jeudi 6 juillet 2017



It would probably be useless to recall how Netherlands contributed to the electro scene for a while now. In the dark world, nothing is different but when tackling the underground level, it is quite difficult to ignore one specific rising project : BENJAMIN’SPLAGUE. Actually born as a solo project of Dutch artist and producer Benjamin Schoones, BENJAMIN’SPLAGUE does not enjoy a huge promotion yet. It never prevented Blind Mice Productions from launching its music anyway. In 2014, Schoones releases the debut single You Will Pay, colored with dark electro vibes and powerful eclectic harsh beats. Composed of only 3 tracks, My Own Betrayal, You Will Pay and its remix by XMH, it is still a big success among the beginners and for the listeners are quite attracted by the soul-scratching beats and tortured backing vocals. On April 2016, we introduced you to the project through our live report from Bochum where he performed at Matrix. Since then, he never stopped evolving and avoiding the topic would be a great loss. On june 2017, he is back with a new single entitled Tyrants Will Fall, even better and memorable than the previous ones. BENJAMIN’SPLAGUE especially convince us with the impressive Tyrants Will Fall and Coming Back For More that are the purest testimony to dark lyricism and powerful chaos. In our words, Schoones’s project may not be of Suicide Commando’s or Combichrist’s popularity yet, it has all reasons to be explored and enjoyed. Let’s take a ride then.

Benjamin, how are you ? It’s a pleasure to talk to you today. Before everything else, can you introduce yourself to people who might not know you yet ?

Hi, I’m doing fine thank you. I’m Benjamin a Dutch Artist/Muscian/DJ & Student. People also might know me from my Post-Industrial / Witch House project NOIRE ANTIDOTE.

In the project’s title, we can notice a true personal feeling. I mean, it is not anyone’s plague, it’s ‘Benjamin’s Plague’. What does that ‘plague’ involve ? What did you think about when you decided to use your plague as the inspiration for your music ? Are you the plague ?

In a sense I am. The ‘’Plague’’ part is indeed something which I only reflect in my music. I’m way different in my daily life as I try to keep those things separated. I use Benjamin’sPlague as a tool to let everything go and put all my feelings and frustration into my own musical story. 
What are the main inspirations for your music then ?

I do listen to a lot of music during the day when I work on my school projects, when I’m on the go or when I basically have nothing to do and not even that much of the genre I produce myself. My parents have raised me with classical music so I think that has been one of my biggest influences. I love a good movie or a piece of art. But in the end when it comes to it I don’t really get inspired by anything when I start to write a song, it’s pure impulse.
By the way, who is the man behind the artist ? You still are quite a mystery to the industry.

I’m a student during the week. I’m in my graduation year of Graphic Design and after that I’ll be doing another 4-year study animation & illustration at an Art School. As early mentioned, I try to keep my daily life and music separated. I’m more an introvert during the week and more of a social person in the weekend as I need my social times as well. I also organize my own event called Audio Convulsion in The Hague and I’m sometimes involved into other events as well. 

You released your Tyrants Will Fall on june 30th and we have to say that the combination of dark tortured vocals and melancholic female chorus is convincing. Why have you finally decided to bring a female voice up to your project since last year?

There’s always a very melodic element present in my music. I’m not the best singer myself and I always wanted to have a more feminine element in my music as I really thought a clean voice would make my music stronger. Then Annicke joined the project, as first only as a live-member but then it made more sense to have her vocals recorded as well.

The dark music scene, contrary to the trendy musical scenes nowadays, admits much more unknown underground artists. Yet, we have to be honest. It is quite difficult for dark electro projects to fully emerge and catch people’s actual attention. How do you live it through your own stage experiences with your projects ? You are young in this industry.

It’s something I think about a lot. So I’m trying to keep this short. ;)
It’s not that the people don’t like our music, we’ve still reaching more people day by day. It’s just difficult to get out there. It’s definitely true that you get overshadowed by bigger artists. For example whe you try to reach any, webzine that focuses on big names, a venue or a festival. They do not have interest in smaller artists because the general crowd likes the big names anyway. Promoters and venue’s barely want to spend money on smaller artists as well, I can already be happy when we’ve lost no money from travel costs & accommodations. This is not a rock star scene and I’ve never expected anything more from it. It’s difficult sometimes but the only thing you have to do is keep trying and keep making music. In the end it’s still about the enjoyment you get that you’ve made something whenever you reached one person or a hundred.
Being young has certain pros and cons. Sometimes people take me serious because they are actually impressed by what I’ve already achieved by such a young age. But this scene is small and you just cannot have everything or play every show so they rather give it to somebody else with more ‘’fame.’’ I don’t mind and I’m happy with what I have and I’m glad to see when another small band gets to open for a big act. I must say, I came from nothing and built everything myself. I also have to thank most of my shows I’ve got to play from good friendships I‘ve built over the years.. 

Speaking of shows .. Have you already planned a tour maybe ?

Unfortunately, not, I don’t know why but suddenly the interest for Benjamin’sPlague has dropped and we’ve only played one show so far this year. Hopefully it’ll change soon. The focus point this year has also been more on Noire Antidote but I hope that I can do more shows with Benjamin’sPlague again soon. Hopefully 2018 will be a more active year. Hopefully in France as well since we’ve never played there.

You already worked with some other artists, especially when it came to remixes. Which artists would you love to collaborate with if it was possible ?

With everyone honestly, there’s so many great artists to choose from. But if I had to choose, then it would either be Elizabeth Bernholz form GAZELLE TWIN or CHRIS CORNER from IAMX. Both fantastic musicians in my opinion. 

Let’s talk a bit about your side project, NOIRE ANTIDOTE. What are the main differences with BENJAMIN’SPLAGUE ?

Noire Antidote is more dark and atmospheric and is more leaning towards Witch House. I chose not to add any vocals in Noire Antidote since the music itself has a strong solid element. I also perform alone with Noire Antidote.  

Many people do not really understand why artists should invest themselves in different projects at the same time. What is the relevance of having a side project for a solo artist ?

I really don’t like it to do the same things music-wise all the time. I want to do play different genres and experiment but at the same time when you’re building a project, you don’t want to go into every direction and keep it limited to that genre. At least that’s how I feel about it in my projects. That’s why I’d rather work under different names. 

What are your main future plans, for BENJAMIN’SPLAGUE or along the project (side projects such as NOIRE ANTIDOTE etc), at a short and longer term ?

Keeping to create in whatever sense basically. There’s more music in the pipeline for release maybe sooner than expected already. There’s also a new side-project I’ve been working on the past few months with somebody interesting which is going to be unleased very soon as well.  

Thank you Benjamin, we can’t wait to meet you again on stage or for an updated interview. Is there anything you would like to add ?

Thank you for this interview and I hope people have got some interest for Benjamin’sPlague to check us out! And I hope to meet new faces when we’re on the road again for new shows. 

All news regarding BENJAMIN'SPLAGUE are on :

(c) Demona Lauren
for VerdamMnis Magazine

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