The Wounded - Interview
The ever-increasing leakage of goth/darkwave bands into a crowded and sometimes confined metal genre is always a welcome addition. The Wounded are one such ‘intrusion’ into the dark recesses and abyss of an individual mind and it is through their newest album “Monument”, they successfully probe and stimulate each cavity that a person may be hiding away from. Marco V.D Velde, co founder of The Wounded and responsible for the impressive emotion-conveying vocals pours open his comprehensive mind to my invading questions, providing a bounty of insight into The Wounded and how they tick...
Thanks for answering me these questions about The Wounded. How did The Wounded come together? Did all the members of The Wounded share one unique musical vision that they needed to thrust upon the world or was it a more gradual thing when forming this band?
Andy and I started after playing in several bands and The Wounded at the end 1996. We wanted to play the music we liked ourselves and make a bit a combination of it all. After a while we discovered that I should be responsible for the music and the lyrics and the other guys more for the managing thing. Not for reason that the mighty Atomic Jedi described in a review on Metalbite, that we wanted to do something totally new. He was totally wrong (Atomic Jedi), and I don’t understand how people can talk that way about a band for which they don’t know anything about, a cheap shot if I may notice. We crafted the band for the love that we had for 80s music, the new wave, gothrock and the metal from the early days. Sometimes it’s hard to hear someone criticise your creativity, especially when I know that some of the songs were written on an emotional base like a death in a family. I know that it may make him laugh, but sometimes maybe a reporter should have more respect for the creativity, the time and work that is behind an album. But of course someone has the right of an opinion, but a good reporter should know that the best period of the band is almost never is on a debut album, and it is stupid to compare a band like us with albums of Anathema and The Cure at a time when they had a lot of money to spare on both instruments, the album and mixing it...
What music experience does each of the members of The Wounded possess? Did you guys do any professional training, past band experience...?
As musicians we don’t have training at all, I played in a few bands before The Wounded like some other members of the group. So we put all our experiences in the band. It is obvious that we are not the best musicians in the world, but that is not the main thing in The Wounded. It is about playing music with the heart.
“Monument”, is your newest album and the second to be released by Cold Blood Industries. How did The Wounded come by Cold Blood Industries, it seems to be a more metal oriented label than what may suit you guys...
Well there is more in the world then metal and so I think it's better for a label to sign also other bands then only metal bands, to maybe create a more open market for yourself. And of course there is still a lot of metal in our music, so it isn’t something from another planet for them (Cold Blood Industries). We had a few interesting deals from other labels but we signed up with Cold Blood Industries because they live quite near where we live so the communication is much better. It turned out that we became a bit more like friends after a while. Which was better for the communication also. The best reason is that Cold Blood works really hard for their bands and the main thing is that your not a number 16 band on the band list. We are seen as the guys from The Wounded. Of course Cold Blood also want to get better financial turnover, but the main thing is that they do it for a love of the music, until now that is all we need and so we there is more trust.
Speaking of “Monument”, are you happy with how the album turned out? I mean the production is beautiful, the mix of each instruments are all spot on and your vocals get their deserved recognition by sitting quite high in the production mix.
Yes, we had much more money, in my opinion the songs were much better and more mature and we had an open-ended period in the studio to record. I had much more time to record my vocals and I recorded my voice totally at night because I could get in song more then. And it is great to work in a professional studio now.
To someone new to the world of The Wounded, how would you describe yourselves and the new album “Monument”?
Emotional and bombastic music with a new wave gothic /rock, metal base. With autobiographical and psychological lyrics.
You feature a lot in metal publications, yet aren’t really metal. What is your perception on the whole metal scene? Does it phase you being slotted into a metal spectrum along with the Niles, the Soilworks and the Dimmu Borgirs, when The Wounded is clearly not a metal band?
But we were also not a non-metal band. You know I listen a lot to metal besides the other music? I have listened to metal from the time I was a kid. My first real metal album that I bought was “Scream Bloody Gore” from Death. I still like the Scandinavian bands like Entombed and the old Carnage, Carcass and Dismember. They really are the main reason that I started to tune my guitar a lot lower. The death metal gods Morbid Angel still rule. Also 16 Horsepower, Marillion and Placebo I like very much. It doesn’t matter to us really who likes us. For now were mentioned in metal zines, gothic zines and pop zines, so it is okay to get attention from so much different kinds of zines and people.
I was particularly impressed with “Monument” in how your vocals were definitely the detail in which you guys made of point of. It seems that the various keyboard/guitar/drum elements of “Monument” were all arranged to be perfect in harmony and create a suitable backdrop for you to give the lyrical message across.
