Kris, you have been a member of THE SETUP for quite a while but you were in other bands before. For example in DAGGERS and OFFICER JONES AHPCP. What does the abbreviation stand for, why did you choose that name and what kind of music did the bands play?
Well the full name of that band was ‚officer jones and his patrol car problems'. It's hard to explain where it came from, I guess it was a just a pop-up tought and with the necessary fantasy it became kind of a conceptthing. Everything what was bandrelated had a connection with a mysterious person called ‚officer jones'. We released only one album, both on vinyl and cd. It was and is a concept album, every song was part of the story of this particular person…I guess you still can find a myspacepage of the band.
After we killed this band I teamed up with some young kids and started ‚Daggers'. In the original line-up (me included) we released a mini cd. I still love this band…and I had to say it was a tough choice when I had to leave this band.
What is different in THE SETUP and weren't the other guys angry that you left their bands?
I guess the setup already had a certain status. It was already aknown band in the scene, their reputation reached further than belgium. With daggers we still were a very youngband so…And no nobody was angry, maybe a bit dissapointed. But in the end it all worked out, they still are a very promising band and I would not let this band go entirely. I still do some promostuff for the band. The setup was a chance for me so i grabbed it with both hands.
You also designed the sleeve of the TEENAGE LUST Single. Do you draw regularly and have you done other artworks before?
Well first of all I graduated as an artist, I did 2 years of painting and my master years in experimental art. Art is a part of my daily life, I go to sleep with thinking about my work and I get up in the morning and I still think about it. I used to do lots of installations but nowadays I focus more on drawing.
My work is situated in violent and destructive subcultures…my drawings are collages of random toughts of the small and bigger things in life that I experience, my interest for destructive and even perverted subcultures. From black metal to Walt Disney and what I create is situated somewhere in between I guess. I did do the drawing for the teenage lust cover, somebody else did the layout. It was a fun thing to do because I like the band and every single person in it! They gave me carte blanche and I just started drawing and the were excited with the result. I think If you google my name (deweerdt kris) you can find some info and pics about earlier work I did. By the way It's very cool that somebody asks me about this, because it's a big part of my life. So thanks!
Do you have a counterweight to all the artistical stuff you do?
Well the most important things in my life is my girlfriend, kid and my 2 brothers. We all live together … I also do have a really shitty dayjob, I'm a cleaner in a public swimmingpool. But what can I say… it pays the bills and gives me the chance to tour and play shows with the setup and there are way more awfull things in life. At the moment I started a study to get a teachers degree and hopefully I can start asap with a more interesting job.
Were the guests on "Torchbearer" in the studio when you did the track and do you play live in the studio or does everybody do his take and that's it?
There are indeed some guestvocals on this one, Rob born from pain did a part in "Another heresy and Caro from oathbreaker did a huge part of "tonight".
Well to be honest I don't have alot of knowledge from the technical side of recording, but I guess I can say being in the studio is a cooperation between the band. So it's not a one man-thing you can see it as a constant discussion troughout the recording where at the end everybody has to be satisfied with the result.
What does the title of the record stand for? Is there a message that you would like to convey?
Well as a band the setup had a rough period the last 2 years, line-up changes, some personal losses…And alot of kids already buried the band. So when we came back we had prove ourselves again. It was a hard period for all of us, but I guess it's fair to say they see now that the setup is stronger than ever, this is a the most solid line-up in the band's history.
So what doesn't kill you only makes you more determined!. The lyrics handle about this whole period filled with anger and frustration, It's a dark record with but we didn't loose our focus on the light. We are probably not the most political band in this scene , but as a five piece we know what we stand for and we dare to show some fuckin' heart. And this is what is lacking in the scene today; SOME HEART.
Which singers influenced you lyrically and where are your weaknesses as a frontman?
I cannot really say wich singer influences me, there are alot of them. So it is probably a meltingpot of them all. And I've got alot of weaknesses…too much to tell.
Who did the artwork for "Torchbearer" and did you give the artist any hints of what you wanted to have?
Dennis Sibeijn did the artwork and are guitarplayer Raf did the layout. Actually I did not really interfear with the artwork. I just say if I like or not…For every full cd we have used the same artist, so why change a winning team. It became a point of recognition for the setup.
You have a blog on your website and you also use twitter to communicate with fans. Do you think new media is a good tool for bands or are there doubts too?
Like everything it has some positive and some negative issues related to it. You can reach so many kids trough these new mediums. So in that way there is no better tool. I'm stil not convinced about downloading, but as a band you loose alot of your income that you normally get with selling those cd's. Trough all the downloading alot of small labels are going bankrupt and that's a shame cause they are the counterweight against the bigger labels. I see it during our shows, most of the kids buy shirts and almost nobody wants to purchase a cd. Anyway we'll see what the future will bring.
I was wondering whether you knew the guys before you joined the band or if it was a business thing.
If it was business I probably would have made the most awful choice ever.
So, no I knew them before I joined the band.