EMQ’s with OCTOBER CHANGES
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Belgian Gothic/Fusion Metal band October Changes. Huge thanks to them for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
October Changes hails from Heist o/d Berg, Belgium and was founded in October 2018 by Luk Michels (rhythm guitars) and a former band member. The initial plan was to start up a metalcore/rapcore project. But in October 2018, they changed their focus to something completely different. They decided to form a project with a female lead singer and to bring more melodic songs.
Today our music can best be described as “an eclectic blend of symphonic, industrial and gothic metal, fused together with some electronic influences.” The female vocalist delivers vocals that go from clean, more classic inspired to more powerful dark vocals.
How did you come up with your band name?
Luk is a huge fan of the bands August Burns Red and Texas In July (and loves talking about them – hahaha, they are just REALLY good bands!). Both band names have months in them. Since a lot of changes took place in October 2018, they initially introduced “October Changes” (basically) as a joke. But the name ended up catchy so… here we are today.
What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re a Belgium based metal band. In Belgium we have a great tradition with small metal bars that offer support to local bands. But these bars also provide a great place for international bands that are making their first introduction in our country. We also have plenty of small metal-festivals that support local and Belgian bands. But also the bigger festivals start to notice that Belgium has some great talent. Alcatraz metal festival, for example, has a dedicated stage for Belgian metal bands. And there’s also plenty of local and national radio stations that support the Belgian metal scene with airtime or by creating a playlist on streaming services like Spotify. For example, Studio Brussel has “De Zwaarste Lijst”, but recently a more local initiative started “De Zwaarste lijst – 100% Belgisch”.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)
On April 24th we released our first studio single ‘Decay of Sleeping Beauty’.
Our previous releases were all home-recorded demos. So, this is a big step forward for us. It was in all aspects an enjoyable process. Domingo Smets (Elusion, Ancient Rites) from “The Rock Studio” is a pleasure to work with and knows what he’s doing.
Who have been your greatest influences?
There’s just too many to name! But we’ve already been compared to Evanescence, Within Temptation, Eluveitie, Draconian and they definitely have had some influence on our music, mostly vocally then. Other bands on our inspiration list are Amaranthe, Lacuna Coil and eighties music but there are also some bands that you maybe didn’t expect like In Flames, Jinjer and Infected Rain. We also get inspired with the crazy sounds in our sound library. It happens that we hear a small sound sample and we end up with a song.
What first got you into music?
Wendy: Music has always had an important part in my life, and I have loved singing ever since I was a child. When Belgium won the “Eurovision Song Festival” in 1986, I got really mesmerized with singing and music. From that day on I just knew that I wanted to be a singer.
Luk: I picked up the guitar after hearing Nirvana, Guns And Roses and Bon Jovi (yeah, sorry for the last one) Later on the heavier stuff caught my ears on Headbangers Ball (MTV in the good years) like Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel… But my first real music addiction came when I heard stuff via my dad, being The Sweet, Black Sabbath, Guitar King, Queen and Michael Jackson!
Bert: I’ve been going to festivals and concerts for as long as I can remember. I picked up the guitar when I was around the age of 18 but never really got through the first year of playing. After a while it started collecting dust in some corner. A couple of years ago I picked it up again, took some lessons and started looking for a band to play some awesome music.
Wesley: My brother – also a drummer – bought a drum-kit when I was 12 years old. When he wasn’t around, I started playing the drums. I had no idea what I was doing (I still don’t, but I learned to hide this very well in the meantime). But as time went by, I started to get better, and now, many years later, I am still playing drums on the same drum-kit he bought so many years ago.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
There are so many talented bands out there. We would be open to collaborate with any band or musician. But we’re sure that a collaboration with Amaranthe or Lacuna Coil would be fantastic.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Our current goal is Graspop Metal Meeting. It’s such a fantastic festival. There are so many bands performing in only 4 days! And we love our country, so what’s not to like about this festival. We would definitely stick around a bit longer to get acquainted with some other bands. And if that doesn’t work out, we’re still guaranteed to have some of the best beers available.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Haha! What defines weird? We haven’t had any gigs yet, but we’re all open for weird gifts. That one wins a picture on Instagram for sure.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
We are so grateful for our fans. Thanks to them we can do what we love the most, make music.
If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Wendy: I think we all have our favourites, since we all come from a different (metal) background. For me it would be David Bowie. I just love his personas and the creativity he put in his character and performance. Being on stage as a singer/band is also like playing in the theatre. You have to decide who you want to be on that stage and act like it 100%. David Bowie had mastered that completely!
Sven: Cliff Burton… He was a beast and god at the same time… He was a real inspiration to me.
Luk : Kurt Cobain…I don’t need any motivation for this.😊
Wesley: Peter Steele (Type O Negative). Fantastic voice, great music, it was a shame he passed away so soon.
