Video_premiere Throwing_bricks_ontaard

Throwing Bricks & Ontaard - Blame Pt. 1


Split records are a wonderful thing, because one might get to know the next favorite band. To me, I did not know Ontaard before getting to know them some weeks ago through their split with Throwing Bricks. Both Dutch bands will release Oud Zeer via Tartarus Records in mid-April. We are very happy to give you a video for Blame Pt. 1 which is not only the centrepiece of the split but also a track both bands wrote together. AND to make this premiere a little more special we also have a short interview for you to get to know more about the upcoming release and what sparked the collaboration. Enjoy!

We had the chance to send Shira, the vocalist of Ontaard, and Jordi (who play bass in Throwing Bricks) some questions which they either answered together or sometimes separately.

How much of a dream was this split EP? From the beginning the split has felt more like a natural occurrence than a dream to be reached. The nine of us have been good friends long before any of us ever made a record. We all met because of our love for music, albeit through our bands themselves or through going to concerts. Though, the fact that all of it feels so natural does make us pinch ourselves every once in a while. It sure is a dream to be able to do what you love with the people you love.

You have each contributed two tracks of your own and then the middle track, “Blame Pt. 1” was co-written by both bands, how difficult was it to change the writing process for this track? How much does it differ from each band’s process before? Shira (Ontaard) Our writing process usually resembles a little lego house. The first bricks are some whatsapp-recordings of a guitar-riff and in our rehearsal studio we start to find the other bricks. Playing off of each other and really feeling what the song needs next. The lyrics are almost always last, like the roof closing it all in and securing it.

Jordi (Throwing Bricks) Our writing process is a little different. Most of the time one of us brings in a framework of a song. After that we work on those songs in the rehearsal room together to see what feels right, if anything needs changing or needs to be added or deleted. The writing for this track was a little different from how we usually do things. I wrote the guitar melody years ago and Jesse added the idea of the viola parts. Shira and I both being into harsh noise it felt logical to let the song fade into a noisy mess. Both songwise as thematically.

Shira The foundation of “Blame pt. 1” was built by Jesse and Jordi and lastly I wrote the lyrics to match the cadence and feeling of the song. Ultimately tying both parts of the split together thematically. Even though it was a little different to our own writing processes, we’re all pretty familiar with each other’s way of working. Jordi, Marius and I have a doomband together. And Jeroen (Ontaard) and Jordi (Throwing Bricks) also work together in a punkband. Every band has its own way of writing and coming together, but we all know each other pretty well by now.

Can you tell us something about the importance of the artwork for the record – it has pictures showing people (individuals as well as groups) whose heads were scratched out. What is the deeper meaning behind that? The tagline of our split “Beschadigd, beklad en bewaard” translates roughly to “damaged, defaced and kept”. It refers to memories and thoughts you can’t get rid of. Finding out and accepting that those parts will always be a part of you and having to build your life around it. I think we all have felt, to a certain degree in our lives, those feelings or memories you’d wish you could scratch them from your brain. Like a bad ex in a family photo. We felt that those scratches visualized the despair you’d have trying to fight those intrusive thoughts.

The record feels like five exercises in grief – with emotions ranging from despair to rage, from non-committing to giving in – how difficult were your own moments of grief? Oud Zeer is a Dutch term for memories you would rather get rid of, but simply can’t. Memories that are burned in the back of your mind forever, a grudge from the past or an old wound that keeps opening up. Finding a way to deal with trauma and depression is a connecting theme in the works of Ontaard and Throwing Bricks. With both bands admitting that the past might shape you, but that it doesn’t have to break you.

Jordi Our songs on this record are quite direct about depression. Which is never easy. Depressive episodes are something I dealt with quite often over the last decade and I find it hard to share or explain. Writing lyrics is probably easier because it forces you to organize and explain your thoughts. Which takes time to understand.

Shira As for me, I’ve had to learn over the years that it takes a lot of time to heal from traumatic experiences. But it does get better. One of the hardest parts to find out was the shame that goes hand in hand with abuse. Writing these songs, and making music in general definitely has been a practice in dealing with shame and shifting the blame away from myself.

