Recently, DutchMetalManiac’s Tim van Velthuysen interviewed Fatal Switch.
Hey, how are you?
Hey! We are great, thanks! Happy to be able to have a chat with you and your readers today! How are things in The Netherlands? Can’t wait to visit your beautiful country!
Can you tell us something about the history of Fatal Switch?
The history of the band is actually very unique. It is unique because the band actually didn’t form until after the album was recorded. How did this happen you might wonder?
Well, just as I was about to enter into the studio one out of the three musicians currently working on the project suddenly had a change of heart and decided to pursue other opportunities. Down to two people my bassist and I had to find some external talent to help complete the recordings. And once I had the mastered copy, I began my mission to find the official members of Fatal Switch. I know it’s a strange way to form a band, I do admit, but the result of this untraditional approach has actually been the best I could have asked for. It gave me the chance to find a group of amazingly talented and committed members who elevate the first album while we create killer material for the next one.
For people not knowing Fatal Switch (yet), how would you describe your music yourself?
Our music is where heavy metal and rock meets thought-provoking hip-hop storytelling. The groove driven melodies are the canvas to which I imprint intricate rap lyrics. With songs that play out like mini movies in your head we cover many different topics about love, war, aliens, demons, parallel dimensions, murder, domestic abuse and much more. Through different approaches on every song the vocal range within our songs were placed as such to maintain the integrity of traditional rap vocals. My producer made sure to draw a line between the two styles at times, making the tones softer and more swag rather than loud and aggressive. In this way we kept the songs both original and unpredictable. Overall, In a few words I would say we are heavy, groovy and electric storytellers.
When someone doesn’t know Fatal Switch yet and you can choose one of your songs to present yourself, which song would that be?
That’s a very hard question to answer. Most bands will create a record and then the majority of the listeners will gravitate to a song or two so you instantly know that those are the songs that represent the band the best. In our case however everyone has a different song that they prefer, we are far from unanimity. It’s been very hard for us to get that kind of consensus so far. Our songs also vary quite a bit in feel, drive and dynamic so to pin point one song that would encapsulate our sound is rather difficult. I guess if any song maybe Doctors & Demons because it does showcase a few different styles within the song going from heavy to groovy to soft. Not to say it represent us the best but it would give a good indication of who we are sonically.
What makes Fatal Switch unique?
I think our concept makes us very unique. We have built the idea of Fatal Switch around a character named Sian who runs away from home at a young age. As she navigates life on the streets, she comes into contact with an alter ego inside her head named Hyde. Together they embark on a journey of epic proportions. The first album really just sets the tone for the universe which we have created. And it won’t be until time goes on and more songs are released that the full picture truly comes into focus. It’s been an amazing ride to have built a concept with characters that influence so many of our songs, a true source of external inspiration internally created. Writing with emotion while still crafting a narrative takes a lot of balance and careful consideration which really sets us apart. The other things that cuts us away from anyone else is the fact that I am rapping over traditionally structured rock and metal songs. I haven’t tried to alter what the drums and guitars do and I haven’t sacrificed the way I rap over the instrumentation. I rap my songs the same way on over the strings as I would over a traditional hip-hop beat leaving every part quite interchange between genres.
Any future plans you can already tell us something about?
Well we hope to have new music coming in 2021 for everyone. We are working very hard on new material and can’t wait to share the evolution of the band with our listeners. We are currently promoting our debut album called Doctors & Demons and with that we are beginning to send our music out onto the airwaves and web-waves. With the pandemic stopping our live performances we are navigating sustainable options for promoting our music. So with that perhaps more visuals and videos will be on the way soon.
Any upcoming gigs for Fatal Switch? Maybe coming to The Netherlands?
Can’t wait to tour! It has to make sense health wise and financially though. And with most venues at less than half capacity at the moment we have parked all our travel plans. When we do make it to your amazing country though we would love to meet you!
How do you think your life would be without music?
Cold, robotic and boring. Yes, the business side of music can be extremely stressful and at times unbearable but it is also very rewarding. I think it is one of the few industries were the owner of a company works so hard to connect with their followers. When you open up your heart and let someone in to your thoughts and emotions it becomes a very personal relationship that you are building. At the same time if you want to be able to keep building those connections, a business model still needs to be adopted. So, would I be bit richer without music? Financially maybe, but spiritually and emotionally I would be dead.
What advice would you give to young and starting bands?
Don’t give up and don’t break up. The longer you stay together the more you will grow together and some amazing things will come out of it. Don’t expect things to happen overnight. Have a 5-year plan and add another 5 before you expect to see results. Hire a team! They are the experts! If you don’t know how to build a car don’t try and drive a car you built yourself, it will crash and burn. Listen to the people you hire, you hired them for a reason. Don’t ever stop trying to improve. Even if you win a Grammy, it doesn’t mean you are the best musician. Write from the heart and from outside the box. Meet up as much as possible with your bandmates and above all else work hard and have fun.
Thanks for your answers! Is there anything you want to say to DutchMetalManiac’s readers?
It was a pleasure to have this conversation with you. Thanks so much for having us! Thank you to all your readers for getting to know a bit about us. We would love to keep the conversation going and know a bit about all of you as well. Feel free to listen to Doctors & Demons by Fatal Switch on all major platforms and let us know what you think. But be warned: the music is metal but the vocals are not. So, if you are open to something unexpected give it a try! Much love and noise – Fatal Switch.
I’m Tim van Velthuysen and I started DutchMetalManiac back in 2014. I’m 29 years old and I live in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Of course, I like metal, but I can also appreciate other musical styles.
In addition to DutchMetalManiac I also have a personal website on which I’ll post various things that won’t fit on DutchMetalManiac, but might be interesting for you as well. It’s in Dutch though.