Questionnaire by Stefan
System Overthrow is about to release its debut, self titled full-length album and I already had the privilege to listen and assess this new cut. Finally I came to the conclusion to have a deal with a four-piece act bonded by the forces of old school Speed/Thrash and Heavy/Power Metal music. For myself a very pleasant fact to announce, System Overthrow deliver their stuff in an early 80’s, US style so the pleasure is all mine having a talk with System Overthrow !
Q: May I welcome here at Metal To Infinity webzine Belgium, where are you guys and girl come from and what about the musical background of each one in the band?
A: The guys are from the Netherlands and the female member comes from Belgium. Our bandmembers vary in age and experiences. We had some different influences as well, going from playing in tribute bands, other genres (more specific: heavy metal, thrash, speed metal, punk and rock) and the time in which we were born.
Q: Started a couple of years ago as a Testament cover band, tell some more about that period and the songs played back then.
A: System Overthrow did originate from a Testament coverband, but the only thing that remains from that era is our guitar player and the Testament influences in our music. Our band today has a different line-up and different set consisting out of our own work.
Q: Between the lines, what’s so special about the Gods Of Bay Area Thrash Metal, Testament?
A: Testament was very valuable to the thrash metal scene and is often underrated. We just have a lot of praise for them and are proud to show we have that influence in our music; although System Overthrow has quite a different sound.
Q: Finally you made the decision to create own songs, for what reason?
A: This is a critical turn point in the heart and mind of musicians. At some time, you just want to write your own songs, and not just cover already existing songs. You get inspired by the music you listened to and played in the past and want to create something of your own.
Q: A first promo demo loaded with three songs saw daylight back in 2013, most of the critics were full of praise, right?
A: Generally speaking the promo CD was well received. Of course there are always positive and more negative opinions, otherwise they wouldn’t be critics, would they? We were satisfied with the promo and tried to do better on our full-length.
Q: How went the live performances? Feel free to name a few acts you’ve shared the stage with.
A: The live performances felt awesome and we cannot wait to go out there again! For example we played at Roadgrill Festival in Rotterdam, we played together with Tyranex in the Little Devil in Tilburg and with Skullsuit in Barrock (Maastricht).
Q: Later on, the time was right to take System Overthrow to a next level, to record a full-length album. What about the production, mastering, engineering duties… who was involved in all this process?
A: It’s 100% self-realised, produced and mastered.
Q: Recently, I received a physical promo CD of the new album to review and have to admit that I never heard of System Overthrow before. Now that I’ve listening for several times to the entire album, you really took me by the surprise ! Name of the game can be described as 80s Bay Area styled Metal music (Speed/Thrash/Power/Heavy minded) and definitely, you’ve learned your lesson in that way of Metal very well. Can I ask for a quick reaction to that?
A: The two members that have been in the band longest, Luc and Willy, grew up with this music. The two younger members, Joeri and Els, already had an interest for it and were taken along as the music and vibe is so contagious.
Q: You obviously give a shit about the contemporary world of Metal and go for the good old school Metal tradition. Where the passion came from?
A: We all have a passion for music; we were born with it. As we are from different ages, we also had different influences. But music also evolved a lot since the 80’s, so it’s a challenge trying to implement more recent influences while remaining true to the old school and proven values.
Q: The guitar riff on ‘Fallen Angel’ sounds VERY familiar to Helstar’s classic ‘Run With The Pack’ and I’m sure you agree with me about that, right?
A: There are surely influences of their music and from other renowned bands from that era. You can find a nod to the past in some songs.
Q: Helstar is one of my all time favourite US Power Metal bands for sure, there is and there will never be a singer like James Rivera to me… agree or not?
A: Sure, there is no denying that.
Q: In my opinion, US Metal still reign supreme, no matter what others may say ! Do you dare to share this statement with me or not?
A: We feel that Metal is universal, it has no boundaries.
Q: The satisfaction of the whole album, give me a rating on a scale of 10 and explain why you gave a score like this.
A: We learned a lot as it was self-produced and realised. We can say we are very satisfied with how we’ve managed. It’s about the journey and not the destination.
Q: What about the official release date and how the promotion will be considered?
A: The album will be officially released on 1 August 2015. We had some promotion from Hardlife Promotions for the Benelux for the release.
Q: An address where people can make an order would be good to know?
A: Just cling to one of our band members after a gig or send us a message on Facebook or via email. It will also be available online. More info will be available on our website and Facebook page as of 1 August 2015.
Q: A nagging question: have you already been approached by a record label? You deserve in my point of view anyway !
A: We are still looking for a suitable way to distribute the album. Of course we are still interested in being signed to a label.
Q: I see a band like System Overthrow on the bill of Keep It True, THE Mecca for all that matters the old school Metal movement ! I’d like to say, lodge an application… what do you think?
A: We would be honoured if we could play there! Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope your interview can also assist in that matter.
Q: How the activities for the coming weeks/months looks like? Any plans to play some gigs on Belgian soil?
A: We are still negotiating at this point. Just keep an eye on our website and Facebookpage for more news!
Q: Nothing left to say than thanks a lot for your present here at Metal To Infinity ! Glad to have you on board – any last remarks?
A: Ready?! Set?! Mosh!!