Sometimes you bump into a band that still captures the true metal spirit of the eighties with their sound and live shows. ERAZER from Eindhoven is such a band. Their live show is a combination of power metal, twin guitar solos and a female vocalist, who really knows to impress with her voice, stage presentation and her great looks. All the more reason to dig into their history and provide you with more information about this rather new heavy metal sensation from Holland. Metal Maidens proudly introduces you....ERAZER!
When did ERAZER get together as a band, and how did you actually meet up with each other?
“We got together in 2002, when Walter Dirkx and Bram de Hoon (our old bass player) wanted to start a new band. Bram knew Mathijs Rosenbrand and Luuk Wanders and asked them to join. After a few weeks Nadja Meyer joined as a singer and completed the band. She got replaced by Angelique de Jager in September 2003.”
Did any of the band members play in other bands before they joined ERAZER, and why did they leave their previous band?
“Bram and Walter used to play in a band, called HALO. Mathijs and Luuk were in a band called MAGNETISM.”
Who came up with the name of ERAZER and why did you choose for this name?
“We were sitting in a pub brainstorming (even the drunks were helping us out - wehaha) and suddenly we came up with ERAZER. We thought it sounded pretty cool!”
How would you describe the music of ERAZER?
“Good old eighties heavy metal.”
Which bands can we see as the biggest influence for the band, and maybe you can mention some influences for each band member individually as well?
“For Walter, IRON MAIDEN is a big influence. One of our guitar players is a big PINK FLOYD fan. We are very diverse in our musical taste, so it's hard to tell which bands are our biggest influence.”
Who was the first (female) singer in the band, and do you know if she is still active in the music scene?
“Her name's Nadja Meyer. I know that she's currently writing for a few online magazines. She also designed our logo (the blade that represents the letter E.).”
ERAZER already played at the well-known Wacken Open Air Festival. Can you tell us how this went, and how were the reactons of the audience towards your show?
“Haha, it went pretty great. We played on the campsite as a joke and only played covers. The organisation liked our little stunt and asked if we would like to play on one of the stages (as punishment. A little piece of the camp gig (an instrumental version) can be seen on the beginning of the Armageddon over Wacken 2003 DVD. The audience loved it! It’s pretty cool to see a bunch of my friends of the Heavy Metal Maniacs fan club standing in front supporting us.”
How were the reactions of the press towards your first three track EP? Especially the song “Phoenix” must have got some raving reviews, in my opinion.
”We did send a few demos out and got good reviews, although we don't like to send demos to big magazines. They seem to forget that demos are low budget recordings (most of the times, anyway) and have too much negative criticism on bands, that are spending their money on a decent sounding recording.”
The second release “Fight For It” has a much better production, nice cover art, etc. How did the music develop in your own opinion?
“We started out playing covers of bands we liked, so we knew what kind of songs we all liked. We started to write songs in that style and added a more melodic sound to it. We all write music and we combine our separate ideas, that is why there are no personal credits written on the CD. We wrote the songs together, except for the lyrics, that is Angelique's part.”
What’s your favorite ERAZER song so far, and why?
“Hmm, hard to say. I think “Return To Nothing” and “Cries In The Night.”
With which bands did ERAZER share the stage already?
“We played with GODDESS OF DESIRE, VIRGIN STEELE, PASTOR OF MUPPETS, DESPERATION and DEATH SS.”
Do you play covers during your live shows, or do you stick to your own penned material only? Which covers do you play?
“We like to play covers, although not too much. We usually play “Iron Maiden” (IRON MAIDEN) and “Breaking The Law”(JUDAS PRIEST). It really depends, where we play. When we have to play at a metal night in a youth centre, we play a lot more.”
I bet you can tell us about a few funny or nice things that happened, when playing live. Maybe you can share some of these moments with our readers here?
“At the Wacken gig, Matt screw up the acoustic middle part of “Battle Hymns” (MANOWAR) and Luuk forgot the words of “Ace Of Spades”(MOTORHEAD) and started singing the wrong couplet. Pretty funny, when we saw the video footage.. Walter also fell from the back of the stage once..”
If you could go on tour with any band of your choice, with which band would you like to go on tour then?
“For Walter, it would be either IRON MAIDEN or GAMMA RAY, but any other well-known band would be cool!”
A memorable gig, we will never forget is definitely something we need to discuss in this interview, if you don’t mind. Let’s have a short chat about the Ragnarock festival in Goes this summer. Please describe what made you decide to play there, and what happened during the day you had to play there?
