Xavier - Overmars - Back
Interviewer: Jeffrey D. Adkins

Move over Neurosis and Isis, there is another dark and experimental band crashing the scene. Overmars released their album “Affliction, Endocrine...Vertigo” in June 2005 and it grabbed my attention shortly there after. Before we begin, I would like to welcome one of its creators to Metal Fanatix! Thanks for answering a few questions for us!

Metal Fanatix: First off, could you explain to us a little on how the band was formed? Where did you get the name Overmars from?

Xavier: The band started in spring 2001. I moved from Montpellier to Lyon late 2000 and wanted to start a new band. I met the Donefor’s guys at shows, talked with them and proposed Benjamin to start a new project with me. Bruno and Pierrick followed him, Antoine arrived just after. We had many bassist and Marion joined us in summer 2003. Just before, Arno, who used to be singer in Donefor, joined us at the video projections and now he sings too. Actually, Overmars is Antoine, Arno, Benjamin, Marion, Pierrick and me + some peripheral members who join us sometimes.

The name… hmmm… the answer will differ according who’ll answer you. Let’s say it’s more or less connected to the Dutch football player and the never-ending space where some of us get lost sometimes.

Metal Fanatix: When I listen to your album I find the elements are quite diverse. They are from the heavy to the melodic, and everything in between. I argued in my review of “Affliction, Endocrine...Vertigo” that you have some characteristics similar to Neurosis, Godflesh, Anathema, Tom Waits, Pink Floyd and Empyrium, etc. Are any of those relevant in your mind? How did you come to creating such a diverse sound? Or was it natural? Has the diversity posed any problems when writing?

Xavier: Thanks for the comparisons. Excepted Empyrium I do not know, I love all these bands and artists. I can’t deny that Neurosis is a very influential band for me and certainly most of us, as well as Godflesh for Antoine and Pink Floyd for Marion. We really don’t think about how to create such a diverse sound. It comes all naturally. When we start to write a new song, we never know how it will end. A riff’s calling another one who’s calling another one. Sometimes we want to break some dynamic, that’s why you can find a very soft part just after a heavy riff, so we have to think a little bit more how to link them. If there is a problem when writing, it’s more due to the diversity of persons in Overmars than to diversity of influences. If we choose to play a riff or a part, everyone must be ok with it. If not, we try something else. The diversity of influences is more a luck than a problem. If we can integrate every kind of music we love in Overmars while still sounding like Overmars, we’ll do it. My challenge for the next songs, as a vocalist, is to integrate influences from Sixteen Horsepower to Bolt Thrower and from Angels Of Light to Mayhem with my own style, hahaha !

Metal Fanatix: It’s hard to explain Overmars without mentioning the collaboration of elements. How would you describe your latest album? Any favorite tracks? Why?

Xavier: That’s your job to describe our music ! But I’m ok to try. Hmmm… What do you think about “this is a maelstrom of emotions where you can seal from a roaring anger to deep sadness without knowing where you’ll finish”. I’ve got a little crush on “Destroy All Dreamers part III” because I love the way Marion and Michaël (from Impure Wilhelmina) sing together. I find this song really beautiful and emotionally very strong.

Metal Fanatix: I see much more to your music than just a diverse sound. Besides musical influences, what else has shaped your album? Include books, environment, movies, dreams, etc.

Xavier: I just can talk for myself. First, I’d say personal experiences. Discussions I can have with some peoples. Discussions I have witnessed. I won’t say books have influenced me, but some readings in fanzines did. And maybe some comics too. I love this French artist called Manu Larcenet. He released a lot of comics and particularly “Le Combat Ordinaire” (the ordinary fight) who touched me a lot. I don’t think it was translated in English. You can check his work on this unofficial website: http://larcenet.mania.free.fr/.

Well, just to say that this comic is just awesome and that sometimes, it gives me some ideas for some lyrics. About movies, I go to often to the cinema to even remember what I’ve seen two days before, haha ! I admit that some ideas developed in movies can influence me too. Dreams ? Hell no ! Destroy all dreamers ! Yes of course ! Dreams to feel better, to be better, to progress everyday as a person, to reach appeasement and serenity. Dreams I try to apply in my everyday life. And love too ! We talk a lot about love in Overmars. We’re fuckin’ hippies but tell no one or I’ll kill you ! Love is a never-ending source of inspiration, in joy, in pain. Half of the songs on “Affliction, endocrine… vertigo” deal with love. Or lack of love, lost love, missing love… choose your interpretation.

Metal Fanatix: The music overall is rather dark. Are there any underlying themes that people might not pick up on?

Xavier: I don’t know. I just can say this is a demanding record and that you need to provide some efforts to really know it. And please don’t take everything too seriously. There is some humor in our music.

Metal Fanatix: Being that your latest album is relatively new to the metal world, doing live shows or tours are generally a great way to spread the music. Are there any plans for a tour? Could you describe what the band is like live?

Xavier: We tour quite often. Small tours but we try to go everywhere we can. Most of the time, we tour in the Do It Yourself punk hardcore network. We plan to tour Spain and Germany in April. Maybe UK next summer. I can’t describe us live because I don’t even see my partners in crime when we’re playing. Or maybe 3 seconds. We break chords and sticks, spit everywhere, sometimes hurt ourselves, play in the dark with the videos behind us. You can download the videos and check the pics on our website, it will give you an idea. A funny anecdote. At our last show in Paris, it was the fourth time for a guy came to see us. He was very happy this time because he succeed to stay until the end. The three firsts times, he was unable because it was too intense for him. So now, when I see peoples living the crowd when we play, I can tell myself we’re not bad but just too intense, haha !

Metal Fanatix: If you could put together a tour with three other bands whom would they be and why? Include any band or musician from past to present.

Xavier: Hard question. I’d like to say Neurosis but let’s try to do something more eclectic. Well… a tour including us, Unsane, Dalëk and My Bloody Valentine is quite nice. Or with Blut Aus Nord (but they don’t play live), Techno Animal and Hot Water Music (No Division era). If we want to seriously injury peoples, we can set up a tour with us, Today Is The Day, Tim Hecker and Sunn O))). Sponsored by Alka Seltzer of course.

Marion would tell you she wants to tour with Cure, Antoine with Godflesh and Arno with Julio Iglesias.

Metal Fanatix: Well thank you for taking time to answer questions for us at MetalFanatix.com. Is there anything else you would like to say?

Xavier: Sorry for being so long to answer and many thanks for your support. We’re a bit unorganized sometimes. I just want to tell your readers to support the underground going to shows, supporting their local scene, being active with bands, zines, labels, distros, booking shows… We can maybe not change the world but at least, we can do our small cultural revolution.

You can contact us at [email protected]

Metal Fanatix: Thanks again!! Beware of Overmars!!

For all the latest news & updates on Overmars make sure you check out the following websites:

http://www.destroyalldreamers.org/ - Official Overmars website
http://www.plastichead.com - Plastic Head Music Distribution website
http://www.candlelightrecords.co.uk - Candlelight Records UK website
http://www.candlelightrecordsusa.com - Candlelight Records US website