The Charm The Fury Interview, with Raymond Westland

Caroline Westendorp – Vocals
Mathijs Parent – Guitar
Rolf Perdok – Guitar
Lucas Arnoldussen – Bass
Mathijs Tieken – Drums

One of the rising stars within Metalcore are Amsterdam-based The Charm The Fury. We caught up the ever charming Caroline Westendorp (vocals) for the latest news from the The Charm The Fury camp, touring plans and her vision on the ongoing Metal versus Metalcore discussion…

Hi there, what the latest from The Charm The Fury camp?

What’s the latest..? Well, we’re currently preparing for a run of shows in Germany next week with We Came As Romans. Next to that, we will be shooting the music video for our first single of the new album in between those shows, in Frankfurt. Can’t wait for that! And.. We’ve also secured deals with CAA (worldwide exc. USA) and TKO Bookings (USA), they will book shows in support of ‘A Shade Of My Former Self’ that will see the light of day on September 16/17. Exciting stuff!

The Charm The Fury in on the fast track now. Which things attributed to the band’s success?

We said to ourselves that we didn’t want to release anything until we thought it was good enough. No raw demos, just productional decent material. Also, we’ve been in so many bands and we wanted to bring this one further than we ever have been with our previous bands, so we’ve planned the release, shows and promotion period wisely, tried to get cool shows and promoted our music like crazy! Oh, and it helps to have a female screamer as well ;-). haha!

How did the recording sessions for your debut album go?

It was hard work! There was a big time pressure this time, so we needed to really put our biggest effort in this process and we needed to be on top of our game to get this album together. I’ve battered my voice night by night, which was really tough. From time to time I almost had a nervous breakdown because I was afraid I just couldn’t sing anymore.. But you just have to get into that state of mind that you can do it, and when you believe in that, the recording will go really easy. Oh and: whisky helped as well!
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You have some very impressive pipes. How do you keep your voice in shape?

I’m a self taught screamer, but the ENT discovered some nubs on my voice approx 1,5 years ago. I went to a speech therapist and started working with a vocal coach, and fortunately the nobs disappeared. I keep my voice in shape by doing vocal exercises everyday! During shows I really need to sleep well, drink a lot of water (no alcohol) and don’t ‘overtalk’ or ‘overscream’ myself.

Metalcore is very popular at the moment. What sets you guys apart from your peers according to you?

We try to keep the songs interesting by focussing on melody and dynamics. We use melodic interludes and bridges to create some air in between the heavy breakdowns.

The band recently signed deals with Listenable Records (Europe) and Pavement (North America). How will these deals help you guys reach the next level?

They have a great network of promotional relations. If we were to do it by ourselves, we wouldn’t get any further than the local mag in The Netherlands ;-). By signing deals with Listenable and Pavement we are able to reach out to a bigger audience, to shed more light on our new album. We really want the world to get to know our music, and those deals really help with that. If we reach out to a bigger audience, we hope that the people that listen to our songs like what they hear and start coming to our shows.

The band is based in Amsterdam, a city with quite a reputation. Did something of that reputation rubbed off on you guys? If so, can you give some specific examples?

Haha, well we haven’t really got comments on that.. But people seem to react very enthusiastic when we say that we’re from Amsterdam, and instantly ask if we brought weed with us ;-).

Making a living as a (touring) band is quite difficult. How do you guys make ends meet?

We all work full- and part time jobs next to our band. It’s hard, but we’re poor musicians and have to pay our rents. We work in healthcare, marketing.. our bassist even works in a typical Amsterdam Cheese museum! We hope that we can grow onto a next level that will enable us to stick to only part time jobs next to the band.. And maybe eventually live from what we do. But in today’s musical environment: that’s just impossible.

Metalcore gets often frowned upon by people from the the Metal scene. Is this something you find frustrating?

People often relate Metalcore to bands who do make extreme use of pitch correction or have musical arrangement that consists of 0-0-0-0-0 and 1-1-1-1-1-1. Not every band does that. My personal favorites in Metalcore are for example Underoath and Killswitch Engage. Well you can’t frown upon that I think ;-). People often take Metalcore’s credibility into consideration, since some bands have gained more mainstream successes.. I find it frustrating yes, because we try to make good tracks that are interesting and diverse. I try to sing about things that I find important, such as political issues. We really want our music to be credible in every way. If you want to gain commercial success you should become a popstar, and definitely not play Metal, Metalcore, Hardcore or Punk in the first place.

What touring plans do you guys have in the near future?

We have a couple of awesome festivals and shows lined up in The Netherlands (and the UK as well.. that to be announced soon ;-)). We are currently working on booking Mainland Europe / UK tours in promotion of the new album. We really want to play as many shows as we can, as we want to get people to listen to our songs. It’s like an oil slick: we want to spread the music wider and wider!