Interview with Johan van Roy from Suicide Commando

Iza had a chat with Belgian artist Johan van Roy from the Harsh EBM/ industrial band Suicide Commando about touring during the COVID 19 pandemic, live streams and his upcoming single and new album.

Here’s the full interview:

Last year you released a new single called ‘Trick or Treat’ and now there’s a new album in the works. Can you tell more a bit more about what can we expect from the new album?

Meanwhile the album is completely finished. Most of the songs were written during the pandemic and I think you can also hear it in the result, it sure did not become a “happy” album nor an easy listening album.
It still has the typical suicide commando ingredients but I also think this became the hardest suicide commando album to date, somehow you can feel the frustration of the last 2 years in the new songs. So it will be a bitter black album !

Suicide Commando’s music tends be very harsh sounding for EBM with lots of violent themes. Where does all violence come from?

I think we all have violence inside of us, it’s just a matter how to deal with aggression and violence, and for me my music is the perfect way to get rid of my aggression, my violent emotions … for me my music is also my therapy.
Furthermore we’re living in a world full of aggression and violence, just switch on the radio or the television and you get bombed with violence in the news, open the newspaper and you get confronted with violence … so my music is just a reflection of what we see or hear in every day life.

The pandemic has caused lots of distruptions with tours and shows being cancelled. Even the shows that weren’t cancelled went ahead with lots of restrictions. What are your thoughts on playing live shows under Covid 19 restrictions?

Well I considered it as a necessary evil. Of course it was really frustrating not being able to go on tour and have contact with our fans and audience. But on the other hand I’m happy we at least could do a few live shows, even those with a sitting audience. It was a weird feeling to play in front of a sitting audience, but I’m still happy we could do these few shows.
We now finally can start doing live shows again in more normal conditions, it’s still a bit strange as you notice people are still cautious and reluctant, and some people still prefer to stay safe at home, but slowly things will get back to normal … I hope !

Archive footage – Suicide Commando live at Electrowerkz, Slimelight London, UK in 2013.

Another thing that the pandemic has brought about was the rise in popularity of livestreams. Have you ever considered doing a Suicide Commando livestream?

We got a few requests to do such livestreams but in our constitution it was as get as impossible as we all live pretty far away from each other, and Torben (my live keyboarder) even lives in Germany, so coming together for such a livestream wasn’t even possible.

Has the Russian war with Ukraine had any influence on your new song Bang Bang Bang?

The song “Bang Bang Bang” was written already some months ago, so the song itself has nothing to do with the current war in Ukraine. The song actually is about gun violence, but of course it also got a new dimension with the current war. But no matter what, the message is clear, guns kill !

Finally once this pandemic is over and all the restrictions have been lifted are there any countries which you would like to tour for the first time?

Tour for the first time won’t be an easy thing as we already played in so many different countries all over the world, but of course I still have some dream locations left, for example I’d love to tour Australia or Japan one day.

Suicide Commando’s new single ‘Bang Bang Bang!’ will be released on April 14 in digital download and limited edition MCD via Out of Line Records (Europe) and Metropolis Records (USA & rest of the world).

Meanwhile you can check out his new video for ‘Trick or Treat’:

For more details visit:

https://www.facebook.com/IIXIII

https://suicidecommando.bandcamp.com/

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