BATTERING RAM

Biography

The origins of BATTERING RAM go back to 1982, when guitarist Eddy 'The Vampire' Scheire and drummer Walter 'The Hammer' Baeyens started to jam together. In fact, both of them had just bought their instruments … In those early days they just tried to cover tunes by some of their favourite bands, such as IRON MAIDEN (The Number Of The Beast), JUDAS PRIEST (Diamonds And Rust) and SAXON (747 – Strangers In The Night).

A couple of weeks later Eddy and Walter were joined by guitarist Dirk 'Crazy Horse' Parmentier, who had just bought his first electric guitar. The trio still weren't thinking of forming a real band in those days : having fun and covering some of their favourite songs in rehearsal was satisfactory. In those days BATTERING RAM rehearsed in the cellar of drummer Walter's parents' house in Schellebelle. Much to their dismay … Eventually the first original riffs were born, but due to the fact that there was no vocalist, nor bassist at hand, it wasn't easy to create real songs.

In early 1983 Patrick Minnebier (ex MEPHISTO) joined on bass. Although Patrick wouldn't last very long : the fact that the band was still in search of a vocalist, combined with having to drive all the way to band rehearsals on a moped, rain or shine, made Patrick lose motivation pretty soon. He would later surface in BLACK SHEPHERD.

BATTERING RAM's Jo Luyckx live @ De Drie Zwaantjes, Oostakker, summer of 1987 (picture supplied by Eddy Scheire)
BATTERING RAM's Wim Gerolt live @ De Drie Zwaantjes, Oostakker, summer of 1987 (picture supplied by Eddy Scheire)
BATTERING RAM's Walter Baeyens live @ De Drie Zwaantjes, Oostakker, summer of 1987 (picture supplied by Eddy Scheire)
BATTERING RAM's Eddy Scheire live @ De Drie Zwaantjes, Oostakker, summer of 1987 (picture supplied by Eddy Scheire)

Later on in 1983 rookie vocalist Jo 'The Butcher' Luyckx entered the fold, and the band started to write songs for good. The Omen was the very first, followed by Power Of Evil and Sorceress. Walter and Jo were responsible for the lyrics (all within the realm of hell and witchcraft), while Eddy came up with the majority of the musical ideas.

In 1984 a suitable bassist was found at last, in form of Wim 'Harris' Gerolt. BATTERING RAM was Wim's first band, but once he was on board the band was able to complete their already written songs at last. And new songs were being written as well : Black Knight, Behind The Styx, I Came For You, … Other songs that the band wrote and performed live over the years, but never recorded, nor released properly, included the likes of Acid Rain, AIDS, I'm Back and Instrumental. Besides, BATTERING RAM also performed a cover version of AC/DC's Whole Lotta Rosie live, as well as their version of Als Moeder Zong, originally by Belgian singer / comedian Urbanus Van Anus.

Most of 1985 was spent in the rehearsal room, while the band was also awaiting their first gig proposals. Besides, both Walter and Jo were fulfilling their military service at the time. Coincidently they were hooked up together in Germany …

Fast forward to July 19th of 1986, when BATTERING RAM played their maiden gig at Zaal Patronaat in Uitbergen. As this was part of a 'mixed styles concert' to coincide with the 15th anniversary of Jeugdkring Waar, four other local, non-metal bands were on the line-up that particular night as well : THE HATE CREW, GOLDRUSH, THE OBSESSION and STATSKIRIELJA. According to Eddy Scheire, one of the other bands failed to show up that particular day, although he couldn't remember which one exactly. This first live experience really inspired the band and plans to record a first demo were already being made as a result.

Unfortunately guitarist Dirk Parmentier had to leave the band around that time as well, due to his studies. Little is known of what has become of Dirk ever after, as far as music is concerned. Fact is that he did reunite with Eddy Scheire in cover band GLAMOUR GLASSES for a 'Free Podium' gig in Ghent on March 16th 1989. Drummer on that occasion was Dirk Six, while the bassist's name hasn't survived the test of time. On that occasion GLAMOUR GLASSES performed the likes of More Than A Feeling (BOSTON), Since You Been Gone (RAINBOW), The Final Countdown (Europe), I'm Okay (STYX) but also BATTERING RAM's I Came For You.

