A little while ago I came accross the first official Spartan video off their then still to be released album "The Fall of Olympus". This band immediately made a strong impression. Enough so to invite them to be the Metalheads Competition band. Now that their album has officially hit the streets, it was time to sit down with Jeffrey Rademakers from the band, for a more in depth introduction to the world of Spartan.
For the ones that don't know you yet, tell us a little about your band and it's members. Who are you and what do you play?
We are a 5-piece metal band from the Netherlands called Spartan. It's Pieter and Nick on guitars, Mike on bass, Frank on drums and me (Jeff) on vocals.
As is clear from your bandname and your lyrical content, you're highly influenced by mythology. Do you consider yourself a theme band?
Yeah, I think we do. We didn't start out that way though. It wasn't until after we decided on the bandname 'Spartan' that we went back to rewrite our first songs, and started into the theme. It was quite logical for us too, because we all share this love of Greek mythology.
You just released a new album, "The Fall of Olympus". Can you tell us a bit about the songs on this release?
The songs are pretty diverse, because we have spent the last 5 years writing and recording them. It's a long time, but we have been on a break in between (due to a lack of a drummer), so it was hard to really complete the songs. The album's main theme is about humanity breaking the hold the gods have on them, and taking control of their own destiny. The songs 'The Age of Man' and 'Breaking the Chains of Olympus' really go into this theme, while the other songs are about things like the Trojan war, the legend of the Minotaur and the story of Orpheus. We have also collaborated with some really cool people, such as Sakis of Rotting Christ, Henning Basse (ex-Metalium and the new singer of Firewind) and Hadassa Kosten (theNAME), all of whom add a lot of depth to the songs and our sound in general.
You recently released an official video clip for Elysium, your first single off the album. How did you land on the choice for this song? What speaks to you in this story?
The main reason we picked Elysium to release a video for, is because (to us) the song is the most accessible one on the album, and a good introduction to the Spartan sound. It's also a song about the afterlife, and in metal that usually makes for a pretty cool story, hahaha.
Do you feel you changed a lot since your previous EP (For Glory, 2009)?
How much is a lot? We've actually been rehearsing two of the songs from the album, so we can play them at our releaseparty on december 3rd. And yeah, I have to say we've progressed a lot in 6 years.
Do you consider yourselves more a studio band or do you shine brighter during live sets?
We don't really think of ourselves as either a studio or a live band. We love recording new stuff and messing around in the studio, but we also love playing shows and interacting with our fans.
What moment in your career path up to this point are you most proud of?
The new album. We've spent a lot of time and energy in recording it, getting the artwork perfect (made possible by the amazing Dracorubio!), and now it finished! It was really amazing to get the first digipacks in the mail, and hold it for the first time.
So with a new record under the belt, a professional video clip released... What does the near future hold for Spartan? And can we expect to see you live?
We're already working on new songs, and new shows for the summer of 2016. Until then we're playing a couple of shows in Holland in December, January and February, and hopefully some shows abroad in May (we're still working on that).
If you were to pick 3 songs from 3 different bands to cover in a live set, which would you choose?
Personally, I'd pick Athanati Este by Rotting Christ (we have already played that song a couple of times), Blond Beast by Marduk and Master's Apprentices by Opeth.
These songs you picked, are they just fun to play, or would you call these musical influences?
Rotting Christ has been a big influence for us, not just musically, but also in terms of mindset. We've toured with them back in 2013 and learned a lot from them. Also, Athanati Este is a really cool song to play and sing. Blond Beast was one of the songs Marduk played during their soundcheck when we toured with them, and it's REALLY catchy. Even for my bandmates, who don't like black metal as much as me. And Master's Apprentices is just an amazing song, really heavy and bombastic, but without adding all kinds of bells and whistles. That's something we want to achieve with our music as well.
Any last word for our readers?
Never give up, never back down, and always stand up for what you believe in. Oh, and listen to Spartan!
Thank you for your time to talk to us, we'll keep a close eye on Spartan!