Interview with Johan Van Roy

We could see a fantastic concert of Suicide Commando in the end of March. When I started to talk with his fans everybody was very interested about the songs, the inspiration, where these lyrics are come from. As I have met Johan many times, and I know he is a very nice and positive person, I was also very interested in how he writes music. I hope you will enjoy reading his answers, and close him deeper in our hearts (if it is possible, because I am sure he is the favourite of the Hungarian fans :)

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1. You have been in Budapest. Your fans were crazy about the concert. How did you feel in Budapest? How could you appreciate your concert?

Johan:We had a really good time in Budapest, we got such a warm welcome both from the crowd and the organisation, so what more can one expect ? Despite some problems during soundcheck (my vocal effect broke down etc) I think we did a pretty decent show and I think the audience enjoyed our show. So for me it was a great experience playing in Budapest and Hungary for the very first time. I definitely hope we can come back some day.

2.  When you have found the band I am sure you had aims, and dreams. What were they are? Have they been already come true?

Johan: Actually to be honest, I never had any dreams or aims when I started making music. I just wanted to enjoy making music. When I started making music back in 1986 I never expected to become that big in the electronic scene, but it all happened spontaneously as I sure wasn’t planned. It’s also one advice I can give new and young bands, just try to enjoy yourself, try to enjoy making music, that is so much more important then all the rest.

3. With bands are at the scene more than 20 years always described with a hard distance between the „older” and the „latest” albums. Do you feel as well this sharp border between your older and the latest albums?

Johan: No, not really, and I never really gave it much thought. For me music has all to do with feelings and spontanity, so for me it all feels as a normal evolution. Sure my music has changed over the years, but my roots and influences still remain the same today, even after 25 years.

4. Where is this „aggression” from what appears in your songs? When I meet you, you are very nice, so it is strange for me that you have so brutal lyrics. Is that because you deal with this killers and brutality a lot?

Johan: I guess “agression” is part of us all in some way, it’s just a matter of how you deal with this agression that makes us different, some people do sports to get rid of their negative feelings and agression, I have my music to get rid of my negative feelings and agression.

5. People are educated to see the lovely side of the life, but as I see in this style „lovely” songs are less popular, than songs about brutality. Do you think it is normal that thousands of people sing „ blind, torture, and kill” together with you? Is there this brutality in every human being, they would like to rebel, break out, and they need to shut out they really would like to torture people who disturb us?

Johan: Like I just said, we all have a dark and negative side and agression is part of every human being, I’m convinced evil and agression is part of us all, it’s just the way how you deal with these negative feelings that makes the difference. Every decent human being will know how to behave and will be able to keep those negative feelings under control, it only starts to get dangerous when we loose this control, when we loose this human awareness. That also distinguishes murderers and killers from us, these people somehow lost their control to behave and no longer see that they’re doing something wrong. But it really can happen to any of us.

6. What do you feel, when you are singing these songs? You told that according to the „Implements of Hell” Albert Fish was an inspiration for you. From one side I feel that these things make you sick, but form the other hand do these things whirl you, that is why you cannot stop reading these stories?

Johan: Sure Albert Fish was an inspiration for me to write this album and songs like “come down with me” or “die motherfucker die”, but that doesn’t mean I’ll become a killer myself or that I justify his brutal actions. I just try to look at things from a psychological standpoint, trying to put myself into the situation of Albert Fish or any other serial killer, I always try to look inside their mind, trying to figure out what sick people like this really think, what make them act this way … that really fascinates me.

 

7. Please tell me what do you thing about Albert Fish, after you read a lot of stories about him?

Johan: Well, I guess I think the same as most of us will think after reading the Albert Fish story, I felt disgusted and upset when I read about his brutal actions, but at the same time I also was fascinated to find out his intentions or what lead him to acting this way …

8. The other theme in the album according to the „ The Dying Breed” telling a story that people decline the world, and their selves at the same time. Is that critic, or recognition that people know about this decline, maybe they could change it, but we have this destruction in ourselves?

Johan: Exactly, I guess we’re all aware of the fact that we’re destroying our own planet, but nonetheless it’s so easy to do nothing and continue the destruction. It’s so much harder to stand up and do something against all this agony & pain … Somehow we’re all closing our eyes for what’s happening in this world, we somehow see on television every day how we slowly destroy our planet, but it somehow doesn’t seem to touch us, or at least not enough.
With my lyrics I at least try to grab the attention of the listener for a moment, even if only a few minutes … I know it’s not much, but at least I’m trying to open a few eyes.

9. In every band I feel that there is a point in their career when they feel doubts about continuing the shows, and producing albums. Have you ever this kind of doubts continuing the Suicide Commando?

Johan: Main difference with a lot of other bands is the fact that suicide commando in fact is a solo project as I write all the music myself and am only joined on stage with other members, so I don’t really have to negotiate with others or do things I don’t want to do, so I guess that makes me much stronger. I still can do my own thing, and I guess that’s very important in the career of a band. So I never really had these feelings or doubts about continuing with suicide commando or not. Sure it became much more difficult doing suicide commando today, but that’s only because my private situation changed drastically over the last few years, as I meanwhile got married and became a daddy, so my lack of time became a real problem, but I nonetheless will continue with suicide commando as long as time allows me. Suicide commando always was, is and always will be ME !

10. After that horror stories, could you tell me which am the most beautiful stories for you?

Johan: Oh, believe it or not, I still can enjoy life and enjoy many beautfiul things in life. For example I love the attention and gratitude I’m getting from my fans all over the world, I love being a daddy now, even when it’s not easy at times, I even can enjoy the very simple and basic things in life like a sunny day, a good meal, a good movie … really, I’m not as sick as you might think … yet :) !

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Thank you for the answers, I would like to wish you success in the future, and of course  a lot pleasure with your family :)

Written by Cassandra
05 April 2011