Back in November, we had a little chat with the awesome people of The Charm The Fury during the Warped Tour Date in their home country. We discussed ‘A Shade Of My Former Self’, current work, future plans, thoughts and experiences and other nice stuff. Check it out right here!
Mathijs P. : Hello, I’m Mathijs, I play guitar in the TCTF
Caroline : I’m Caroline, I do the vocals in TCTF
Lucas : I’m Lucas and I’m the bass player
Mathijs T. : I’m Mathijs the drummer
How was your show at Warped Tour here in Eindhoven today?
Mathijs T.: Overwhelming, it’s crazy, we’ve known the US Warped tour before of course and we saw some footage from here and it’s big, I wasn’t expecting it to be so big. And also, I mean e played pretty early, like 12:30pm and it was our biggest crowd so far. And it’s not just that it was the biggest crowd, but they liked it.
Caroline: Yeah, like even with all the people sitting on the ground and jumping.
Mathijs T.: And before the gig started all those people were standing there and waiting, that was like the best thing.
You must be feeling a certain pride representing the local scene at such an event?
Caroline: Yes definitely, people are always with us, I mean we’re happy to be playing here, but people were like ‘yeah Dutch pride!’
Mathijs P.: Yeah and I was surprised for that! I never get the sense of Dutch pride with local shows, but today was special.
Lucas : But I think this has also given some more confidence to the dutch scene. A lot of people, I think. And you actually realize that a lot of people in Holland like this kind of music, you can just sell-out a show like this.
Caroline: Actually, I never expected that Vans Warped Tour would sell out only today.
Lucas: Maybe it’s also because it’s the smallest venue.
Mathijs T.: But it’s still 5-6 thousand people or something. And there are many people from nearby countries, I think about Belgium and France…
Caroline: So yeah, we are pretty amazed to be here (laughs).
Lucas: Awesome, just write it out.
Are there any bands you were excited to see today?
Caroline: YES! And I’ve already missed ALL of them! (laughs)
Rolf: Yeah and we also have to leave soon, so it makes us miss the other half! But yeah, we’d loved to see Parkway Drive, Chiodos, Like Moths To Flames…But, we’re getting to play Warped Tour in England as well, so we’re planning on seeing them there.
Mathis P.: I think today…No one saw any band, right?
Lucas: Yes, I saw John Coffey and that’s it. But you know, we’re sitting here right now and we can’t see bands. (laughs)
Well I’m sorry!
Rolf: But I like this line up, some people have been complaining about it, I think it’s awesome!
Last time we met you were about to release your debut EP, a year later you’ve just released your debut album worldwide, how have you been since then? How was it in terms of response?
Caroline: We’ve developed ourselves as a band. We became better musicians and better performers and I believe we grew as a band. And that resulted as a better musical chemistry that we’ve been before.
Mathijs P.: We’re stable now. We’re in a really stable situation.
Mathijs T.: It’s also the first times other bands and musicians start to respect the things we do. Rehearsing is taken more seriously, we try our best not to do only a fun show, but to develop our skills. I mean the fun is still there, but we take ourselves more seriously, not too seriously though.
Rolf: Yeah, basically we have a serious message in our music but on stage it’s all about having fun and giving our best but really doing what we like.
Lucas: I think we don’t look angry on stage.
Caroline: Yeah but I think a year ago, everything was more about fun and games and now it’s really focused.
Mathijs T.: I think a lot of bands put on that angry face and once you get to know them they’re really cool people and really happy in general. I think if you’re happy you can still smile and headbang!
Lucas: exactly, I see people moshing and going wild to our music so I’m happy, then why wouldn’t I show that?
Caroline: And now we’re leaving the question! (laughs)
Lucas: I also think that what’s contributing to a more relaxed atmosphere is that we’re now breaking even with money. No one’s stressed anymore about always being broke.
Caroline: Well, personally…(laughs)
Lucas: Yeah of course, personally we still don’t have money, BUT, we don’t have to put all of our money into the band anymore.
It surely helps…
Mathijs T.: That’s horrible. Having a band doesn’t have to be a black hole where you dump money.
Lucas: I think people don’t realize how much work and how much money and how much effort you have to put to get somewhere.
Mathijs T.: People are always like “oh, ok you’re signed to a label? So now you’re rich?’. We are now signed to two labels. Not only we’re not rich, but we’re only STARTING to break even.
Caroline: We should develop a brand or a t-shirt brand next time. (laughs)
What is ‘A Shade Of My Former Self’ about? It sounds like something you should listen as a whole with a connecting thread between all of the songs…
Caroline: Well the main theme is about being disappointed in honor, learning from experiences. But there’s not only one theme, we write a lot of songs, dealing with disappointment in relationships, friendships…
Rolf: It’s also about being disappointed by your own self, like ‘A Shield of My Former Self’ it’s like trying to be something different that you’ve been before. I just assume that it could be the other way round like being nothing that you used to be. It’s all about learning from experiences and the way you deal with it and how to cope with it, there are more things than only relationships, for example that thing with gay rights in Russia. You know, we are all very critical about many things.
Mathjis T.: I think in general the main album theme is pretty abstract. We started to right songs and afterwards we realized it was about something apparently.
