Mailer Interview with The guys from Dutch Death Metal Masters from; Phlebotomized. Tom Palms, Dennis Bolderman and Ben de Graaf.

Hello Tom Palms, how are you doing?

Tom) I’m fine, thanks!

Please tell us about the metal scene in your area, Rozenburg, The Netherlands?

Tom) I am not into the scene nowadays.

In the past a lot of good Death/Doom/Thrash bands were founded in this area. Bands like: Sinister, Obtruncation, Threnody, Usurper, Officium Triste and Thanatos.

How you guys are “surviving” this time with the worldwide ‘pendemic’ going on..?

Dennis) It has been a tough year. Working from home, not much things to do. No concerts to go to, no possibility to rehearse with the band, etc. Some days feel a bit like the “Groundhog Day” movie. And it’s a mean virus. It’s like Russian roulette. Some people hardly notice it when they get Covid, or see it as a flu (which it’s definitely not!). Other people – like myself – get very, very ill from it. I’m fully recovered now, but that has taken about 3 months. So, be careful!

Ben: It are some strange times indeed and all we can is hope that this will soon be over. I do miss it a lot to rehearse with band, do gigs, going to a concert or a pub.

Tom) Surviving is probably the best way to describe it. My family and writing music saves the day.

How does it feel like all other bands that cannot play any liive show at the moment? Especially now when you guys released a new EP?

(Dennis) I would love to get back to the stage! I think some of the new songs would work very well live. I really miss that energy of playing live. 

And of course I can’t wait to go see other bands. Listening to some real loud & heavy music with a cold beer in my hand.

Ben: It’s a pity but let’s hope there is still a possibility to play live shows again this year. And play some of the new songs.

Please tell us about the writing process, time in the studio before the release of; ” Pain, Resistance, Suffering”?

(Dennis) Because of the first lockdown here we had to learn and rehearse all the songs by ourselves at home. I recorded my guitar parts at home and would send them to Tom. Jordy Middelbosch was helping us with the pre-production, he put all the parts together and would send it back to us. We could hear the song grow that way. We had just 3 rehearsals before we hit the studio. It turned out this way of rehearsing and recording at home worked very well. I still remember the very first rehearsal with Alex, André and myself. We played “No Surrender” for the first time together, and it was like we had already played it for a year. After the song ended we were just flabbergasted how well that went. And it paid off in the studio as well. Because we had pre-recorded our parts at home we knew exactly how we had to record everything. The studio recordings went very smooth (although it was extremely hot at the time!). I’m very happy with the result.

Ben: We all had to learn all songs at home actually. However it was a great experience and great to see how everyone was prepared when we did hit the studio.

How the press and fans react to the lyric video the band and the label Petrichor released some time ago from the song: “GPS”?

Dennis: We had a lotof positive reactions on “GPS”. There were some people who even related it to the “Immense Intense Suspense” era, who heard a true 90-ies vibe in the song. But every song on “Pain, Resistance, Suffering” has its own vibe, so there is much more to discover who listens to it.

I became an invitation from Petrichor Records to listen to the new album on Youtube and i have to say its a strong, powerfull EP and together with a lot of other known Dutch Death Metal bands a part of a really strong force in the worldwide Metal scene! Then i saw the review on Zware and i thought; “yes” that’s how I see the EP as well. How is your view on the EP now that it’s released?

(Dennis) Well, I’m very proud of the result. The music, the production, the artwork, everything! And I agree with the final words of that review: we are different. You never know beforehand what to expect from Phlebotomized. For me that’s one of the things I really like about the band. Our music can go any direction. No boundaries!

Who was responsible for the Frontcover of the EP?

Dennis: The artwork is made by the Russian artist Andrey Khrisanenkov from Armaada Art. Rob (our keyboard player) found his work when we were looking for inspiration for the new EP cover. We really liked his style. We had a concept in our minds, and he really nailed it!

How did you guys came in contact with Petrichor, The Netherlands. Its a new record label, please tell us about it?

