Sometimes you think back, and are amazed how some things grow more relevant as time goes by. I would like to share with you how this happened with an idea, that at the time, was an easter egg and a fun first introduction to the theme of ZWARTGROEN a month before our first single was released, but its meaning has changed over time.
What am I talking about, is the release of There’s Still Time to Change the Road We’re On. Released on our alter ego Spotify account, All Shall Be Hell.
At the moment of writing this, our new album ZWARTGROEN has been released little over a month ago. We are truly grateful for the response to the album so far. A lot of positive reviews, more streams on several digital platforms in such a short time than ever before and a steady stream of live-shows coming up (even in the Netherlands, which is quite unique for us).
On the other hand, it couldn’t have been a stranger release month. We played a show at the Willem II in Den Bosch, with Lost In Kiev, Kokomo and Celestial Wolves and more where we proudly displayed our new ZWARTGROEN merch for the first time. The evening for us was sort of a warm up for our release show, the 14th of March, in our great hometown venue Patronaat. We tested out some new visuals in Den Bosch and played away some stiffness as it was our first live show in nine months and we only started rehearsing two months earlier since finishing ZWARTGROEN the end of December.
It would all work out differently. Our release show was cancelled due to COVID-19, or Coronavirus, concerns and we are still very much in limbo about all the other shows we have planned the coming months. As we hope everyone is doing well, we are staying at home as much as possible and are doing our part in not spreading the virus and #flattenthecurve. With six` kids ranging from two to seven years old between the five of us in the band, that is not always an easy task, as you might imagine.
Our idea of releasing an extra single on our All Shall Be Hell account came about when Jeroen reversed the last track on ZWARTGROEN, For Now, We Travel. Easter egg anyone? The result, we agreed, was beautiful and mesmerizing, and good enough to release on its own.
As ZWARTGROEN was already done and dusted, we wondered how to do this. We already used All Shall Be Hell (which is nice and intriguing as an opposite to our actual band name) in the past to release a remix from BLAUWGEEL. And with the theme of ZWARTGROEN it did feel very fitting to, as opposed to essentially saying All Shall Be Well, ask the question: what if All Shall Be Hell?
So the official/technical term for reversing a recording is called ‘backmasking’. You probably know that decades ago this caused quite a stir. Led Zeppelin was accused of doing this, adding satanic messages in reverse and corrupting the kids:
For our reversed track, we wanted to somehow both reference the concept of backmasking and reveal the theme of ZWARTGROEN (climate destruction). One of the lines in Stairway to Heaven (not reversed) is ‘There’s Still Time to Change the Road You’re On’. We took that line and made it plural. To say: we still have time to act, to prevent an environmental apocalypse and slow down the deterioration of our planet. If we take responsibility individually (and more importantly: put pressure on those responsible), we might slow down global warming. With most in the band being a parent, the urgency we feel about this subject was the inspiration for ZWARTGROEN.
Now, people around the planet, are urged to stay inside, to flatten the curve, to not spread the coronavirus and take individual responsibility for this by sitting in the (dis)comfort of their homes. This is where the title There’s Still Time to Change the Road We’re On takes on a different meaning, and to be honest, it hits kind of hard.
We are lucky we are not depending on merchandise sales and tour income to provide for our families. That is why you didn’t see us posting about buying our merchandise when Bandcamp was waving their fee, to help struggling artists. We truly feel for bands who are hanging on by a thread, and do hope you support them where you can. If you want to support a band in these difficult times, spend money on merch to support them. And just grab ZWARTGROEN as a digital album for free.
We hope there’s still time to change the road we’re on with this global pandemic. In the meantime, stay safe, stay the fuck at home, flatten the curve and reach out to each other digitally instead of face to face.
All the best.