Bert: Definitely Dio. He is the godfather to all metal music. I remember being so shocked when he passed away. He was supposed to do a tour in Europe, so I made plans with my dad to go and see Dio. We were so bummed we never got to see him perform.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Wendy: I love to tell stories. Writing lyrics is a fun process. It starts with searching for the story in the music. I really have to feel it and once I got hold of that feeling…the story just flows out of my pen.
Luk: The possibility to express yourself in a musical way. You always hear in a track/song how the band or individual was feeling at that point. A good example is a rather depressive song I wrote, and Wesley turned it into something completely different.
Bert: What’s also great is that you get to meet a lot of amazing people who are all in love with the same thing; metal music. And there’s still so much to discover. Ironically, that is also the thing I hate… I wish I could spend all day long playing the guitar, but regular day-to-day life gets in the way.
Sven: I enjoy the friendship and respect musicians have for each other. But I don’t like to be put into a certain category. Talent can sometimes be hidden in the strangest places, so I like to keep an open mind at all times.
Wesley: I enjoy creating new music. Start to put little pieces together that doesn’t seem to fit at all, and suddenly, they connect.
And I think what we all dislike is the fact that there are a lot of great musicians out there, who are talented, write great music, but don’t always get the chance to play their music for the audience it deserves.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Sven: I would make it easier for young talented bands to get noticed. Because today it’s very difficult to get your music out there and to reach your fans if you don’t know the right people.
Wesley: October Changes t-shirts for everyone!
Wendy: I would change the way artists are being refunded for their art. Today it’s almost impossible to live from the fees you get out of being an artist, even if you’re song is doing quite well. One of the main reasons for this, is the way the industry is organised. I would search for a way to fix this. So, more musicians can make it their full-time job and more talented bands would be able to reach their goals and dreams.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Sven: Ayreon – “The Human Equation”.
Luk: GnR – Both The Use Your Illusions. (to name only one)!
Wesley: Nirvana – “In Utero”.
Bert: Death – “The Sound Of Perseverance”.
Wendy: Kylie Minogue – “Kylie”…Wait! I can explain! It was the first record ever that I bought, and I was so damn proud of it. Besides, I’m sure some of the songs on there would make really nice metal covers.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Wendy: Downloads for sure! You can take your favourite music everywhere. It makes music available to everybody from anywhere and on any time of the day. And that’s how music should be! Nobody should ever be deprived from music.
But I think this is also something very personal. Some people love to have something real in their hands, they love the booklet, the lyrics in it. They consider an album as an artwork and thus want to have it at hand.
Wesley: They all have their value. I grew up with vinyl and cassettes. Then the CD came, which was great. This was all we would ever need. And then we had the DVD, and finally the digital content. Luckily, we have downloads nowadays. My house wouldn’t be big enough to store all the music otherwise.
Bert: I’ll go with Spotify. I’ve never owned a lot of CD’s, cassettes or vinyl. Spotify just allows people to discover a whole new world of artists.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
We were planning a release weekend on 5th, 6th and 7th of June and had already booked 4 gigs! That weekend was also the start of a mini tour with a befriended Mexican band. We’re really sad that all our concerts got cancelled due to Corona. But the entire weekend would have been a real celebration for us. So, I’d say our first gig would be our best, because that’s the start of everything.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Wendy: We all still have a fulltime job. So probably we would spend more time developing our skills for that job and would probably also spend more time with our family.
Luk: Hah…I like to be creative, so whatever includes the term “designing” would be great… I am quite fond of painting… I do mean with real paint, on a canvas… Expression of soul and mind and it’s so relaxing.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Wendy: Johnny Depp. He’s a rock artist, loves and knows Tim Burton, doesn’t shy away from crazy ideas and opened a metal bar, The Viper Room and Floor Janssen, because I would love to have a geeky chat with her about singing techniques.
Luk: And I would pick for sure one funny guy (aka comedian)…
Wesley: 5 people from the company that installed my glass doors, that I have been trying to get over for almost a year now to do some repairs. So, they can finally fix my broken door before having dinner.
Bert: I’d like to invite some famous guitar players that inspire me. Ola Englund, Keith Merrow, Matt Heafy, Dave Mustaine, Dean Lamb. That would be one epic dinner party. Jam session afterwards!
Sven: I would invite my own band. Jam session afterwards! Haha!
What’s next for the band?
We have plenty of songs that are ready for recording. So that’s definitely on our to do list. What comes next is still to be decided. We might release some extra singles or maybe release our first full album.
And of course, we are planning to do lots of concerts! Next year we will also start to focus on festivals and concerts in other countries. We’ll start with the neighbouring countries, but who knows… the sky’s the limit.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Streaming Services: Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Google Play…
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Wendy: They’re something entirely different of their own. Definitely. Let’s call them biscakes!
Luk: They are yummy : P I don’t care what it really is supposed to be!
Bert: Biscuits, though I had to do a google search just to know what they are, so I’m by no means an expert on the subject. But definitely biscuits.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Our bass player is a God (his own words) and our drummer is the king (not his own words).
Thank you for the interview!
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