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Smogus - Talking to YB

Last week I had a very nice interview with Wiebe (YB) from Smogus. We talked about a lot of things and of course about the new Smogus album 'No matter what the Outcome'. 

BoEk: Can you tell me a bit more about the history of Smogus?

YB: Smogus was found in 1995 by 4 friends; DANI, BAXY, SEH and JAYPEE. In the meanwhile ARND-H and I (YB) were in another band. During the first Smogus gig ever ARND-H and I played at the same location with our own band. We started to know each other but it wasn't anything special at that particular moment. Time elapsed and ARND-H and I became closer and closer to the other guys from Smogus. When they wanted to produce their first album they asked ARND-H to produce it. They asked me to produce the vocals. We decided to quit our band and joined Smogus. Rehearsing for the first time turned out to be a magical combination.  

BoEk: You guys call your music 'Xplocore', how did you came up with that?

YB: It's just characteristic for every band that they're put in a particular genre. Most of the times a band tries to be different in that. Xplocore has got something that grabs your attention, it just sounds like something explosive.  

BoEk: Which bands or events are the main influences for Smogus?

YB: Actually we are all 6 very different people. Especially ARND-H and I are different from the 'old Smogus'. The other guys listen to every kind of metal from Metallica to Rhapsody to Anthrax. The bands that give us the most inspiration are Faith No More and Cypress Hill.

Events that influence us aren't really daily events from our lives, that's actually because I write most of the lyrics. Of course some songs are based on events from our lives, like 'Changing Fate', DANI and I talked about that song for a real long time.  

BoEk: 2 years ago Smogus was playing at the well-known Ozzfest festival, how did you guys experience that and how were the reactions?

YB: It was an awesome experience. We always have a lot of fun driving to our stage. Everybody is full of adrenaline and very excited. Unfortunately we discovered that we took the wrong guitar of JAYPEE. The gig itself was very good. It's very difficult for a band like us you know, there is a metal-crowd at Ozzfest and that's why they looked a bit askance at us. Fortunately they started to like us and we literally played the speakers from the stage. Kinda weird was that people started to walk away as soon as a great and well-known band started to play at another stage.   

[img] band.jpg[/img] 

BoEk: A while ago I heard that vocalist DANI had problems with his voice, can you tell me a bit more about that?

YB: Yeah, that's right but I had problems with my voice too. During the recording sessions you sing a lot and that just leads to inconvenience of your voice. Besides that DANI does the 'Rockacademy' at which he's got to sing the whole day long too. Before the recordings DANI had a virus at his vocal cords. In the beginning we were angry at him and kicked his ass like: Come on dude! You can do better! Later on it appeared to be a virus.   

BoEk: You're new album 'No matter what the Outcome' released 2 weeks ago. How did you came up with this title?

YB: That's got a lot to do with the prehistory. At our previous record company they promised us a great future. We would grow to one of the biggest underground bands and stream into the 'real music world'. They would invest in Smogus and release and EP and a single. Almost everything stayed out. For them is was more important to invest in 'Idols' which made Smogus standing at the second place. After waiting for a long time we were like 'Fuck it!' we'll do it ourselves. The whole feeling around this all was 'No matter what the Outcome' we'll just do it. 

BoEk: Who created the coverart for the new album?

YB: Homeros Gilani. I know this guy, he's a comic art artist. He did many things for big persons like Jan de Bont (Hollywood-director). Homeros liked our music very much and he asked us if he could design the coverart. When we saw the result we were like 'wow!'. 

BoEk: Are you totally satisfied with the recording sessions and with the album itself?

YB: Of course there are always some small reverses but, and I think you can hear that on the album too, we did it with a lot of pleasure. We just put a lot of time in it. You don't have to be afraid for making mistakes. On our website was the possibility for our fans to read everything that happened during the recordings through the 'album-logs'. 

BoEk: On 'No matter what the Outcome' are 5 older songs from the Smogus-EP from 2002. I read that you changed some small things in those songs, why did you do that?

YB: Well that EP was actually a kind of foretaste to our full-length album. If you put the single and some other known songs on the album, people like that because they know those songs. People buy a full-length album much more then just a simple EP. We just recorded our best songs and those songs were part of them. Actually we see this album as our real debut album. 

BoEk: What's your personal favorite on the album?

YB: That's difficult, I can't really pick a particular song as my favorite. There are a couple of songs that just are awesome. Like 'Move On', that song stands on such a good place on the album, after mixing that song it just sounded superb! That's the same with 'Don't Care'. With all the new sounds we put in it the song became so perfect. The real diehard Smogus fans will recognise the 'Hit me, beat me, fuck me' peace in this song. Which is originally from 'Get Me Down'. We were just rapping for fun and when we listened it back it actually sounded pretty damn good. Another song that came out very good is 'The Game', a real nice ballad.  

[img] goed.jpg[/img] 

BoEk: How are the reactions on the album so far?

YB: Very good! Of course we'd already hoped for that because we even surprised ourselves when we had this album done. ARND-H did surprise us too man! He's an incredible producer. Fortunately our record company never doubted us which gave us a lot of confidence. Reviews so far are very possitive from magazine's like 'OOR' and even 'Aardschok'.  

BoEk: Is there anything you'd ever like to reach with Smogus?

YB: Of course there is always the boys dream that you want to conquer the whole world with your music. Time elapses and you get more realistic. You start to realise that it is such a long way to the top. In the end, like every band, we just want to get as far as we can.  

BoEk: Last question: is there anything you'd like to say to our readers?

YB: Listen to our album! I'm not saying you've got to buy it immediately but you can at least listen to it. If you think it's worth it, buy it. Please don't think that a band like Smogus earns a lot of money by selling their albums, we don't! It's the sales numbers that help us to get bigger, not the money we earn.  

Ok, thank you very much for your time and good luck in the future.  

You're welcome!

Details Written on 2005-01-01
Writer @Boek

Tags: #Smogus