01. Rockezine (Holland) | 2007-08-27
02. Metalnews (Germany) | 2007-07-28
03. Fuze Magazine (Germany) | 2007-07-25
Can you say something about yourself and the band?
My name is Geert van der Velde. I handle vocal duties in Miscreants. We’re a bunch of friends who play in a metal band and like food a lot. We also like punk music and we grow moustaches for fun only to shave them off once we’ve grown them. I can’t grow a moustache so I encourage everyone else in the band to grow them for me!
Also, everyone in Miscreants, except for our guitar player, goes to college. We read books there and play with pen and paper sometimes. It’s fun! We think we’re pretty smart because of that but that’s only because we don’t know any better…
You started as a five piece band called The Architect. Now you’re a band with four members called Miscreants. Why did you change the name and what happened with the fifth member?
The name change was a decision of the five us. We didn’t want to get lumped in with all of the other bands called Architect or Architects or Architecture in Helsinki or My Mother’s Architectual Sexcapade. Though brilliant bands, especially ‘My Mother’s Architectual Sexcapade’, we wanted a name that wouldn’t make people confuse us with them. They are them, we are us. So, we wrote down long lists of bandnames, philosohized for hours on end and then couldn’t decide on anything. So, we picked Miscreants because it was in our EP’s title and because we’d rather be confused with the old death metal band Miscreants from Sweden than all the Architects out there.
As far as Rick leaving the band. After we changed the name and released the EP with Let It Burn records as Miscreants we had to re-establish our priorities and commitment level to the band. We came to the conclusion that it was time for him to leave , on good terms, because it was putting a strain on our friendship with him. We’re still friends with Rick now and hang out with him and drink beers and stuff. Beer is pretty tasty and Rick likes beer.
Are you looking for a new guitar player?
No, we may have found a replacement already who also likes beer. We’re keeping his identiy under wraps for now so that we can confuse people more. This is our main goal with Miscreants: to confuse people.
Until we’re completely sure that we cannot confuse people anymore we’re going to keep doing it. It’s been awesome playing with the new guitar player though. He’s a very good beer drinker and we’re having fun, which is what’s most important. He also uses all 6 strings, which is pretty impressive.
Why did you release your EP on Let It Burn records?
Because they were the only “serious” label interested in us. We felt bad for ourselves so we decided to release the album with Let It Burn Records to feel less bad. Oh, and also because Let It Burn is an awesome label with a hardworking, honest, no bullshit owner who likes music.
In almost every item about Miscreants they speak about Shai Hulud. Is that annoying already or do you think your current success is because of Geert’s duties in Shai Hulud.
So what? We like Shai Hulud and I was their singer before. Is it only okay to mention that you were in a previous band if that band is not well known?
I spent nearly 6 years of my life playing in Shai Hulud and touring with them. I worked hard with that band. I played hard with that band. I’m still really good friends with them even. I made many friends and met many fans through Shai Hulud. I am proud of that, not ashamed of it.
There are many people who liked my voice in Shai Hulud. I don’t think my voice is anything special but there are people out there who are fans of it. People who loved the intensity and energy that I had on stage. So, it’s only logical for Miscreants to mention that I was in Shai Hulud. We do not claim to be Shai Hulud’s heir. And, we do not mimick Shai Hulud’s sound. The only thing that is the same is that I was in Shai Hulud.
Of course, it’s a “selling point” to some people that I was in Shai Hulud. Again, I don’t see a problem. I earned the fact that people think me being in another band is worth checking out through lots of touring and recording. Why should I not use that reputation for a new band that I am in? It’s the one good thing – or bad depending on how you look at it – that I can bring to the table.
I spent years living just for the music that I was making with Shai Hulud. I gave up everything else in my life to do that. I moved from my apartment in the Netherlands, gave up my college education for a mattress on a floor in the US with no work visa, very little money and just my drive to play in a band that I believed in. I didn’t just join a band and got big off of their name. When I joined Shai Hulud there were only 2 members left; Matt Fox, the only original member, and Matt Flecther. At that point in Shai Hulud’s history, Matt Fletcher had only been in the band 6 months longer than me. I helped re-establish and build Shai Hulud back up. I helped write the next album. I am proud of that and I am proud of everything I did with them.
