I heard that you play plenty of concerts … how important is the reaction of an audience for you as a band when you play live? Do you try to make them reach a certain point as far as participation is concerned?

It's always fun when an audience is responsive. In that way that it's more fun for me, because they just give you that little extra to perform. Whatever that may be of course. Anyway I always try to feel at ease in whatever situation. But … If I feel as one with them, I'd definitely can cross my limits more. On the other hand this is absolutely not a necessity. I do not try to "force" them into something. I do not want people to behave different because of me. I'm not trying to make them to do anything … I provide them with the most honest version of myself, of us as a band. And if the audience feels at home, they'll behave like that. It's not about me or them. It's about us. Together!

What different kinds of audiences have you witnessed and does it affect your performance?

It's obvious that if people do not know your songs in advance, they need some time to get used to them. Knowing the songs makes it a different experience. Some audiences go completely crazy. Than we'd be dancing all together. Jumping on top of each other. Sometimes they're calmer and attentive and I just give the most sincere best of myself.

My Dutch is very limited … is ONMENS a Dutch expression?

Yes. It means "inhuman"

Who runs Sideburns Records and how did you guys get in touch?

Sideburn Records is runned by Pieter-Jan Symons. We got in touch thru a friend. I mailed him a link with the private stream of our first album "Misdracht". He replied me the next day: "one of the coolest thing I've heard this year. Can we meet?" That was it; since that day we're working together.

You seem to be a band that many critics love and I’ve often witnessed that these bands are given a real hard time by the listeners because the media appreciates them … folklore or is there some truth to it as far as ONMENS are concerned?

I don't think so. At least … I never had that experience or feeling. We're very grateful to have people liking our music. Media and listeners. We're out there playing shows for a year and a half now, and so far all people have always been good to us.

You made a clip for “Shrine” of your debut with a kid dancing to the NINE INCH NAILS like song … qualifies as weird. Is it part of your concept to piss the listener off a good deal? Or is it all authentic rage?

It's an original family Christmas video. The kid is actually dancing on a Nina Hagen song. I just though it fitted our music well, so we used it. That video clip had no intention in pissing someone off or showing any sort of rage. It's rather an exceptional chain of events that linked the images with this particular song.

You basically are amongst a few bands that mix electronic music and rock/hardcore/noise-rock. Why do you think besides pioneers like ATARI TEENAGE RIOT, JOY DIVISION, MINISTRY and NINE INCH NAILS only very few people attempt to mix those genres?

There are more bands out there for sure. These are the more obvious names to drop. Mixing means that the eventual blend will always have different flavors. Joy Division has a light electronic blend with minimal like rock songs. NIN are blending rock with modern electronics.

Ministry is aggressive and heavy. ATR is punk and hardcore, on techno beats. ONMENS has his own blend. Caused by our own influences or vision or taste or … What shouldn't be forgotten is that each band uses different gear for example. That's already a huge factor, which is determing your blend/style/... Mixing electro and rock is just a different way of working. You can't jam. It's not like having a band and picking up your guitar and start trying things out. There's a lot of side-work to be done. Preparing, programming, editing, producing, … before you can even play. Maybe it's demanding to much time for some … But we enjoy working those things!

Your lyrics are really badass. You speak of having a dominant nature, making life more exciting by some fist fights and the likes … how many of your lyrics are influenced by art/William S. Burroughs and how much is exorcising personal demons?

Haha thanks. Nothing is inspired by William Burroughs. He's just an incredible novelist. The lyrics are based on a certain kind of mood or idea or frustration or … ONMENS music is quite aggressive thats true. But I'm not a fighter. "A point could be made faster by fists" yeah, unfortunately some people take that as the truth. That phrase is a whole bunch of sarcasm. Definitely not something we live by. "Bathe" is a more personal song. Every song has his own little world. Influences come from very different aspects in our life.

What are your goals with the band … and please don’t give me that “have a good time” speech … ; )

We're already working on a third album. So there will be another one next year! But we're granting ourselves a little more time now. Because of that we have the ability to try some new material out during live shows. Experiment a little more. I feel that we're constantly evolving into something that is even more "us". We'll be playing some cool shows in the near future. There's a plan for touring Europe again, and … have more guitars!

Thomas Eberhardt