Lucas : We didn’t write it with that in mind.
Mathijs T.: Exactly, you just start writing songs and afterwards you manage to extract a general message. What are we saying in general? For us it’s improving yourself, but still, it’s pretty abstract to me. Maybe our next album should be a theme album.
Mathijs P: I think the connection is that we’re just writing lyrics and it’s our brains writing the stuff down and when you put it all together, the rader can interpretate it as a general message. But it was never something like it has to be a big picture.
Mathijs T: Then it depends on how you get the message.
Mathijs P: Exactly, it can be a song about an ex boyfriend or an ex girlfriend and someone who hears it can feel like it’s about insecurity.
What is one song on this album that you think represents your band best?
Lucas: A couple of months ago we agreed on the fact that Virtue Of Leadership, which was also on the EP – and we thought it was already the best song of the EP- With that in mind, we wrote the album. We don’t say that it is the best song, but it was the base for ‘A Shade Of My Former Self’.
Rolf: Lots of songs are really different with a totally different vibe but all of them are still The Charm The Fury. What we really like to do is do the music we like and put it all, combine it all with our influences. We got a lot of them, we like Every Time I Die, For Today, Dimmu Borgir, Dark Funeral, Ambient…
It makes your music even richer…
Mathijs T.: But we don’t get enough credit for it, once people hear a breakdown, they’re all like “oh it’s metalcore, so boring!” (laughs). The minute you start clean vocals or a breakdown kicks in, you become generic. It happens so quickly. Hopefully some people that listen to the album hear the diversity in our sound. You can judge us for not having our own sound as it’s a lot of influences put into one, but I think that’s our strength. And I think that if you just say that it’s a bunch of unoriginal metalcore songs, then you haven’t listened to the album seriously. Metal scene is filled with the most judgmental assholes (laughs). But seriously, they’re all like ‘I just listened to metalcore it’s bullshit, djent is bullshi, everything is bullshit’.
Lucas: Metal loves to separate the genres…
Mathijs T.: And the funny thing is that when you ask people about what is metal, they’d answer ‘it’s about being yourself’. Then why are you all wearing black if you’re all being yourself? It’s alright, I mean, black is a good color, I like black! (laughs), but how is it being yourself if you’re just bound to death metal and can only wear Cannibal Corpse’s t-shirts? Or LMTF or whatever?
Rolf : Angry boy! (laughs)
What’s your most memorable experience as a band so far?
Lucas: I think (today) would be one of them.
Caroline: Sick one.
Mathijs P: Our release show was great.
Must be! Big venue, hometown…
Mathijs P.: Yes, there was a sound guy a light guy, everything was fixed. It was a very cool show, but then in Belgium it was like: ‘alright, what are we gonna do now?’ It wasn’t under our control.
Lucas: And one particularly small small in a particularly small town in Holland. We arrived there and…(laughs)
Rolf: They were all death metal guys
Lucas: And they went crazy! It was so small but still it’s one of our best shows.
Rolf: But maybe it was because we weren’t used to it…
Lucas: Well, it was the first time people knew us and we didn’t know those people. And they knew lyrics and everything.
Mathijs T.: People might get the sense that we’re arrogant like we’ve seen it all but we experience something new every day. Every show is something new and still it makes a big impression. Especially in small towns, you don’t even know its name and you’re positive no one would show up. And then people get there and go crazy. That’s the best thing you could have and that’s what happened there.
How would you like to evolve as artists and music makers?
Lucas: We only know we want to evolve but how? We don’t really know that. We’ve no idea on how it’s going to be, you know.
Mathijs T.: I think with that first album we tried to break through the main crowd, you know, just to get bigger. But something I have just realized, I mean I haven’t put it on practice yet, but I think that It should be more of a creative process. You’re trying to make art. Even if it’s metalcore it’s still art, it’s an expression and you have to be creative to make the music. I think the next record should be more unstirred if that makes sense. Not focusing on getting successful and pleasing to your audience, but doing what you feel is right and then hopefully the crowd would respond. Except if we have a new song that is a flop, then what I just said is wrong (laughs), you’ll know by then I think that’s the goal, right?
For the next album I’d like to do crazy stuff. This album is structured, which is fine, but next one should be more crazy.
Rolf : The thing is…We should be trying to put all what we have in it and then we’ll just hope for the best.
What’s next for The Charm The Fury?
Caroline: Two weeks in the UK with Heart Of A Coward.
Rolf: Great guys!
Lucas: And then we’d like to head out to America now that we’ve got an american booker now. Like around 2014 that would be our great goal.
Caroline: Also a European tour that’s on the works right now.
Mathijs P.: We’ve never played extensive tours in Europe. Like we’ve never played in France for example.
Caroline: This should hopefully happen in the beginning of next year.
Mathis T.: We’ve only toured in Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the UK
But it’s already great in only a year and a half…
Lucas: It’s true that we’re never focusing on what we did but always on what we want to do.
Rolf: The US!
Alright thank you guys!
Lucas: This is gonna be a 20-page interview, thank you!
It’s gonna be a lot of work!
Rolf: Yeah so that will be 120euros, please (laughs).
Many thanks to Yanaika Peters
and of course, The Charm The Fury