Sunday, December 30, 2012


Deus (styled as dEUS[1]) is a rock band based in AntwerpBelgium, whose only continuous members up to the present day are Tom Barman (vocals, guitars) and Klaas Janzoons (keyboards, violin). The rest of the band's line-up currently consists of drummer Stéphane Misseghers, bassist Alan Gevaert and guitarist/backing vocalist Mauro Pawlowski.[2]



Formed in 1991, Deus began its career as a cover band, but soon began writing its own material.[3] Their musical influences range from folk and punk to jazz and prog rock. They first came to attention in Humo's Rock Rally of 1992 and after the release of the four-track EP "Zea", Deus was offered a recording contract with Island Records.[3] They became the first Belgian indie act ever to sign to a major international label.[4]

[edit]First era (1994-2000)

Deus' debut album Worst Case Scenario drew influences from Frank ZappaTom Waits and Captain Beefheart and was released on September 16, 1994 to critical acclaim.[5] Shortly after followed the release of a highly experimental mail order only album entitled My Sister=My Clock, consisting of thirteen songs contained on one physical track. Their next effort In a Bar, Under the Sea followed two years later. The Ideal Crash (1999) saw the manic eccentricity channeled into a slightly more accessible package.[6] Altogether, the band's first three albums (discounting My Sister=My Clock) sold over 750.000 copies worldwide and gathered them a cult following.[7]
Meanwhile, Deus had been subject to various line-up changes. After touring for Worst Case Scenario, guitarist Rudy Trouvéwent on to Kiss My JazzDead Man Ray and The Love Substitutes. By the time In a Bar, Under the Sea came out, bassistStef Kamil Carlens had left the band to focus on Zita Swoon. They were replaced by Craig Ward and Danny Mommens, respectively. Eventually, the line-up was completed by touring guitarist Tim Vanhamel (Evil SuperstarsMillionaireEagles of Death Metal).[8]


After the tour in support of The Ideal Crash, the band took an extended hiatus that allowed the individual members to pursue different interests. Barman directed a film, Any Way the Wind Blows in 2003, and teamed up with techno record producer CJ Bolland to form Magnus in 2004.[9] In June 2002, Deus did however play 6 concerts in Portugal, the Netherlandsand Belgium, supporting the CD and DVD release of their singles collection, No More Loud Music.

[edit]Second era (2004-present)

In mid 2004 they began recording new material and playing live across Europe, and in August the download-only single "If You Don't Get What You Want" was released. On September 12, 2005 the album Pocket Revolution was released. The release of the new album was supported by a world tour of over 130 concerts. The final concert of the 2005/2006 Pocket Revolution tour took place on October 1 in Deus's hometown of Antwerp, Belgium. Deus performed that day as part of the 0110 Festival for Tolerance. This free entrance festival, an initiative of leadsinger Tom Barman, saw possibly the largest number of Belgian artists ever assembled perform that day in AntwerpGhentBrussels andCharleroi in support of Tolerance and to oppose racism, extremism and violence. After finishing their Pocket Revolution tour, the band began rehearsals for the writing and recording process of their next album. In 2007 Deus built their own studio, to continue work on their next album, Vantage Point, which was released in April 2008. Keep You Close was released in September 2011, featuring Greg Dulli.[10] The title track of the album was premiered on 16 June 2011 on "C'est Lenoir", a show on radio France Inter, presented by Bernard Lenoir.[11] On 19 July 2011, Deus announced their first single, "Constant Now", taken of the new record, which will be released 19 September 2011.[12] Keep You Close has been received with raving reviews, Q rewarded the record with 4-out-of-5 stars, saying that "The Belgian Elbow hit new heights on sixth effort". Sputnikmusic gave the album 5-out-of-5, describing the record as "a real grower album" and "Keep you Close may not be the best Deus album ever, but it's still certainly one of the finest albums to have come out this year and one of the finest albums in the band's entire career." [13] In October 2011, the band won the "Best Belgian Act" award at the MTV Europe Music Awards.[14] On June 1, 2012, they surprised the music world by releasing their new album Following Sea out of the blue. Without any announcement they dropped the album on the internet, with a physical release planned on June 8, 2012. Following Sea received glowing reviews, from Belgian and European press.[15]


Main article: Deus discography

[edit]Studio albums

[edit]EPs, DVDs and compilation albums

Following Sea'

The New Album, released on June 1st, 2012

Quatre Mains - Sirens - Hidden Wounds - Girls Keep Drinking - Nothings - The Soft Fall - Crazy About You - The Give Up Gene - Fire Up The Google Beat Algorith - One Thing About Waves
dEUS new album 'Following Sea' is here. Now. At the same time as you are hearing it the rest of the world gets to hear it too. This isn't a clever marketing ploy or an attempt to grasp the zeitgeist but, more simply the band looking to get their music out whilst it is fresh. As Tom Barman says: 'We had songs we didn't want to lose, didn't want to have sat on a shelf for four years so we decided to break our previous way of working and be less precious and finish the songs quickly and then release them to the public. It's 2012 for fuck's sake, the idea of waiting months to release stuff seems so old fashioned.' 

'Following Sea' was recorded, produced and mixed in bursts of activity following the completion of dEUS's previous album, 'Keep You Close' (released October 2011) with producer Adam Noble again at the controls. Following on from the confessional noir of 'Keep You Close', 'Following Sea' is a lighter and brighter album. Barman jokes that, partly, the appearance of the album is 'borne out of shame after delivering only nine songs for 'Keep You Close' in two years' but the quick writing and recording process was directly responsible for a clutch of songs on the album including 'The Give Up Gene' and 'Sirens' whilst lending new impetus to other songs that came to the process as sketches or jams. 

This idea of a workshy band is slightly disingenuous anyhow for, as Q noted when accompanying the band for two stand out shows at Holland's Into the Great Wide Open, marvelling at 'the band's intense work ethic' that squeezed a video shoot, two sets and a clutch of DJ performances into 48 hours, dEUS may be known for long studio stays but they are rarely inactive. 

Shifted out of their comfort zone, dEUS deliver their first song in French, the opening spy thriller theme in waiting 'Quatre Mains' and some of their most tender moments in 'Nothings', 'The Soft Fall' and 'Crazy About You'. Always admired by their peers and the public for their compositional ability, this new way of working throws up new dEUS classics to stand beside their already awesome catalogue. 

'Following Sea' is released worldwide on 1st June 2012.

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