Interview: Raketkanon [February 2015]

By Ben Tipple

Those new to the Belgian four-piece Raketkanon may find themselves a little confused. Their combination of sludge, punk, hardcore and the downright unusual isn’t necessarily easy to grasp, but it sure does reek of excitement. On their latest track, ‘Florent’, they swing between doom influenced guitars, sludge soundscapes, keyboards and some outright disturbing vocal wails. Bring it all together and the result is awe inspiringly disjointed.

As the band set their sights towards the UK, we had a brief introductory chat with the Belgians to find out what the fuss is all about.

Tell us a little about Raketkanon. How would you describe your first 4 years and sound?

We formed in Ghent in 2011 when our drummer Pieter De Wilde and guitarist Jef Verbeeck began jamming in between sessions with their death metal band. Within a week we played our first show as a two-piece. Pieter and Jef shared a rehearsal space with singer Pieter-Paul Devos, who also sings in Kapitan Korsakov, and he and synth-bass man Lode Vlaeminck joined soon afterwards, the band finding a shared love for mayhem on and off stage. We enjoy self-destruction and wanton celebration in equal measure.

The past four years of playing have been so exciting. We played nice venues and met lovely people.

Our sound? Monolithic down-tuned riffs, drums that boom like detonated antiquarian temples, low-end bass-synth drones and vocals that swell up from the out of somewhere deep and dark and purely elemental.

How does it feel to be breaking into the international market?

Exciting! Crossing borders to play shows and see people getting moved by our music is great! Meeting music fans and having fun with people who don’t speak your language or don’t speak English, but feel your music. That’s what it’s about! Phonethic singing, melodies, grooves… That’s all something universal… So, it’s very exciting to see how the tours will go.

What are you expecting from your UK show?

Hopefully we find an enthusiastic new crowd to play for, meet interesting people, see some cool bands and nice places.

What can music fans expect from your new album?

We really believe that the music we make has genuine beauty in it. Without wanting to sound arrogant at all. It’s all about honesty. It’s eclectic as well. The record really sounds like you’re standing right next to us in the room, while we’re playing. What you hear actually is the sound of the studio rooms. No plugins and stuff like that. Music fans can also expect a more abstract and more dynamic record. For example: when we’d fade out, we’d play the fade out instead of doing it in the mix. It’s all real, it’s all there.

Raketkanon will be playing a free show at The Stillery in London on the 9th March 2015. It’s bound to be an unforgettable experience.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]