We write our music before we write the song lines, so maybe that is an answer to your question. When I write the song lines I get in the character totally, so that is why this intense and deep way of singing gets in, I guess.
Is The Wounded in a general state of apprehension and negativity towards the world? On songs like ‘Red’ and ‘Chaos Spectacle’, you have a more than pessimistic view upon the world we all live in.
The lyrics are in a way always autobiographical. I see writing my music and words as a form of therapy. To write away my daily frustrations and fears. But it is not that I am depressed all the time. I see a lot of beauty still in this world, but it is hard to stay positive and live your days with hope. Who can be positive when two planes crash in two towers full of people just because some people believe something other different to others? And of course America isn’t free of terrible things done in history, but that goes for a lot of countries as well as America. Just to kill innocent people is so wrong and most of all scaring. ‘Chaos Spectacle’ was written a few days after 11 September, I think it opens up totally to what I felt at that time. Who can be positive when two countries threaten each other with nuclear weapons?
‘Garland’ features some interesting sound samples in the form of rifle and automatic weapon fire. What is the reason for this? I personally think it adds a very tasteful flair to an already accomplished song. Was it meant to hammer home the point you are making that nothing lasts forever and everything must come to an end?
‘Garland’ is a song that goes about war. It is from when I was a kid and also I am interested in war, especially WWII. Not so much the strategies, but more the mental side of warfare. I made even a study as a hobby out of it; and while interviewing older people I got a sense and an image of what they felt and what they experienced. Additionally I live directly at the German border and I got the chance to hear stories from both sides. The youth nowadays cannot imagine what went on during those days. To live each day in total fear. ‘Garland’ is about the last few thoughts of an individual who is in the middle of war. At the time he dies. I tried to imagine, based on the years of reading and talking, what it should do to me and what I would think. Of course I can only imagine but I must say that on 11 September I maybe got a glimpse of the fear and terror in those early days.
Is The Wounded a necessary part of your life and an avenue to express your obvious talents and abilities or more of a fun hobby or recreational activity from which you make a few cookies ($$) from?
If it was about money I think we should think of other more financial satisfying hobbies. Because for now we loose more money than we get. But it is the experience and the good discussions that I have with the fans about my lyrics and our music that we see as payment. Money cannot compared with the time that you stand playing in front of 300 people who dance on your music, sing with you the lyrics that you wrote in your bedroom and especially the times, when I even see people cry at our music. There is no bigger satisfaction then that, when someone says to you that your music helped him or her.
What happened to the harsh vocals from “The Art of Grief”? Why did you get rid of them? Was there a point in The Wounded that you guys felt they were not contributing towards the music of The Wounded anymore?
Well, it is simple, the new songs were not really asking for it anymore. But on the next album they may easily appear again. I see a lot in the harsh way of singing, but there is a lot of aggressive in it.
On the last page of the “Monument” booklet are printed the words ‘FAIL TO ME, AND BECOME UNDONE’. From reading this one can decipher a varying amount of meanings. Is this an open ended statement that people can perceive how they want to view it or does it have a special significance or message that you want to portray to your fans?
I wish not to explain everything I write, simply because I would like that the listener uses also his own imagination and interpretation. But as it may sound as a cheap answer I will try to explain, okay? ‘Black Heart’ is a song about becoming beware of your guilt and the things you have done bad in your live. I had a time when I was looking at my own life a lot, and discovered that I became scared for some of the things I did that were not too good. ‘Black Heart’ is about the time you become beware of that and totally dislike yourself for that. ‘Fail to me’ is the way you see your self doing the bad things, like fail to me is to fail to myself and so doing the things that I would not normally do, doing the things that totally disagree with the morals of your individuality. When you fail to yourself you betray yourself in a way. So you loose yourself from yourself and so you become nothing. So you become undone... It is not being put in the booklet as a message like “hey you, beware!” But, more as a line that the rest of the theme of the album is based on. Guilt, aware, fear, judgment, death.
Are you going to be doing or done much touring for “Monument”?
We play a lot nowadays, particularly in Holland and Belgium. We plan to do some in Germany, but for the future I don’t know anything yet, as there are plans for a European tour. But that also depends on the fans and on the clubs in other countries.
On the biographical sheet provided by Cold Blood Industries it says you were going to record a video of ‘Billet Doux’, did this go ahead? And if so how did it turn out?
Yeah the video-clip was broadcasted in a few different countries, but I do not know how much and where really. But it turned out to be great for us. A real video-clip , who doesn’t want that?
Thank you again for answering these few questions, Marco. I hope The Wounded remains to be successful in the future!
Hey, thank you for the attention and the time for this interview. I really appreciate it.
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