“Well, I spoke with the organiser a year before the festival and told him we would like to play. We also tried to help him out by acting as stage crew, so it was a very hectic day for us. We had a nice gig and the sound was very good . It was a bit disappointing to see only a handful of people showed up at the festival grounds, instead of 20.000 screaming metal heads. “
What exactly did you expect about this gig?
“We were pretty confident, that there would be a big audience. We rushed into the studio to record our second EP “Fight For It”, so we had more merchandise than only one 3 track EP.. We ended up giving more of them away, rather than selling them. So that was a bit of a disappointment as well. But we don't regret making the EP.”
Did you see the other bands play there that day, and which bands did you like the best?
“Being onstage as drumtech, I saw all the bands. I really liked DEMON, SKYLARK and VIRGIN STEELE.”
Was this festival the absolute proof that heavy metal is as dead as a doornail in Holland, or is this just a example of the fact, you can’t organise a festival without a lot of good promotion in the regular magazines, etc?
“I think, it was a combination of bad promotion and bad timing. There were two big festivals going on that day. I have a lot of respect for people who are trying to organise a festival, but maybe they should have started smaller and from there, slowly build it up.”
Have you got any goals set for ERAZER and tell us what you would like to archieve with the band?
“Of course, world domination!! No, seriously. We are now concentrating on getting better and bigger gigs. We started writing some new songs and we are trying to promote the band as good as we can. We do a radio show in November for a local radio station in Venlo. We also want to work on the theatrical part of the show. Maybe something like IRON MAIDEN used to do in the eighties. Unfortunately, those things cost money, but who knows what we can come up with?”
What will be the next step on the ladder of success for ERAZER? In other words, what are your future plans?
“Writing new songs and recording a good full-length CD. Furthermore, playing a lot of gigs.”
Any interesting or important gigs on your agenda?
“On December 3th, we play at the ‘Women Who Rock’ festival in St. Maartensdijk (Sporthal Haestinge) and we are playing at an international band competition, called Emergenza. The first round will be held on January, 14th at the Bat Cave (013) in Tilburg (NL).”
We are an online ‘zine which is focussed on the female musicians in the (hard) rock and (heavy) metal scene. How important is it for female musicians to get this attention, or do you feel that female musicians already get the support and recognition that they earn so well?
“I think, it’s very important for female musicians to get this kind of attention, because the metal scene is very focused on male musicians and female musicians are underestimated. Especially in this kind of music, I think it’s great what you guys are doing.”
Do you see it as an advantage or a disadvantage that you are a female singer in an heavy metal band? And maybe you can give some examples here as well?
“Most of the time, it’s an advantage that I am a female singer in a metal band , because I can show a side of women, that most men won’t accept from a woman. I mean, women can also have a strong voice and be powerful. Sometimes, it’s not an advantage, because they think women are soft and not compatible. I hope, I’ll be the ultimate prove, that they are not always what you aspect.”
What do you think of the heavy metal scene in Holland, and what would you like to change if you had the chance?
“There are a lot of people into black/gothic metal, who are putting traditional metal down. But they forget, that their idols (bands like DIMMU BORGIR, CRADLE OF FILTH or AFTER FOREVER) are very much influenced by traditional heavy metal. They play their own versions of songs from IRON MAIDEN and ACCEPT. I wish, that people who are into that kind of metal, would be a bit more open-minded or should I say less blind?”
True or false: The metal scene was much better in the eighties and there were more metal fans, too?
“Hmm, both. It was better in the eighties, but it seems to becoming back nowadays. In that way, I would like to choose for both options.”
Please tell our readers, where they can buy the EP’s, we talked about in this interview?
“Please go to our website at: www.erazer.cjb.net and you can read all the info over there.”
Is there anything you’d like to add to this interview? Maybe we forgot something to mention here that is essential for the story of ERAZER so far?
“You forgot to say, that all metal heads should check us out and come to our shows! They won’t be disappointed!!”
Do you have any personal messages for the readers of our online-zine?
“Don't stop believing in metal, especially in these hard times. It unites us and makes us strong!”
The last words are for Angelique and ERAZER....
“Thanks for showing interest in ERAZER. l hope, we can show more of ERAZER in the near future and we'll be recognized as the true metal band we are by giving metal fans more ass kicking metal with a female touch!”
Interview by: Toine van Poorten/courtesy of Metal Maidens, November 2005.
*ERAZER (EP 2004; independent)
*FIGHT FOR IT (EP 2005; independent)