We'd like to kick of with someone I feel is one of the best front women in (doom) metal history. She already proved herself in the Belgian underground, singing in bands like Serpentcult, Death Penalty and Leviathan Speaks. Now, she is a part of occult doom metal act Bathsheba.
Bathsheba is gearing up to crawl into a recording studio and record their first full-length 'Servus'. More on that soon, but for now, enjoy Michelle's four 'Songs With Stories'.
Ahh the early days when everything began… I guess that was quite early for me. And it began with my brother somehow. My brother and me were like cat and dog. Still I had a certain thing with him I didn’t have with my sister. We always fought, eighter because we got angry or just to have fun and test our strength. Only my brother was 6 years older than me… And I was about 7 years old… I always went up to his room to steal his cassettes or the first cd’s he’d bought, to listen on my sisters huge stereo where normally these horrible house music noises would come out off.
But with my brother there was Clawfinger, Bodycount, Helmet, Sepultura… to name some… One day I remember being angry with him and I wanted to give him a good punch but he locked me out. So I was sitting on the stairs to his room. I heard these angry guitars coming out of his room, heavy riffs, fast drums and a screaming guy. What the hell was this. I had never heared anything so angry and heavy in my life. This stuff was so appealing to me. I stayed on the stairs to listen the whole album and I was just blown away by it. When he left I obviousely took the cassette to listen on my own. Everything began with Metallica for me.
Another Metallica related one I know, I know! This band has just done so much for me. And I’m sure what I’m going to tell now is something all die hard Metallica fans can relate to. I’ve seen Metallica live quite a few times. This time it was Werchter 2003. I know guys, I was born in 1985… And Werchter, well… dreadfull, expensive full crowded crap festival for me. But you know, Metallica played and at that time I had to go on every occasion possible. I was young and wild… I had to be on the front row also obviousely. In the middle of the crowd you can’t see shit and it’s just moshing and in the back… Well again, I was young and wild and I wanted to see and feel it all. So I got there early, gates opened and everyone started to run like hell to get there fast. There I was, front row just in the middle… Perfect spot.
That day I endured Anouk, Krezip and Xzibit… No drinks and food allowed so there I was the whole day in the boiling sun with the little something to eat and drink I managed to smuggle inside. I had a horrible health at that time too. I was given many banana’s and water by the security to keep up my spirit. As being so steady to endure all of that just to see Metallica at that spot being a young girl between these giants. I also endured big fat guys sweating on me, combat boots in my face (the usual when you see Metallica) and guys throwing plastic cups that were hopefully filled with beer… But then it was time for Metallica! And you know… This moment before they come up…
Every die hard Metallica fan on the field was becoming enraged with happiness. At that time we all knew they would start off with ‘Battery’ but before that… The Ennio Morricone intro… Djezus. I find this piece incredibly beautiful already and I absolutely loved ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’. So, then when you hear this huge crowd singing along this song…. What is the crowd at the mainstage at Werchter? Some thousand people right? So a massive soundwave of outrageous fans singing along just came from behind me like a storm. Everyone knew what was coming and we all endured so much crap that day that we were pumped up so much. An energy of nostalgia, hapiness, rage and axiety just took over me, and the rest of the crowd. I thought I was going to cry. Amen.
One evening, in the car with my brothers from Serpentcult on our way back from a gig. We were discussing black metal... A genre I didn’t find too interesting at that time… The BM bands the local BM fans listened to were just full of bollocks. I found them silly, lame, names were too long, vacuum cleaner on… But well Steven, let’s say… He’s a special kind. He knows a lot about weird stuff, weird movies, weird music, weird accidents, weirds books, weird porn even… Yeah…. Don’t even ask…
Anyway, he knew I had a love for filthy and weird music so he put something on he thought I might like. And bloody hell. These riffs… I didn't get them, but I understood them. They were so weird. I loved it from the first second. Then came the vocals… Christ sake… As if I had seen the light. This guy sounded like a nutcase escaping a nuthouse scheming to poison all the world.. I loved it. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where my true love for black metal came from. This was a turning point for me in music but also in personal development for music.
Roadburn 2010. Om and Earth. Fuck yeah! What a day. Two of my favourite bands playing I was in a good mood. Earth began. You know sometimes you look at a band playing and everything is perfect. The music was perfect, the sound, the lightning, no annoying asshole getting in the way all the time, no loud mouthed dutch people yapping in your ears and such. Everything was just perfect. Also, how they ‘were’ on stage; the drummer being in a slow trance as if she was gently pounding on the waves of the sea. The ‘pianist’ just looked perfectly weird to playing his odd tiny organ. The backdrop, well I remember it now as fire and leaves falling gently and melancholic as the music.
And then started the song “Engine of Ruin”. From the first note I got a lump in my throat so I had to leave the room just a minute. But I obviously didn’t want to miss it either. I went back in. And saw that all there, shared my feeling. People were sitting on the stairs with there face in their hands (and not from being drunk), eyes looking glassy from holding back tears, the whole audience was quiet. That was a moment that the right people listened tot the right band for them. Something that got rare nowadays. I stood next to Steven (Serpentcult). He looked at me and smiled, he said: “It’s beautiful isn’t it”. I stood there in awe and felt drunk with sadness and beauty.