Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Good, thanks for having us! We’re all trying to stay busy during these weird times.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Who I Am”?

This song is about how bad people & though times mostly shape us more than the easy & good things that were handed to us. I didn’t want to be resentful anymore, but thank them cause it’s made me “Who I Am”.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

A lot happened in between the first album and the new EP. Quit my job, moved, got married, lost my mom & grandma. Enough stuff to make me think of where I am and where I came from as a person.

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

We did! We went for a walk in “Gentbrugge” where I grew up as a kid and the director “Xander Desmet” filmed some beautiful stuff that really works with the vibe of the song. We’ve also released a “live in the studio” version. So you can head over to our YouTube channel and check that out.

The single comes off your new EP Thank You – what’s the story behind the title?

Like I said, it came from that opening track “Who I Am” and the idea about being thankful for everything. The good and especially the bad!

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote a ton of songs and also co-wrote some of them with some friends of mine. I love having a conversation and writing from that. Either if it’s a conversation with someone else or a question I ask myself. It makes for the most interesting lyrics in my opinion. After that I made arrangements at my home studio. Then I brought them to the band. They always add that extra spark in the studio. All the rest I finished in my studio. Vocals, overdubs, mixing. I had a clear sound in my head so that’s why I decided I had to do everything myself. Wasn’t always easy but I’m very proud of the result and feel I got very close to sound in my head.

What role does Gent play in your music?

It’s the town I grew up in so a lot of memories are connected to that place. A lot of lyrics make me think of specific places like my old street or a place where I used to go out.

How has Prince and Bruce Springsteen influenced your writing?

Bruce records taught me to write from experience and always keep trying to stay true to the storytelling instead of just trying to sing something cool or show off. Prince is embedded in my DNA. Purple Rain was my first vinyl record my parents gave me at the age of 3. He taught me that there is no such thing as “styles”. There’s just music. Doesn’t matter if it’s a band recording or electronic, polished or raw. It just needs to get YOUR point across and it will be YOUR sound. When he passed it felt like I had a hole in my soul.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

It’s rooted in human behaviour, my own experiences and observations. Stuff you can keep talking about till the end of times I guess.

What else is happening next in SHTEVIL’s world?

We’re hoping this whole weird situation clears up so we can go out and celebrate this release with a crowd of wild music-lovers. I’ve also recorded another EP which is gonna be more acoustic but we’re still working on that.


About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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