The same goes for Miscreants. They were a band before I joined. I brought my intensity, work ethic and the experience I gained from being in Shai Hulud. Whatever “success” we’re having with Miscreants now stems from the fact that Miscreants all work hard together, play hard and put their heart and soul into the band. If anyone has a problem with that or thinks Miscreants does not deserve to be successful they can stick their “holier than thou” pointy fingers in a dog’s ass. I don’t care what they think.
What’s the biggest drive to keep this band going?
Our friendship and our shared love for (heavy) music.
Are you a miscreant? And what do you guys mean with the name?
Miscreants to us means “outsiders”. Most of the guys in Miscreants have pretty crazy histories. Some of us have been through a lot. So, to us that is what the name means. It’s a “badge of honour”, a reference to our lives and a reference to the music we make. Nothing more.
What can we expect in the upcoming months?
Shows all over Europe.
How long will it take to prepare the new album?
Probably another 6-8 months before it is finished completely; recorded and all.
Is there something I forgot to ask or you really want to say to the world?
Nope. Just a big thanks for those of you reading this and thanks for all the support we’ve gotten from everyone who cares!
BACK TO TOP
1. Where are you right now, while you were answering these questions?
Geert: Saranac Lake, NY at my family-in-law's log cabin in the Adirondack Mountains.
2. What did you do last evening/night?
Geert: I played a show in Poughkeepsie, NY. I have a "solo" singer / songwriter act called The Black Atlantic (www.myspace.com/theblackatlantic ). I do perform with a full band sometimes. This past tour was solo/ acoustic.
3. What is the first thing you do after getting up?
Geert: I think of you, sweetheart...
4. How did you start listening to heavy music?
Geert: I went from Guns 'N Roses to Metallica. Metallica changed my life. Then Earth Crisis. Then Shai Hulud…
5. On whom would you like to ?land? while stagediving?
Geert: Jabba the Hut; can't miss 'em…
6. Which one is the most embarrassing record in your collection?
Geert: The first Korn album
7. The most embarrassing moment in your life?
Geert: Too many. Probably that one time I tried to have sex with my hot Asian girlfriend when I was 16 and my mom walked in?
8. The stupidest thing you ever did?
Geert: Shave my legs and thinking I looked pretty sexy
9. Your favourite food?
Geert: Italian cuisine
10. Your favourite Drink?
Geert: Raspberry Iced Tea
11. Do you have an idol?
Geert: No, idolizing is for the weak minded.
12. What record has the coolest cover artwork ever? (please answer exactly! Thanks!)
Geert: Strongarm's "Trials" 7"
13. And what cover of what record sucks the most? (please answer exactly! Thanks!)
Geert: Any of Fury of Five's albums… their artwork is ridiculous.
14. Three things you would take to a lonley island?
Geert: A lifetime supply of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
A bow & arrow. My wife
15. With whom you would like to share the stage one time?
Geert: Metallica or Coldplay
16. Whom would you like to meet one time?
Geert: Dead: Friedrich Nietzsche. Alive: Haruki Murakami
17. The most bizarre moment with fans?
Geert: Getting my dick grabbed by some girl in the front row while handing out the mic. to the crowd.
18. The unfulfilled wish of your life until now?
Geert: I'm happy where I am and happy where I am going…
19. Motto of your life?
Geert: "Perseverance against all opposition. Crushing all limitations". - Hatebreed
BACK TO TOP
At first you named your band “The Architect” – why have you changed the name?
Geert: For “strategic” reasons only. We really loved the name The Architect. We took that from a title from one of At The Gates’ songs; At The Gates being one of our all-time favourite metal bands ever. Then, when we started playing more and more shows we were confronted with the fact that there quite a few bands out there with ‘Architect’ in their name. We even ended up playing with UK tech-metallers Architects on the same show!
So, to make a long story short: we were afraid of getting lumped in with all these bands with ‘architect’ in their name. So, we changed the name to Miscreants. We chose Miscreants as a name because we hated every other name we’d come up with. And, because, well, that is what we are…a bunch of miscreants.
As lyrical inspiration you mention Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Sloterdijk – what do you think is more important for Miscreants – the lyrics or the music? What takes you more time, writing the music or writing the lyrics?