Dennis: Our last full-length “Deformation of Humanity” was released by Hammerheart Records. The new EP would initially also be released by Hammerheart, but in the meantime Petrichor was started as a new label next to Hammerheart. The focus of Hammerheart is shifting more towards re-releasing classic metal albums, where Petrichor is the label which releases new work from their own signed artists. So yeah, it’s a new label, but we know the guys behind it much longer. And I must say, they do an excellent job so far!

Where do you get the inspiration from concerning the lyrics? Is there anything you want to share with the listeners lyrically i mean?

Tom) Life itself and my innerself are my inspirations most often. Literature, zen, movies, politics do the rest… If you are interested in our lyrics, please check our facebook site every week. Each week we gonna explain a lyric from our new EP.

The band started as ne of the older Death Metal bands in The Netherlands. People say you are a Dutch Cult-Band. Blease telll us briefly how the band got started and do you still remember about the death metal scene at the time you started the band about 1989/1990?

Tom) I was 15 when we started in march 1989 with Bacterial Cancer which we changed in Bacterial Disease the same year. We choose the name Phlebotomized in 1990. Lawrence (drums and lyricsist) used that word in the song Tragic Entanglement (Demo Devoted to God). It sounded much cooler!

First line up:

Lawrence Payne – drums, lyrics.

Patrick van der Zee – Bass.

Tom Palms – guitars.

In the 1990s, PHLEBOTOMIZED was most often associated with NOCTURNUS music. The album The Key had a uge impact in the direction we wanted te choose musically. We added violins to our music later on. We were one of the first bands who used violin in extreme metal. (since summer 1992).

Maarten (violin) and Lawrence knew each other. Lawrence had some violin ideas. He wanted to use some melodies in a song called Preach Eternal Gospels (EP 1992).

I still remember those days. It was a 24/7 experience. I deeply charish those memories. We met a lot off cool people and bands.

Do you have any anekdote or you remember something special that happened during the life of Phlebotomized, that you want to share with us?

Tom) Recording our demo ‘Devoted To God’ is memorable. The first time you record your own material is unforgetable…

Concerts with Therion, Samael, Anathema. The recordings of ‘Immense Intense Suspense’. 4 weeks together. The friendship, working together to achieve your goals…

The creative periode of our comeback album ‘Deformation Of Humanity’. Having a steady line up again.

You are the only member from the start of the band. The rest of the bandmembers came in between 2015 and 2019. What happened with the other bandmembers during the years. and can you introduce the new members to us?

Tom) All the other members left because they either lost interest, choose a different direction (jobs) or because of personal reasons.

Ben de Graaff, vocals. Member since January 2015. Former Sepiroth now also active in Facade and Caedere.

Rob Op ’t Veld, keys. Since July 2015. Former Iscariot.

Dennis Bolderman, rhythm guitar. Since August 2016. Former Magnetron.

Alex Schollema, drums. Since April 2017. Former Iscariot and Former Codex Mortis.

Andre de Heus, bass. Since May 2017. Too much bands to mention.

Thijs van der Sluis, lead guitar. Since January 2019. Member of the Frontiers too.

Are there any shows already planned for this or next year?

Dennis: For this year we still had Brutal Assault (Czech Republic, 14-20 August) and Roosendaal Open Air (NL, 6th of September) planned. Brutal Assault has in the meantime been postponed to next year, hopefully ROA will still be possible this year. We just have to wait and see. Hopefully it will be possible again to play shows later this year, so bookers and venues: get in touch with us!

What are some of your own favorite bands when you started the band 89/90 and now Anno 2021?

Tom) Metallica, Maiden, Motorhead, Scorpions, Autopsy, Death, Nocturnus, Paradise lost, Morbid Angel in 89/90.

Maiden, Rush, Kiss, Black Sabbath, Death, Queen, Genesis, Opeth and others…in 2021.

Do you have a last word to our readers of

(Dennis) Thanks for your interest in Phlebotomized! I hope everyone who reads this will give our new EP a (virtual) spin. It will be worth it!

Ben: Thanks a lot for the interview and for your interest in Phlebotomized.

Tom) Thank you for the interest in Phlebotomized. Good luck with your magazine!