mpomusic: I know the
band just a little bit but many don't know you. So, can you first tell a little bit of the
band history, how it all began and why?
Karsten: Crestfall started out in de
summer of 1997 as ButDust. Before I joined the band, ButDust played their first year as a
band with Wouter, who left because of work obligations. Speaking of musical tastes, all
members differ in certain details, but metal is our common ground. We started out as a
downtuned punk/hardcore band, but later on we evolved into a more 'refined' metal-oriented
band. We try to create music in a way that comes most natural to us. The concept of
metal-music is in our vision only attached to our musical-style and has nothing to do with
Satanism, horror/gore-movies or drug/alcohol abuse. On 2nd of June we've recorded the
demo-CD Evanescent Imperfection which is now distributed by Fear Dark, a Dutch hard music
label. Some of us weren't happy with the bandname ButDust which led to our name-change to
Rogoth: I saw you guys have a record out
titled Evanescent Imperfection. This sounds like one of those hard to utter Tourniquet
titles. Are you guys members of the national society to increase the common knowledge of
the English language???
Remco: Let me first introduce myself, my
name is Remco, Crestfall's singer and as a matter of fact I've made the name of our first
CDemo Evanescent Imperfection. However we want people to 'dig' in our songtexts and titles
(mostly). Not just reading it and think: Oh nice, but re-read it and think about it. We
want to tell our listeners something. We won't put it the way of Tourniquet which to my
point of view is a bridge too far. Coming to the meaning of our CDemo-title. Evanescent
means 'passing away, some day this world will be over' and Imperfection means
incompleteness of this society, which thus is about to be gone. However we also want to
say that this is our first Demo, which is - in some way - 'imperfect' We are trying to
improve ourselves continuously.
Karsten: We tried to come up with a name
that is a reflection of our lyrics. 'Living in a broken world' is frequently the Subject
of our lyrics. So that's where the 'imperfection' word comes from. With 'evanescent' we
wanted to give a positive twist to it, because in Gods light all this imperfection fades
Rogoth: And what kinda feedback do you
guys get from people who bought the EP? Does it sell well?
Remco: The feedback we get differs from
the one you just gave: What does that title mean?? But we also get feedback like 'a nice
title for your first demo' and encouragements to indeed go on and be 'less imperfect'. And
to answer your question about sales, as far as we can say: Yes. In the last two months of
2000 we sold between 75 and 100 CDemo's.
Karsten: We got quite positive reactions
to our demo-CD. Most people share the opinion that our music is diverse, which is probably
the result of the different styles we like. Some music critics thought some changes from a
clean passage to a distorted one are not very smooth, but that's something we work(ed) on!
According to some people, the production could be better. But I think it is definitely
good enough for a demo-CD.
Rogoth: Do you guys follow lessons to
improve your playing skills? Or what do you do to train your possibilities and to learn
some new things. Is music from other bands influential to the riffs you come up with?
Jan: We have done some hazardous
trainingcamps................... Nah, to be serious, we try to boost our skills with
personal practice and writing songs together. And, of course, rehearsing songs. About
influences, well, you must know I'm the old bat of the band, I grew up in the eighties.
The metalbands of these days have been the biggest influence, as far as I'm concerned.
Karsten: The music of other bands is
influential to riffs I come up with, but we don't cover songs of other bands. Actually, I
'never' played along with a song of another band in my stereo. I think when you always
play along with music of others, at the end you sound like them and it's very important
the create your own style. But, I'm under the influence to! For example, I used to listen
to Amorphis a lot and this was/is definitely an influence to way my melodies (and riffs)
Jidzicar: I was wondering, before I even
heard your music: As you say your musical interests differ, does everyone in Crestfall
feel your music represents all the ideas you want to vent? I mean, do you primarily try to
make metal, or do you try to mix all the ideas into songs, resulting in what usually falls
in the category metal? I'm wondering how your music takes shape, as I believe I am in a
similar situation with my own band. Our members have very different musical tastes,
resulting in a very chaotic way of writing songs. Have you had similar problems?
Remco: Thanx for your very good question!
Being the singer I first must say that in writing songs my part is less than that of the
musicians so they will be abled to give you a more satisfying answer I hope. But to at
least try to answer your question I must say that our musical tastes do not differ that
much as you suggest in your question. We all like metal and love to play it. But as band
and individuals we grow and our musical preferences do also. This results sometimes in
greater differences but to my opinion this does not result in a mix which has to hold all
our tastes. I guess it's true that not all the musical ideas which are within us are
coming to live within Crestfall but that doesn't matter! Our songs are growing with our
growing musical tastes. Mostly one (or both) guitar player(s) come(s) with an idea, a
skeleton, which we as band try to work out. A very good working concept! A problem we have
faced is when first a songtext is written it might be difficult to find a fitting musical
theme around it. So in most cases the musical idea and the meaning of the songtext are
Jan: To give you a good idea of what
we're at, let me tell you that our musical tastes vary from extreme blackmetal/grindcore
to soft ambient/classical music. This has in my view much to do with being a human being.
When I come home from a hard day work at the end of the week, I'm not going to put on
Crimson Thorn (for instance). I'm very much into dark ambient stuff. But this is something
different to me than inspiration. I can enjoy music intensely without being inspired by
it. Within the writing process in the band our ideas are worked out to come up with
something we all feel comfortable with. This process can be both frustrating and
enlightening. To talk about your ideas and motivations is very important.
