Belgian punk rockers Mountains To Move are not a band that you’ll find taking themselves too seriously. Having started out as merely a fun drunken evening project, the Antwerp quartet have gradually focused more on their music although, as they tell us, not much more – which is evidenced by their self-description “Your girlfriend’s new favourite boyband.”
As frontman Quinten Pas explains: “To be honest, I don’t really think we take ourselves all that seriously nowadays either, but just the fact that people actually started to like the music we put out and we got to play some bigger support slots.”
Despite this, they’re a band whose stock is growing having already supported the likes of Deaf Havana and Lower Than Atlantis in their homeland. Quinten tells us: “LTA has been one of those bands that I’ve been listening to when I Far Q just came out. I’m fascinated about how well they’ve progressed in sound without ever losing their punch, even though their current sound differs so much from their older stuff. Their approach on how to write heavier pop songs is something that influenced us greatly when writing Left or Right.”
The band, completed by guitarist Sander Mangelschots, bassist Philippe Van Leuven and drummer Mathijs Adriansen, depict a bipolar self-image, describing their music as happy and sad at the same time. Quinten expanded: “We blend emotionally filled clean verses with wall-breaking heavy choruses, to which you can bang (or hang) your head. This combined with heartfelt lyrics about personal struggles and anxieties that will haunt you to the deepest of your core.”
And their sound is honed by a wide variety of influences, from pop-punk and emo through to shoegaze and hardcore – so just about everything. Quinten explains: “We just make music that we enjoy listening to ourselves and also something that we can bring live. The things I write about are mostly very personal experiences about specific moments in my life, kinda like my musical diary that I literally wrote off. Music has a therapeutical effect on me.”
The latest offering of this is new single Left Or Right, which was released last month. It opens up with a jaunty little guitar riff that’s hard not to jig along to then drops into it a light, singalong and slightly morose sounding verse of “I’ve been thinking too much about sleeping in my own bed, Too much about going on alone, And I can’t shake the thought of dying and never wanting to have even been born.” It drops right down into a vocal-only chorus “And I can go left or right, But this won’t go down without a fight,” then the opening riff kicks in again.
The pace picks up through a more energetic verse, drops into the chilled out vocal chorus. That’s soon followed by a more intense repeat of the chorus lyrics then a punky guitar riff under “woh-oh” vocals, which leads to a last upbeat blast of the chorus. Check it out in the video below:
We’ve yet to meet too many Belgian bands – this is just our third – with Brutus being the most obvious example leading the way for the country’s rock scene. Quinten tells us: “I don’t wanna sound all too cynical or bitter, so I’ll blame it on my age, but I think the scene was better when I was still 18 and going to shows on a regular basis. However, there are still some cool festivals and amazing bookers in Belgium, such as Flood Floor Shows or MCLX show. And then obviously there’s Groezrock, Belgium’s most famous alternative music festival that I’ve been going to ever since I was 16.
2018 looks set to be an exciting year for the Belgians, with several shows in their home country, Netherlands and Germany, which includes supporting Movements in Antwerp. They hope to have another song released over the summer and are already working on new material that they can put into a physical release.