Back in the early 1980ís, school and childhood friends Danny Beyens, Jan Boogaerts and Wim Wouters shared a common interest in music. Or more to the point : a combination of seventies hard rock and the blossoming New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. As a result, Danny especially was interested in producing a kind of visual, somewhat occult, kind of metal, including complex songstructures. To cut a long story short : Danny, Jan and Wim soon decided to form a hard rock band of their own, and they called it CONCRETE MIXER. Their sound was bound to be diverse as Danny was into the likes of ACCEPT, IRON MAIDEN, RUSH, SAXON, etc., while Wim was primarily interested in RUSH, as well as both symphonic rock and classical music. Jan was interested in all things heavy. Bass and guitar skills were soon improved with the help of Luc Van Dessel (of TAILS BLUE fame) and all of their money (earned while working vacation jobs during the summer of 1981) went into buying instruments and amplifiers.
Then consisting of Danny Beyens on bass and both Wim Wouters and Jan Boogaerts on guitars, CONCRETE MIXER still needed a drummer and a vocalist, in order to become a real band. In fact, the bandname was changed soon, as they considered it to give a wrong idea of what they were all about musically. The band definitely didnít want people to think that they were a Punk outfit Ö And as such CEMETERY became the new band moniker.
Jan knew a guy at school who was known to be a huge TED NUGENT fan : Luc Van Roy. Jan approached Luc and asked him if he would be interested in joining CEMETERY as their drummer. Luc agreed and intense drum lessons (courtesy of Jan Van Dessel, also TAILS BLUE) soon followed. Finding a suitable vocalist turned out to be way harder. Danny insisted that they should go for a charismatic guy with stage presence, and with a voice to match. In a day and age that long hair and bleached blue jeans were common (even in Belgium) it wasnít easy to cut the crap. Eventually Danny approached Eric Vermeylen, a guy they hardly knew at all. It turned out that he was well and truly into hard rock, and when asked to become CEMETERYís vocalist, Eric simply agreed. At last, CEMETERY was a real band!
CEMETERYís first gig was in fact a talent contest, and took place at the St.-Lambertus school in Westerlo on March 26th 1982. On that occasion the band even toyed around with a fake skeloton (straight out of biology class) on stage, to emphasize their macabre and occult songwriting ideas. As far as Wim Wouters recalls, CEMETERYís second (and most likely last) gig took place at a school in Hulshout, on a Sunday afternoon.
Although CEMETERY never got around to recording an official demo, rehearsals were being taped from time to time, including such songs as Battle For Freedom, Hell, the instrumental In Trace Of The Devil and Night Beast. One of those rehearsals was sent to Germany by a friend of Wim, and it turned out that there was an interest in both the bandís music and their concept. In the end nothing really happened. In fact, CEMETERY disbanded sometime during the first half of 1983 already, due to both musical and personal differences. Bassist Danny Beyens quit music altogether and vocalist Eric Vermeylen was forced to quit due to health problems at an early age.
Jan Boogaerts, Luc Van Roy and Wim Wouters decided to continue together though, and would soon form ORACLE.
Wim Wouters, Luc Van Roy (extra special thanks to Pascal d'Hooghe)
September 23rd 2009