6 years old, a rather strange public! We were quite uncomfortable, but it was also very funny. During the first concerts we were mainly nervous, but now we feel alive on stage and we really enjoy it! It has become a little like a drug for us, if we could decide to spend each moment of our life on a stage we would do it without hesitation.

R&MIMB: You are now busy in a tour mainly in Belgium and the Netherlands. Will we also get to see you in some festivals and, who knows, maybe even in Italy?
Prematory: (Simon): We would love to come and play in Italy, we're just waiting for an invitation!

R&MIMB: A live report about your concert this evening will be published on ROCK & METAL IN MY BLOOD, exclusive for our readers. Can you anticipate something about the show? How do you live your live concerts?
Prematory: (Simon): Our shows are very energetic and powerful, the public often tell us that our concerts are unique and that there are only few bands that play with such a great energy as we do! (Jonas) Then it really depends on what you like, someone might think that we're only a bunch of guys who shake their heads on a stage !! (general laugh)

R&MIMB: On the 12th of April you will play at Tongeren Festival in Belgium, together with Asphyx and Angel Witch. How do you feel about sharing the stage with such legendary bands?
Prematory: (Simon): It 's really great! There will be a lot of people and I hope that many of them will come for us and not only for the headliners! I think that playing at Tongeren Metal Festival will be useful to us to access other prestigious festivals and have better bookings. On that day we will play first in Eindhoven and then in Tongeren?it will be fantastic!

R&MIMB: After this tour, what are your next projects as regards live shows and the recording studio?
Prematory: (Thomas): We will definitely work on new songs! (Simon) And we're going to play live concerts as much as possible, we will make a selection and we will choose the most interesting and challenging lineups, as the Tongeren Metal Festival or the Vlamrock Festival where we'll play with Asphyx, Angel Witch, Havok and Hail of Bullets. (Thomas) The events with important bands are always the best, last year when we played with Havok it was a great experience. (Jonas) It is also interesting to sit behind the scenes at the side of the stage and look at their exhibition from so close. (Simon) You can learn so many interesting things looking at bands with such a great experience, preparing themselves to play and this is another reason why we like to take part in festivals with prestigious lineups. (Joeri T) ...but this doesn't mean that we are less motivated during smaller shows, we always give our best every time we go on stage wherever it is!!

R&MIMB: In conclusion, would you like to say something to the readers of ROCK & METAL IN MY BLOOD? Maybe you would like to recommend your amazing latest album?
Prematory: (Simon): Please listen to "Corrupting Influence"! We will be happy to know what you think about it and we hope you will enjoy it!!! (Joeri T) You can also download it, but if you get a virus, we will not be responsible!! (general laugh) (Jonas) But more important of all, come and see us live, because we assure you it's really worth it!!!

(Michele Boiero)