Hello Patrick Harreman, how are you doing?

Still breathing, so I am fine hahahahaha

Please tell us something about your hometown/city?

Owwww……I live in rotterdam. What can I say??? It’s just a place I live………..I am not a town-nationalist hahahaha I can live everywhere

How is the metal scene in your area?

To be honest, I dont know…………I am 49 years old. So it’s different for me now than when I was 18. When I was 18 I knew everything and everybody.
When you are 49 it is totally different. I am not going to clubs anymore. I rather spent my days in my studio. So I really dont know. we used to have many bars and clubs in rotterdam. Thats all gone. Baroeg is still going strong. But it’s not like the 80’s beginning of the 90’s anymore.

You guys just released a new album with the tittle: Evilution….But the problem is that no band can play there music live at a festival or in a club. What are your thoughts about the whole Covid 19 hassle..?

It’s sad…………not only the live problem. Our album just got pressed. Distribution company’s closed. So we had an album and we didn’t know how to get it to the fans.  You spent a lot of time and money to make an album. Covid fucked us big way. So we had many problems. And we still don’t know how to deal with this. My band is very positive. They see it as extra time to get our live show perfect. I don’t know. I think this problem is bigger that we wanna see. How many clubs will be left??? How many tours are we gonna see??? Is their any money for tours and live shows??? Who is gonna survive this??? I dont want to sound negative. But I don’t see A light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s hope I am comletely wrong.

How did you find/get in contact with Henk van Delden from No Dust Records?

Well, I gave Willem from Metal AOR records a promo demo from the new album. And he was the one that gave it to Henk. When covid hit us we all got together to put out the best release we could do. NO DUST does the vinyl version of the album. METAL AOR released the Cd version of the album. Somehow we ended up with 2 record deals hahahaha

Please tell us about the writing process, time in the studio recording the new album; Evilution?

Every song is different……I have no real process. I go into my home studio and see what happens. I wrote like 30 songs. Made the demo’s at home. Then the guys come over and we re-record everything. Then we went to Michel Moed’s (Mr Courage) studio to finish it. We really spent a lot of time to find the right sound. And we did a lot of sound experiments which was a lot of fun.

How is the new album received by the press and fans so far…?

Very, very good. The great part is that people really seemed to listen on what we are trying to do. When you make an album you are never sure if what you are trying comes across. We pushed some bounderies and limits which are not normal in thrash metal. Like the sound effects and stuff. But they really seemed to like it. For a band/artist that’s very cool.

Can you tell us something about the lyrics on the new album. And where do you get the inspiration from…?

Humanity in general………….I am not interested in singing about dragons and demons. Look around………….humanity is crazy. We make the same mistakes over and over again and call it evolution. What evolution??? After every war we say “no more” but 4 generations later we have “my world view is the only right one”  like we see now. And they are ready to kill for their world view. Somehow humanity is never satisfied. We live in a time………..we have a lot to be grateful for. It’s not perfect. But it’s better than centuries ago. And what do we do??? Complain. Think we are entitled to everything. In the meanwhile our goverments do what they always did. Making us hate each other with stupid stuff. That’s Evil-ution

Why did it take so many years to record ‘finally’ a second full length album?

We broke up hahahahaha……………..we had some offers to re-release our first album. Marquee records finally did. That was the trigger to do some live shows. Which was a good thing. All demons of the past where gone. So we started to think about a new album. But we understood that after 30 years you can’t come back with just an album. It had to be good. So we took our time to find the right sound and songs.  Even threw away half of the record in the process. We didn’t want to make an easy album. We wanted to do something special. I hope we did….

Patrick Harreman 80’s

The band started originally in 1985 and you guys where then one of the first thrash metal bands in The Netherlands. People who read this interview could think that Usurper could have a great future laying ahead…? If you count that the band started at about the same time as the mighty Dutch band; Thanatos?

I had a beer with stephan yesterday hahahaha………………yeah man, we had some very good changes. The scene was not as crowded as today. We where one of the first bands doing extreme music like this. But that was also a problem. Because finding the right bandmembers was not that easy. We had a carousel of line- up changes. Which was pretty frustrating. If we had people that could play they couldn’t get along. And visa versa. We had some killer tracks for a second record. But the fun was gone….

In 1990 the band released the first full Length album called; Divine Spiritual and Intellectual Development. Please tell us how this album was received back then. And why the band called it quits after the release of this album?

You have to inderstand that we where very very young. 18/19 years old. We didnt know shit about the record business. So we recorded the album and waited for the release…………and waited…….waited……………it took more than a year to release. In the meanwhile we had a different line-up. That sounded totally different. So there we are…………with an album……that didn’t sound like the band. That was kinda frustrating. If you can find de Marquee release………that is with a live DVD……..listen to the difference. Everybody around us seemed to make money except for us. It was never about money for us. But when you spend your days in a camper/van doing gigs and you see everybody making cash except for you. That’s not good for band moral. Besides that, we where an underground band. Our connection was with the underground scene. Our record company didn’t seem to understand that. To them we where just a few little kids making music they didn’t even understand. So it was kinda funny that “divine” became some kind of cult classic.

What did you guys doing between the many years lets say 1991 and 2016 when the band saw the light of day again..?

Oh man……..the list is endless………after USURPER  I was one of the pioneers of the Gothic metal movement. Again I was gone before that scene exploded. Then I went to the background. Producing all kinds of music. Became a studio animal hahahaha I love creating new sounds and stuff. Boudewijn had a few bands. I am not sure about releases of his project. Menno became a very well know session player. And is touring the world with the band Focus. Stijn became a member a few years ago but is also in Rectal Smegma that normally tours around the world.

The first album: “Divine…” kept selling and became a cult classic…Somehow the music went from ‘hand’ to ‘hand’, or people got aware of the album via Youtube/Internet..?

To be honest, we didn’t know that…………..we got some people mailing us “do you understand that Usurper became a cult band???”…………..ehhhhh not really. It was fun to see the interest and devotion of some people. We are still the worst band for the internet. We have no website. Only Facebook………..and sinds a few weeks Instagram. We are not very good in social media. Too old school for that hahahahahaha

Usurper 2020

What are some of your own favorite bands/artists?

Lemmy once said “you always go back to the artist you started with”………….and that’s kinda true. I love the old stuff. Early Mercyful fate, Slayer, Morbid angel, Celtic Frost………….I think Gojira is a fantastic band. I loved Rivers of Nihil last album. My music taste is very wide. It depends on my mood. Because of my love for the early stuff we tried to capture that old vibe on “evilution” but with a twist. It has the old school thrash vibe but it never sounds dated. That was our main goal.

Do you have a last word to the readers of Bonavox?

Well……….I hope you give “evilution”a change. It’s a bit different. It maybe takes a few spins. We tried to make a inspired album. Didn’t take the easy road. We can’t go on the road so we have to do it like this. Hopefully we give you an hour of pleasure. Hopefully we see each other on the other end of this corona tunnel