When listening to the record, the stages of grief come to mind, also musically. Did you try to embody these? Not necessarily, that probably happens automatically in the sort of music we make and the topics we write about. Oud Zeer is all about dealing with, and moving on from trauma and depression. It’s all a bit heavy and emotional, but it’s also just what we like to create.

They say a sorrow shared is sorrow halved. Sharing music, sharing friendship and sharing your feelings. However you feel, you’re not alone and you don’t have to feel alone. That’s probably what we hope to embody with this split. But in the end it’s also just the product of some friends finding joy in heaviness.

Did you think about specific persons when writing these tracks? The songs have been personal experiences and creative interpretations of it. So it isn’t really about anyone other than ourselves. “Abandon Me” is a personal point of view of losing yourself in a recurring depressive episode. Feeling too ashamed to ask for help from those closest to you. Afraid of tiring your friends and family once again. Repetitiveness seems like the hardest part about feeling depressed since every time it gets back it seems to get worse. More of the same, but worse.

“A Selfish Symphony” is written as it’s through the eyes of those friends you were afraid to ask help from. Not anyone specific, but more as a interpretation of. Witnessing someone’s downfall but not doing anything to stop it. Some kind of ‘Boy who cried wolf’ scenario. It refers to the story of Nero playing violin while watching Rome burn. The song is a reminder to take care of your friends and the people around you. Don’t be the one who say ‘I didn’t do anything’. And of course it takes effort and time, which we don’t always have. But it should be a small part of your day. If we all just play our own cool melody, a song becomes a cacophony. If we all play our own part, there’s room for a melody. It’s a metaphor for not only thinking about yourself and making room for others. Which is a feeling I carried for a long time but simply found its way out since this is our first song written with a viola. Hahaha

That one picture showing a circle of friends – how emblematic is that for you as this record is an act of love for each other and for your scene as you’re all from Utrecht as well as the label through which “Oud Zeer” is released? That is a picture of us, Ontaard and Throwing Bricks, at dB’s. dB’s is a music venue and our rehearsal space in Utrecht. It’s our home away from home. An incredibly important place for bands and artists in Utrecht. And the heart of our little, but warm scene.

‘Scene’ seems like such a big word. Some exclusive club you’re either in or out. But it’s honestly just another word for friends connected through music. And it could be any other hobby if you want to. Finding people around you with whom you share a love for anything is important. We’ve got our little scene of heavy noisy emo’s which we love.

Last december we had the opportunity to showcase our scene: Can of Worms. The project started with Throwing Bricks booking Utrecht local bands, eventually it snowballed into a unique estafette-like-show with all the bands and artists involved in our little scene. It was one really special night which reminded us all of the most important thing: To just have some fun with our friends. It’s not all about feeling sad.

Oud Zeer is released through Tartarus Records, which is actually based in Groningen. A different but equally amazing city with lots of cool bands, cool venues and even eierballen. You could say that’s a different ‘scene’ but it’s just as much friends connected through music having fun.

Heavy music may seem a bit elitist, but it’s really just about having fun.

In one of my favorite Hardcore tracks of all times, “I See Everything” by La Dispute, it says “It’s amazing finding joys in the little things” - do you sometimes find solace in the little things that surround the loss of a beloved person? First of all: We love La Dispute. Their songs and storytelling are truly amazing. I guess death can make you think differently and look differently at life. But I guess it’s more important to learn how to live and enjoy life throughout without the need of death putting life in perspective. Coping with shit, enjoying stuff despite everything. Trying to move on and enjoy life while doing it. That’s what Oud Zeer is about.

Thank you for taking the time and talking with us, all the best for the record release and we hope to see you soon.

Thank you! For your time and for listening and sharing our music!

Scratched out Throwing Bricks, Scratched out Ontaard

You can pre-order the record from Tartarus Records and now - witness the dark sparkling splendor of “Blame Pt. 1”:

The folks have also compiled a playlist for us which we share with you on Friday! So keep twiddling these dials!