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Arien Van Weesenbeek – Drums for God Dethroned

Date: 1/07
Interviewed By: Rich Catino



1. So tell us about your music and how is has grown or changed maybe since your debut in 1992.

Ariën: It has grown from pure underground death metal to a more mature sound with lots of style variations. People still call us a Death Metal band, and for the most part they're right: of all the styles we put into our music, death metal is still the most present one. We also believe that our songwriting improved: real songs, with a clear structure and catchy. Also, the amounts of groove and melody increased a lot compared to the old days. You know, we still play heavy stuff, but it's all in a broader perspective.

2. Is melody an important part of God Dethroned’s music and if so where do you like to incorporate it into the music?

Ariën: Melody has always been the key factor. We've always tried to combine melody with brutality and energy. A good melody that sticks in someone’s mind after listening to it, is worth a lot to us. Melodies can be incorporated in every part of the song; whether it's the slow, fast or break-part.

3. What type of topics or issues inspires your lyrics?

Ariën: All the troubles that go on in the world nowadays. It's pretty easy to get inspired to write lyrics. Just turn on the TV or radio, or look around you in your living environment, and it's quite obvious that there's a lot of problems and negativity going on. And this time, we wrote mainly about how that affects the human from the out- and inside. Manic depressions, delusions, diseases, oppression and war.. It almost becomes normal to feel bad nowadays.

4. Where did the name God Dethroned come from and what does that name mean or symbolize?

Ariën: The band name was founded by Henri, as well as the band itself. The name's built upon experiences from the environment where Henri grew up and was living in. He didn't seem to like the Christian morality there, and so he started breaking away from it in his own way. And of course, this could be combined with heavy music perfectly. The name nowadays doesn't stand just for Christianity or just one religion. It's about freedom and self-awareness. There's nothing wrong with religion, and it can be a great form of strength for life. It's just sad that a lot of people (with social or political influence perhaps) find it necessary to force it upon other human beings. That's one of the things we write about.

5. Do consider religion an important part of the band’s lyrics?

Ariën: Yeah, I do. However, it's not the only thing we write about, especially on our new album. Religion even hardly comes across on The Toxic Touch. After having said so much about religion for six albums, the message becomes quite clear. It would be a bit overdone to repeat that over and over again. There's much more trouble going on than religious conflicts.

6. Tell us about the cover of the new cd “The Toxic Touch”. Why the needle in the neck?

Ariën: The album cover displays a green, toxic infection that's all over the lyrics. The album is not too positive, and we had to have a cover that would be creepy and really agonizing, haha. The needle represents the 'toxic touch': all the negativity that is injected into human beings which affects the mind and body. So, it's no heroin-needle, but more of a symbol, or metaphor for the evil of this world.

7. What was your previous album “The Lair of the White Worm” about?

Ariën: About different things: we wrote about a war-megalomaniac that uses people to go to battle in the army, or whatever, to get rid of his own war. We wrote about The Prince of Nassau, Willem Van Oranje, who was a big historic hero. He fought against the king of Spain during the 80-year war, fighting for religious freedom against the catholic regime. There's our little story about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, about a mass-murderer, about the downfall of the world and mankind... And a story about 'The Lair of the White Worm', based on a novel of Bram Stoker. That story is about a succubus who tempts man to her in the body of a woman, than changing into the white worm, and taking their lives.

8. Have you ever toured the States and do you plan to behind the new cd?

Ariën: We've toured the States for two times now, and have done some US-festivals. Sure, we'd love to tour again for the new cd! I hope we can and we will this year. First we have some shows in Norway, France, Holland and Germany, and we're working on a European Headline tour. For the rest, we just have to see what comes out.

9. Any plans to record a show or any other plans for a DVD release?

Ariën: Not yet.

10. What do you find are the important elements to making great extreme sounding music?

Ariën: Good songwriting: that really makes the difference. Dynamics, good skilled-musicianship, good sounds, energy.

11. Closing thoughts?

Ariën: Everybody, take care, and hopefully see you soon. Enjoy the new album!!

Official website: www.goddethroned.com
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