Who is Johan Van Roy, the man behind Suicide Commando and what do you like to do beside your music?
- "Well, I live in Leopoldsburg, a small town in the north of Belgium, I'm working as a warehouse assistant, and music is my passion and big love. Suicide Commando is taking nearly all my free time, but the few free minutes left I'd like to spend with my dear girlfriend, watch some TV or catch a movie, play some Xbox, or just do nothing for a change. Quite a boring existence if you ask me!"

What influenced your music in the very beginning?
- "I grew up in the early eighties and when I discovered bands like Klinik, Front 242, Skinny Puppy. They had such a big impact on me that I soon decided to start my own electronic project, and so Suicide Commando was born in 1986 already. Even today these bands still have a big influence on me, I just love the old school EBM sounds and I'll always do."

You have made music for quite a long period of time now and developed your sound, what is more to come for Suicide Commando, any big change of sound?
- "I guess nobody knows, but don't expect big changes in the sound. Over the years my music became a bit more club minded and danceable, but the basic sound and ideas are still the same. I still work the same way as in the early days, except that I now have way more possibilities because of today's technology."

It's not that quite often you see Suicide Commando remixes of other bands, how come?
- "I guess TIME is the big problem here, as I still have a daytime job as warehouse assistant I don't have that much free time, so working on Suicide Commando takes about all my time, and so there's not much time left for other things like remixing other bands. But I just finished some more mixes for big names like Wumpscut, Hocico, Plastic Noise Experience. I could use 36 hours a day!"

Do you have any or have any plans of side projects?
- "Well, let's say I had some, but again "time" is the big issue here. Because of a lack of time I had to stop working on side projects like Lescure 13 and db. But I still hope to work on them again in the future, if time allows me to do so, and there are plans for another new project, but I can't tell anything about that yet, so be surprised!"

You have some more political lyrics/thoughts with 'Axis of Evil', what message do you want to deliver to your fans?
- "I just thought the entire war, terrorist and Iraq. Issues were way too important to ignore and so I thought it was my duty to condemn these things. Mankind often is too blind to see reality. I know my lyrics won't change the world, but if I can get the attention from the people for a minute, if I can open their eyes for a minute. I'm already pleased and succeeded in my goal."

Who or what is the 'Axis of Evil'?
- ""Axis of Evil" actually were some words spoken by US president G. Bush during his State of the Nation after the terror attacks of Sep. 11th. In this speech he declares war to all terrorists and terrorist nations like Iraq, Korea and China. Answering war with war, answering violence with violence, killing thousands of innocent victims in Iraq, putting his own soldiers at risk, even claiming lies to justify his actions (the so called mass destruction weapons Iraq should have?!). So in the end, what makes him (Bush) any better then these so called terrorists?"

What's your personal favourite release? Which album are you most happy with?
- "That's a difficult one as I like each of my albums, but you have to see them each in their own time. But personally I'm the most satisfied with my latest 'Axis of Evil' album. I spent a lot of time and effort into it, so I was pretty pleased with the turn out."

You write the lyrics and make the music all by yourself, then during the live performances you get help, how does it feel to do it yourself and then don't get the chance to present it alone?
- "Oh, but I did many concerts all alone in the very beginning. But it's just too difficult and hard to bring this music all alone on stage, and I also didn't want to do a pure playback show with all the music on tape. That's why I started working with guest musicians. It gives me the opportunity to concentrate more on my lyrics & show."

Tell us some more about your live members.
- "Well, this differs from time to time, but most of the time I'm joined by my own girlfriend Tanja on live keys, and Torben Schmidt (from Lights of Euphoria) on live samples & effects."

In a couple of weeks you will play at the SAMA-festival for the first time, what can we expect? Mostly old once or more from your latest album? Any visual aspects of the show?
- "We're still promoting the new 'Axis of Evil' album, so expect a lot of songs from the new album and a few older ones. It will be our second show in Sweden (we played in Stockholm a few years ago), but it will be our first show with full line up & lightshow with projection, so check it out!"

What is your best/worst tour memory?
- "Best tour memory for sure was the latest 'Axis of Evil' tour we did end of last year in Germany. It was by far our most professional tour so far, we got a lot of positive reactions from both crowd and press, and we had big fun with the other bands Interlace and Tactical Sekt. Worst tour memory, that's a difficult one! I always hate when things go wrong with techniques (microphone falling out or bad monitor sound), so I guess I hate those shows. Or the one where I hit my head so badly when I left the stage that I ended up bleeding but still did some encores with my face full of blood."

What's best on the Belgium club scene right now? Any tip-offs?
- "Unfortunately we don't have many bands anymore like we used to have in the eighties with huge acts like Klinik, F242, Vomito negro, A split second. So everything is on a much smaller level now, but there are some good bands around, but unfortunately they hardly ever get across the border."

What are the plans for the summer? Any festival gigs?
- "Yes, we'll do a lot of summer festivals this year with festivals in Germany (WGT, Zillo, M'era Luna), Poland (Castle party) and UK (Infest). And of course we'll do some other concerts as well across Europe with shows in Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Holland, Germany, Poland and UK. In May we'll release a new single, well actually it will be two singles in one. 'Cause of Death:Suicide' and 'One nation under God' and I'll do some more remix work for other bands as well."

Any last words to our readers?
- "Thanks to all of you for your eternal support and hope to welcome you all at SAMA! We'll kick some ass! Greetings from hell!"

