Overlord

I've never been into 'ex-members of' hype but when you got guys from one of the most respected bands in European hardcore teaming up for a heavy, mosh driven hardcore, you gotta pay attention. Overlord is made up of people who played previously in Born From Pain, The Setup, Diablo Boulevard and Leng Tch'e. Their mission is to deliver the heavy, metallic hardcore sound the way it was played when Under The Knife came out.
Introduce yourself to the world… who is who and how did Overlord come about?

Nicolas: I'm Nicolas and I play bass in Leng Tch'e and Overlord. I joined because all the guys in the band are longtime friends of mine and I thought it would be fun to play in a no-nonsense straight up hardcore band for shits and giggles. And what do you know, people actually enjoy it.
Dries: Overlord is also Andries (guitar+backings), formerly The Setup (co-founder) and Born From Pain and currently main songwriter in Diablo Boulevard. We’ve got Serch on drums (and also hitting hard in The Setup and Bear) and myselfs on vocals (I used to do vocals in The Setup). Actually Overlord was already formed about 4 years ago when Andries, Serch and Nicolas wanted to do a no-nonsense heavy hardcoreband together. At the time Kris (who now sings for The Setup) was doing vocals. They rehearsed for a while and even recorded about ten songs but those never were released and the project never really took off. Last winter we decided to breath some new life in the project and I (who at the time had decided to quit The Setup) was asked to do vocals. Right now we’re finishing off 4 songs from the old recordings but with the vocals from Dries and we hope to release them as a 7” or MCD pretty soon. We’re also playing some shows to get out there and kick some serious butt.

Born From Pain, The Setup, Diablo Boulevard, Leng Tch’e – this list is pretty impressive. How Overlord is different from what you did in your previous bands?

Dries: I think the biggest difference is the way we see Overlord. It’s a spontaneous project without any pressure, ambitions or “musts”. Most of the guys play in bands with heavy touring shedules so we play whenever we can but most importantly whenever we feel like it, without any pressure. The band’s got simple rules: we want to play heavy hardcore, it has to be real good but we keep it simple and we don’t over-rationalize when we write songs. That keeps it all really fresh and fun.

Do you feel any pressure because people might expect more from you because of your past bands?
Nicolas: Personally I don't because my other band plays in a radically different scene and I don't see those two scenes (extreme deathmetal/grindcore and hardcore) crossing paths anytime soon.
Dries: of course people got expectations when they learn about the people involved in this band. Because of our past and current or previous bands we owe it to ourselves to try at least NOT TO SUCK?. But since this is a project we do just because we love hardcore and we don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone we just enjoy it and don’t care too much about expectations and what not..

Your music doesn’t bullshit around anything and is pretty much delivered in a raw and straight up heavy way. What inspired you to play this kind of music?

Overlord: We all have our roots in hardcore, most of us got into the scene more then a decade ago and we all share a mutual love for heavy hardcore and heavy music in general. We draw influences from the heavy NYHC bands, Hatebreed (Under the knife, Satisfaction, Perseverance-era) but also metalbands like Crowbar, Down.. We just wanted to do a band without too many frills, a band that’s just straight-up heavy. We enjoy playing together and it’s just a great outlet for all of us.

Is there any lyrical theme behind Overlord? Do you feel that playing in a hardcore bands is like some kind of mission to get your message across to the listener?

Dries: The lyrics are the music and vice versa so don’t expect any lightness or happiness there? Overlord is an outlet for anger, the more dark emotions. That can of course mean anger about socio-political issues but also stuff that’s coming from a personal point of view. I mostly write about the world I know but in Overlord I sometimes experiment with the lyrics and more specifically with the point of view and address some issues that aren’t necessarily mine. It’s not all too artistic but for instance I wrote a lyric about the mind of serial killer, which was damn fun to do and a lyric that can also be a metaphor for other issues but a lyric that doesn’t mean I wrestle with same thoughts?

You guys have been here for some time now, I wonder how do you feel about the hardcore scene in Europe nowadays?

Overlord: When you’ve been around as long as we are you notice (big clich√© coming up) things go in cycles. We had amazing times with local European bands drawing tons of people to shows and shit going through the roof but right now, for instance in Belgium, less people are involved in the scene, there are not that many shows and only big festival-shows (like the Persistance-tour) or really big bands like Terror, Madball or Hatebreed draw a big crowd. It’s not something to worry about. Young kids will always be attracted to hardcore cause face it, not everyone can relate to the world portrayed in popsongs or R&B or whatever. People are looking for stuff that says something about their live and hardcore will always be there for kids looking for an alternative, an outlet, a positive way to channel anger and frustration about stuff. Hardcore and punk will always bounce back.

The lamest thing about hardcore nowadays is…

Maybe it’s more superficial than it used to be. Kids nowadays don’t have to put in the effort to learn about hardcore and his history. It’s like you can become a hardcore-kid overnight. It’s all there on youtube, the internet.. Maybe that’s the reason why most of them don’t stick around for more than a few years. Maybe they get more easily bored, loose interest because they’re not really touched by the essence of what hardcore means…But then again, this could also be the talk of a jaded old bore so maybe all of this is just plain BS?

What are some European hardcore bands you would recommend?

Overlord: In our region (Antwerp) there are still a bunch of cool bands in all areas of hardcore: Your Highness (think High On Fire), Johnny Unstoppable and Pushed Too Far (both mosh/tuffguy), Bear (mathcore), …Other Belgian young guns like Poison my Blood (metalcore), Hessian (a bit like old Rise and Fall but with a twist), Black Haven (clevo meets sludgy metal), Violent City (NYHC), Get Wise (old school), Generation84 (melodic HC), Golden Bullet (Length Of Time, Congress), Midnight Souls (on Reflections),Trail Of Hope (old school).. Other cool and promising bands: All for nothing, Blood Trial, By My Hand, we all love State of Mind (underrated!), No Turning back (best european hardcoreband), Deal With It, For The glory, of course The Setup and Born From Pain ... Luckily there’s still a lot going on in Europe and luckily all sorts of bands..

What’s your opinion on the new Madball and Terror albums?

Dries: I totally love KOTF! I think it’s a brilliant record. Unlike a lot of people I know I also loved The Damned, The Shamed and I think KOTF is the ultimate mix between that album and the older stuff. It’s one big rush of adrenaline, energy and power but with enough influences to keep it edgy and interesting. The embodiment of the true hardcore-spirit. Like most of us I totally love Madball but I’m just plain honest with you: I don’t listen that often to the more recent albums. Not because those aren’t good or even great albums but it’s a curse for an iconic band like Madball: you get to know them with the classics and you seem to stick to those because they represent a certain era in your life, a certain feeling you associate with those records and unfortunately the new records never seem to grasp that same feeling. But nevertheless, I’ll be checking out the new record anyway.

Hardest hardcore band ever?

Hatebreed (especially end 90’s early 2K) and the usual suspects Cro Mags, Madball. Today Terror.

What can we expect from you guys in the future?

We’re finishing our first 7”/MCD as we speak so expect that one to drop pretty soon. We will keep on playing shows whenever we can and we’ll be writing new stuff. But knowing the agenda of all members we will never be the most productive band on the planet. Our main goal remains: kicking it hard on stage, having a great time doing so and enjoying hardcore to the fullest.

Check out band's Myspace