Interview with Rob Franssen (vocals) - Born from Pain (October 29th 2008)

Born From Pain hails from the Netherlands. This metalcore band keeps producing first class records. Their latest one 'Survival' is again a hammer. The groovy, heavy riffs in combination with the aggressive vocals make this one of the better metalcore albums of 2008. Time for us to ask the man also responsable for the lyrics about the new album.


Biggest change on this record is that you do the vocals instead of the bass. Why did Ché Snelting leave the band?


 Rob: Che didn't feel like doing the band anymore. He had different plans in life, which is cool of course. We are a very motivated band and had just released a cd (WAR) which we loved. We knew it was a strong record and we wanted to go on.


Did the band immediately decide to put the mike in your hands?


Rob: No, we had a couple of friends helping us out over the period of time inbetween Che left and I started. We made sure all had a voice and attitude that fit the band and in many different ways all of them added something to the band. Most of the time we had Paul from Superior and Marcel from The Platoon helping us out. But also Scott from Terror, who did the Hell On Earth Tour, Carl from First Blood and Jacob from Hatesphere.. All good guys and it all actually worked out just fine. All those guys gave their best and kept the standard to Born From Pain level.

What do you like more, being a frontman or running around with the bassguitar round your neck?


Rob: Actually I feel a fish in the water being back on vocals again! In the past I have always sung for bands and have always done backings for Born From Pain. I love being able to adress the audience way more and speak my mind. I also love not to be stuck to my backing mike position. Finally being able to sing all the lyrics I wrote is great too! I loved the bass and I miss it when the groove parts come in, but this is more me.


Andries Beckers handles the bassparts now, was it easy to replace yourself?


Rob: I don't see it that way. Andries is a very good musician. Better than me! So replacing me in that aspect only had advantages. Andries also handles the backings (like I used to do) and is also a very dynamic person on stage. Besides that, he is a dedicated bandmember, already involved in a lot of stuff we work on as a band. So he is the perfect replacement.


The music is again very groovy and heavy. Do you agree when I say that fans of for example Hatebreed, Crowbar and Slayer would love your new record?


Rob: I think that would be about right, yes...haha. All those bands definitely had an influence on Born From Pain. So I would have to agree.


The first 4-5 songs are in my opinion a little more groovy, more hardcore, the ones after that are more riff-oriented, more metal, is that a conclusion you dig?


Rob: Could be. We didn't write any songs to be more hardcore or more metal, we just wrote what we liked and were into. Of course we had certain thoughts in mind about how the direction of the songs should be, but not how many more hardcore or more metal sounding songs there should be. I think all songs have a metal heaviness and a hardcore aggressiviness in them. Some might lean towards a certain direction..


On “War” there were a lot of guest musicians, are there any on this record?


Rob: Yeah, in the song "Zero Hour" we got Scott from Terror and in the song "Zeitgeist" there is an appearance of Marcel from The Platoon. Both helped out big time over the past year and both are good friends and we are happy to have them on the record. We planned to get 1 or 2 more guests, but it didn't work out time wise for them so..


How is the songwriting process in the band, who gets most of the credits?


Rob: We mostly all bring in ideas when practising. It's not often that someone has a complete song ready. We always lock ourselves up in the practising room for days. About 3 months before recording we present all the ideas we have to eachother. We jam together, re-arrange songs, structures and out come 11 songs haha.. We pretty much work on everything together. Musically Dom an Karl get most credits again, lyrically I do, since I have written all lyrics for the band.


Who is responsable for the heavy production and mix?


Rob: That's all Tue Madsen. We have been working with him for the 4th time now and he just knows what this band needs and gives it the appropriate sound. Working with Tue is really easy. He is someone who understands Born From Pain and someone who has the same ideas about developing into a direction for the band's sound. We are on the same wavelenght.


The lyrics are again very critical to what is going on in our society today. Can you tell our readers something about the lyrics?


Rob: We just feel that the state of the world is getting worse and worse. There is a small group of very rich and powerful people that try to take it all and don't quit until they succeed and don't care about people like us. Survival is a call for awereness, being critical towards what you see and are taught. There is so much stuff going on we are not told about, that fucks up this world and the people on it. The elite is not really interested in us, they lie about the truth. A lot of stuff is being done to make us believe all is ok, where in fact, we are at the verge of being completely controlled. Get informed, check alternative media and find out what is actually going on. Government and capital controlled media will not tell you ever. We need to make a fist. Look for truth!


In a song there are samples about conspiracies from governments to exterminate part of the worlds population. Where do those samples come from and what is the message?


Rob: I get these samples from alternative media. Things you hear in those samples are actual truths. It is researched and documented information. When people say conspiracy theory it always sounds really negative because it makes people think that it is something crazy that belongs in the X-files tv show. Well, we are talking about documented, proved info here. The message is that these people in power will so anything to get rid of us. They do not care about making money anymore, because they have all the money in the world. They want power. In their eyes, having less population helps in many ways.


In the news we hear only about the economic crisis, the subject ‘Survival’ (banks etc.) is a very hot item, did you have a vision writing the lyrics?


Rob: The vision is exactly what you just mentioned in your question (well, at least one example of it!). More and more people are forced to survive at one level or another. Like I said the title is a call for truth, resistance and waking up. The financial crisis is another and huge example of how we are getting fucked..


Born From Pain started somewhere in the nineties, what is your opinion about the many, many bands that play a kind of metalcore today?


Rob: Metalcore has changed a lot sound wise over the years. Nowadays it sounds more like proper Gothenburg death metal instead of a real mix of hardcore and metal like it used to be in the nineties. I don't think there is anything wrong with what metalcore has become today. If bands feel good about what they do then it's all good. Of course a lot of it has become really trendy over the years, which has good and bad sides. There are bunch of good bands and there are some that I am not into ...all good!


What is the funniest thing that ever happened when you were touring?


Rob: Oh.. that is a hard question.. A lot of funny shit happens on tour. Maybe a good one would be when our soundguy forgot to get off the ferry in Denmark and went back to Sweden. When he got there he thought he was in Denmark!! hahaha...


Please finish the following sentences:

In ten years Born From Pain will be….. Still around, stronger than ever.

The next President of theU.S. will be…..Probably Obama, but it's the lesser of 2 evils...still no good.

I want to go on tour with …. Iron Maiden.

The best record I listened to lately is…. Metallica - Death Magnetic.

The best record(s) ever is (are): all Maiden records.

The end of the world will be in the year……..haha, that;s what you expect me to say huh? No I don't know, I don't believe in endtime prophecy stuff...

You can write here anything you want to share with our readers

Rob: Thank you very much for being able to get the word out. Check out the new cd out November 3rd. Pick it up! Be critical, always think about things twice. Look for truth!!

Interviewed by Reinier de Vries

Born from Pain- Survival

Album available on Metal Blade Records.