Ok, I don't know how many people are asking you this these days but I've got to start with this question: Who the fuck had the idea to name your band "Steak Number Eight"? That's really weird and it seems very humerous. Is humour an important element of your band and your music? Judging from the music itself the funnny name doesn't really seem to fit.
You can imagine that there isn't one interview that passes without a question about “the band name.” That's the disadvantage of starting a band that young (11 years old) . It was the first song of my brothers first EP from his band Voidpoint. And they've written it for the singer’s eighth girlfriend. And yeah we were 11 years old and we thought was funny and we didn't know how to name our band, so we chose that name. A few years later my brother died in a mysterious accident. We kept the name as a tribute to him. I always say: Better a bad band name with a deep sense, than a good name without any content.
As I didn't know you before I heard "The Hutch" I was pleasently suprised to discover another excellent band - especially as it seems that bands from Belgium seldomly become well-known outside their own country. What can you tell us about the Belgian metal/rock scene?
You have a lot of cool bands in Belgium. Bands like Raketkanon, Wallace Vanborn, Drums Are For Parades, Amenra, Rise And Fall, Oathbraker... there really is a scene. And I feel and see that there is a new upcoming metal generation with lot of good young musicians. That's a great thing to see!
If I'm not mistaken your new release "The Hutch" is your second album, right? Please describe the most obvious differences between your first album "All Is Chaos" and "The Hutch".
Yeah we had an EP "When The Candle Dies Out". Our first record, we've released this one when we were 14-15 years old. But the biggest differences between "All is Chaos" and "The Hutch" are that "All Is Chaos" was literally made in chaos, as you can here. The record goes in every direction. "The Hutch" is more one trip, one story about the fact that we're all prisoners in a hutch.
This is your first release under the banner of Indie Records. Why did you choose Indie as your new partners in crime and are you content with their work this far?
Indie recordings is great label. Long before we signed to the label I was already a fan them. Great bands!! It's really an honor to be part of the Indie family. We're very happy so far! Let's see what future brings!
In my review of "The Hutch" I droppped the name MASTODON. Are the Americans one of your influences or am I totally wrong here and you're already sick of comparisons with them?
No, of course we're big fans of Mastodon. Who’s not? Such a great band and great musicians! When Cis (our guitarist) joined the band, a month before the release of "All is Chaos", he brought the Mastodon vibes with him. As you can here on "The Hutch". Cis helped me writing with some songs. But we never try to copy things. That's the worst thing you can do as musician. Music has to be honest, spontaneous,... that's the most important thing for me. It has to be pure.
Maybe you can give us some examples of bands, artists, movies or whatever influences you in making your music?
Our favorite bands are bands like: Mastodon, Isis, Neurosis, Dillinger Escape Plan, Shining, Converge, Cult Of Luna, Nirvana, Pink Floyd. You put that in a blender and you'll have some Steak Number Eight juice. But of course our songs arise from our feelings, frustrations in life. And dark music is just the best way to express myself.
Unfortunately the lyrics of the songs are not printed in the booklet so I assume it was a conscious decision to leave them away? Is there any specific reason for this?
Maybe it will sound a bit stupid, but lyrics are very personal. I know I’m singing it in front of a 1000 people but to give them my lyrics that easy black on white. Now for me that's a bridge too far. Sometimes you have to make some effort to understand what I bring with our music and because you're making that effort you'll come closer to the feeling that I have. Don't know if that makes any sense.
It seems like everybody is stressing how young you guys still are. Are you already sick of this? I mean "The Hutch" is a very mature album and it could as well have been written and performed by musicians who are 10 years older. Don't you think that this emphasizing of your age is reducing the actual value of "The Hutch" itself as a work of art? Or am I seeing this too negatively?
I think we're slowly getting in the stage that we begin to be seen as an ordinary band, I repeat: getting in... the fact that we're all still very young never played in our disadvantage. But some people we're saying: yeah! You guys are so good for your age. That always sucks a bit - but I know they didn't mean it that bad.
It also seems that you've been touring a lot since the release of your first album. From your experience up till now: Is touring and playing live still possible for a band that's starting from scratch? Or better: Is it still easy/possible to get good gigs and maybe even some cash out of it - at least to pay gas and food for the band? Do you have any tips for aspiring young rock and metal bands regarding live shows etc?
It is hard. But so fun!! That’s one of the big reasons why we make music! To travel around the world and exploring our music. That's the one the coolest things in life. But reality is that it is very expensive to tour, especially for young novice bands it's hard to get break even after a tour. But you have to believe in your musician you'll sometimes be in very difficult situations but you have to keep going! :)