New Belgian 5-piece Absolve recently appeared on our radar when we were in search of a band to replace Adjust on the Northcote bill. Absolve bring a hard hitting mix of hardcore to the table infused with personal conflict. To get a little more familiar with the band, we asked drummer Pieter Mijnendonckx to answer the following questions. Enjoy!
Please introduce yourself and your band.
“What’s up! My name is Pieter Mijnendonckx, I play drums. We’re a 5-piece band with members from Belgium as well as the Netherlands. We have Lennert Couwels on bass, Kevin Kusters and Sam Claes on guitar and Ramon Eggen who provides the vocals.”
How did you come up with the band name, Absolve?
“When we first started out, it was just me, Ramon and Kevin. We were just jamming every couple of weeks and we didn’t had a name yet. One day I had my iPod on shuffle and the song ‘Absolve’ by One King Down started playing. The name just stuck and all three of us kinda liked it, so we decided to roll with it.”
Define your sound in three words and elaborate on that.
“This is a tricky one, because I really suck at this kind of stuff. I actually asked a close friend to write our bio, haha (shout out to Kasper from Redemption Denied). But if I could pick a couple of words, I would go with aggressive and personal. Can’t come up with a third one right away though.
Aggressive seems like the obvious choice because of all the influences music-wise. I, and everyone else for that matter, really wanted to make the kind of hardcore we would all mosh to. It sounds so cheesy but that’s just the way it is. We don’t have the ambition to reinvent anything. I think the reason a lot of kids consider this is as something refreshing is because of the fact that there aren’t a lot of bands out there that are doing this right at the moment. It’s easy to write breakdown after breakdown, but in that case it’s also really easy to lose any form of sincerity.
Personal would be my second choice. Ramon writes most of the lyrics and he has done a good job to make it relatable for a lot of people. That’s something I consider really important. We’re all in our twenties and are just “regular” guys, we all work normal jobs or are still in school. So we just put on paper what we experience(d) ourselves. No gangster shit but just the kind of stuff we encounter on a daily basis. Disappointment, anger and personal conflict are big part of that.
Since I can’t come up with a third one, I’m just gonna use this extra space to encourage everyone who reads this to listen to Cold As Life.”
Your self-titled debut EP will be released on tape shortly by Kick Out The Jams. What’s the story behind this release and why did you decide to go for tape instead of vinyl?
“We really wanted to have a finished product before we started playing shows on a regular basis. This band has been in the works for quite some time. We started rehearsing with the current line-up in February 2015. We decided to take our time and to really fine tune everything before playing live. This translated into recording a decent EP instead of what you would consider a demo.
The self-titled EP contains four songs and an intro. We recorded it with Michiel van Steen (The Setup) in July 2015. The actual recording process took us a little less than two days. Afterwards, all the songs were mastered by Robin Carlo.
Angelo from Kick Out The Jams Records was kind enough to work with us on this. KOTJ only does tapes but I actually really like that. Also, it’s a lot cheaper than for example a 7″ vinyl. But who knows, maybe there will be future releases that include vinyl and/or CD’s as well. We released one song (‘Roaches’) of this EP a couple of days before our first show and are planning to release a second song in the next couple of weeks. An “official” release show is in the works but for now all I can say is that it is scheduled for early 2016 so keep an eye out!”
Where do you hope this release will get Absolve?
“We hope to get our name out there and just to play shows as much as possible. Most of us were in other bands before and/or are still active in current bands. Playing and visiting shows is simply what we love to do more than anything so being able to do this with your own band makes this so much more satisfactory.”
When can we expect a European tour?
“Hopefully soon, we don’t have any specific plans yet but we started this project with the ambition to really make this work. For now we hope to play a lot of shows in the area and in the surrounding countries. A European tour would be the “logical” next step but it’s important to stay realistic and see what happens in the upcoming months. But as soon as we know, you will know.”
Photo by Brenda Boutsen