Interview with Belgian hard-rockers Cryme - Zerohour

Back together after a split that lasted 8 long years, Belgian hard-rockers Cryme are back with their long waited debut album “Scene Of The Cryme”. Pat Lemoine, guitar player of the band, and Marc “Papo” Tombal, Cryme’s manager, are here to tell us everything about the band, the record and, most of all, their requests to Santa Claus…

Can you please shortly introduce Cryme to our readers?
PAT : CRYME is above all 5 long time friends, Phil Letawe vocals, Pat Lemoine (myself) guitars, Faco Dirix bass, Igor Moltchanov drums and not to forget the manager which is not a correct term because Papo is more a close friend than a guy who wants to make money on CRYME.
PAPO : You’re wrong man, I’m only here to get rich and ride a sportscar !
PAT : Shut up bastard, you have no driving licence !! (laughs) Anyway we’ve all been listening to music since we were young and have influences like Vicious Rumors, Annihilator, TNT, The Beatles, Queen, Tower Of Power. We’re coming from Liège, Belgium and we play melodic metal

You split in 1996 when things seemed to turn out fine for you: what was the reason why?
PAPO : What you’re saying is quite strange because things were effectively turning out fine at that time except one thing : the record deal. It’s great to have regular gigs in front of fans but after 4 years of seeing us, they wanted to hear the songs at home too and no record company was ready to sign us at the time.
PAPO : You have to remember the situation in the mid nineties, grunge music was fashionable and melodic hard rock bands were down. Nowadays lots of those bands are issuing CD’s they recorded in the nineties !!

What did you do since 1996 until now?
PAT : We all kept in touch with the music business. Igor issued an instrumental solo cd with classical orchestra and often did clinics all around the world, his name is famous you know and not only in Russia, his native country. Faco is still playing with Belgian singer Marka and he performed with him in Quebec and in New York too. I formed a French rock band called Blanche Alarme and I’m also guitarist for Belgian keyboard player Luc Baiwir and Belgian singer Alec Mansion; I must conceed this is not really heavy metal but no other opportunities came during that time. In fact, only Phil kept busy in the metal world by recording a CD with Iron Mask last year and playing with Magic Kingdom too. Everybody remained active and it’s always enriching to have various experiments.
PAPO : Personally I didn’t do anything regarding music management because I believed in CRYME and the simple idea of working with another band was not exciting to me at all !!! It was CRYME or nothing !!!

What made you decide to put Cryme back together?
PAPO : After six years of CRYME split, I still wanted to materialize their work because I thought the world would turn differently if CRYME CD was out at last . I knew how much the musicians had worked to get that record deal, so I decided to make a remastering of CRYME recordings thanks to Fools Rennotte who worked in the past with the famous André Gielen. Fools made an excellent work and it seems it was the icing on the cake, a real final product ready to be delivered to the fans and to eventually get rid of all frustrations. Every member has grown up since that time and I think it was the perfect time to reunite !

You recorded “Scene Of The Cryme” in 1994 but it was released in 2003: what happened?
PAPO : Oh fuck! Time passes so fast! Almost 10 years ! A good lesson of perseverance isn’t it Pat?
PAT : Yeah right Papo! The split cause of no record company happened in 96, other projects in mind for every member, Painkiller wanted to sign us in 99, did it in 01, cd remastered in 02, promos issued in 03 and official issue of the CD in October 04 : well it’s really a long way to the cd release and I know we still got a long way to go
PAPO : The morale of this story : always stick to your guns and it will finally happen ! I know it’s easy to say but I think we deserve it !!!!

How did you get to sign for Painkiller Records? As far as I know this is mainly a Death/black label and Cryme is a Hard Rock Band…
PAT : Exactly, one more river to cross, people can think that we are a death or black metal band.. Anyway, Phil has tried to sing like a black metal vocalist would do but the other musicians were scared to death (laughs)
PAPO : Yeah Phil is a scary boy (laughs). You must know Laurent, the owner of Painkiller, was a CRYME fan in 1993 ! He often came to gigs and when he started his record company years later, his favourite dream was to sign CRYME on his label !
PAT : It’s good to have a label from our area, we often have contacts with it.
PAPO : I take the opportunity to thank Francis El Duce Leduc without whom all this couldn’t have been possible. You know how important you are in that life of CRYME, man !!!

During 1994 you played live in several festivals, opening for names such as Lillian Axe . Any funny episode you want to tell us?
PAT : Lillian Axe was great but Vicious Rumors was history !!! Geoff Thorpe of Vicious Rumors stayed near our sound engineer Marcellin during the whole gig at the Biebob taking care of everything we needed and also really appreciating our music, Phil lived a dream that night ! A meeting with Carl Albert, his idol, RIP mate !!! In support of Lillian Axe in our hometown, Ken Taylor, the vocalist, was really impressed by the backing vocals live on stage. We got a guitar stolen that night and we found it back one week later in a music fair !
PAPO : Yeah I still remember the guy when Pat found back his guitar, bad time for this dude !!!