AndreJC: Did you already be friends
before the band was born?
Remco: The band-members were friends
before the band was born, to a certain extent. With playing in the band this friendship
grows and becomes more intense. When we started Crestfall, all the members lived in the
same city (city of Sliedrecht, Holland) and the six (including former band-member Wouter)
members are Christians so we met at churches and other places. To tell you something more
about the members. Beside good friends we share some blood within Crestfall. Our
bass-player Ronald is the younger brother of our drummer Bart who in turn is the
brother-in-law of singer Remco!
Jarhead: I read in someone else's post
that you were friends before the band existed. But do you never have disagreements, or,
when you have them, how do you handle them? Is one of you the bandleader. Maybe the singer
or the old guy?
Remco: I had a little laugh when reading
your question when talking about 'the old guy'. He's indeed the oldest in the band but the
differences aren't too big.
Jan: I'm 28 and I'm fortunate to have
seen the great eighties bands like Believer and Stryper play live.
Remco: We do not have a bandleader
although the members with the most creative musical minds do have more influence than
others. In most cases one (or both) guitar-players comes up with the musical ideas. We as
a band have made it clear towards each other that we all must be very honest in whether we
like the idea or not. We quite often discard ideas or even whole songs when there is no
agreement about it. All the members have to like what they play. Of course we sometimes do
have disagreements but (and fortunately we are with five members) we come up with a vote
and (we made an appointment on that) the majority decides. But in most cases we have
agreements due to our common ground and love for the music we play.
Jarhead: I saw in the dictionary the word
Crestfallen, which means something like 'being depressed'. Does this imply that your music
has a doomy atmosphere or is there some other sort of philosophy behind that name?
Remco: You are right with your meaning
found for crestfallen (being depressed). To some extent we are indeed depressed when we
take a look around us. We absolutely don't get excited about our society. This however
does not mean that we want to create a doomy atmosphere, but on the other hand we do have
doom-metal parts in our songs. This style just fits the setting of some songs we write or
(perhaps better) have written. The primary meaning and - if you want - philosophy behind
our bandname is as follows: You must split up the word Crestfall in crest and fall. The
verb to 'crest' means 'get armed against, take up your weapons' and the 'fall' points to
the coming destruction and the end of the world. The fall is near and you'll have to
ToddPope: How much of your material is
aimed towards non believers?
Jan: I'd say our lyrics are aimed towards
both believers and non-believers.
Remco: We do not write material for a
certain group of people e.g. non-believers. Everybody can listen and (hopefully) enjoy our
music. The lyrics do have to say something. Music is a way of communication.
ToddPope: Is your material (lyrically)
100% genuine or do you add some sarcasm in aimed at the choir (fellow believers) as a wake
up call, to get off their butts and into the fray with the other fighters for Christ?
Remco: Music is a way of communication.
In my vision adding sarcasm in your music is a matter of being not fully grown up in your
music (if you understand what I mean) The use of sarcasm is not a way to get people's
attention. We do want to point, stress and discard some things. Mostly we talk about the
end of time we are living in and the fact that a small divine part is much and much bigger
than whatever human things. We won't ever be able to understand.
Jan: To say for myself, I've got no
intention to be sarcastic. In my opinion, we should be fair and hold our integrity as
Christians. Most non-believers think it's very odd to hear Christians go over the top with
sarcasm towards the church or any Christian (organization). The first song on our CDemo
deals with bitterness after a broken friendship. Often sarcasm is born out of bitterness,
it's an emotion which is real and genuine, but I don't think I should annoy the whole
world with it. There are enough (metal)bands around who are spreading their sarcasm (even
Christian bands). It's ok to be lyrically dark, to give an impression of one's innerside,
but it's not ok to drag the listener into a hole of bleakness and anger. But that's my
Karsten: We don't characterize ourselves
as a Christian band. We are in fact Christians playing in a band. When you are a Christian
band, you are supposed to preach the gospel. But I think being an evangelist is a gift,
just as being a musician is a gift. I think a gift is something personal you get from God
and not something that ANY Christian has. I don't experience making music as my mission to
preach the gospel, but I have to be a witness if necessary with words. We Christians have
wrecked a lot of people in history by so much talking, while not doing what we say (we
must do). So, by trial and error I'm a witness, not only in being a musician, but in life
in general. I write for example about my struggle to be an heavenly ambassador and things
in society that bug me.
Rogoth: I know you guys did a couple of
shows in Holland last fall. Are there other shows coming up? Or what else can we expect
Karsten: We are writing songs at the
moment, but some shows are coming up. But actually, we don't have concrete concert dates.
We are experimenting with synths and 'funky' stuff. A new record will probably have the
status of an album. So we really want to take time for this.
mpomusic: When I spoke with you on the
fall tour one of you said you hoped the demo CD would lead to some sort of deal with a
label like Fear Dark to be abled to work on a serious CD. Now you are preparing songs for
such a serious, real album. Does this mean you've come to a certain agreement with Fear
Dark? Or are there other reasons for the band to work on new songs for a next recording?
Jan: We're working on new songs because
we want to develop our style. We're writing more as a whole band this time. We regard our
demo as a stepping stone to go further. This doesn't mean we're not taking this CDemo
seriously. We consider it a good representation of what we're able to write.
Karsten: Indeed, we have reached an
agreement with Fear Dark! But they 'only' distribute our demo-CD, which doesn't guarantee
that they will release our next recording efforts.