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
Metal Fanatix: First off, could you explain to us
a little on how the band was formed? Where did you get the name Overmars
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?
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
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
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 !
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:
- Official Overmars website
- Plastic Head Music Distribution website
- Candlelight Records UK website
- Candlelight Records US website