Editor’s Note: This band out of Brazil is going to be monsters in a few years. They are an incredibly talented band known as Ego Kill Talent. You know you’re exceptional at your craft when the Foo Fighters personally handpick your band as the openers in Brazil. That is exactly what happened and you get to hear about their interactions with Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters here. In this mental health conversation with Madness To Creation, Theo van der Loo of Ego Kill Talent discusses coping with the Covid-19 pandemic, social unrest, the issues with social media and how that impacts mental health, and two music videos off of their upcoming release “Dance Between Extremes”. Fans can find Ego Kill Talent at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: You’ve delayed the release for “The Dance Between Extremes,” when I read that album title, I think of finding balance and moderation in my life, how do you go about achieving that mindset?
Theo: Hey, first of all how awesome to hear that the album title brought that thought to you! Really cool! Well, I’d say this is something we need to be constantly reminding ourselves of. It is a habit we need to cultivate and this is not an easy task most of the time. Our minds are just so addicted to giving too much value to situations that will pass as if they would last forever but that’s all they are, passing situations. So, what I think we truly need is to be in the moment understanding that the good and the bad will pass, and we can be in peace during both. No need of anxiety in any of the two cases. Finding that inner peace is to learn how to Dance Between Extremes. Does that mean we shouldn’t enjoy the good times? Of course not! Enjoy! But when you do it knowing your inner Peace does not depend on it; AND you don’t suffer when they pass.
Madness To Creation: You all switch instruments during your live sets, was there any times where this didn’t work and when it does work how does the audience respond?
Theo: To answer this question, I should start by explaining how this “switching instruments thing” came to happen.
We have two really good drummers in the band and when we started to write songs we didn’t have a bassist. Rapha (one of the drummers) can also play guitar and bass pretty well so he just grabbed the bass and started playing it in the band. At some point Jean (who is the other drummer and an amazing guitar player) brought a guitar riff idea to a jam session and asked Rapha to play drums just so we could develop that song you know? I picked the bass then and we wrote that song in that formation. It was the first time we ever switched instruments. When the song was done we looked at each other and said “It sounded so good! We should just play like this live”.
So, we recorded that song in that formation and started to perform this way. This process of writing music was so rich that we decided to embrace it. We feel like the song sounds better when we perform it live in the manner it was recorded.
So, the song comes first, you see? We feel like we should just serve the music and that’s really why we switch instruments. If it sounds better in a certain formation let’s go for it! Or, if the vibe of the song asks for a different, we try it! It is very organic and once we lock performance positions that works for the song, that’s how we’ll play it every single time.
Most of the time we don’t even notice it when we do it live anymore because that’s the only way we know that song. But it does keep a freshness to us as performers because it gives us the opportunity to experience different perspectives in the same show, you know?
The audience always seems to be surprised in a positive way when they first see it!
Madness To Creation: You’ve opened for the Foo Fighters. Did Dave Grohl or the band talk to you, if they did what did they share with you and what advice did they give you? If they didn’t, what’s your favorite memories from opening for them?
Theo: We were so honored to be on that tour! It was us, Queens of The Stone Age and the Foo Fighters in 5 stadiums. It was insane. Everyone in the Foos camp was extremely nice to us. Dave is a super cool guy, beyond what anyone can expect. He is so loving when he talks to you and when he hugs you, you can tell it comes from the heart, you know? It was so inspiring just to hang out with him and the other guys in the band. I don’t remember him giving any particular advice but I was really happy when I heard him saying “We’ve been listening to the crowd’s reaction to your show every night. You guys are killing it!”
Madness To Creation: The Call” video highlights mental health and addiction and that’s why I’m excited to talk to you, take us into the song, and what do you do when you’re struggling?
Theo: Well, I think the worst addiction of all is the addiction to overthinking. That can be where depression and anxiety comes from. And the worst of all is that we can be extremely addicted to it and don’t even realize it. So, I’d say the song is about diving into yourself, into your inner silence because that is where real freedom and Peace lies. It doesn’t matter who you are and what your life situation is. You can always find Peace inside first and then go deal with whatever the moment you are in requires.
Madness To Creation: What inspired you all to write “The Call?” It’s such a beautiful song!
Theo: The guitar riffs, harmonies and melodies came first. We wrote the guitar riffs and harmony and then Jonathan quickly suggested a melody to it and we loved it. I remember we were so excited when the song started to come together. We felt like the melody and harmony really asked for a lyric talking about freedom, and inner freedom was the most powerful kind of freedom we could think of. So that was how the lyrics started to emerge.
Madness To Creation: How have you all been coping with the Covid-19 pandemic?
Theo: We’ve been taking really good care of ourselves, staying at home and being safe when we have go out. We recently spent a few weeks working together in the studio but we all tested for Covid before we did. Although we are coping with the situation, we really really REALLY miss touring.
Madness To Creation: How has the band been adjusting their social media accounts through this?
Theo: We re-planned all our releases focusing 100% on social media strategies now.
Last week we did a live stream from our studio and played 13 songs live, full band formation. It was fun to play together after so many months and we were really happy to see so many people joining us live! More music will be released later this year, but also been working on some new content to be released soon!
Madness To Creation: “Lifeporn” goes through social media addiction, what have you found with yourself between being on social media to not being on social media? Why do you feel that breaks from social media are essential?
Theo: Actually I’d say the problem is not the social media itself at all, but how we relate to it. Do you use it to connect to people? Or to be closer to the ones you love or learn from it? Then it is such an amazing and wonderful tool!! But if you use it to compare yourself to other people, actually to be more accurate, if you use it to compare yourself to what other people want to show to the world, then it can be really harmful. It can lead to depression and feelings of inadequacy based in a total illusion. So, I’d suggest to use it but be watchful to what kind of feelings emerge when you do. If you feel bad when you are spending time on social media and think bad things about yourself watch it!! Don’t do it!! It is just your mind playing tricks! And also choose well the content you consume.
Madness To Creation: I know we’re in the middle of a pandemic, but what does Ego Kill Talent have in store to promote the album?
Theo: We are putting together a kind of “Digital Tour.” More details coming very soon!
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add in regards to Ego Kill Talent?
Theo: We are a band who LOVE to play live and connect with the audience. Can’t wait for touring to come back!
And there you have it! We cannot wait for the release of “Dance Between Extremes”. To further whet your appetite, check out their music video for “Now!” below: