MMA Special Collaborator
Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posted: 08 Apr 2012 at 11:22pm
Bent Sea is a grindcore project of one Dirk Verbeuren, who some may know as the drummer from the Swedish metal band Soilwork. While Verbeuren's flagship band takes a relatively melodic approach to music, Bent Sea revolves around everything tumultuous, heavy, and grind-ey. Not to mention that metal maniac Devin Townsend takes part in the production and performance of Bent Sea's debut 'Noistalgia', this act makes for a particularly chaotic listen. Dirk Verbeuren gave me the rundown of what this project was all about.
Bent Sea is a band devoted to chaos and heaviness of a grinding nature. How might you
describe your artistic goal with Bent Sea, and what attracts you towards this extreme form
Bent Sea represents my passion for some of the most intense forms of music. Death metal,
thrash, punk and grindcore were an outlet for the angst I felt as a young teenager. I believe that
early connection is the reason why I’m still attracted to blazing fast and heavy music. When well
executed, these styles radiate with an overwhelming energy that just clicks with me.
Where does the name 'Bent Sea' come from?
It comes from an English duo called Endvra who create awesome dark atmospheric music. I
once spent most of the summer locked in a dark room reading all of H.P. Lovecraft’s books with
Endvra albums on repeat. Bent Sea is in many ways a personal tribute to the bands I grew up
with, but it also has an edge. My goal is to maintain absolute artistic freedom with this band.
As the EP's title 'Noistalgia' reflects, Bent Sea pays homage to the legends that made
grindcore what it is, most notably Napalm Death. As such, are there any elements of Bent
Sea that are inspired by elements outside of grind?
There are. ‘Fool For Life’ is influenced by one of my all-time favorite bands, Godflesh. The
main beat in ‘Grind Control’ is inspired by death metal legends Autopsy and Entombed. There’s
a healthy dose of crust and punk in songs like ‘Dead Meat’ and the title track, but those elements
are of course an integral part of grindcore. ‘Noistalgia’ being Bent Sea’s first release, I know
for a fact that our sound will evolve to integrate other elements as well. I intend to keep things
interesting for myself and for whoever’s listening, without losing track of what Bent Sea stands
What is the musical creation process for Bent Sea?
I write everything on drums first, just recording whatever I’m feeling that day, sometimes
playing along to riffs or melodies in my head. Guitar and bass come next, That’s the toughest
part for me to nail because my technique is rather limited. But it’s a blast to come up with
aggressive riffs and hooks, and a certain primitivism is inherent to the genre. As for vocals, I
wrote all the lyrics to ‘Noistalgia’ in a couple of nights and sent them to my good friend Sven De
Caluwé (of Aborted and System Divide). Apart from some vocal placement suggestions, I gave
Sven free reign to do as he felt and to just have fun. He’s a master who never fails to deliver.
Drums are a huge part of Bent Sea, and it's no surprise considering your history as a
musician. Was this album built around drum parts, or guitar, as is the case for much rock/
Drums are definitely an essential building block, although I probably spend more time figuring
out the riffs I’m happiest with. I tend to be pretty critical when it comes to my own music. At
the same time I aim to capture my spontaneous energy as much as possible. If an idea doesn’t
work, I throw it out and move on. Grindcore can quickly lose its appeal when there’s a lack of
variation in tonality, tempo and inventiveness. I try to approach songwriting from an angle where
the music flows without becoming stale.
Playing bass and producing the EP is maniac Devin Townsend, a musical hero of mine
who I interviewed in person a few months ago. How did you meet with him and end up collaborating together?
We first met about six or seven years ago when Soilwork and Strapping Young Lad toured
together. In 2010 Devin asked me to drum on ‘Deconstruction’. I went to Vancouver and
we instantly hit it off sharing a Monty Python-esque sense of humor. He truthfully is quite a
hilarious guy to be around! Last year I went back to rehearse for the ‘By A Thread’ live shows
and I played some rough Bent Sea mixes for Devin in his car. He liked what he heard and
generously offered to re-record my crappy-sounding bass parts. Obviously, I wasn’t gonna
say ‘no’. The fact that he went on to find time to mix and master ‘Noistalgia’ as well still blows
my mind to this day.
Although the lyrics are pretty hard to discern amongst the chaos, there's a sense
of frustration in the music that comes across. What is the theme or lyrical content
I prefer grindcore lyrics to be in touch with reality. It seemed natural to write about stuff I feel
strongly about. This being said, some subjects are more serious than others. The title track
and ‘Blast Beat Barrage’ express my passion for old school grindcore. ‘A Common Affliction’
addresses the way these giant financial institutions can basically ruin it for us all without ever
paying for the consequences. ‘Digital Disaster’ points fingers to the legions of ‘ProTooled-
to-the-tits’ productions. ‘Dead Meat’ and ‘Sustained Idiocy’ talk about vegetarianism and
respecting our planet. ‘Fool For Life’ is about a certain politician I can’t stand. ‘In One Word’ is
about band names.
What lies in the future for Bent Sea?
I’m putting together a bunch of new songs right now. Sven is already on board to lay down
vocals again. If I have my way, several new Bent Sea releases will see the light of day in
2012. ‘Noistalgia’ is coming out on Tankcrimes as a cassette tape in April. That version will
include the Extreme Noise Terror cover ‘Bullshit Propaganda”. We also printed a limited run of
t-shirts, and we’ve even talked about playing live. Hopefully that can happen someday.
What lies in the future for Dirk Verbeuren in general?
Soilwork is recording album #9 ‘The Living Infinite’ this August. I’m gonna be performing with
thrash legends Powermad at this year’s Dark Lord Day and Headbanger’s Open Air. There’s
a new Powermad album in the works too. I recently rounded up my second European drum
clinic tour for Tama and Meinl; the next one should be in China this May. I’m teaching drums
online via BandHappy, and last but not least, I’m always recording session drums for a bunch
of different bands. Recent releases I played on include new albums by Naglfar, Colosso and Jeff
Any advice to give to other musicians who want to create art, grind or otherwise?
Play with your guts, give it all you have and be as creative as you can!
Anything I may have missed?!
Bent Sea is 100% DIY. We self-produce and digitally release our music, in order to make it
available for a fair price. If you’re into grindcore, make sure to check out www.bentsea.com!
Thank you! Blast on!
Bent Sea's MMA Profile may be found here.
Edited by Conor Fynes - 08 Apr 2012 at 11:30pm
MMA Special Collaborator
Errors & Omissions Team / Retired Admin
Joined: 25 Mar 2010
Great interview Conor. I enjoyed reading it
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