What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
First of all , thank you for having me/us. I shared a room with my older brother Mark. He brought some heavy metal CDs with him, and I was intrigued by it. At first, I followed his taste, but soon after I was looking for more aggressive music, so I rolled into bands like type o negative and life of agony, this was the early nineteens, and since then I was sure of it: I wanted my own band, and with no skills on any instrument there was only one way to go, to become a vocalist.
And so it happens.
I am diagnosed with ADD, so as a young adult and still now as a grown man, I feel like music is my way out of a lot of mental issues, on one side ik gives me a lot of structure in my life, and on the other I got the change to put all my dark energies away when screaming my lungs out.
I m not a professional ( not living the dream :-) ) musician. I work as a social worker with poor children, in the poorest neighborhoods of the city antwerp ( belgium ).
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I have 3 dogs, 2 cats, and 1 one horse so that’s a handful. But being outside, especially in the woods near my home, it happens a lot that I find the right lyrics for the songs. My head is clear of stress, and often it gets into a philosophical stream of thoughts. Writing lyrics is a real struggle sometimes, sure because many times the melodies of the vocal line is already set in my head, and to translate the melody into words can be a pain.
How long has your band been around?
We are a relatively new band, since 2019 we started patroness, with 4/5 of an earlier project. The drummer left en we start writing new songs for it, but they were more metal and darker, so they didn't fit, so we decided to start a new project with a new drummer. and that became patroness and resulted in the 2020: PYRE ep
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based in Antwerp , Belgium. If that has any effect on the music that we play ? not sure, but maybe in some way, being pessimistic or being sarcastic about everything is kind of a national sport, so you can say that helps to create a dark sound we wanna bring to the listener, and in contrast, we are party animals in Belgium , we don’t let change get by to throw a party, and that you hear also in our music, the glimpse of hope just around the corner
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Patroness is in one way the women who will protect you, making sure you are alright. That is her loving side, on the other, she will punish you when you disappoint her. But more so, she will protect you against others when you are in danger, again the contrast between love and evil is fitting for the band. I hope one day we can create a comic book about: the patroness, with a story of a young child who lives in abusing circumstances, and the patroness is a manifestation of her/his dreams and becomes a real super vigilante. But I can’t draw so people reading this, hit me up :-).
When we found the band name, we were sure it was already taken, but to our surprise, it wasn’t.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
In the week before Europe got in covid lockdown for the first time, we did a small german/swiss tour. Our pyre ep was just a week old. Being on tour with a little band like patroness means you never know what to expect. But that night something happened, you only dream of being in band, 5 min before the gig there was a public in the venue, and literally nobody. But hey shit happens, and the local sound guy en venue holders had given us the best time, but once we played are intro and people stormed in, sang every word of every song and danced like it was the and of the world, 15O people and a band melted in one exatic giant xtc pil. It was almost a ritual.
It was that one night when everything is as in a dream, feeling like you are the greatest rockstar in the world in your public is sucking it all in.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Hahahha, that’s a good one, most of the time we play in small venues and I like the sweat dripping of the sealing, I love how I, being the frontman, can create a strange atmosphere some of the venues, you can get control over the situation because it’s easier to bring the audience into your little world.
In Belgium we played a couple of venues where big American bands do their shows when the come to our country , so we feel very blessed. But we wanna grow to a band who plays festivals, specially graspop metal meeting, wacken, hell fest, alcatraz , so I can set my inner bruce dickison ( vocalist iron maiden ) go.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
In the band, we all have various tastes in music. So this would be mine personally. If had the change to pick some dead artists also the line up will be headlined by The doors ,an co-headlined by led zepplin , Danzig, type o negative, life of agony, gojiira , baronness, and diablo bld. on main stage, and in a smaller tent stage; paradise lost, primordial, Alcest , Amorphis, 1914, carnation and sons of a wantend men, And then I should have a skate stage to put: ignite, biohazard, stick to your guns, blood for blood, yellowcard on. And as a Belgian : congress would be there to
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Keep the music the most important thing in the band. It‘s the reason why you started the band and always should come first, and have fun, always have fun and surround yourself with people with who you really wanna be with.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Keep away from drugs :-), no no, just believe in yourself and walk away from fuckers, you don’t like, there is no reason in to make people love you. It's just a waste of time to try to fit in. and find somebody who loves you. And for real: stop lying about stupid things.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
That must be crows upon the throne, my father was a great man, but an acholic, it changed him during the day, waking up, he was this gentleman, but during the time of day he became this weird mixture of a careless but angry bastard. His fight during his last period of life against his addiction was was heartbreaking, he got sober when he was 68 and died at 72 with cancer. Those 4 years were the best that spend with him, an Crows upon the throne, deals with is fight and how dependent he was on alcohol.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
For sure this must be, “seclusion “for the great solo en sing-along vocals. And fatum being our most aggressive blackened song with an epic ending. I think are also the two fan favorites i think. Mabey that's why I love them the most to play live, I’m a real whore for the love of the audience :-).
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
We write all the songs with the 5 of us, mostly one of the guys comes with a riff, and then we jam the shit out of it. If we like it we try to put another riff to it.
Those 2 riffs will form the backbone of the song, and after a lot of trial and error, and trying ideas, we come to a song, sometimes it goes fast, other times we could do moth’s over one song.
Patroness is a democracy and that‘s no easy way of being in a band where every voice is heard. But for patroness, it's the only way.
The music is inspired by things we like in the more extreme music genre , patroness will always be a mixture of doom, black, and death metal with great melodies. there will always be hars and clean vocals. But between those genres, we will not be pinned on one of them, and try to be open-minded as possible :-).
We are aware of not being the most extreme band, but we try to write good songs, hey and if we are not trv or clvt enough, just listen to some real black or death metal band :-) (which, i love )
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
There is a great difference between the album our live concept. the album is a personal story in which we try to put feelings of total loss and desperation and translate them into a good song, and in the melody will always be a little light that shines true, if we could give a teenager or anybody the feeling, he /she is not alone in this world depistes any problems we achieved one of our goals.
Live on the other hand we play every show as we play at the greatest stadiums on the planet, we wanna give people a good time, let them forget their sorrows, we go full kiss live :-). as we take our music very serious, ourselves not so, we are just five guy’s doing what we love and that’s it, no great mission there,
Or maybe becoming the biggest band in the universe hahahaha
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We have duels, with 16TH-century pistols, the first who hits the other in the balls wins the argument.
No no, we are friends of each other, and if there is an issue we have discussions about it, in the past we let hang for a bit that leads to a lot of frustrations. We are very direct towards each other. Not always fun when you're on the wrong side but works just fine for us.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
On the 4th of June we release our full album called “fatum” and we throw a release party with death metal gods: god dethroned and have the us rockers from Warcloud joining the party.
We released a lyric video for “crows upon the throne “ and a clip for Undeceive. Both were released on cutting-edge channel.
We are very glad to joined necktwister our label and i m sure there doing a fine job in finding us the right shows to play, and they are doing a great job to spread the album and to distribute patroness as a band all around Europe and the rest of the world
We hope to play bigger shows and festivals in 2022 and 2023, a small tour would be great, and try to do some great support shows for bigger international bands when they play in Belgium.
last but absolutely not at least, we hope, with all our hearts the album gets picked up and loved by all of those who love metal ;-), and if they do so, please let us know. If they wanna let us know, we suck balls, contact us as well. We are friendly people :-)