Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Breda, Netherlands based Alternative Rock/Metal band At First. Huge thanks to vocalist Jamie Jochems for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Jamie and I’m the lead-singer of our band At First. When we started the band five years ago, we didn’t know each other. We were teenagers who wanted to make music with like-minded people. Loud music, like any teenager. But we really wanted to tell a story to our audience, too.

How did you come up with your band name?

‘At First’ is about a feeling. The feeling that we all descend from the same origin, but it also keeps us wondering about what comes next. It’s like the beginning of a story.

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re from the Netherlands. Metal and rock music aren’t really mainstream here. To be honest, I think that Dutch metal bands have more international success than in their home country. But the scene is openminded and caring, with the occasional mosh pit to show the world we’re still tough metal heads. 😉

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

Our latest album release is our debut album “Deadline”. It was released a few months ago. Our latest video release is a lyric video for the album’s opening track called ‘Come Get Your Entertainment’.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Music journalists have compared our music to Faith no More and Rush, but also more modern metal bands like TesseracT, Halestorm and Northlane. We listen to a wide variety of music, so it’s really a mix of a lot of influences, but I guess maybe those are influences that listeners could detect.

What first got you into music?

Well, I can’t speak for the other band members, but for me music is about collective experiences. Sharing what you’ve been through with others, listening to what others have been through and realizing that we do not differ much from each other. The self-expression that comes with that is what got me into music.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Tremonti would be really cool. Or Billie Eilish to create an experimental dark metal track with her mysterious voice and persona. A girl can dream, right?

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Wacken Open Air in Germany, because it’s one of the best metal parties in the world.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Until now, we have only received sweet gifts from our fans. One of our friends once made a fake award for us that said we were awarded ‘Best Dutch Metal Band’.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Always stay open to new experiences and music.

If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Kurt Cobain. We would love to see what he would think and create in this time.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

When we finally finish a song that we have been working on for months and experience the blissful feeling that everything falls into place. What we hate most are the writer blocks that lead to that experience, haha.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Less corruption.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Since we couldn’t agree on this, I’m going to list everyone’s favourite album:

Ramses: Korn’s untitled album from 2007

Jamie: Ayreon – “The Human Equation”

Barry: The Contortionist – “Clairvoyant”

Kevin: Metallica – “…And Justice For All”

Youri: Avenged Sevenfold – “Avenged Sevenfold”

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

We don’t really care, as long as the music’s good.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Our album release show a few months ago. It’s also the last show we’ve played for a while, because of the corona virus outbreak.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

For me, it would be something creative with words. Kevin, our guitarist, says he would be a producer. Barry, our bass player, would probably be stuck playing video games, aside from his current job as a nurse. Our other guitarist, Youri, already got his own Brand Strategy company that keeps him busy besides the band. Our drum beast Ramses is currently studying IT management.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

If we could invite anyone, we would invite Misha Mansoor, Hayley Williams, Myles Kennedy, Finn McKenty and Elon Musk.

What’s next for the band?

Well, we can’t play live or even rehearse at the moment, because of the corona virus outbreak in the Netherlands, so at the moment we are writing new material at home and staying connected online. We hope to be able to play live soon, but health is priority.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

You can listen to our new album by clicking this link on almost every streaming platform!: album.link/s/5ilKmSTF4koRAzwgyG19Un

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I discussed with the bandmates and we believe Jaffa Cakes are biscuits.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you for supporting the scene!

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