Next up is the Belgian post-sludge/ post-sludge band, Stake who is gracing the stage at ATG on Friday! With their recent release of single 'Deliverance Dance', taken from their newest album Love, Death & Decay (which will be released on the 30th of September) and with a heavy tour for the next few months we are ecstatic we get to see them play at the festival. They give brutally blunt lyrics with atmospherically beautiful crescendos, and a blanket of harmonic grunge oozes from their music.
'Critical Method', 'Sea is Dying' & their newest release 'Deliverance Dance' - a song about looking at the death of love from a new perspective "love beyond desire, attachment or loss" as Vocalist/guitarist Brent Vanneste says. we wanted to get to know the band in a bit more detail. We sat down with Cis Denman, guitarist for Stake at ATG festival this year.
A: So you are playing later on at the PX3 stage at 19:35 - are you excited? Right in the middle of the day. you have been here long - staying.
C: We have never played at Arctangent before, but we are really excited as no shitty bands play here and plus we are centre of the festival as that’s where the stage is (PX3).
A: Yes, it should be amazing for you, PX3 is the first point inside the main arena where people get drawn to. I also think that your band is playing at the best time during the festival for people are expecting a heavier sound and your band is perfect for giving that.
C: Yeah we are super excited, although we have just only come from our tour bus as travel into the UK is awful, so it will be a long day but totally worth it!
Beers in hand, we wanted to get to know what the new album was about, their background and what they want to achieve for the future:
A: After listening to Deliverance Dance, I am assuming you have picked that song to promote ahead of the album release on the 30th of September as it gives a good taste of what we should expect from your music. How has your music changed from your first album ‘When the Candles die out’ to now?
C: ’When the Candles die out’ was written by Brett and as time has gone on we now write more together. For me personally I couldn’t even play a note but now I specialise inn creating the riffs for the bands music. Like the new album, it’s my cream, it’s my custard!
After listening to their music, it has to be the combination of a somewhat cinematic atmosphere that they build up with the melody, coupled with brutally blunt lyrics which I think many people can relate with. Especially at a festival like Arctangent where there is a whole spectrum of musical genres, the raw value which Stake dishes out is truthful to their performance and morals. I wanted to get to know why they formed and how they create music:
A: How did you guys come to form Stake?
C: Well, at first we were only messing around. Then we did Battle of The Bands in Belgium back in 2008 and we won with the song ‘Sea Is Dying’ which we will start our set later on (at ATG) in a lower tune than the original.
A: Are you involved in the production & mixing, and how does that process work?
C: We used to always work with the producer, but that costs a lot of money - this time around, mainly Brett, we have used his production skills in our own studio and we work with a mixer. Every night he would send us all stuff to listen to, and with Yuri the drummer he would work with Brent then I would dome in and do my ‘diddl-y, diddlies’ (I.e. Riff creation), then I let them create the masterpiece - I hate computers!
A: We see you have a nice set up of pedals, did you use this on your album then?
C: Yes, we have a couple of expensive ones but these are ‘street’ ones that know everything about steak, beer & dust! Have to use them to play at ATG.
A: So they can take the heat, it adds to the sound!
C: Oh yeah, absolutely! As Amy Winehouse said “More is More”
They have been around for a long time, since 2004, and since their conception have a huge catalogue of music which spans most of their adult lives:
A: Do you have a specific theme for each album or is it free flowing?
C: No, we actually take inspiration from things that happen to us, we wrote this album in a happy mood as the studio closed but we could go in and at the time, during the pandemic, we could only see a maximum of 4 people - and we are 4, so it is perfect - so we started to write the album then obviously life gets in the way and things happen - two cousins passing and thus it was very difficult to continue making happy music like dance-y like “Fuck my Anxiety” is so when you listen to the album it is a reflection of our mood at that time. When I see each track on the album I know, oh that was a shit moment oh that was a good moment.
A: I can see that, I’m guessing that’s where the idea of Love, Death and Decay come from, like a transition and your music represents that.
C: Exactly, you know our music!
A: I also felt true powerful emotion when listening to Deliverance Dance, it feels raw and as if I am looking through a window into someones life.
C: It’s like a love song, we wanted true , raw emotion as you say and we chose to release it prior to the album as it perfectly highlights what to expect from the other songs.
A: Stake's music is powerful, I enjoy that theres messages within the music
C: You know, speaking about that week (the passings) that’s where that song comes from, you know doing nothing, just sitting there and drinking beer … you know the different rhythms, different styles - perfect example of what we made during that hard week.
Listening to their music at home in the comfort of your own bed is a completely different experience to seeing them play live - spoiler alert, it was insane. If you like hard hitting, explosively dynamic music which tantalises you then you are going to love the Grunge that Stake bring to the table.
A: If you were to explain your sound, to someone who has never heard your music, what would you say is your entry point - song/ album?
C: I would say the last one, Critical Method, 2019 - but while you're there you might as well listen to the other albums!
A: What are you most excited about with the release of your newest album, which is set to be out on the 30th of September?
C: That people are finally going to hear our hard work, as i said, we are very emotionally attached to this album and we hope people enjoy it, which i'm sure they will.
A: If you could give your younger self some advice, what would it be?
C: Hmmm, thats a good one, probably- do not wish to be an adult! but in terms of music, start young, practice when you are young before you start drinking beer.
So are they worth it? Hell yeah, they are travelling around the UK in October so go grab tickets here - also have a look below if you are in Europe for any of their dates. Seeing them play live was a magical experience that you have to at least experience once, they are unbelievabley talented! We will 100% be seeing them in Manchester.
Their tour dates
15.10 Junkyard Dortmund (w. Cave In)
16.10 Lido Berlin (w. Cave In)
17.10 Kesselhaus Wiesbaden (w. Cave In)
19.10 Badaboom Paris (w. Cave In)
20.10 Le Poche Bethune (w. Cave In)
24.10 Heaven London (w. Cave In)
25.10 The Exchange Bristol (w. Cave In)
26.10 Gorilla, Manchester (w. Cave In)
27.10 Room 2, Glasgow (w. Cave In)
05.11 Belvédère Namen
16.11 Reflektor Luik
03.12 Wilde Westen Festival, Kortrijk
11.12 WMD, Waregem
17.12 Trix, Antwerp