Hetze: Belgian Outfit Whips Up Speedy Hardcore Punk on Until I Snap Album (VIDEO PREMIERE)

Photo: BridgedJohn

Hetze is a band that refers to their style on their social media page bios as "furious punk violence," which definitely fits in their case. The group features musicians from the Belgian punk and death metal underground, and their sound is frenetic, aggressive, and somehow, kinda catchy. Impressive.

Bassist Dorien and guitarist Caroline got the ball rolling by inviting vocalist Eva into their new project, and then finalized the lineup after seeing drummer Viktor play a gig with his death metal band, Bones. Caroline and Viktor had been trying to do a punk band together before that with no success.

According to an email sent to me by the band, Hetze was initally hesitant about welcoming Viktor into the fold. "At first both sides didn't commit, maybe it would be better if this was an all-female band? But both musically and personally everyone got along so well that this idea was scrapped. What does it matter what genders are in the band anyway, that's not what it is about. Our first rehearsal was on the same date as Kill Your Idols crushing Antwerp June 2017."

To date, Hetze has released an LP (2018's Bedbugs) and two splits (with Dismalfucker and Trappist, in 2019 and 2021, respectively. In April, the band will be releasing a new album entitled Until I Snap.

Featuring killer artwork by Bart Bling, the music video for the forthcoming album's title track can be seen below:

I asked Viktor how he would describe the Hetze sound: "We come from different backgrounds musically and this shows in the influences and the music as well. I have mostly played metal my whole life and a lot of people say that you can definitely hear this in the drumming style, that it isn't straight-forward punk drumming all the time.

"When looking to start my own band with Caroline, I wanted to do it in the vein of Catharsis. Hetze has gone a different path than that, but Catharsis can definitely be heard as an influence on my drumming: the chaos, the morphing drum parts that don't always repeat the same way, the energy."

Hetze singer Eva said the following about her approach in the group: "The vocals are influenced by '80s UK hardcore punk bands like Health Hazard and Ripcord and modern bands like Warthog and Planet on a Chain. I like listening to music while I'm running and then sometimes I suddenly get inspired and have to whisper ideas into my phone. I would love to say that I'm inspired by fast power violence bands, but I'm not very good at singing fast so there, [laughs]!"

Photo: Jostijn Ligtvoet

Bassist Dorien offered this: "I listen to many different styles, from fastcore, hardcore, power violence, grindy stuff to Swedish D-beat, raw punk, and melodic crust..And they probably all have their influences one way or another. Bands like Dropdead, Feastem, Endless Swarm, Chiens, Avskum, Disrupt, Kohti Tuhoa."

Guitarist Caroline had the last word on the Hetze musical inspirations question: "For Hetze, I get influence from bands like Dystopia, Nails, Nailbomb, Cryptic Void, ... so, actually, a lot of bands that have some metal in them. Grind and metal are more familiar to me than straight punk and hardcore, so I guess that is what flows out of me more naturally when I pick up my guitar to write."

"I recorded it in my own music studio (Celestial Event Studio) and also mixed it," Viktor said about the Until I Snap sessions. "Back in 2018, we recorded the music for our first album in just one day, with the vocals recorded on another day. That was awesome and the result was very energetic, but it was also stressful.

"This time we wanted to take our time, have less stress, but also invest more care into the recording process, the sound, everything. So, in the end we spent 14 days recording everything and we feel we have gotten the best sound we ever have, by far."

Photo: jubelschuppen.de

I was curious about the lyrics on the record, and Eva obliged me. "I don’t think anyone ever hears what I am screaming [laughs]. But some of the lyrics are very important to me. I went through some rough times the last two years. So for this LP is was not hard to write lyrics. 'Troublemaker' is about a good friend, Olav, who committed suicide last year.

"My mother is terminally ill and I have lost other family members, which gave life a very different outlook for a while. On top of that, lots of expectations and stress can make you lose your balance. Life isn't always easy, but the only way is through. Punk is love so we did find support from each other and in the scene. It is through the lyrics that I channel the energy to perform. So it is important for me that I have something to say personally or politically, even if nobody understands what I am saying. Screaming my guts out is the best way for me to deal with all the shit, it’s an outlet."

Photo: jubelschuppen.de

Lastly, Eva shared some thoughts on the current state of the Belgian punk scene: "We only have a few stable venues in Belgium like Antwerp Music City, The Pits in Kortrijk, Magasin 4 in Brussels and La Zone in Liège. But bands love playing Belgium, because there are often unique stories that come out of it. Who doesn't remember the toilet next to the merch table in The Pits? A Place in ghe Sun Fest is always sold out because of the unique Brussel Zuid experience. Or the legendary Rampjams where bands played next to a DIY skateramp that was burnt ritually at the end of the fest. Hardcore punk shows in Belgium are one of a kind.

"Usually they are more raw than in our neighbouring countries, because our venues that book this kind of music aren't super fancy and we have to fix a lot of stuff ourselves. But bands love playing here, even if just to drink some Duvel. It is incredible how many great bands there are in Belgium and around these days!

Photo: Jostijn Ligtvoet

Here are some of the Belgian bands Eva recommended: "Only a few from many the many bands to look out for are the D-beat ragers from Raw Peace with members of Agathocles and Rise and Fall. Stomping Warthog vibes with Sicko. We hope for a new LP from Haemers. You should also check out Travolta. Burning Kross, Crucified, Instructor, Colère. And keep an eye out for the brand-new power house Dögmën. May 25th we have our release show planned in a squat in Gent and hardcore punk veterans Reproach are headlining besides other awesome bands."


Until I Snap will be released on vinyl worldwide in April via Loner Cult, and by the following labels:
Global Help Records (CD in Europe)
Crew for Life (CD in Japan)
Kick Out the Jams (cassette in Belgium)
The Seats of Piss (cassette in Indonesia)


Tagged: hetze