DH: First, tell us something about your development as musicians. How long does Skeptical Minds exist and how did you meet?
Michel: The band was created in June 2002. At the beginning was Vincent. He had a concept and 14 compositions. He was looking for additional guitars and a female voice. He found kristell and me. We added our idea on his music and that’s how SM started. After we recorded all that, in march 2004, we wanted a bass player and a drummer for the live shows. God hates us all (slayer) because he sent us Pascal and Gaby. About our developpement as musicians, Vincent studied classical piano for years and all the rest of the band learned their instrument by themselves, so did Kristell too…
DH: Your sound combines gothic, metal and electro. Which roots in a musical sense do you have? Are you a gothic band or would you prefer another expression?
Kristell: Well, as you said first, call it: electro metal gothic. We didn’t find a better expression. People also qualify our sound as “dark gothic metal” or “ambient, atmospheric metal”, it must depend from the feeling of the listener. Michel: our music has nothing to do with real gothic music… and gothic definition is not “female voice band”… many people make that confusion. We simply are a mix of the 3 influences of the 3 initial members. So, we mixed electro-indus (Vincent), metal riffs (michel) and a melodic female voice (Kristell). That’s quite simple So, call us as you want. My name is Michel and you?
DH: Your new CD is called "Rent To Kill”. Is this your first release or had there been other releases before? How long did it take to record the album? Kristell: We first made a 5 track demo called “First Experiment”. Then we worked on our album “Rent To kill”, so this is indeed our first release. We worked on the music for 2 years (2002-2004), we took our time, we wanted to release something we were proud of, and not to hurry up.
DH: Some songs on the CD sound very melancholic. Are you sometimes melancholic?
Kristell: As a singer, I love to sing melancholic songs, they are my favourite ones . As a listener, I enjoy The Gathering, or Lacuna Coil, I like songs that make me shiver and cry. In real life, I can be melancholic, but not all the time!
DH: Where do you get the ideas for your songs?
Kristell: The ideas of Rent to Kill come from this concept: the songs talk about different girls with problems like suicidal tendencies, murder envy, melancholic life, …
Michel: And Nymphomaniacs !!!!!!
DH: My favourite song on your CD is "Black Porcelain". What is the meaning of this song and in which circumstances did you record it? Are there any experiences that influenced you when recording this song?
Kristell: Every song talks about women in despair. In Black Porcelain, the girl looks like a porcelain doll, she seems very fragile, but inside she’s black. She could hide she’s unhappy just with a smile. It talks about appearances and illusions, about the hidden face of every human being. I have some experience with this: I look like a very fragile person, and people are always amazed to see another me on stage.
DH: Kristell, your fine voice dominates the sound of Skeptical Minds. Is this very special challenge for you as a singer to sing in this band? Are you writing the lyrics, too? Are you looking forward to present the new CD on stage, soon?
Kristell: We are all growing with the band. I was there since the beginning so I don’t see it like a challenge, but like a continuity. I write most of the lyrics, together with Vincent (keyboards). He gives me ideas, I write it down, and we work on it very nicely. We are all looking forward to go on stage, the big challenge is to present the songs and to have a good feeling with the audience.
DH: You come from Belgium! How about the dark scene in Belgium? Are there any clubs where your music can be played? Do you have contact or friendships with other bands in the region?
Michel: To be honnest, we gave around 25 shows in belgium and most of them were organized by metal promotors. There is a very small dark scene in belgium. Actually, there is only one “dark wave – gothic –new wave” promotor in Belgium. About bands, I don’t know… There are some bands mixing black metal and dark influences. But no real goth band. Peharps such bands does exist, but so underground we don’t know them already We have a lot of contacts and friendships. But all the bands are metal bands and some of them have a female voice. (Valkyre, Garden of Decay, …).
DH: Which further plans do you have with Skeptical Minds in the near future? Are you working on new songs?
Michel: We have some new stuff, but our priority is to promote the new album. It was auto-produced and it will be released and distributed very soon by a record label. For the rest, we will play on stage as much as possible to promote the new cd. We plan to record and finish the second album for end 2006 or beginning 2007. Step by step.
DH: Thank you very much for answering our questions. We wish you good luck and much success. Your final words please: SM (all together): WATCH YOUR BACK !!!
Interview: Andreas Ohle