NEUROTIC DEATHFEST er som vanlig årets første rene death metal festival vi tar tak i her i Eternal Terror. Det er også snart den eneste festivalen av denne typen og av denne størrelsen som er igjen i Europa. Festivalen blir i år arrangert for 12. gang.

Opprinnelig het festivalen Rotterdam Deathfest og ble arrangert i Rotterdam de 2 første årene. I 2006 skiftet festivalen navn til Neurotic Deathfest og flyttet samtidig til Dynamo i Eindhoven. I 2007 flyttet festivalen nok en gang på seg, denne gangen til Tilburg. Samtidig med disse bybyttene og navneskiftene har antall band økt for hvert år. I debutåret 2004 var det kun åtte band som spilte, året etter var det 13, i 2006 var det 15 band til stede mens i 2007 var det antallet steget til 23 band. Året etter var antallet steget ytterligere til 32 og i 2009 var det 31 band som spilte. I 2010 og 2011 var det hele 42 band som underholdt i Tilburg. I 2012 ble festivalen utvidet til tre dager og fikk naturlig nok enda flere band, denne gangen 48 i tallet. Året etter reduserte de til 44 og i år er det i skrivende stund 38 band som er klare. Det vil komme til noen få til, slik at antallet nok blir noe lignende som i fjor.

og NADER SADEK er foreløpig de største navnene, men her er det flust av godbiter for death metal fans. Vi kan jo for eksempel nevne TRIBULATION, BENIGHTED, DEAD CONGREGATION, SINISTER, SOULBURN, GOROD, HIDEOUS DIVINITY og INGESTED.



(Av Rune Grande)



Neurotic Deathfest is the biggest indoor extreme metal festival in Europe. Earlier the Inferno Festival in Norway was the biggest and the newcomer Blastfest in Bergen is close to being the biggest contestant at this moment. How important is it for Neurotic Deathfest to be the biggest?

I never really am concerned with being the ‘biggest’ festival in this niche out there. It is nice to mention in press releases of course, but it is not of any other importance to me. The artists and fans to have a great time on the festival, that is what it is all about for me. Although, being the longest lasting festival of its kind, that seems like a real accomplishment though.

The lineup is close to complete. Which band are you most happy with and which one do you look most forward seeing yourself this year?

I would like to see Dead Congregation and Bloodbath, as I haven’t seen both live before. But there are so many artists, and I would like to see them all really. But that is not going to happen haha.

The last time we talked (in 2013), you were thrilled that Devourment would play the Neurotic Deathfest for the first time. Now they are back. Is Ruud excited?

Oh yea definitely. I think it is a great band, and they did something that most bands don’t accomplish. They changed their style on the last album quite a bit and still kept me really interested in their music. So yes, I am thankful fort hem to come over for the festival once again.

There are not many Norwegian bands in your lineup. How come? 

I am not sure. Maybe your country doesn’t have any great bands? Haha, no sorry, just kidding of course. I am just never really that concerned with picking bands by country. But looking at the line-up, and at the line-up from previous years, we don’t often have Norwegian bands, so you are right. I will definitely look more into the bands from your country next time!

Death metal has to be your thing (haha). Do you have a favorite death metal act? Are there one or more bands that Ruud like more than a bit?

Actually, I listen to a variety of metal and non metal music really. But yes, death metal is one of the genres I listen to a lot. I am still most into the bands that I worked with when I still had a label. You know, Disavowed, Pyaemia, Spawn of Possession, Psycroptic, and so on. All bands I worked with who had terrific albums out. But I guess it is just because I have such good memories of those times working with those bands. But in death metal, there is so much, and there is so much that I like. Really too much to mention though. Two bands that I really like, but that are not death metal (but still worth to mention) are Today Is The Day and Converge.

How is your personal death metal collection (CD’s and vinyls)?

It is getting smaller by the day haha! I stopped listening music through CD awhile ago and started to clean up my collection and sell a significant part of it. I have a lot of things twice or even three times in my collection. I just listen to my music digitally, mostly when I am at work, or going from the one place to the other. With a life as busy as mine you don’t really get to sit at home, look at your cd collection, and say ‘oh right, I am going to give Soulside Journey a spin’. So out of approximately 3.000 items, I am keeping about 1/3rd and the rest is being sold. I never really was that much into vinyl, even though I have a couple of 100 items of those as well.

Along with South America I mean that Poland, Sweden and USA has the biggest death metal scenes in the world, but which country or countries do you think have the most promising scene for new upcoming great death metal bands today and what do you think of the newer bands?

There used to be such a distinct ‘Swedish’ sound, or a distinct ‘Polish’ sound in death metal. Or the ‘New York’ sound for that matter. But what I have seen happen throughout the years is that – probably with the internet coming in the mix – it has been much more diverse. You have bands from Czech Republic sounding like Pyrexia and Suffocation, bands from Italy making slam death metal like early Devourment, and so on. Even the polish sound isn’t that present anymore in young Polish bands I think. So I would rather see death metal as just one big worldwide scene.

How about the future for death metal?

I don’t know really. There still is tons and tons of great death metal. But it seems to be less alive than about 8 years ago probably. I see the bigger death metal bands going on tour and only drawing a 100 people, 200 tops, where they used to sell out 500 people venues in the past. But then again, on the other hand, bands such as Obituary have a really strong comeback, which sure helps smaller bands again to make something of a career. As far as you can call this a career as opposed to a hobby of course. Call me old, but I think death metal will always stay around, but it will just lose in popularity every few years, and then gain in popularity again the few years after. I think it has always been that way. Furthermore you see that with all the deathcore stuff into the mix, the death metal community answers with more old school driven death metal. So it keeps itself in balance one way or another too you know.

Is there any form of financial support for a festival like Neurotic Deathfest in Holland?

No, I wish! There never have been any financial support, and there never will be. Each year we struggle to break even, and some of the years we break even. Some of the years we make just a little bit of profit, and the year after we lose that profit again when we don’t break even on the festival. That’s how it has been ever since 1994. So we do this because we like to do it and get the energy from seeing artists and fans from allover the world really enjoy themselves.

Well, that’s it. Any famous last words from Holland to our readers?

Not exactly famous, but: thank you for your support, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts to the people who buy tickets to the festival. It is highly appreciated.




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