This interview was made 2004 and initially published on Neurozine.com
Suicide Commando interview
January 1, 2004
Brutal Resonance

Suicide Commando

Jan 2004
Who is Johan Van Roy, the man behind Suicide Commando and what do you like to do beside your music?
- "Well, I live in Leopoldsburg, a small town in the north of Belgium, I'm working as a warehouse assistant, and music is my passion and big love. Suicide Commando is taking nearly all my free time, but the few free minutes left I'd like to spend with my dear girlfriend, watch some TV or catch a movie, play some Xbox, or just do nothing for a change. Quite a boring existence if you ask me!"

What influenced your music in the very beginning?
- "I grew up in the early eighties and when I discovered bands like Klinik, Front 242, Skinny Puppy. They had such a big impact on me that I soon decided to start my own electronic project, and so Suicide Commando was born in 1986 already. Even today these bands still have a big influence on me, I just love the old school EBM sounds and I'll always do."

You have made music for quite a long period of time now and developed your sound, what is more to come for Suicide Commando, any big change of sound?
- "I guess nobody knows, but don't expect big changes in the sound. Over the years my music became a bit more club minded and danceable, but the basic sound and ideas are still the same. I still work the same way as in the early days, except that I now have way more possibilities because of today's technology."

It's not that quite often you see Suicide Commando remixes of other bands, how come?
- "I guess TIME is the big problem here, as I still have a daytime job as warehouse assistant I don't have that much free time, so working on Suicide Commando takes about all my time, and so there's not much time left for other things like remixing other bands. But I just finished some more mixes for big names like Wumpscut, Hocico, Plastic Noise Experience. I could use 36 hours a day!"

Do you have any or have any plans of side projects?
- "Well, let's say I had some, but again "time" is the big issue here. Because of a lack of time I had to stop working on side projects like Lescure 13 and db. But I still hope to work on them again in the future, if time allows me to do so, and there are plans for another new project, but I can't tell anything about that yet, so be surprised!"

You have some more political lyrics/thoughts with 'Axis of Evil', what message do you want to deliver to your fans?
- "I just thought the entire war, terrorist and Iraq. Issues were way too important to ignore and so I thought it was my duty to condemn these things. Mankind often is too blind to see reality. I know my lyrics won't change the world, but if I can get the attention from the people for a minute, if I can open their eyes for a minute. I'm already pleased and succeeded in my goal."

Who or what is the 'Axis of Evil'?
- ""Axis of Evil" actually were some words spoken by US president G. Bush during his State of the Nation after the terror attacks of Sep. 11th. In this speech he declares war to all terrorists and terrorist nations like Iraq, Korea and China. Answering war with war, answering violence with violence, killing thousands of innocent victims in Iraq, putting his own soldiers at risk, even claiming lies to justify his actions (the so called mass destruction weapons Iraq should have?!). So in the end, what makes him (Bush) any better then these so called terrorists?"

What's your personal favourite release? Which album are you most happy with?
- "That's a difficult one as I like each of my albums, but you have to see them each in their own time. But personally I'm the most satisfied with my latest 'Axis of Evil' album. I spent a lot of time and effort into it, so I was pretty pleased with the turn out."

You write the lyrics and make the music all by yourself, then during the live performances you get help, how does it feel to do it yourself and then don't get the chance to present it alone?
- "Oh, but I did many concerts all alone in the very beginning. But it's just too difficult and hard to bring this music all alone on stage, and I also didn't want to do a pure playback show with all the music on tape. That's why I started working with guest musicians. It gives me the opportunity to concentrate more on my lyrics & show."

Tell us some more about your live members.
- "Well, this differs from time to time, but most of the time I'm joined by my own girlfriend Tanja on live keys, and Torben Schmidt (from Lights of Euphoria) on live samples & effects."

In a couple of weeks you will play at the SAMA-festival for the first time, what can we expect? Mostly old once or more from your latest album? Any visual aspects of the show?
- "We're still promoting the new 'Axis of Evil' album, so expect a lot of songs from the new album and a few older ones. It will be our second show in Sweden (we played in Stockholm a few years ago), but it will be our first show with full line up & lightshow with projection, so check it out!"

What is your best/worst tour memory?
- "Best tour memory for sure was the latest 'Axis of Evil' tour we did end of last year in Germany. It was by far our most professional tour so far, we got a lot of positive reactions from both crowd and press, and we had big fun with the other bands Interlace and Tactical Sekt. Worst tour memory, that's a difficult one! I always hate when things go wrong with techniques (microphone falling out or bad monitor sound), so I guess I hate those shows. Or the one where I hit my head so badly when I left the stage that I ended up bleeding but still did some encores with my face full of blood."

What's best on the Belgium club scene right now? Any tip-offs?
- "Unfortunately we don't have many bands anymore like we used to have in the eighties with huge acts like Klinik, F242, Vomito negro, A split second. So everything is on a much smaller level now, but there are some good bands around, but unfortunately they hardly ever get across the border."

What are the plans for the summer? Any festival gigs?
- "Yes, we'll do a lot of summer festivals this year with festivals in Germany (WGT, Zillo, M'era Luna), Poland (Castle party) and UK (Infest). And of course we'll do some other concerts as well across Europe with shows in Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Holland, Germany, Poland and UK. In May we'll release a new single, well actually it will be two singles in one. 'Cause of Death:Suicide' and 'One nation under God' and I'll do some more remix work for other bands as well."

Any last words to our readers?
- "Thanks to all of you for your eternal support and hope to welcome you all at SAMA! We'll kick some ass! Greetings from hell!"

This interview was made 2004 and initially published on Neurozine.com
Jan 01 2004

Patrik Lindström

info@brutalresonance.com
Founder of Brutal Resonance in 2009, founder of Electroracle and founder of ex Promonetics. Used to write a whole lot for Brutal Resonance and have written over 500 reviews. Nowadays, mostly focusing on the website and paving way for our writers.

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