Interview with Wesley from Ater
1. How did you all meet?
Well, we didn’t “all” meet. It was a solo project at first. We released one EP, this was done with session guitarist Mantorok who wrote a whole lot of the riffs. After a while, a flood happened and all PCs were destroyed, it wasn’t until years later while moving that I recovered some of the old songs. I replayed the bass version and some guitar parts, remastered it and released it as such with an experimental bonus song. This project has been going on since 1996, but got little attention over the years because I was constantly between bands, often hired, to tour and present vocals as a front man, which gave me little time to work a great deal on my own project.
After quitting playing and touring with Lemuria I thought I’d pick it up again and just see what gives. I actually tried to form a band around it at the time, people spontaneously gave themselves up to join once reviews started coming out and they seemed quite positive. So I gave them a chance. It didn’t work out. I was also contacted by Graaf Nevel from the Belgian Cultband Gotmoor, we are still working together on this day. Chances are this project will simply be the two of us with guests to perform live.
2. You’re EP, VULLIGHIED is recorded using an ancient, lost language. Can you tell us more about that and how you came up with that idea?
It’s not really an ancient lost language. I happen to speak that language. It’s a very different kind of ancient dialect, actually the bare origin of Flemmish that goes back at least to the 1300’s. It’s still spoken today in very small quantities (a bit like welsh in Wales) and is endangered as confirmed by UNESCO. It might cease to exist very soon. I wanted to sing in that language because the very foundation of our history, built on farmers who spoke that language, build the message I want to present in my music and lyrics.
3. Tell us a funny story from a band practice or tour.
I can tell you loads of funny stories from touring, but that would be in other bands. One of the coolest stories was that, once we weren’t able to rehearse for a while and our live drummer at the time and his wife were pregnant of twins. His wife had a very hard time with her health and overall well being…. And once we finally got set to rehearse and got on a roll, our drummer got a call from his wife that she’s really not well and he had to leave ASAP… Not really funny, but ironic considering the situation. She turned out fine tho and delivered 2 healthy babies. I visited them, they are beautiful little rock stars.
4.What do you hope people take from your music and what messages are you trying to share with listeners?
I try to tell stories which incorporate matters that matter to me. This E.P. deals with the filth of the society (the title “vullighied” roughly translates to Filth), mostly the elite looking down on the smaller man. The guy who cleans shit of the street and is scolded for it, while in fact, he does the most noble of jobs…. keeping your shoes clean. Doing the filthy work nobody else wants to do, with pride, because he is the one feeding his wife and children and maintains a roof over their heads. This guy does what he has to do for his family, he’s the epitome of a man taking responsibility.
Another story is about a whore who does not want to be a whore and let’s herself be willingly raped until she has to endure unspeakable pains, tolerating infested wounds between her legs by the often unintentional violence. She isn’t able to get a job anywhere, and again, like in the last story, she does what she has to do, to feed her children and be a mother…. Everybody of her clients just see this object they are “allowed” to use because they pay for it, never thinking there might be a person with real problems behind that facade. The song portrays the men as troubled individuals with lack of empathy and only thinking of their own compulsions rather than healthy indulgence.
5. What is your biggest accomplishment that you’re most proud of?
Building a brand new home for my wife and children, being the man, taking responsibility.
6. Where do you see your band in a year?
Hopefully ready to present a new EP or even full CD. We’re working very hard on it and musically it’s almost ready in fact, just needs a lot of polish because me and Graaf Nevel are very VERY fond of perfectionism, even while being simplistic.You can find us at any online platform, from Spotify to apple music to Deezer to YouTube to … you name it and it’s there.