DATE OF INTERVIEW:
STEAK NUMBER EIGHT
5th May 2012
BRENT VANNESTE; JORIS CASIER; JESSE SURMONT; CIS DEMAN
With an average age of just nineteen, Belgian quartet Steak Number Eight can already boast two albums to their name which showcase an absorbing collection of songs through an accomplished fusion of stoner metal grooves and post-rock sonics. Already attracting significant attention from their home country's press, it seems these ambitious young upstarts are now ready to make their mark within the UK scene. Over here for a short headline tour to coincide with their latest album, 'All Is Chaos', available as a covermount CD on the current issue of Metal Hammer, the four members of Steak Number Eight, equipped with the 'finest' Yorkshire cuisine, spoke to Metal Discovery in Sheffield around three hours before showtime...
METAL DISCOVERY: You’ve said of this UK tour that: “Girls get wet, guys won’t regret. We love you already (except the fact there’s no foam on your beers).” So how have you found the girls, guys and beer so far?
CIS: The beer was better than the last time because and the girls are very cool! And the party last night…yesterday, we went to a bar in London and that was cool.
(Joris Casier on finalising a Steak Number Eight composition)
"...we call it “steakalising”!"
Steak Number Eight - promo shot
Photograph copyright © 2012 Eva Vlonk
Interview by Mark Holmes
JORIS: Yeah, everybody was drunk!
MD: Did you go in The Famous Cock opposite the venue?
CIS: Oh, we saw that.
MD: Isn’t that a great name for a pub?!
CIS: We took a picture of it!
MD: So what beer have you been drinking then if there’s no foam? You can’t be drinking real beer!
CIS: There’s no gas in it. Yesterday, we drank cider.
JORIS: Also Stella and some Belgian beers over here.
CIS: We’re quite chauvinistic on beers!
MD: Have you tried Guinness?
BRENT: Guinness is very cool.
MD: So you’ve played Southampton and London the past two nights; how were the shows?
BRENT: London was awesome and Southampton was also cool but less people. But the people who were there liked it so that was also very cool. Yesterday was amazing.
MD: Was there a big crowd in London then?
BRENT: I think sixty or seventy which is good for our first headline tour.
JORIS: The smoke machine got stuck so the whole bar was in smoke!
MD: For the whole gig?
JORIS: No, for the last two songs.
MD: For the whole gig would’ve been weird – “these guys sound great but I can’t see ‘em!”
MD: So you played a free show earlier this year in London which was your first UK gig?
CIS: Yeah, at The Old Blue Last.
MD: And you’re back already for these four dates and then you’re back here again in June for Ghostfest in Leeds, so do you have a sense that your popularity is starting to increase in the UK since ‘All is Chaos’ was released?
BRENT: Yeah, on Twitter there are a lot of followers and also on Facebook. Yeah, you see that on Facebook and Twitter.
MD: Do you ever get much feedback from UK fans?
JORIS: Sometimes. Like in Southampton, there was one guy who knew all the lyrics.
MD: Oh really, like singing along the whole time?
CIS: Yeah, that was cool.
MD: I gather you’ve had quite a lot of media interest in Belgium, your home country, with TV/radio appearances and in mainstream newspapers but have you made much of an impact in any other parts of the world yet?
BRENT: It’s just Belgium and the UK.
CIS: We tried France but…
JORIS: …it sucked!
BRENT: Next week we were playing in France but we cancelled it…actually, the headline band cancelled it but we were kind of happy…
CIS: …because the band sucked!
JORIS: Here, you see your name on every poster, even in the toilet, but there, if there was promotion, our name is not right. It’s Stick Number Eight or something like that!
MD: That’s not good if they can’t even get the band name right.
JORIS: Yeah…French people...
MD: ‘All is Chaos’ is an amazing album which I absolutely love.
MD: Yeah, I think it was eight and a half I gave it in my review.
CIS: Eight and a half out of eight and a half?!
MD: The songwriting’s so well developed and mature that it sounds as if you’ve been playing together for years. How long have you guys been together for now?
BRENT: In this formation, since ‘All is Chaos’ came out. Cis is a new member. But we’ve played together for eleven years now.
MD: How old were you when you started then?
BRENT: Ten or eleven, something like that.
JORIS: Yeah, we met each other when we were five years old.
MD: So when did you first pick up your instruments then?
BRENT: Ten/eleven. His dad had a paint shop with paint bullets and Joris was hitting the paint bullets and so his dad couldn’t sell it anymore. He was angry!
JORIS: They sold ‘em to the military drum school.
MD: Some of the material has a jam-vibe to it so were some of the songs born from jamming as a band and developed in that way or were they all composed more formally?
JORIS: Most of the time Brent came up with the biggest part of the riffs on guitar and sometimes there’s a drum on it and other times I figure out my own drums. And then we…
BRENT: Then we steakalise it!
JORIS: Yeah, we call it “steakalising”!