Share with us what’s behind the song “Moskow Girls”!
PAPO : It’s really second degree cause Moskow is a rock ‘n’roll metropolis : Igor lived in the centre of the town for years and all the words in the song are an exaggeration of what he felt living there. Don’t conclude negative things, Moskow is such a fascinating town, there are many headbangers and our biggest concern : girls are so pretty ! Igor and the band really want to go there and play. Don’t forget Igor was part of Master and Aria who are two of the biggest bands in Russian metal history and Igor used to play in full stadiums there !!!!,

You recorded “Rain”, a Beatles cover, but you decided not to include it in “Scene Of The Cryme”: what was the reason why?
PAPO : You must know Michael Jackson has the copyrights of all the Beatles songs so Pat decided to go to California and to meet Bambi personally.
PAT : Yeah I came to Neverland with a picture of Michael from the times of the Jackson 5, it’s strange cause I never found him but people told me he was there so I thought to myself no Michael Jackson, no Rain cover !!!!! (laughs)

I really like the cover art of “Scene…”: who’s the author?
PAT : It’s Kris Verwimp who’s a Belgian artist and also a very cool guy. He’s only making black or death covers (visit his website : http://home.tiscali.be/krisverwimp). In fact we wanted a fun cover and as Kris was doing all the covers for Painkiller Records, we got in touch with him.
PAPO : We submitted a few funny ideas (Pat and myself are quite prolific when it comes to having fun (laughs) about a scene with a nasty boy in a kitchen and Kris did the rest. Everyone in his entourage was unanimous and found the cover really successful because it was the very first time he did something so different and I dare to add that I find it really original which is difficult because of so many covers and CD’s nowadays.

How’s the press reaction towards your debut album?
PAPO : Strangely enough, even though we were not in the mood and promos had been sent to different music magazines in 2003, we were not shot down in flames and we never had bad reviews. Most of the time they were even good and sometimes excellent. Very recently Janne Stark (Swedish guitarist for Overdrive and Locomotive Breath) was really excited and very elogious about our cd, thanks mate !!!
PAT : Yeah it’s really funny because journalists always find different comparisons with other famous musicians, glad to know my guitar playing is close to Paul Gilbert’s, I can only take it as a compliment. Reviews are encouraging for the moment, it helps us getting the rage to go on !!!

Tell us something about “Chloe”, the movie you took part in 1995 !
PAPO : You must know Chloé is the 1st role for Marion Cotillard who became a very famous French actor. CRYME was immediately chosen to be a band playing live in a scene filmed in our hometown. Pat didn’t really agree with the original script... (laughs)
PAT : Yeah Marion was at a CRYME show with her boyfriend and suddenly the guy said “Come on, get out of here, this band is really awful” !!! I went to tell the director Dennis Berry that it was not good for CRYME !!! Dennis directly changed the script and for the new take, CRYME had suddenly became an excellent performing band. Can you believe it ? CRYME had the power to change a movie ! (laughs)

Do you live on your music or do you have daytime jobs?
PAPO : Of course not (laughs) I mean we don’t live on our music. Pat is feeding seals at the local zoo
PAT : Faco is busy playing in porn films with hairy beavers
PAPO : Phil is assistant to a blind dentist
PAT : Papo hunts rats in the sewers
PAPO : And Igor is a top model for Sergio Tacchini
PAT : Elena I’m sure that with this interview we are going to sell millions of Scene of the Cryme and yes we are going to live on our music thanks to you
PAPO : We won’t forget that Elena !!

How’s the hard/heavy scene in Belgium?
PAT : Thanks to CRYME, the scene is going to be kicked in the butt, that’s for sure (laughs)

Are you writing some new material? Is there a new album in store?
PAT : Of course we have new material, you must know we have signed for 2 CD releases and I can actually say we have new songs ready for a 2nd cd and even for a 3rd one !!! We are very inspired at the moment !!!

Are you currently playing live?
PAPO : The band is intensively rehearsing for a showcase of Scene of the Cryme which should take place in April at our hometown and we have also some gigs in mind. If you wanna see us live, just contact me at marctombal@skynet.be or through the website www.cryme.com

Apart from Cryme, which contemporary band do you think will leave a deep mark in the history of music?
PAPO : Let’s be humble : if CRYME leaves a deep mark in music history I would be the happiest man, believe me !!
PAT : I would say Rammstein, Accept, WWIII
PAPO : Alice Cooper, Armored Saint, Van Halen, Glenn Hughes

Future plans and dreams you wish will come true?
PAPO : My dear Santa Claus, I’ll be a good boy so please give us a long long tour and lots of festival concerts next year !!
PAT : Yeah Santa and tons of female fans and platinum discs all around my bathroom, it would be cool (laughs)

Anything else you want to add?
PAT and PAPO : Be ready !!! CRYME will soon come to kick your ass and make you sweat, enjoy our music, enjoy life!



Scene Of The Cryme

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