Interview with Luc Ebinger & Marc Herremans
Hello how are you doing ? Scavenger formed in 1982 and has been playing this real Metal style since then. How does it feel starting in the early 80’s and going into 2016 / 2017 ?
Hi, It is great to see that the album ‘Battlefields’ is still selling very well and the interest in the band is still there. Although it is Heavy Metal from the 80’s, the songs are pretty much timeless. Because of the many request to perform and tour from practically all over the world , we decided to reform the band . However, due to 30 years of playing in different bands and music styles by several members of the original Scavenger, it was impossible to bring the same musicians together. That’s why we , Marc and Luke , decided to look for fresh and younger talent, which we found in Kevin (guitar) and Lucas (bass guitar). Very early on however, we decided to go for a female singer and frontwoman ‘Tine’ for this reformed 80’s Heavy Metal band to give it a more up- to- date and at the same time a more original look and feel.
Scavenger have only one legendary release “ Battlefields ‘’ under Mausoleum Records then the band split up ? the band was and still one of the awesome under rated Heavy Metal bands , can we say that Scavenger is back with new Music ?
Because we wanted a female singer , the original songs will be more or less the same, but with a very different vocal presence. The songs from ‘Battlefields’ will be played as close to the original songs as possible, but with different vocals and here and there more depth in guitar and drum work so that the songs can stand their ground in this day and age. And yes, we are in the middle of writing sessions for new songs which will be released in de second half of 2018. Those will be in the line of 80’s Hard Rock and Metal, because this kind of rock Music is still very popular. Especially with the younger generation. They rediscover this great music because nowadays lots of Heavy Metal sounds the same and lacks spirit and soul.
How did you join the band and why did you choose Playing for Scavenger ?
The foundation of Scavenger lies in a band called ‘Deep Throat’. This band was formed in the early 80’s and we were mostly playing Hard-Rock and Metal songs we wrote ourselves and added a couple of covers of well-known bands at the time in our play list. Because of personal problems , lack of direction and frictions within the band the 2 guitar players left and we contacted 2 talented musicians we met during touring. Their replacement lifted the band up through their vision and writing skills which resulted in a demo recording and lead subsequently to a record deal with Mausoleum records.
How has the music business changed since you Scavenger started ? Would you say it’s been a double edged sword with illegal downloading but on the other hand you are also able to reach many people you may have not have been able to reach ?
True. Because Mausoleum went bust, there was no financial back up , no support , no management, so Scavenger was left out to dry. We, and many other bands who were under Mausoleum contract, were left out in the cold . Lots of bands had to split because of lack of capital and distribution of the records. Apparently the album was downloaded illegally lots of times without us knowing , until we started to get feedback from around the world many , many years later. The illegal downloading isn’t so much the problem , because as you say it is a double edge sword indeed. But it means that we are now looking for a strong and good label that can release the album again in a more legal way, so that we will have the means to hit the road again.
How has the reception been for “Battlefields ‘’ so far ? I think it’s a really killer record !!
Thank you very much ! Many fans and Metal bands still love the concept and the quality of the recording of this album. The response we get is that the songs are strong and the album is versatile. And because it sounds all quite original ‘Battlefields’ stand out . It attracts interest and attention and people want to hear these songs ‘live’. So we are looking forward to play at festivals and just have a blast !
Is there any plans for a vinyl re-issue of the debut album ? any plans for a new album ?
Yes, certainly. Because Scavenger started out with a Vinyl record and subsequently the re- release on CD under the ‘Classic’ label, we definitely want to bring it out again on Vinyl , alongside the CD with new bonus tracks with the new members. There are plans and already contacts to write and record a new album, but at the moment this has no priority because we first are going to focus on the Battlefields tour . And in the meantime the search is going on for a label that’s interested in us.
What’s your opinion on the Metal scene in the 80’s and now? Would say it’s gotten better for Scavenger ?
Interesting question … I grew up with ‘The Holy Trinity’ : Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Later I was influenced by TNWOBHM (The New Wave of British Heavy Metal) Saxon, Iron Maiden , Rainbow and Judas Priest. You could now say ‘old School ‘. Back then the emphasis was on writing a good song and a great and recognisable melody . Nowadays lots of Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal etc. is more about speed and the number of notes you can play in a couple of seconds. Although the level of musicianship is enormous ( e.g. Dream theatre , Symphony X , etc. ) , the danger here is that lots of bands sound more or less the same and ‘being original’ has more to do with image than music. In my humble opinion , much of this side of the spectrum of Rock music lacks soul. That’s why bands like ‘The Dead Daisies’ are having so much success again, because of the good songs they write, just like in the 80’s. The road to success (for most of us ) keep it simple !
Well I would like to say thank you for your time and do you have any last words ?
We hope that the old songs of Scavenger’s ‘Battlefields’ album are still interesting enough for people to come and see us live. We will make sure that the new songs will add more power to the gigs and Scavenger 2.0 can make its mark in the Rock scene. Thank you for having us and cheers ! See you on the road somewhere …
Interviewer : Med Manef Slama