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Meet the Band Rocking Belgium: An Interview with Meltheads

When you hit play on a Meltheads track, you're likely to be met with frontman Sieste Willem's powerful voice---a guttural growl that feels reminiscent of grunge rockers like Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder. Then, you'll probably be hit with a punch of drums and a guitar riff perfect for headbanging. Even if you don't speak a lick of the band's native language, there's no denying the palpable energy in their music. It is the sort of rock that makes you long for the sweaty heaven of a mosh pit.

Luckily, for those in Europe, the band has been touring a lot lately with upcoming dates in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. And for those of us outside of the continent, Meltheads will also be releasing their debut album, Decent Sex, on February 9th of this year. Needless to say, 2024 is shaping up to be a good year for these rockers.

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to interview Sieste Willem about all things Meltheads, including touring, the Belgian rock scene and the band's path to world domination. You can read our discussion below:

Can you tell me about how you all got together as a band/ Where did you meet and how did you get started in playing gigs and writing songs?

We kind of started playing together by coincidence. I had recorded an album somewhere around the end of 2017. I had 8 songs (which were shitty) and a cheap audio interface, which I thought was equal to a full recording studio, and I couldn’t actually play music that well. So, I wanted to have ‘real drums’ on these songs and asked Thibault Rothiers, who would become our first drummer, to track them.

I borrowed two mics from a friend of mine, his dad, and went recording. Turned out, it wasn’t that easy, but we did enjoy making music together. It must have been December 2017 when I asked Yunas, who was in the same class as me, after a high school math exam if he would want to jam with us later that day.

Three weeks later, we had our first gig. It was terrible, but we felt like rock gods. A few weeks later, I ran into Tim at a party, who I also knew from high school; he said he played bass, and I told him we were looking for a bass player. He joined the band later that evening.

We only started taking things seriously at the end of 2021 when Simon joined. All of a sudden, we found a direction and recorded our first album about 1.5 years later.

You have a kind of old school rock sound. Who are your inspirations as a band?

I don’t really know, actually. I just love raw sounds. Everything is able to inspire us, from Idles to Madonna.

You guys have been touring a lot recently, and your music has a very kinetic energy to it. How does it feel to play your songs live? What have the crowds been like?

We’ve always been a live band. I love playing live, and I could not bear living without it. The crowds have been, um, we’ve had all sorts of crowds. But we always hope the crowd is energetic, which mostly happens.

One thing I really noticed while doing research for this interview was your website! I really love the silly graphics and humorous tour vlogs you guys have up. I'd love to know what inspires your visual style and branding.

One of my best friends, Billie Marcelis, is a graphic designer. He has created almost every single graphic element for us. It’s not like we have a specific direction we want to pursue graphically. We just collaborate with Billie and discuss it a lot. I guess you don’t really have to think about that stuff as long as you like it yourself. But I have to say, we could not have had all these amazing posters, covers, clips, and everything else without him!

Your music videos also have a very nostalgic feel to them! The videos for "I Want it All" and "I Wanna Be a Girl" have a very old school, MTV type feel. Are there artists you look to for visual inspiration in that way?

I love old-school MTV home-recorded style, shitty videoclips. The ones you mentioned are really DIY videos. We used to rent a camera for 40 bucks and shoot clips with it. Now we use an old one we borrowed from my girlfriend's dad. Thank you, Emanuel

Speaking of wanting it all, what are your goals for the new year and looking into the future in general?

World domination. Nah, just kidding. We’re planning on touring Europe and maybe beyond? There’s a lot going to happen in 2024. Mainly, I hope we’ll just have the best time ever.

I'm really interested in the Belgian music scene and I'm sure our readers are too! What does the scene look like right now? What are some other bands you would recommend to people just getting into it?

You should definitely check out bands like SONS and Whispering Sons (Bert, the bass player, produced our album). Jelle Denturck from DIRK is coming with a solo album in '25 named 'Dressed like Boys,' which is amazing. Also, The Haunted Youth, Isaac Roux, Sam De Nef…

For smaller or more local acts, you should check out REHASH, young dudes playing old-school punk, and everything released under Belly Button Records (MOAR, Tuff Guac). Also, Lezard, Maria Iskariot, Koala Disco, Tje, The Christian Club…


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