During the second half of March 1987 BATTERING RAM recorded its first demo at last. Breaking Through The Main Gate was recorded at the Top studio in Sint-Amandsberg, near Ghent, on March 15th and 22nd, with Fernand Buyle at the helm. The band had heard good things about Top studio and simply contacted them. And Fernand was a piece of the furniture that came along with the studio …

BATTERING RAM's Eddy Scheire during the recording sessions for Breaking Through The Main Gate demo, March 1987 (picture supplied by Eddy Scheire)
BATTERING RAM's Walter Baeyens during the recording sessions for Breaking Through The Main Gate demo, March 1987 (picture supplied by Eddy Scheire)
BATTERING RAM's Wim Gerolt during the recording sessions for Breaking Through The Main Gate demo, March 1987 (picture supplied by Eddy Scheire)
BATTERING RAM's Jo Luyckx during the recording sessions for Breaking Through The Main Gate demo, March 1987 (picture supplied by Eddy Scheire)

On August 29th 1987 BATTERING RAM played live at De Drie Zwaantjes in Oostakker, together with SHELL SHOCK. On that occasion they met Bart 'Crusader' Schaillée, a guitarist that had been in a couple of bands before, and who expressed the desire to join the ranks of BATTERING RAM. An offer that was accepted with open arms, and which turned out to be an excellent move, as Bart was more influenced by the likes of ANTHRAX, MEGADETH and METALLICA, and had plenty of original ideas. As a result the band soon started to write a bunch of new songs.

On April 30th 1988 BATTERING RAM played at 't Haezepad in Oudenaarde, together with AXEL and SHELL SHOCK. Up next were two shows in Holland. On May 6th 1988 the band ventured off to the Bar Americain in Middelburg. And the next day they played at the Image Club in Terneuzen. Support act on that occasion was THE OBSESSION, although they didn't show up in the end.

BATTERING RAM (L - R : Bart Schaillée, Wim Gerolt, Jo Luyckx, Eddy Scheire) live @ 't Haezepad, Oudenaarde, 30/04/1988 (picture supplied by Eddy Scheire)

During the summer of 1988 the band was dreaming of recording a full-length BATTERING RAM LP, although nothing was ever concrete. The band didn't have the financial means at the time, and no label ever approached them either. Later on in 1988 vocalist Jo Luyckx left the band and was soon replaced by Alex Fifi, whose roots were more in Punk music. As a matter of fact he used to sing for THE OBSESSION prior to joining BATTERING RAM.

During the second half of 1988 guitarist Eddy Scheire had also started a side-project, a metal cover band called the METAL FOR ALL BAND, in which he joined forces with vocalist Guy De Graeve (TARGET), drummer Christ Braems (TARGET), guitarist Hans Putteman (ALBION, ex TRIAL), bassist Gerrit Van Bellingen (ALBION, ex ENFORCER), guitarist Stef Hermans (HANDS OF MERCY) and vocalist Pat D'Hauwe (HANDS OF MERCY). Rehearsals for the METAL FOR ALL BAND were at TARGET's practice spot in Balegem, near Zottegem.

The METAL FOR ALL BAND proceeded to play live at 't Jagershof in Kester (alongside AXEL, LODGER and HANDS OF MERCY) on January 14th 1989. And on February 25th 1989 the METAL FOR ALL BAND invaded the T-Klub in Lokeren. On that occasion the band performed the likes of Here I Go Again (WHITESNAKE), Ain't Talking 'Bout Love (VAN HALEN), Because The Night (KEEL), Whole Lotta Rosie (AC/DC), Some Kinda Wonderful (GRAND FUNK RAILROAD), Born To Be Wild (STEPPENWOLF), Rainbow In The Dark (DIO), Twilight Zone (GOLDEN EARRING), Strong Arm Of The Law (SAXON), Doctor, Doctor (UFO) and Fight For Your Right (BEASTIE BOYS), but also HANDS OF MERCY's We'll Meet Again. Plus a Rock 'n' Roll version of Kleine Café Aan De Haven, as well as a medley of Dutch Carnival classics. HELLFIRE guitarist Tony De Block was the sound engineer on that occasion, and he even joined the band on stage for a couple of songs. Shortly after this second gig the METAL FOR ALL BAND fell apart again already, due to internal differences.

Part of the METAL FOR ALL BAND live @ T-Klub in Lokeren, 25-02-1989 (L - R : Eddy Scheire, Hans Putteman, Pat D'Hauwe) (picture supplied by Eddy Scheire)

Anyway, on March 31st 1989 the new BATTERING RAM line-up played live for the first time, at the Alcatraz in Ghent, once again together with SHELL SHOCK. And on July 8th and 9th 1989 BATTERING RAM recorded their second demo, Intruder. Once again at Top studio in Ghent, with Fernand Buyle in command.

On October 21st 1989 BATTERING RAM travelled to Holland once more, to Jeugdhuis OJC in Capelle a/d Yssel. And on November 25th 1989 the T-Klub in Lokeren was home for BATTERING RAM. As fate would have it, this turned out to be the last BATTERING RAM gig, as the band ceased to exist soon after. One of the reasons being that guitarist Bart was encountering some serious personal problems at the time. Besides, drummer Walter was getting married …

Neither guitarist Bart Schaillée nor drummer Walter Baeyens joined any other bands afterwards. Bassist Wim Gerolt was part of a band called KILIMANJARO (who are said to combine authentic African instruments with modern Western sounds) earlier on this century. Alex Fifi was active in a band named CRUMB in the 1990's and these days he is the vocalist for Power rock combo INTERFEAR.

