Colin H. van Eeckhout (AMENRA) on RockOverdose: “We need to work extra hard to get noticed and heard.”


Few days before their live show in Athens - Greece, caught up with the band’s vocalist and founder Colin H. van Eeckhout to answer all about their most recent release in detail and much more that  you can read bellow.


Official links:

AMENRA on Facebook:
AMENRA on Twitter:
AMENRA on Instagram:
AMENRA on Bandcamp:​​
AMENRA on Apple Music:​amenraapplemusic
AMENRA on Spotify:​amenraspotify


RockOverdose: It's one of those times we didn't expect your return sooner that it took place after "Mass VI". Did the quarantine play a role in it so that the "De Doorn" was out in about three and a half years in-between?


CHVE (Amenra): Normally it takes us rather long in between albums. This time around it would have come faster. But Covid times postponed that for a while. De Doorn was written right before that the plague struck.



RockOverdose: Would it be odd to say that for the first time, a light of hope shows out through your music which is always connected to pain and life's struggles? The album produces that different vibe as another aspect of redemption in the end.


CHVE (Amenra):  It presumably produces a different vibe, mainly because it was written in a different way. And also because there was a change of line up I would say. There is no "main songwriter" in AMENRA it shifts from one to another and there is a collective de- and constructing of music.

I think every human being 'reads' or lives the music in a different way. There was no 'intention' to encrust this one in more hope or anything alike.

Photo Credit: CHVE picture by Guy Kokken


RockOverdose: First album on Relapse and also first album only in Flemish. A daring move the least described. We would like to know how you took the decision to enter Relapse, as we know you watch your moves carefully and how much easier or demanding was to sing in your language, and if it proved to be something deeper this time because of it.


CHVE (Amenra):  I had, for some unexplainable reason, never reached towards my own native language. As our generation did not really have much credible flemish artists or music to get inspired from. As we dug into our countries music from the 70s a door opened, and through my poetry writing I dared to take the leap of faith.

Us signing to Relapse somehow, made it even more obvious, that this would be the right move for AMENRA. To draw even closer to our heritage, our own culture. Relapse was the biggest and most credible player in the game, and singing in Flemish was of sorts an 'anti move' - one would've assumed we'd try to please a bigger crowd by doing the obvious. That triggered us into doing the exact opposite.



RockOverdose: Also it is the first album not to be included on the "Mass" series. We know it came as a result of the fire rituals that took place, did you know from the beginning that it was something different, or did it find its final form during the recordings?


CHVE (Amenra):  We never really realized we were writing an album. We, like you stated, wrote music or scores to several fire rituals and gatherings we had put together during our 20th year of existence. And when those passed, one of us suddenly made the remark that we had written over 60minutes of music. So we pretty much wrote an album. That's where we decided to release it, and that's where we asked ourselves if this was "MASS VI". We all quickly replied that it wasn't, this was something else.

Hence it feeling different and so forth probably. Every album we write and release is a logical step in our trajectory. It has its place in 'the' story.




RockOverdose: You say "what you lose in the fire, you find in the ashes". Throughout the release of "Mass VI" to "De Doorn", did you find anything as persons or as the band collectively that made you more whole inside you?


CHVE (Amenra):  What or whom you lose within a lifetime, can be found within yourself- if you allow it to be found. That is what you should make of that metaphor.

The only anecdote I can think of, to answer your abstract question, is a moment with our sound engineer Hein Devos on a tour through Japan. We were visiting a temple somewhere and we had lit some incense and bought some luck charms etc when one of those Hein opened stated "The Lost thing shall be found". I truly believe we connected on a meta level then, and everything came together. It made perfect sense to us both right then. It installed a certain hope.

I believe I took that message with me that day, and it grew from there.



RockOverdose: I consider Tim De Gieter a very important addition to the band, and we see with joy he's helping with the harsh vocals on the gigs. What new elements do you believe he brought to the band and how much different your gigs became since then?


