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Интервью с Despondency,

Dirk Jansen (drums)

Thank mighty gods and mighty Internet as well - with it's help today we have a great opportunity to propose to all readers of Brutal Carnage web-zine a huge interview with german machine of technical brutality and massive slam - DESPONDENCY. My questions were answered by Dirk Jansen, drumsist and one of the founders of it's band...

Great regards to all DESPONDENCY from Russian BRUTAL CARNAGE web-zine. Are you in good spirit btw?

Thanks Papa Vader, best regards back! Hell yeah, we are quite enthusiastic about the new CD and all the reactions on it and we are curious about the things to come...

So Dirk, the presentation of second full-length from DESPONDENCY is just has come. Whatcha thinking about it?

As I already said, we are curious about what to come. We got 5 new songs in the live set for already 1 and a half year and the reactions are always good. We hope that the new full length will open some doors for DESPONDENCY and we expect a big step forward in the international underground...the beast is unleashed, let´s see what it can devastate!!

Let's touch on your new album concept. What's the sense of its name? Is this really some message? Decrypt it, please. How it's connected with album cover?

Ok, for this I think I have to start at the early beginning of the band. As we started out in 1999, we already thought about a lyrical concept based on the disgusting deeds of mankind against nature and it´s own kind. The misanthropic aspect in the lyrics is caused by a feeling which all bandmembers got...mankind does not deserve to live on this planet and it will be cleansed by itself or by the nature, we´ll see! So, revelation IV means it´s our fourth revelation on this theme. Nemesis is the goddess of revenge in the greek mythology, and this means  that the revenge will rise and no one is able to escape!! We told all these thoughts to Grin (George 'Grin' Prasinis), who made the artwork, and it turned out great. It´s exactly what we wanted for this album!!

Why had you broken up with your previous label Revenge prods? Was it the end of the contract or you weren't content with its conditions? What conditions Revenge prods had to let DESPONDENCY go away freely?

Well, I don´t want to talk too much on this, but what I can say is that there were some reasons for us to leave the label, but the contract also ended, due we signed for two releases. Dani is allowed to do what ever he wants whit the God on Acid CD, as well as with the MCD and there is no bad feeling on each side.

What's total number of "God On Acid" copies for today?

I think you have to ask Dani if you want to know about it. I´m not sure, but I think 3000 copies +-500 is realistic!

Now you're signed with successful Brutal Bands records. Sure, this is a great honor, but aren't you afraid of to be just one amongst numerous instead of top priority-driven for the label in this case?

We are not afraid about something like that, cause we know about the quality of the new CD and on the other hand the fans will honour it or not. On some point in the career of a band you have to ask yourself what you want, and what we wanted is or was better promotion and a good distribution. Brutal Bands is able to do this!!

Dirk, share your opinion about your current "workshop" colleagues - DEVOURMENT, ABOMINABLE PUTRIDITY, HUMAN MINCER, EMETH, INCINERATE?

Well, we are very proud to be on one label with all those supreme bands. They all play high skilled DEATH METAL and are a big part of the international underground. You also have to mention Guttural Secrete and Insidious Decrepancy when it comes to this...

Your concert activity is really impressive. You're not that kind of stay-at-homes. What's the most far gone place DESPONDENCY had ever visited until now?

Oh, thanks I always thought we are lazy bastards...haha! To be serious. Half of DESPONDENCY is working, so we don´t have the time to play every show we got offered. We just try to play as much shows as possible...The most far away gig, was last year in Larissa/ Greece.

What stages can your fans see DESPONDENCY live this spring and summer at?

Well the next concert will be on may 1st. in Essen/ Germany as main support for ORIGIN and in the end of May on the Neurotic Deathfest in Tilburg. After that we will play one or two gigs in our area, one festival gig in Berlin  and after that we´ll play a European Tour in end of September together with Covenance (US), Rotteness (MEX) and Carnal Decay (CH). But I think after the release of the CD there will come some more shows on our agenda. Just have a look on our myspace site to keep yourself updated!

I won't deny that DESPONDENCY is most authoritative band in the brutal death metal genre in Germany on current moment.  Aren't your head spinning round because of success, Dirk?

Mhhh, a difficult question. In my opinion everything is subjective. Sure, we are known in the underground, but we also worked hard for that. Some people think we are one of the best brutal Death Metal Bands in Germany, but I think this is only an opinion of some. It depents mostly on the individual taste of music, so I don´t give too much on something like that. But I´m also not unlucky if we are successful, haha!

How had you started to go mad on heavy music generally and how had you found yourself near drum set particularly? Can you give some advices to entry-level drummers?

Haha, that's long ago. I started listening to heavy music in 1991, when I heard AC/DC and METALLICA´s Black Album. I was impressed by that sound and I started to get more of this music. Two years later I already knew SODOM, KREATOR, SEPULTURA, OBITUARY, DEATH and BRUTAL TRUTH. From that point I was totally infected by the Death Metal Virus...

I started Drumming when I was 8 years old, but only for a half year and then I stopped it, don´t know why. In 1994 I started drumming again and from on that year it became one of my favorite things to do. I tried to play along some drum patterns like the starting drum beat in Corporal Jigsore Quandary of CARCASS and some DEATH stuff from the Leprosy Album, and I got better and better. After serveral Bands I played in, I founded DESPONDENCY back in 1999 together with Steffen. That´s it!

Giving an advice in an interview is more than difficult, also cause I am an autodidact on drums. I never had drum lessons, so the only thing I can say is practise, practise and practise!!

Could you share your recollections of sessional experience with DISAVOWED? How had it happened and how did it end?

