CRYPTOSIS is a new name in the field of progressive Thrash and its evolution is very fast. The band was signed directly to Century Media, released some singles, a full-length album and started touring the world for live shows! The singer/guitarist of CRYPTOSIS Laurens Houvast is analyzing interesting aspects of their journey so far…
-Hello Laurens! Welcome to The Gallery! Since you are kinda newly formed, please introduce your band to our readers! What’s the story behind the creation of CRYPTOSIS?
Laurens Houvast: Hi Kostas, thanks for inviting me to this interview! CRYPTOSIS was born in 2020 and signed to Century Media Records straight after to release the debut album. The band consists of Marco Prij on drums, Frank te Riet on bass/mellotron/backing vocals and me on guitars/lead vocals. We see ourselves as a progressive Metal band and strive to evolve pure old-school Thrash Metal to something with more dimensions and layers. We like to call our style: “Futuristic multi-metal eruption”, since it’s a combination of different styles combined into one sound with futuristic/dystopian lyrical themes.
-In your career you have several singles, a split with VEKTOR and of course your first full length album, “Bionic Swarm”. Before we talk about your first official album, what are the differences between CRYPTOSIS and DISTILLATOR, your previous band? Why did you choose to change the name of your previous band and move on with a kin of different musical approach?
Laurens Houvast: We established DISTILLATOR in early 2013 with the purpose of playing pure old-school Thrash Metal in the vein of bands like SLAYER, EXODUS and SODOM. In the early years following our founding, we held on to that thought and recorded “Revolutionary Cells” and the follow up “Summoning the Malicious”. At that moment, I guess somewhere mid-2018, we kind of realized that we wanted to play much more than just pure old-school Thrash Metal. We wanted to experiment and write songs that were not bound to a specific genre. With the introduction of the mellotron sound we got an extra dimension in our sound. Something Frank came up with when exploring different pedals and sounds. This opened a lot of doors that were closed before regarding songwriting, and our sound became sort of what it is today. At this point, we also realized that DISTILLATOR -including the logo- has pure old-school Thrash Metal dripping off it at all sides.
When we were writing the third DISTILLATOR album, which later became the debut for CRYPTOSIS, we just wrote what came to mind. It didn’t specifically have to be Thrash or extremely fast music at all. We recorded a lot of ideas as demos. Put it in a large library and started working on the songs from there. Songs like “Prospect of Immortality” and “Mindscape” are both good examples in which you can hear us experimenting with sound. There is still a fair bit of Thrash Metal on the album, but also we added influences of atmospheric-, black- and prog Metal. For all the upcoming material we want to keep exploring”. If you see an 80’s logo with a typical Thrash Metal name you’d expect that kind of music. But for us, it felt that the name didn’t do justice to the music. We don’t want to disappoint our old fans with music that does not have the same vibe like our old albums, as you see with some bands. And we want to attract new fans that listen to more than just old school Thrash Metal as we’re open minded ourselves too. In order to make the music work it has to be a reflection of us, the guys that write and play it with passion. So we went for a bold statement and changed the name into something that can be so much more than just pure old school Metal.
-Which bands or artists have inspired you in writing music?
Laurens Houvast: Simply too many to name here in this interview. We listen to a lot subgenres within Metal, but we like to listen to other genres as well, like 70’s prog rock, jazz, opera, and electronic music. Though we play in a Metal band, these other genres influence your subconsciousness somehow. Rock/ Metal bands that have influenced us most are SYMPHONY X, CORONER, OPETH, BEHEMOTH, DEATH, DREAM THEATER, RUSH, GOJIRA, MEGADETH and DIMMU BORGIR to name a few. To all readers who are really interested in this topic, we have released a playlist on our Spotify page for each band member. You can check out the music that really inspires us.
-So, “Bionic Swarm”…what was the process for the writing of the album? I guess we were still in the pandemic phase so moving around was a little difficult.
Laurens Houvast: In fact, we finished recording our debut album “BIONIC SWARM” before the pandemic started, around February 2020. Frank and me write all the music and lyrics in our own home studio. We started out by recording single ideas and putting them in a riff library. At some point we decided that we had enough material to write an album and chose the best ideas the library had to offer. This formed the base for every song on the album. From there the puzzle basically started…
-You released your album with Century Media, one of the biggest companies in the world. I guess it is not easy for a new band, even with your past, to earn a contract with such a huge company. How did this happen?
Laurens Houvast: As soon as we got the final master, we handed it to our manager at District 19, Roman Hödl, to go look for a suitable partner to release the record. Within a few weeks he told us that Century Media was interested and wanted to talk about a contract. This was also the time that we just changed our band name from DISTILLATOR to CRYPTOSIS. From that moment we had a huge list to complete with a new label and a rebranding of the band like new band name, new logo, website, webshop and a lot of legal stuff etc. Also we had to record some video clips, do photo-shoots and such things. This all happened during the pandemic, so for us it was a period in which we were not bored at all. Quite the opposite, we almost had no time to do anything else.
-A couple of months ago you were in Greece with VEKTOR. How did you find the show and what was the vibe you received from the Greek audience?
Laurens Houvast: We had some days off between our UK tour and the Greek shows and decided to do some tourism in Athens. We did the usual tourist spots like the Acropolis, but also visited the best beach of Athens since this was recommended by locals. The people, the food, the surroundings and weather were all amazing. Both our shows in Athens and Thessaloniki were packed to the brim. I never heard people shout so loud at any of our shows worldwide. Greece treated us very well, beyond expectations really!
-What’s next? If I am not mistaken you have already announced a few more shows. Also, you participated at 70.000 Tons of Metal cruise in Miami! How was it there?
Laurens Houvast: We just played at the 70.000 Tons of Metal festival which was killer! We are also very excited to play to some other confirmed shows this year. We have some club shows and summer festivals coming up for the rest of the year. Our live agenda is not as full as last year, which is good since we need to have time to finish our “next album”!
-What would be your dream line up? You can choose any Metal musician you like, dead or alive, telling us the reason why…
Laurens Houvast: I’d like to be in a band with Frank and Marco. We have a great chemistry and they are fantastic musicians. You will hear that on our debut album “Bionic Swarm” and will our upcoming album!
-That’s all for now Laurens! Thank you very much for your time! You may close this interview as you like…
Laurens Houvast: Thank you very much for inviting me to this interview! We are working very hard on finishing the songwriting of the new album and will enter the studio later this year. Make sure you keep an eye out for any updates on our Facebook and Instagram channels.
Interview: Kostas Boudoukos
Cover Artwork: Alexandros Soultatos
Design & Editing: Alexandros Soultatos
Photos: Maaike Ronhaar, Tjeerd Derkink, Ewout Scholte Op Reimer
Date: March 7th, 2023
External Link: CRYPTOSIS – Official Page
CRYPTOSIS – Facebook Page
Copyright © 2023 by THEGALLERY.GR
This Post Has 3 Comments
Very nice interview! Laurens went throughout their history as a band and that’s great for all of the listeners, as we can have a general idea of their music ! Behold thrashers!
Thanx for the interview and the great album!!
Cryptosis always know how to deliver fine art!!! Cheers