CHVE (Amenra):  His unbridled youthful energy and passion. He is driven beyond words to take us to a new level, and obviously for the rest of us that is a beautiful gift that comes with his addition. He is a beautiful soul. And we are extremely grateful he chose to join us when we asked. And gigs are gigs, means to move a mountain.



RockOverdose: It's becoming a good habit to see you in Greece in close range, so after summer, we see you in no less than seven months. It was your first appearance in an open festival, what differences do you spot compared to clubs and how did it feel for you to see your most beloved crowd under different circumstances?


CHVE (Amenra):  We will always be drawn to closed venues, where the situation is more controllable (or it should be). But festivals are ideal grounds to see or either play with bands you normally wouldn't play with, and to get surprised by unknown bands. And therefor you also get to play for a lot of new souls.



RockOverdose: It's too early I guess to speak on that, but would there be a continuation of out of "Mass" releases in the future? Would you attempt again to sing only in your language, or is it something the music composed decides in the end? How did it work this time and why did it become so different?


CHVE (Amenra):  Most likely - we just need new experiences to write about. And what languages and how I will sing comes with the music that is written. The music demands certain decisions, we don't determine those things in advance. We do not make structural plans and decisions in the future for this band, it just does not work that way.

I believe I answered that question already.



RockOverdose: I can't help but praising you for the Absent In Body album. "Plague God" was an in-depth material indeed. We know that unpleasant things happened later which we'd better leave not specific. Do you see a continuation in this project and how was it to work with a legend like Iggor or having his brother Max praising your work?


CHVE (Amenra):  I am very proud of what we did with this album. Planets aligned for this release, and it was the most fluent recording and writing process ever. For Mathieu and myself playing with Iggor and Scott was obviously mind blowing in a special way, cause indeed we had been fan of them since we were teenagers practically.

It's in ways a very rewarding experience, and for an artist, its in ways a compliment that your 'idols' see you and work with you as equals you know. I wear that release like a medal of honor in a way. It's a humbling thing.




RockOverdose: After all these years having interviews between us, do you believe pain has started getting his shape? We spoke about taking a part and placing it inside you like a precious experience. Do you feel more full and certain as years pass by, or is reality an everyday struggle that reflects in your music and gives you motive to go on?


CHVE (Amenra):  There is a drive to keep going as long as I am alive, the story needs to be told in different ways. I believe it's why I walk this earth for the time being. Life is shapeless and will always remain. Every man woman and whatever is always looking for a way to understand what is life, and why thing are the way they are.

I believe its our task to install love within heavy music, and care.



RockOverdose: "De Doorn" was my personal best album of 2021, it would be interesting to know which latest albums brought you such a same feeling and that had an impact in you, including any possible genre.


CHVE (Amenra):  Thank you. I appreciate that.

None, really. It just stands on its own. It's hard to compare your own work with someone elses.



RockOverdose: We see the Belgian scene growing lately, bands like Evil Invaders or Schizophrenia released phenomenal albums. Do you witness something different that makes bands of your country more productive and gaining more experience and inspiration combined?


CHVE (Amenra):  It has always been the case with Belgium, that despite having one of the smallest countries in the world. There's - in my humble opinion - a vast amount of artistic talent here that reaches beyond our borders. I wouldn't say I notice something different than with any other country. If I would have to pinpoint something then I would say that we might have a napoleon complex, we need to compensate for our size and work extra hard to get noticed and heard.



RockOverdose: We would like to thank you deeply for your time in answering, the vibe you produce through your art and for still being around doing things your own way in a time where many try to compromise their integrity. The last words belong to you and if you like, leave a message to the ongoing mass of Greek fans of yours. It's been an honour again, sincerely.


CHVE (Amenra):  Thank you for the interview. My apologies if my answers aren't so profound as tey should be, but I am doing a lot of interviews back to back and I see my answers are suffering from the amount of same type answers.

Much love and thank you for the help!




Angelos Katsouras



Amenra - main photo © Stefaan Temmerman