Geert: I would say both the music and the lyrics are of equal importance to us. I spend quite a lot of time working on the lyrics actually. However, the lyrics are always the last thing to be finished and I always need a great deal of pressure from the band to get me to finish them. Writing music comes a lot more natural to me than writing lyrics, words down on paper.
When we were recording the EP, I had lyrics to only 2 of the 5 songs before we went in to record. And this was only because we had recorded those songs previously already. All of the other lyrics were written in the studio, under a terrible time constraint.
I always have a ton of ideas laying around and I do a lot of “research” into the topics that I want to tackle lyrically but I have a hard time writing it down. Language is almost like a beast to be tame. I read and read and write down lines, ideas, quotes etc. Then when it’s crunch time, I try and fit all of it into the lyrical theme of the song.
For example, I wrote “Welcome the Miscreants” in one afternoon about an hour before I had to go in and record the vocals, on the last day of our recording session. Needless to say , I’m not 100% satisfied with my vocal delivery or vocal placement on the actual recording. It takes a while to get the flow just right and the delivery to be most effective.
However I am really proud of the actual text itself. I think they’re pretty cool lyrics. Smarter or more interesting, at least, than the average metal bands’ lyrics. I’m not crying about some fucking girl who broke my heart or singing about Satan or some other trite stuff…
Do you think that music can change the world? And how important is the message that will be transported throughout the music?
Geert: Yes, I do believe that (good) music has the ability to transform the world, to make a change. However, I find there to be very little quality music and / or quality “messages” out there.
For me, the message is extremely important. And, I invite people to actually figure out what I’m trying to say, to dissect every word in the lyrics and try and ‘call me on my shit’ , so to say.
In the end, if they disagree, that’s fine. I’m not a politician trying to win over an audience. I’m more interested in the “battle of wits”; the battle of intellect that good lyricists / writers wage to reel you in. In one word: style. The way a battle is fought is very important. The samurai were right in that…
In your opinion: What has more persuasive power? Literature or music? And what are your reasons?
Geert: For me, personally, music has more persuasive power. I feel that most (good) music speaks to you on a subconscious level. Although there are / were many writers of course who have tried to “speak” to us on just that level. Think of your own German writer Herman Hesse, for example. He tried to convey just that experience of the ‘mysterious’ to his readers. The ‘problem’ - or perhaps ‘dilemma’ is a more suited term - with literature and language is that words do not always cover the entire scope of our experience. Human beings are phenomenal (in the sence of experiencing) creatures. Sometimes our feelings, our emotions, our experience of the world cannot be described in words. There are simply no words to cover a certain feeling. You’re just grasping at straws to find the right word.
This is why writing lyrics is so hard for me.
Music, on the other hand, has that transcendental power. It’s almost like a force of nature that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go until the song ends. You hit a chord, play a note and something instantly speaks to you. It is more direct. More natural or perhaps more honest even…
Have you ever thought about starting a career as a writer?
Geert: Yes, I have. It’s funny you ask me that question. I have just decided to switch my univeristy major from philosophy to journalism. Maybe I’ll end up writing a few books before I die. I’d like to anyways…we’ll see.
If you could change three things in the world – what are they?
Geert: I wouldn’t know where to start. I prefer to keep this web accidents and contingencies, this world of ours, the way it is. No “God’s eye view” interventions for me.
Not to say that there aren’t plenty of injustices to be dealt with or problems to be solved. But they need to be solved by everyone together. And I prefer to live from day to day and take life as it comes. I have a problem with this type of “snap your fingers and the world is changed” question…
What are you doing beside your work with Miscreants?
Geert: I am a registered full-time student of philosopy who spends way too much time on his music and not nearly enough on his univesity duties.
Besides that, I run a little booking agency called Eucatastrophe Booking through which I book tours and shows for both of my bands: Miscreants , The Black Atlantic.
I organize hardcore, punk, metal and indie rock shows in my city of Groningen. I am about to be married to my American fiancee.
What will the future bring for Miscreants?
Geert: Lots of touring. A new record.
How would you define your role as an artist?
Geert: Being honest about lying to yourself and everyone else and then harnessing that paradox into art. There is no “purity” to life. No, essence. Life is an experience. The way I see it we’re here, to quote a line from ‘Welcome the Miscreants’, to: “harbor a manifold of contradictions”.
Thanks for the interview!
BACK TO TOP