Steak Number Eight Interview
@ Camden Underworld
11th December 2014
Interview by Ben Spencer & Jo Blackened
Photography by Altercarnated Photography
After arriving early before tonight’s show and setting up our recording equipment to a near empty venue. We were joined by Brent and Cis to talk more about what they have in store for their fans at tonight’s London show.
Brent Vanneste: guitars/vocals
Joris Casier: drums
Jesse Surmont: bass
Cis Deman: guitars
Ben: Tonight is the second night of your UK Tour, what can fans expect from your set tonight?
Cis: What they can expect is two new songs. We’re playing songs off every album and a set of 1 hour or a little bit more.
Its going to be intensive a lot! (smiles)
Ben: Are these two new songs from a forthcoming album?
Brent: Yeah should be coming out in September next year. We’re going to record in April and we’re looking to record it in September.
Brent: I think it’s a big compliment to compare us to with those bands…of course it’s a big inspiration but we try too make our own sound and not copy other bands.
Cis: It’s cool to be part of the same niche but we still try to be different to those bands but we try to create something new and interesting in a new way but its definitely a big compliment. We listen to those bands every day.
Brent: I think there’s also like a lot of grunge and stuff which makes it a bit different from the main metal like Neurosis and stuff.
Ben: On the subject of Isis. I understand that The Hutch was mixed by Mat Bayles (Producer Isis, Mastadon). How did he get involved and what was it like working with him?
Cis: We did the second album with Mat Bayles too; mainly through friends we worked with.
Brent: We sent him a mail actually asking if he would like to mix us and to our surprise he said ok.
Cis: After he said that we sent a couple of pre-production songs to him and went from there. For the second album the whole band went to Seattle to minimise the costs.
We were very happy with Mat Bayles (nods).
Ben: Would you work with him again?
Brent: Not sure yet…
Cis: He’s good but maybe we want to try something different for our fourth album; something new.
Brent: We’ve seen Seattle, maybe now we can try another city.
Cis: The first album is mainly written by Brent. He wrote that after a pretty heavy period after his brother passed away and its like dedication mixed with what we felt. That’s why it was called ‘All Is Chaos’?
The third album is more written together, mainly Brent, but it’s more us working together and all the songs fit together. Chaos fits together in a chaos way and Hutch is more psychedelic.
Brent: I think that’s the main difference actually. It all fits together in one story.
Ben: You guys were also the youngest band to play ‘Humo’s Rock Rally’ and you won the contest!
How did this feel at the time?
Brent: That was crazy! We never expected that to happen. It was kind of mad, because we were like 14 or 15 years old and we thought they were going to write bad things about us on the internet, but they were very positive comments. We then got to the final and we won it and we were like ‘What!?’ (Laughs)
Ben: You guys started playing at a young age of fifteen. What advise would you give to aspiring bands out there?
Brent: Just don’t try to be like someone else. It’s like one of the most important things I want to say. Follow your own path and follow your own sound.
Cis: Make sure you do stuff together too to keep your friendship going. As you know, a lot of bands aren’t friends anymore.
Jo: If you guys could play with any bands who would it be?
Cis: Probably the bands you mentioned (Laughs) Mastadon, Gojira, all of those sludgy kind of bands.
Jo: What are your favourite genres to listen too?
Brent: Our tastes aren’t completely different but everyone has their own niche.
Cis: It helps because if we were all to listen to the same stuff it would come out all sounding the same as well but it helps having different outputs elsewhere.
Ben: Were you guys all at the same school?
Brent: I was at the same school as the drummer, then met Cis at college.
Jo: Where you guys going next on your tour?
Brent: Tomorrow were playing Holland!
Cis: The tour goes on until 20th December then we go home.
Jo: What are you guys doing for Christmas and New Year?
Cis: I have a girlfriend in Sheffield so I’m going to her Dads and spending Christmas in the UK.
Brent: I don’t know… drink?” (laughs)
Getting money from my Grandma, that’s always good, then right after Christmas we really have to start working on the new album.
Jo: What’s the writing process like when coming up with new material?
Brent: writing and writing and then trying it out in a rehearsal (Smiles).
Ben: Any new directions that will be explored in the album?
Brent: Its fresher I think.
Cis: Its complicated. Some stuff is complicated, but organic in a way.
Brent: Also the two new songs are a good reference for the new album I think.
Ben: How well received have those two new songs been?
Cis: The first time we played them was in Belgium, like 8KM from where we live and they really loved the songs. People were coming up to us and asking ‘What is it? Is this song already out?’.
Brent: Its growing really fast its awesome!
Cis: Also you see some familiar faces coming back each time which is always good!
Brent: Maybe we should tell them about the announcement? (Looks toward Cis).
Cis: Oh yeah! Monday we announced that we are doing a new UK tour with ‘Marmozets’ @ Electric Ballroom so we’re pretty excited to that as well and the band are good friends with us. We met at the ‘Feed the Rhino’ tour and we hung out and have been to bars together and they were saying if they were bigger they promised us support and they did.
Jo: Have you found other well established bands being supportive towards your music?
Cis: We did support for ‘Dillenger’ in Holland.
Brent: ‘Deftones’ as well and it was great to play with bigger crowds.
Cis: That’s the thing because we have our fans but when we’re playing in front of bigger crowds we see it grow.
Ben: How different is the Belgium scene to UK in terms of crowds and fans?
Brent: There’s a big difference but its hard to say.
Cis: I’d say there is a big difference, but we have been playing for more than 10 years in Belgium but we have played between 3 to 5 times in the UK so its difficult to say. We are still growing here. In Belgium we have our fans, we see familiar faces, we know a lot of them…I’d say we have an older fan base here.
Brent: No not true! We have fans from 15 to 50 in Belgium. I think the average age of our fans are older than we are.
Cis: Yeah although I’d say it’s a big compliment when you see people from different ages come to your concerts. We are always open to talking after shows.
Jo: Where is your favourite place to play?
Brent: I think playing in our home town when we play there when a new album comes out is probably my favourite.
Cis: I think also like playing little bars with intensive shows or also big festivals. I prefer the little ones. I mean the big ones are awesome too but I really prefer small places.
Ben: What is the best festival you guys have played so far?
Brent: I’d say ‘Applepop’ for sure in Belgium. Last time was the biggest show ever!
Ben Is there anything else that you would like to add that hasn’t already been covered?
Brent: Very difficult question (Pauses) Come to the gig tonight! (laughs)
On that note the band depart just on time for tonight’s opening act to set the ball rolling. Thanks for your time guys.
After an awesome performance from tonight’s show we were able to quickly catch up again with front man Brent to get his thoughts on how the show went.
Jo: How do you think tonight went?
Brent: I’m a bit dizzy right now but I think it was a good one (smiles).
Jo: Are you happy with the turnout tonight?
Brent: Yeah of course! I really was in the vibe and it’s a bit hard too talk as I’m a bit dizzy from the adrenaline. Kind of feel a bit sick and may need to puke! (laughs).
Jo: Did you get to see the support bands tonight?
Yeah they were fucking amazing! The first band was my favourite I think.
Ben: What was the most memorable moment of tonight?
Brent: I think Push/Pull was the best moment for me.
Jo: Do you think that the crowd liked the new songs that you played?
Brent: Yeah I think so, the second new one I tuned my guitar wrong. I realised after the first two minutes.
Jo: Are you guys going to the bar now?
Brent: I think so but I think I need to try and make myself feel better first!