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Sacred Life


Sacred Life is one of these young punk bands that try to grab your attention with their music and their jokes. It's almost a half year ago that they surprised the world with their debut EP. These three teens from Hattem, The Netherlands, play poppy punk rock that will do well live, I'm sure. Time to get to know these jokesters.


Discography: self-titled EP (2001). Available through: Sacred Life. Official website: Sacred Life. Interview by: mpo. Date: March 15th 2002.


Sacred Life. FLTR: Helmert, Willem, Lucas.

Can you introduce the band first? Who are in the band and what is the history of the band?

Lucas: I'm Lucas!

Willem: I'm Willem...

Helmert: And I'm Helmert...

Lucas: And we are Sacred Life! We started almost two years ago. Then we listened to a whole lot of music. Almost only punk rock. We didn't make any music but we wanted to start a punk band. At first we played a lot of covers. Then we started writing our own songs. And from September last year on we played our songs in front of people for the first time. So, that was our first gig.

Did you have previous experience with playing in bands or not?

All three: No!

So, did you learn to play your instruments prior to starting the band?

Lucas: Well, I already played guitar, but now I play bass guitar. But I wanted to drum in the band. And Helmert was supposed to play bass. But, Helmert, did you want that too?

Helmert: No, I wanted to play drums!

Lucas: So, we were going on for a while and I was doing the drumming and then it appeared that Helmert didn't fancy it. So, then Helmert wanted to do the drumming. And as Willem played electric guitar I started playing bass and Helmert started on drums. So we started to learn it that way. Helmert started learning to drum.

Willem: But I could already play guitar.

Lucas: Well, you know that if you can play guitar you can also play bass guitar in a punk band. You can do well.

So, when the fight was over, it was clear who was doing what.

Lucas: Yeah, that's right. Well, a lot of crying and so forth. We were all twelve or thirteen years old (the band starts laughing aloud).

Helmert: I was thirteen. And Willem fifteen and you were sixteen.

Lucas:  So we were all very small. And we were really sad about it. And we didn't know who was going to do what.

Helmert was too small for the bass guitar probably...

Lucas: Yeah! Each time he fell forward when he was trying to hold up the bass guitar. It was too heavy for him.

Sacred Life EP

Like I said, you brought out that EP. What do you think of the record?

Lucas: It was a nice blue thing.

Yeah, indeed. And what do you think of the music on it?

Lucas: It was the first time we could record a CD. So we wanted to do it as good as possible. We didn't record it in a studio. As it comes to the production we hope to do it better in the future. To make it sound more fat.

Willem: Mixed better.

Lucas: So it will sound more fat. Overall we're pretty happy about it. Especially considering the fact that we released it only a year after we started the band. So, we are really happy with it.

I read that the readers of the magazine Hebbez (Dutch Christian teenager magazine) voted you to the fifth favorite Dutch band. Do you think they voted for you because of the EP or especially because of the live shows?

Willem: Because of the EP, I think.

Lucas: I don't know, actually. We didn't know how we ended up in there at all. Then we called up the people at Hebbez and they told us that people had indeed voted for us. I'm not sure how they know us. But I think it happened because of the EP as we got...

Helmert: ...gigs and publicity.

Willem: And we played on Peacedog twice. Once after The Apers which is quite a big punk name here in The Netherlands. And there were quite a lot of people there and thus it goes automatically.

Lucas: But we were quite surprised though.

Your music is quite happy. In a song like Man's Purpose you deal with quite a heavy topic, the death of a granddad. How do you experience such a combination?

Willem: The song itself is not happy, is it? That's what we think.

To me it's a bit happy. A bit loony.

Lucas: That's not the essence for us. But it's just how you look at it. That is, compared to a song like Skatepark I think the vocal structure isn't as happy.

Willem: Maybe the chorus is.

Lucas: I had never thought about it like that. I think that the mix of funny and serious topics is great. There are bands that sing about shit and piss all the time. And we think it's fun to have some variety. That's alright, I think.

Recently I received your newsletter saying that you've been thinking about the future and the musical direction of the band. Can you tell a bit more about this?

Lucas: Yeah, we are going to play heavy metal!


Lucas: No. We spoke about each others interests. We play punk but each of us has it's own kind of music that he listens to and likes and we shouldn't try to put that all into the band because it would become pile of rubbish. And we're still working on it. What does Helmert like? What does Willem like. And what do I like?

Willem: But often you don't have an opinion, do you? You always listen to us, right?

You have written a few new songs. How does the new direction come forward?

Lucas: It's less MxPx and with more fills in between. And one song is faster than the EP and the other... It's more mature, you could say. Also lyrically.

You said 'fills'. What do you mean by that?

Lucas: Not as straight forward with only chords.

Willem: A bit in the vein of My Job.

Lucas: To us we think it has become more technical. But don't judge us by that later on. No, we think it's mainly something mental as we talked about it. Maybe you won't hear it clearly, music wise. For our own idea we write better songs now.

And do you want to record another EP?

Willem: That's all a secret, eh!

Lucas: No, we're writing these songs with the intention to record them. Like we said in our newsletter, we're working on it seriously. To make a good production. But we don't know when it will come out.

Willem: At least within a year we want to release a real good new CD.

The EP was released independently. Are you planning to work with a label, say for instance Flower & Fly Records?

Willem: It depends on what offers there are. Flower & Fly did ask us if they could release the EP but we then said that we wanted to release our first thing ourselves to get some experience in this field, financially and promotionally. So, we have to see what offers from labels there are.

Lucas: We think: "What does a label do?" "We aren't confronted with such big problems that we want to say: "A label can solve these problems for us because we can't do it ourselves". I think that on the long term we'll get more shows. But at the moment we have enough of them. There can be more. But we're not waiting for more possibilities though.

Sacred Life.... live!

You're already talking about shows. I've heard that you work with a theme when you do a show. How's that?

Lucas: Especially in the beginning we tried to make something clear with something visual. We had panels painted over. The first year we did some shows with a theme around "chickens". And the last few shows we had "bananas". Through these we hope that people think of us and our objective, a holy lifestyle, the next time they see a chicken or a banana. That's what we used to do quite structurally at first.  Recently we think that the songs say quite a lot for themselves and we try to indicate what they are about and play them. So, the panels are more to embellish the stage. To bring in our own atmosphere.

I have one final question considering the concerts that are coming up. I've heard that you're maybe going to do some festivals abroad.

Lucas: We've heard today that Norway is cancelled. There was a possibility that we were going to play the DP Festival. But that's off.

Willem: And we are working on something in Finland. But that's far from settled. We don't know much about it either.

So that's still up in the air.

Lucas: Yeah. We just send some E-mails as we want to know what we're up to. Because these kind of things cost a whole lot of money.