Well, playing in DISAVOWED was one of the coolest experiences I ever made. It was some kind of unreal when they asked me for the job back in 2005 on the Rotterdam Deathfest, cause I was a big fan of them since the Point of few MCD and I still love the Perceptive Deception CD. I think I thought about it for 1 second and I said yes! We started to rehearse in fall 2005 and had the first concerts in Winter 2005/2006 in the Netherlands. But these concerts were just warm up gigs for the Asian campaign in May 2006, were we played two times in Tokio and on show in Hongkong...what a sick experience! I had one of the best times in my life down in Asia with these cool guys and I will always remember that! After that it was not only a session job for me, cause I became friends with them and so it was a pity for me when they said that they need a fix drummer to rebuild DISAVOWED as a real band. That was impossible for me to do, so they asked Romain Goulion for the job, who was already drumming in ARSEBREED. The last show with them was on the Neurotic Deathfest 2006, were we played a perfect show and had a lot of fun, specially when the croud came on stage when we played the last song...sick shit!! Parts of the show are also featured on their last full length!! After all a time I won´t forget!!

All members of DESPONDENCY take part in lots of side-projects. Isn't it a reason why DESPONDENCY itself has only two full-length albums during whole ten years of proactive creative activity?

Mhhh, the side projects were/ are not the problem, cause it were only Konni and me who played in side projects. Mike never did and I also stopped playing in Ingurgitating Oblivion in 2003 cause of DESPONDENCY. Konni is the only one who still does side projects, but due he is not involved in the song writing of these bands, it also does not take that much time from DESPONDENCY. I think the problems we had were the line up changings after God on Acid, which threw us back a lot. At the moment we start writing new songs, and with this line up I don´t think it will take another 5 years ´til the next CD!!

What's explanation for your permanent love to Soundlodge studio?

To keep it short. Good equipment, good engineer,god sound, local based (only 20km from us) and good prices! Enough reason don´t you think!!??

Original releases of your old works (EP, demo, split) became a rarity long time ago.  Don't you have a wish to re-release it again like special compilation?

The only CD we thought about to re-release is the Extinction MCD, cause it´s our first release ever and we only pressed 500 copies i think. We don´t know when this will take place, but i think it would be a cool option, maybe combined with some Bonus stuff like live footage and old photos.

What bands' sound DESPONDENCY was guided by at its career start?

Also not easy to find an answer, but i think VADER, SUFFOCATION, INTERNAL BLEEDING, DEEDS OF FLESH and MALEVOLENT CREATION were a big influence on us back then. Also there were not that many slam Parts in the DESPO sound in the beginning. By the way, we re-recorded the very first DESPONDENCY song (There is nothing...) on the Supreme... MCD, we only changed the drums a bit. Also "Highest form of Brutality"which is on God on Acid  was featured on the first MCD.

Dirk, your band always worked for extremely good sound. Is this a mark of musicians' professionalism for you?

You are right. We worked always on the sound, and tried to get it better and better from every release to the next. For us a good sound is important, and a reference for us is SUFFOCATION´s Pierced from within. Another important thing for us is, that we don´t record something we can´t realize live! Everything you can hear on a DESPONDENCY CD is played like it is, and we are able to play this live.

How often do you rehearse and where does it go? What equipment do you use?

We usually rehearse two times a week, but sometimes i play drums alone if the rest of the band is busy with other stuff.But if there are important gigs, like the ORIGIN gig we rehearse more often.The equipment we use is self financed, so we play several brands of instruments. For me it´s: Sonor Force 2000 shellset with two bassdrums, Paiste Cymbals, Axis Pedals, Remo Drumheads and an Alesis DM 5 Trigger Module with Ddrum Triggers.

How intensive is support from your country's fans that you sense? Is there any difference between brutal heads from East and West Europe?

Mhh, a difficult question as well. In my opinion the Death Metal Underground is based World Wide, especially the Brutal Death Metal Underground. This kind of music is very special, and I think there is one big family of fans on the planet.

DEFEATED SANITY and SUFFOCATE BASTARD have come to world brutal scene after DESPONDENCY. Are they your competitors or just friends you wouldn't mind to drink beer with?

Both are good friends of us and we would always drink beer or smoke with them. To us there is no competition. We all just do what we like to do, playing brutal Death Metal. Btw.: Defeated Sanity founded earlier then DESPONDENCY

As long as I know DESPONDENCY actively prepares to make your first outing through the Atlantic to storm North American continent. Do you have any real plans about it?

Playing the USA is one of our dreams and it would be cool if it takes place. For us it seems that it is realistic next year, mostly caused by the lack of enough vacation days of my work.

What's the bigger pleasure to you: to knock about the world in tours or to spend your time in studio?

Both is very cool, but for me it´s definitely playing live. You can fell the power of the songs more intense and combined with the reactions of the audience it´s just amazing! After you played, or you had a tour you get a certain feeling that all the efforts where worth it.

Brutal music now goes in two directions, you know. From one side it's about tendency to technical perfection, from another side it's just tones of trivial groove and slam. Which direction is more challenging and perspective on your mind?

In my opinion both belongs together. Certainly it´s cool to be perfect on your instrument but to me it get´s boring, if songs are filled up too much with all this technical stuff and lack of flow or ear caching riffs. On the other hand it also bores me if a band only plays groove and slam riffs. With DESPONDENCY we try to put everything together and create some cool songs.

Anyway I wish luck to DESPONDENCY into the creative field. What're your final words for your Russian fans?

Ok Papa Vader, thanks for making this interview with DESPONDENCY and giving us support, we appreciate that!! We hope to make it over to Russia one day and have some cool time with our fans over there!! Thanks for all the support and keep it fast and brutal!! Nastrovje!!

Вопросы—Papa Vader


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