They were headliners of the "Vans Warpted Tour", have toured with
Fear Factory, Excel, Biohazard, Motorhead, Integrity and many others, and have
completed a tour through Japan. You'd think that the hardcore band Deviate, born
on the ashes of the late thrashband Sixty Nine and the hardcore band Mental Disturbance,
would be featured on the covers of the music magazines worthy of that name. But
no. Even after 8 albums, the 5 lads of Deviate still have to struggle to be taken
seriously by the press. Perhaps it is no coïncidence that the cover of their
latest album "State of Grace" has a depiction of Dante's Inferno on
the cover ...
Laurens: Oh, perhaps there are some similarities on the lyrics-side, but that
is a coïncidence. The cover has nothing to do with the group or the contents
of the album. The image clearly points to the future. We're on the verge of the
year 2000, but we are no pessimists à la Dante, on the contrary!
There were some changes in the sounds, but not a lot : why?
Laurens: If it ain´t broken, don´t fix it
On the other hand,
the sound on this album is a lot more compact than on the previous albums. There
is also a lot less aggression, which makes "State of Grace" a much more
pleasurable auditive experience.
Danny: If you'd listen to our live-album, you'd already notice the difference.
Laurens: But that doesn't mean that we have suddenly started making completely
different music after our tour in Japan. We have sniffed the atmosphere there,
and maybe you find something of it in our latest work, although I doubt that (laughs).
We did find our producer Lionel KDR there. He has mixed our "One By One"
that we have released earlier this year. The dynamism we had on stage which is
captured on that album is certainly still present in our current work. You could
say that "State of Grace" contains all the knowledge and experience
we have gathered during all our previous years.
We were told this could be your ticket to America.
Laurens: Maybe : the album wil be released there and there will be a promo
tour. But as everybody knows tha market over there is so infinitely big and it
will be difficult to stand out among all the other bands. But in Europe we're
Isn't it frustrating that Deviate scores on the international scene while
the Belgian press neglects you ?
Laurens: In Japan they look to us as a band with international status. We have
had to work hard for that, while over here ... Yes sometimes it hurts that you
hardly make the press although we sell reasonably well. Belgium is a stupid country
in that respect. I don't think this will change anytime soon, Belgium is stuck
in that respect. But we will continue, if they don't want us, tant pis. We will
pursue, no matter what they think. Us 5 have done what we think is right, now
it's up to the public to like us. We're here 8 years already, have done a Japanese
tour, that should speak for itself.
Danny: Hardcore in Belgium is alive and kicking and clearly has a future,
even if that's not so clear in the press.
Laurens, on the album you write about a friend you've lost. Is it a personal
Laurens: I think so. It is certainly a difficult and emotional experience
to loose a close friend, but instead of getting aggressive about that, music offered
me the right way out of that.
Deviate still don't make moralising speeches, although that is very common
Laurens: We're not about politics, there's already enough bullshit about what
to think or what not to think. Deviate doesn't care about that, we don't want
to think instead of the public. Even not about isssues such as drug abuse, we
don't get into that debate. Others may see that as a weakness, but we feel that
is the freedom of thought. The press always tries to get those issues into it,
but the main thing is the music. Is it a good or a bad album, that is what counts!
But you don't sell magazines with that alone
Laurens: Why do they care if a smoke, drink or eat meat. It's the desire to
put people in boxes, the bad with the bad ones, the good with the good ones, but
that is not how it works. If we're associated with drugs, that's the result of
a weird brain-twist of the ones who say that. You'll never hear us making strong
statements, because that would take away the focus from the music, and that is
the last thing Deviate wants.