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Interview With 'Scarved'

Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?

Wim: Hi, we are “Scarved” from Belgium. The band was formed in 2012. Luc (Van Dessel – guitarist) and me (Wim Wouters – bassist) had already been playing together for years in many bands and projects, both coverbands and own material (ref Symphonic Rock band “Tails Blue” with which we released one album “Brainwash” in 1984). At a certain point we wanted to start writing own material again. Luc had plenty of musical ideas. We happened to meet Caro backstage at GMM (Metal festival in Belgium). We shared the same ideas regarding writing and composing music, the chemistry was there and that’s how Scarved was born. Geert (Mariën) – drummer – was already a very good friend of us with whom we played many gigs together. He was offered the job and accepted it. We did a couple of rehearsals and we all immediately felt the right vibe.

What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?

Wim: Well, actually we all (exept for Geert) kept a daytime job beside the passion for making music ‘cause to make a living of making music is very uncertain, particularly in a small country like Belgium. Many musicians here are on tightrope and can barely keep their heads above the water. However, some do.. e.g. Geert made the choice to be a pro and that’s why he is also involved in many musical projects, bands, studiowork etc…

But for all 4 of us, making music is a passion, a passion we all had since our childhood. Luc started playing violin at a very young age (he even won a first prize with a music contest). I started playing in a local brassband at the age of 11, Geert did his first major gig when supporting “Suicidal Tendiencies” at the age of 15, and finally Caro was forced by her parents to take music lessons in flute and singing at the age of 10. The four of us have always been into music in general, whether it’s Jazz, Fusion, Metal, Prog Rock or Classic… if it comes from the heart it’s always ok.

Tell us about your latest Album and why our readers should check it out.

Wim: Our latest album “Lodestone” was produced and mixed again by Luc (guitarist) and JP Kerkhofs (studio owner and sound Engineer for Artsounds Studios, Helchteren Belgium). Unlike “Dynamite” (first album), all music for the eleven songs this time was written by Luc and all lyrics by Caro. All drumtracks

were recorded in 2 days. Bass and guitar parts were recorded respectively at Wim’s and Luc’s homestudio. Vocals were entirely recorded at the Artsound Studios. Again, we opted for a high quality mastering, which was done in West West Side studios New York. “Lodestone” sounds very, very pure, with eye for every detail of every instrument used. Eg, bass sounds very distinctive, not only as a frequency but in particular as an instrument, with attention for every note played. We wanted to capture all the musical details we had in mind, and we managed to do it, both in our playing and in the mixing process. “Lodestone” touches different elements and styles of music, sometimes it’s a bit proggy, then it’s melodic, then it’s raw, pure Rock ’n Roll… We guarantee you, this album won’t bore you soon  It contains 11 strong, solid songs which will pass the test of time 

Who would you say is the bands main song writer or is it a group effort and where do you draw your inspiration lyrically and musically from?

Wim: As I said, for “Lodestone” the music for all 11 tracks was written entirely by Luc and all words are written by Caro. We all love different styles of music and, say from Classic to Metal and everything in between that comes from the heart by means of saying, and you can hear that on this album. Luc was primarily influenced by the early the early classic Hard Rock of bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and later by Rush, because of the complex rhythms, time signature changes etc The same goes for me… but we also like the current Metal and Rock scene. Again, we all have a wide interest in many styles of music and the combining of all these interests and tastes can be seen as the musical inspiration behind the album and the songs which are on it.

Caro: The lyrics and words I write are purely fantasy, based on the emotions and feelings that a particular song triggers with me. I try to write about things and issues that seem familiar to people, like e.g. current events going on in the world.

As a band what do you believe is your greatest achievement to date and why?

Wim: Well, I think our greatest achievement to date is that we managed to get a record deal for the release of 2 albums and you know that getting a record deal nowadays isn’t quite obvious I guess. We are so proud that people all over the globe can listen to our music. Thanks to the record deal and thanks to the digital media we are becoming increasingly more popular and well known abroad, and it is for us a great achievement to receive positive album reviews from many different countries all over the world. Before Scarved the four of us played and participated in many musical projects and various coverbands. That was a lot of fun to play in the local scene, obviously, but being able to compose and write your own music for an international release makes us very happy.

Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?

