During a very hot (pffff) first edition of The Metal Jam in a tiny town called Wormerveer, we interviewed the latest winners of the Dutch Metal Battle, Loyalty Ends Here. Check the interview below to read how they started, what they are looking forward to next, and learn useful tips for beginning bands.
For the people that don’t know who you are, please tell us who you are and what you do.
Tristan: Well we are Loyalty Ends Here. We are a band of five. Richard, our vocalist. Pim, our rhythm guitarist, myself (Tristan) as leas guitarist. Maurits as our Bass King and Menno as King on the drums. And we make noise, haha! And people seem to like that!
For me, you guys came as a surprise. You had not even released tracks on Spotify yet, but still, you came and slayed the stages. How did you guys start?
Tristan: Yeah our gig for the Metal Battle was maybe our 5th gig with this band. But all of us have experience on stage with other bands. Me (Tristan) and Pim have won the Metal Battle 10 years ago with another band. So we have enough stage experience. During the pandemic, we have been in the rehearsal studio for at least 1,5 years. We couldn’t perform, we couldn’t do anything. And then Maurits reached out to me.
Maurits: I really wanted to play with Tristan, but he rather wanted to start a new project. And I was totally up for that. And we have been locked away in the rehearsal studio for quite a while so for the people that got to know Loyalty Ends Here after, we might be a surprise indeed. And that was the whole point.
How was the whole Metal Battle thing for you guys?
Maurits: You have to enter the competition and then you probably won’t get noticed, unless you do really well. And with some luck we reached the finals. It was a really cool experience. One thing that was really impressive was how much support we got. The first preliminary we played in Flevoland, where no-one had heard of us, and even there local people where rooting and voting for us. That was really cool and an affirmation for us that we were on the right track with our live shows.
What makes you guys unique?
Menno: We have a couple of Boomers in our band, and they tend to go back in time. Tristan came up with the idea to go back in time, go back to the 2005 era of metalcore. The golden age. We all liked that so that’s what we’ve been doing.
What gigs are you looking forward to the most?
Menno: For me I’m looking forward to Baroeg Open Air the most. It’s the first mayor festival that we are going to play at. And ZeeltjesRock is also going to be really awesome!
Richard: I’m looking forward to the Eindhoven Metal Battle, because we don’t really fit their line-up. I’m curious to see if we can impress people who normally wouldn’t listen to metalcore.
Tristan: Thanks to winning the Metal Battle we have a few nice festival lined up, and we are really grateful for that. You don’t get chances like that often. For most of us it has been a dream to have played at Baroeg Open Air, so it’s really cool we get to do that. And we are also going to play at ZeeltjeRock and Eindhoven Metal Meeting. And another one, but we can’t share anything about that yet, since it won’t be this year. But stay tuned!
How do you guys write new music?
Richard: Usually Tristan comes up with riffs and then we build on that. But Maurits also brings in ideas. Testament originates from a stupid Instagram post of mine, that Tristan saw and created an epic song out of. Pim also has a couple of amazing riffs that we will work on. So we all contribute. But Tristan has the most influence.
Tristan: True. We try to get more of the other bandmembers’ influences in our music. We are in a band, it’s not a solo project. And we don’t want all the songs to sound the same. There are some awesome new tracks coming.
Have you been working on an album yet? What can we expect?
Maurits: 2023 is of course THE YEAR of Loyalty Ends Here. We won the Metal Battle, we are playing awesome festivals, we are crushing the scene. But I’m looking forward to 2024, because we are working on some epic things. We plan on releasing new material next year, and with that we are planning a lot of shows. We want to bring our promotion and basically our whole package to the next level, so that we will become a household name, instead of the newcomers.
We are planning an EP releaseparty at the start of next year, the singles will follow soon. And we are planning some videoclips. A lot of exciting things.
Richard: We are currently in the process of recording a new single, and before the end of the year we will release two new tracks. So stay tuned.
Do you guys have tips for beginning bands?
Richard: Do what you want to do, don’t follow trends but play what you enjoy playing. It doesn’t work to force yourself into something that you can’t stand behind.
Tristan: We also try to see our band as a business. We aren’t there yet though. But we are thinking about merch, about how to make money with merch, all that stuff. And a lot of starting band could use some help with that. I would say try to make sure you have a complete package as soon as you put yourself out there. Make sure your logo, your artwork, your merch is all set. And if you can come out with a banging first single, than you are set! That’s what worked for us, anyway.
Do you think your previous band experience made it easier?
Tristan: Yeah we kinda knew what to do and what not to.
Maurits: Actually we still are a starting band, and we have really learned that you cannot do this alone. We are connecting with people who are more experienced than us, to help us out. And of course also all our friends, to help with shows and video’s and stuff like that. People that support us, that buy our merch. It’s really important to get everyone evolved. And an interview like this helps, to mobilize everyone to check out our shows. And follow our socials, because all the love that comes our way really motivates us to keep going.
Which other Dutch Bands would you recommend?
Pim: My favorite band is Grindpad. It’s old school but they really impressed me.
Richard: For me it’s Man As Plague, they are killing it currently. They are really nice guys too, I wish them well.
Tristan: There are a lot of cool Dutch bands. There are also a lot of cool Dutch Core bands, a bit more our genre. For instance Trust Us We’re Liars, or Swanslaugther. I think there are a lot of awesome Dutch bands that you should check.
Maurits: Make sure to check Reformist and Changing Tides, and, make sure to check Metal From NL because there are a lot, A LOT more Dutch bands, really A LOT more bands that are awesome, because someone with a really good taste who does this interview is keeping track of those.
Menno: Final band that I would like to add is Serotonia. Also really chill dudes and I really hope they will have a kick-ass year as well!
Thank you so much guys for this interview, we really appreciated it and we had a lot of fun doing it!