[Interview] The Progerians [BE]

The Progerians band photo
"The Progerians" from Belgium are going to release their new album in a few days (25th May) and they were kind enough to inform us about it a month ago, so after listening (and enjoyed it) to "Crush the wise men who refuse to submit" we also took the chance to have a little chat with the band and we present you this interview.

1.-Hello and welcome to Downtuned. First of all, give us some info about the band's background just to let people know you better. How did you meet and when did you start the band?
The band originally started somewhere in 2010 in Brussels with a kind of weird garage-punk mix. After a year the singer quit, and the 2 remaining souls decided to kick Progerians back to life by calling in a new guitar player. As from that moment the Progerians became a playing field where we could constantly try weird shit. The style grew slower and heavier as the years went by and the mix even more interesting, calling upon the influences of the synthi, the trumpet, or other very gifted artists to see what we could shake out of our hats.
Right from the beginning in 2011, we thus delved into creating our very own blend of crazy tunes, releasing in 2012 our first 6-track EP “Degeneration” and a 4-track split EP in 2013. Over the years we refined our sound into our own unique signature, crystalized in 2015 on our first full-length album. This evolved in what we play today and the new record we are releasing on the 25th of May.

2.-Did the members of the band participate in other projects or bands in the past and what kind of music did they play?
We oscillate between many side projects… or maybe we are the side project…?
In fact, almost everybody works with other bands as well, some of us are involved in film-making photography, others paint, etc. We rehearse in this huge building separated into small cells with a lot of other bands playing in different rooms at the same time. Cross-overs and connections are inevitable.

3.-How did you come up with the name "The Progerians"? Does it mean something particular for you?
Progeria is a disease that causes children to age prematurely. To us it is about getting old too fast, that’s it…

4.-How big or active is the underground music scene at your place of living? How easy or difficult was for you to make your first steps as a band? Was it easy to find an audience for your music at your place?
Belgium is a small country and Brussels a small town, but the underground scene has always been present at its own little level. We've all had at least one foot inside it for years and as everyone knows each other here it was difficult not to know us :)  Now we’re here to stay!

5.-How would you describe your music to someone who doesn't know you yet?
As heavy desperate rock. An exploration of all we've been listening to since we were kids... punk, hardcore, metal whatever ... all distilled through our very own secret filters.

6.-Almost 4 years have passed since your debut release "The Fabulous Progerians". What has stayed the same and what is different today in the band and in the way you work?
We are older, and we accept that things take time. And I think that our music is less genre focused and more personal. We no longer care if people have trouble defining us.

7.-Your new full album "Crush the wise men who refuse to submit" is going to be released in a few
Crush the wise men who refuse to submit
days. Have you been working on it those 3.5 years? Its total duration is slightly over 1 hour, was it a difficult project to finish?
It was a long process artistically speaking. Creation is a perpetual painful process. At some point you just have to stop even if you feel you could work on it for years.

8.-It was obvious from your previous releases that you really like to experiment but with your new album you took experimentation many steps further by blending several different genres into your music. Have you planned it from the beginning to be that way or it just occured during the album's creation?
Some cross-overs were planned and there was a lot of very inspiring accidents/mistakes. For the most we were open to new influences and tested a lot of styles... Arabic music, rebetiko (which is really unusual in Belgium), different shades of doom drone or noise. At the end the blend of "used" and "unused" influences makes everything sound «Progerians» and we're very happy with that.

9.-How does the whole songwriting process work for you? What are the emotions you want people to receive when they hear your music? What are your lyrics about?
There are some different approaches to our writing. Some songs are entirely composed by our drummer, others came from jamming sessions, and we have a cover of an instrumental track from Bartolomeo’s previous band. We added lyrics to Nejeret and transformed it into our own song.
Our lyrics are generally very dark and deep. We deal with human shit through the music: identity, control, death, drugs and lies. We leave sex to the kids.

10.-One could say that your new album's music and lyrics are quite darker than your previous releases, is there an actual reason for that? 
We lost some friends during those years and nearly lost others. Our music is cathartic and reflects our darkest thoughts and feelings, although playing it live is pure pleasure.

The Progerians band photo
11.-What were the biggest difficulties that you encountered in producing and releasing your music so far? Did those difficulties affect the way you now handle your releases?
Our releases always happened naturally. We released the first three ones in a DIY kind of way, as that was how things came together at that time. We knew Mathias from Mottow Soundz for quite some time, and again we naturally found a way to work together. The main driver is to stay focused and consistent. Work with people you trust. Be humble, and write what you love, not what others love.

12.-What were the main reasons and influences that made you adopt this attitude in your music?
That’s just how things worked out. There is probably another parallel universe where we didn’t release anything and where we love to step in dog shit.

13.-During a gig, is the communication with the crowd important for you? Does the positive feedback from the crowd motivate you to perform with more passion?
Of course!

14.-Are there any "special" bands that you dream to share the stage with?
 A lot of them. It involves a long debate so maybe it’s best to leave it unsaid… Well, one of them starts with the letter “X”. Go!

15.-How do you imagine "The Progerians" in 2029?
Very old!

16.-What are your plans for this year? Is it a priority for you to try and participate in gigs outside your country?
Our future is on the road and abroad.

17.-We wish you good luck to whatever you do in the future, the epilogue is yours...
Hopefully our paths will cross sometime soon!

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