Interviews: Fearwell

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Melodic Death Metal band Fearwell from the Netherlands. Check out this band and follow them on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or come out just like that?

The idea for the band name "Fearwell" traces back to my early songwriting days when I had a song concept called "Well of Fear," centered around themes of depression and overcoming it. It's largely what Well of Fear turned out to be. When I later collaborated with my initial bandmates at that time, we initially named ourselves Sulphur. However, I felt this was a somewhat generic name. After that band disbanded in 2013, I continued writing and recording, and after 7 years accumulated enough material for an album. It started as a solo project but evolved into a band when I brought together current band members. The name "Fearwell" was a wordplay connecting "Well of Fear" and "farewell," . I also used "Fearwell" playfully when saying goodbye to people. Eventually, it became the band's name.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

I grew up listening to Maiden, Children of Bodom, Dimmu Borgir, Malmsteen, Dream Evil, Death, Kalmah and many more bands. I've always been a fan of melodic songs, and after listening to tracks like "Kissing the Shadows" by Bodom extensively, I was inspired to learn to play the guitar. My goal was to become like my favorite guitar players and bands. Through dedicated practice, I formed my own band, and our musical style evolved to encompass a mix of genres. Initially, we leaned towards melodic death metal, but when I started singing with high-pitched vocals, it pushed our sound more into the realm of power/thrash metal.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Yes, we have some interesting connections within the current lineup. For instance, Joeri, our bass player, and I have known each other since elementary school, even though I didn't initially think of him as a metal bassist, given his inclination toward his earlier pop rock bands. Johan, our heavy vocalist, had mentored me in previous bands and eventually invited me to join Leiden thrash legends, Wrecking Crew. I crossed paths with Diego (keyboard) by chance after missing lessons due to COVID and had to catch up in his class. We started jamming together, and he mentioned that he knew a drummer for Fearwell (Job). Since I needed keyboards for live performances, I decided to ask both of them. I had met Brian a few years earlier through school and we were always up to mischief in class, and after initially declining, he eventually joined us in 2020.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Jeremy Geels: Iron Maiden/Children of Bodom

Brian: Sonata Arctica

Johan: Pantera

Joeri: Iron Maiden/Death

Job: Metallica

Diego: Muse

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

My musical inspiration often strikes while I'm in the shower or driving. Melodies or vocal melodies frequently come to me at odd hours, like in the middle of the night, and I'll record them immediately, even if it means sacrificing sleep. In terms of lyrics, I typically start with a subject, whether it's emotions, history, or scientific questions, and then develop an idea for a song. I restrict myself to create rhymes, which forces me to explore the subject from different angles and ultimately gives birth to a song.

6. Where was your last gig?

Our latest performance was at Fuizenfest, which was a fantastic show with a great turnout. We shared the stage with Sisters of Suffocation and even had the pleasure of meeting some of the band members from Dragonforce, including Sam Totman, who is a delightful bloke. We enjoyed some backstage beers together.

7. Where would you like to act?

My ultimate dream is to perform at either Graspop Metal Meeting or Wacken Open Air. If I had to choose, I'd lean towards Graspop Metal Meeting because it holds a special place in my heart as the first major metal event I ever attended.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Collaborating with Dragonforce, Iron Maiden, or Yngwie Malmsteen would be incredible. Unfortunately, the passing of Alexi Laiho was a significant loss, as he would have been my top choice for a collaboration.

9. Whom not?

While I don't do name-calling, there was a former singer from a prominent metal band who was a real douchebag to us and treated us poorly when we were supporting them. The first thing he said while we were introducing ourselves was: "When you guys are done, you get the fuck off our stage". After being an abusive prick for the entire night he came to me when I was talking to an attractive female friend of mine, when he started being nice to me, and when she left he immediately did as well. The second time we did a show with him, he ignored us and his bandmate was slandering us backstage to the crew and stuff like that. On the other hand, I've had the privilege of meeting kind and respectful musicians from bands like Dragonforce, Destruction, and Vicious Rumors.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

I used to have stage fright, but it all disappeared the moment I stepped on stage as a musician and played the first note of "Aces High" after the intro, which was the first song I performed live. I still get a little bit nervous sometimes before significant gigs, but I've learned to channel that energy into my performance. Fight and flight reactions are good to embrace in metal and using it as a source of stage presence can be a powerful tool. Remember, most of the audience doesn't focus on mistakes. They experience it. If your show is good they think it was good. How many times as a musician have you thought "Wow this band played so damn well, only to google their performance, watch it again, and hear mistakes you didn't hear there before?

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Children of Bodom, Death, and Iron Maiden have been the most significant inspirations for me. I've also drawn inspiration from Eminem's lyrics, particularly his first three albums, and Dimmu Borgir for their orchestral elements.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

One fan once asked me to sign her boobs (she took them out!), which I found more amusing than weird, feeling like a genuine rockstar at that moment. I think most people would think that's weird though. I myself am not easily weirded out. There was also an instance where a father jokingly asked me to kiss his daughter, but I wasn't sure if he was serious or not (and I didn't want to).

13. What do you think of your fans?

I consider our fans to have excellent taste in music. It's heartening when people connect with the lyrical themes and musicianship in our songs. Some fans have told me that our lyrics have helped them, which I think is awesome. Our goal is to inspire people like ourselves and make them feel the way I did when I listened to Bodom or Maiden.

14. What do you think of our site?

I appreciate platforms like Breathing the Core, which play a vital role in supporting struggling musicians and helping them gain exposure. Musicians often feel lost without the right tools to navigate the path to recognition, and providing that guidance, listening to their music, and promoting them is an invaluable service.

15. Something to add?

Listen to us, share us, help us grow! Drop the F-bombs and say the F-word: "Fearwell!

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