What makes Patroness special?

With their ‘dark, blackened metal’, Patroness aims to translate the emotion of despair and feeling lost in this world into meaningful, tought out songs. At the start of 2019 they decided to turn things around, and totally change the concept of their previous musical project. At the end of 2021, Patroness recorded "Fatum" (read the review here), the band’s first full length album, a beautiful yet solid and impressive metal album. Time to get more info about Patroness the band.

Please give us a brief introduction of yourself and your band mates?
We're Patroness, a 'blackened' metal band from Belgium. I (Nicholas) will be answering the questions in this interview. I'm one of the guitar players in the band. The other members in Patroness are: Guy (singer), Tom (guitars), Steven (bass) and Jannes (drums, samples)

So how did Patroness started? What was the intention to form a band and was the direction clear from the beginning?
Before starting Patroness, 4 of the current band members (Guy, Tom, Steven and myself) had a band called 'Chief Roberts'. Chief Roberts originally was a noise rock band, but started to become more heavy and 'metal' over time. Later on, when we parted ways with our drummer Domien, we decided to lay 'Chief Roberts' to rest. A few weeks later we found a new drummer, and Patroness was born. 

What are the bands that influenced Patroness to follow its direction? How did they influence you? Maybe even a non metal band?
Personally (Nicholas), Paradise Lost has had a big influence in writing music for Patroness. But for example, our singer is a huge Danzig / Type O Negative fan, while our drummer is crazy about Dream Theater. Our bass player Steven likes death metal as well as 70's rock/blues. So overall you kinda get a combination of a lot of influences, but we think it works out great.

How is the writing process and how quick did the songs develop? Do you keep adding/deleting elements till it is perfect or leave some rough edges?
On "Pyre" (EP), we recovered some old 'Chief Roberts' riffs, and put those together with new parts. On "Fatum" (full album), the writing process went pretty smoothly. We recorded songs which we've been playing live over and over again. (inbetween releasing Pyre and recording "Fatum"). Also, the addition of our current drummer Jannes was a real gamechanger. They way he thinks about the music we write is really inspiring. In the end, we try to aim for perfection. We only 'finish' a song when everyone is happy about it.

After an 1 song demo the EP "Pyre" was released in 2020 and in 2022 the album Fatum. How would you compare those two according songs, sounds, production?
I must say we were pretty happy about "Pyre". Frank Rotthier (sound engineer) really did a great job. We have had some issues during the recording of the EP (mostly drumwise), but it turned out okay. With "Fatum", we wanted something better, something greater, something EPIC! And Yarne Heylen (Project Zero Studios) delivered! The band was prepared, the album sounds great, recording "Fatum" has been a real blast for all of us.

What did you learn from writing and recording after the EP? Which mistakes were not done again in 2022?
Preparation is key. First of all, you need a good pre-production! Don't start recording without it! Knowing what you will be recording is as important. Don't start rewriting songs whilst recording, it's too late for that when you're in the studio! Make sure your instruments and equipment are ready for the studio. Etc.

The album is out for a while so how is the response from fans and media? The review here on BRUTALISM got 4 out of 5 stars. Must feeling proud?
The respons has been great, I must say. More and more people are starting to show up at shows, wearing our shirts, buying our merch. We were really flattered by the BRUTALISM review! They really took the time to listen to our album, and we appreciate that!

Not only attention in the media is nice but most of us want to experience a live show. Are there shows coming to promote the album? What can people expect when attending?
We try to promote the album on every show, ofcourse. And when our LP finally arrives, we'll do some kind of release show for that too. Patroness put a lot of effort in sounding great live, we've bought some stage lighting and our drummer Jannes has programmed a whole lighting show. So you're getting great sound, flashing lights and an intense set!

What are the plans for the future? Is there a goal you want to achieve? And what is the number 1 of your dream wish?
We're writing new material as we speak. We don't know if we'll be writing another full album or an EP. There's still some doubt about that. But the plan is to release something new in 2023, that's for sure! We'd really like to go on tour again, playing in Germany has been great, so we might do something with that too. We wish to play some bigger venues and festivals too, Alcatraz Metal Festival is really on our wishlist right now.

Can the ambition of the band be managed with your personal life? Can you tell something about your personal life? What do you like to do in your free time?
At this moment, things can still be managed without any big issues. Most of us have a family and/or kids and work fulltime. I (Nicholas) have 2 more bands (Mordkaul + Wild Flower), so most of my free time goes to making music. Our drummer Jannes is building his own recording studio, and mixes live bands too. So a lot of his free time goes to that kind of stuff.

Is there something the reader should know before they start listening to Patroness?
Patroness does not aim to be the most heavy band of all bands. We sure like some heavy riffs and blastbeats, but we think it's important to keep a nice balance between being heavy and using melody. That's what makes us 'special' or different from other bands.

If you want you can give a shout out or say whatever you want, go ahead. Thanks for your time and all the best.
We'd really like to thank our agency and label Necktwister for believing in us, and for supporting the band in what we do. Be sure to check out the full roster on their website, the Necktwister family is full of amazing bands!

Interviewer: Twan
Sep 22, 2022

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