In the summer of 2002 Eddy Scheire was contacted by Greg Varsamis of Eat Metal Records, based out of Athens, Greece. Greg had heard Breaking Through The Main Gate and expressed a desire to release a limited edition BATTERING RAM single, including two songs off that first demo, on his label.

As the original master tapes of Breaking Through The Main Gate were no longer at hand, Eddy had to select the best sounding tape version to supply to the record company. A cover needed to be designed as well. The end result, courtesy of Greece's RAGING STORM bassist Harry Boudamour, is clearly influenced by the band's second demo cover, but it ties in perfectly with the title of the first as well. The Power Of Evil / I Came For You 7'' finally saw the light of day in 2004. Limited to just 500 handnumbered copies, and including an insert with the lyrics and a short biography.

As a trivia note it's worth knowing that Greg Varsamis and a couple of Greek friends attended Mausoleum Records' 20th anniversary concert (including CROSSFIRE, KILLER and OSTROGOTH) at Biebob in Vosselaar on May 10th 2002. Former BATTERING RAM members Eddy, Jo and Walter were present as well on that occasion. So, in fact Greg, Eddy, Jo and Walter were in the same room together back then already, without knowing each other. In fact, they've never met in person ever after …

As a result of some favourable reviews of the 7'' Eddy Scheire was toying around with the idea to re-activate BATTERING RAM at long last. Eddy soon contacted former drummer Walter Baeyens, whom he had always remained in touch with over the years. Eddy suggested to record a concept mCD in the symphonic power metal vein. An idea that was met with great approval on Walter's side, and he started to create the story and write the lyrics right away.

Initially the Atlantis : Remembrance Of A Lost Future mCD was set for an October 2006 release. A deadline that has been pushed ahead several times now, due to various unforseen circumstances, including the search for a vocalist. Latest news is that BATTERING RAM's line-up has been complete again since the spring of 2007 and reads as follows : original members Eddy Scheire (guitars) and Walter Baeyens (drums), plus Peruan guitarist Juan Carlos Galdos (ex DISTORSION), Chilean bassist Alejandro Oneto (ex
PZICOTROPICOS) and vocalist Kurt Verschelden (ex HELLFIRE, ex RAMSES).

Kurt is the latest addition to the band. As a matter of fact Kurt and Eddy Scheire used to play together in RAMSES in the 1990's. Eddy joined the band shortly after their Faith In Rebirth CD (1993) was recorded. He also played keyboards on the Secrets mCD (1998), but by that time Kurt had left RAMSES already. In fact, RAMSES called it a day soon after the release of Secrets.

Rehearsals with this new BATTERING RAM constellation have already started and the band intends to complete the mCD recordings from mid August 2007 onwards. And hopefully Atlantis : Remembrance Of A Lost Future will finally be out next November. Live gigs are expected to follow as well.

Apart from vocalist Kurt, all other members of the current BATTERING RAM line-up are also part of a Gothic Metal band called IN DARKNESS I DWELL.


Discography

1987 : Breaking Through The Main Gate (demo) {Power Of Evil, Behind The Styx, I Came For You, Black Knight, Condemned To The Gallow}

1989 : Intruder (demo) {Killing Fields, One More Beer, Towerghost, Fighters From Shaolin}

2004 : Power Of Evil / I Came For You (7", Eat Metal)
{note : limited to 500 handnumbered copies}

2008 : Atlantis : Remembrance Of A Lost Future (mCD, Battering Ram) {The Sea - The Primordial Paradise, The Cloudy Skies, The Secret Chambers, The Lost Future – The Remembrance}
{note : this mCD was never properly released, but the songs are available for free download on the band’s website (www.battering-ram.net)}

2008 : Back Through The Main Gate (LP, High Roller / Metaleros) {Power Of Evil, Behind The Styx, I Came For You, Black Knight, Condemned To The Gallow, Killing Fields, One More Beer, Towerghost, Fighters From Shaolin}
{note : limited handnumbered edition of 500 copies - 400 on black vinyl & 100 on red vinyl}

BATTERING RAM : Breaking Through The Main Gate (demo 1987, frontcover) (image supplied by Eddy Scheire)
BATTERING RAM : Intruder (demo 1989, frontcover) (image supplied by Eddy Scheire)
BATTERING RAM : Power Of Evil / I Came For You (Eat Metal Records single, 2004, frontcover)


Consulted people

Eddy Scheire


Related links

First posted

July 4th 2007


Latest adjustment

December 1st 2009




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