Wim: Oh yes, I did. In the nineties I met both Neal Schon (Journey) and Billy Sheehan (Mr Big..) on the Frankfurter Music Messe. Very nice guys, really, who even took the time for a chat. I was surprised that such great artists are often very down to earth people. I remember I met Brian Bromberg there as well who endorsed Peavy Bass guitars, again, a great phenomenal bass player with the heart in the right place. Recently I met bass legend Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) who definitely is one of my bass heroes, after a gig with his band “British Lion”. Very nice man also! He simply walked off stage after the gig for a meet and greet with his fans, unbelievable.

What do you enjoy most about touring?

Wim: Well, we haven’t been touring that much until now, exept for Belgium and Holland. Exept for Luc, who has recently retired, Caro and myself still have a daytime job to secure our living and to meet our financial needs. Besides, touring is expensive for beginning artists as nobody wants to invest any longer in new and beginning bands and we have to pay our mortgage  Anyway, we hope we’ll be offered an opportunity someday to tour. We like to meet new people, new fans and most of all, we like to play live and to bring our music to the people. After every show our fanbase grows and that’s awesome!

If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?

Wim: 100% pure, genuine and no-nonsense Rock n' Roll, brought by 4 musicians who‘ll play their asses off, night after night (laugh).

What is the most embarrassing thing thats happened to you at a show?

Wim: A power failure is the most embarrassing thing that ever can happen to a musician (and the audience). It happened not only with us, I remember seeing great bands such as Saxon, Magnum and even Kiss dealing with the same issue. It ruins the entire atmosphere. The weird thing is that sometimes only the front part of the P.A. system in the venue fails. On stage, everything seems OK, your backline equipment and monitoring system sounds nice and loud, and you keep playing your hearts out, not the least knowing that you sound like a transistor radio in the venue, hahahah… 

If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?

Wim: Hmm, that’s a tough one… many bands actually, but for me personally I’d prefer to tour with Rush (I’ll keep on dreaming, but you never know, hahaha.) I’m a huge fan, since the very first beginning of the band and I never had the opportunity to meet Alex, Geddy and Neil. Geddy is one of my all time favourite bass players, he was and still is my greatest inspiration to start playing bass guitar. He pushed the limits of playing bass and gave the instrument an entirely new dimension. Suddenly, playing bass became interesting (laughs). I spend hours and hours figuring out all his chops and licks, amazing stuff! They were just early twenties when they delivered masterpieces like “Farewell To kings” and

“Hemispheres”, classic albums and inspirations for many musicians around the globe, who envy them. I cherish the deepest respect for them!

You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?

Wim: Freddie Mercury, definitely! Freddie was, in my opinion, the greatest performer, songwriter, entertainer, and singer of all times in Rock history. Queen therefore, couldn’t be easily categorised… they were masters in Rock, masters in vocal harmonies, such in way that they and their music is instantly recognisable. For many people it was “love him or hate him”, probably because of his extravagancy both onstage and offstage.. Freddie was irreplacable, period. After Freddies death, Queen took the challenge to continue with Paul Rodgers, a brilliant singer, but – despite all my respect for Paul – he wasn’t barely able to match Freddie.

What comes next for the band?

Wim: Well, we start promoting “Lodestone” by doing as many live gigs as possible, for the time being in Belgium and Holland. First gig of our ‘clubtour’ is May 6th in venue “Debuut” Westerlo, this show is the kickoff of a series of performances to promote the new album. We‘ll have Jeff Brown performing as well there as a special guest. Jeff played for more than 17 years with Glam Rock icons “The Sweet”. He’s become a good friend of us and he ‘ll perform solo after our gig to finish the show. In the meantime we can’t wait to start writing new material bit by bit. Standing still is moving backwards, so we try to keep busy 

And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?

Wim: Aha, the impeccable Bruce Willis (laugh).. Although Bruce is not my favourite actor, the “Die Hard” movies (1 and 2) have become a tradition being broadcasted at Christmas holidays here in Belgium. In fact, these movies have become pure nostalgia. And, even if I watched them 3 or 4 times, I know the plot, I know the story, these movies still are funny and thrilling at the same time. So, Die Hard IS for me the perfect Christmas movie, yes  Yippie ka yee motherf…. Hahahaha. We just want to say thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

We like to thank you and appreciate it you give Scarved the necessary promotion and attention! Thanks again, we hope to meet and talk again to you soon!

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