Members: Elie De Backer (drums), Jan Pauwels (guitars, leading vocals), Steve Janssens (bass guitar)
Tim's Favourite originated years ago in the dark recesses of its founding father's mind, Jan Pauwels. Actuallly the initial name of the band was Heart of Darkness, but for some reason the guys considered it too dark - too dark altogether... And so when one enlightened day Jan found his then three-year-old nephew Tim with a pair of headphones on and completely enthralled by his uncle's band's music, the new name was found.
The first outings were situated around 1992, with a rather frantic thrashmetal prelude. Over the years, however, the songs became a little bit more melodious and - what did you expect - undefinably unique.
Oh yes. So far, all attempts at pinpointing, once and for all, the typical Tim's Favourite-sound, have proven utterly futile. Many audacious souls have tried, none really succeeded. As Popjournalist Ron Van Hal once put it: "Not surprisingly: this trio brings a modern and catchy combination of interestingly composed metal and grunge, which occasionally reminds me of Korn and Tool." Or Peter De Lobel: "This trio immediately rings heavy bells like Tool and Alice in Chains, but sticking to that, would testify to sonorous laziness." And how about this one: "Tim's Favourite plays modern rock with nu-metal influences but also slow, almost doomy passages. It all sounds original and it's almost impossible to find a musical flag that covers Tim's Favourite's cargo." And another one: "The three gentlemen like to describe their unique cross-fertilization as zenmetal, but to categorize the band under one label is practically impossible. Tim's Favourite is anything but a herd animal". And maybe a last one: "These guys sure have not taken the easy road; lyrics based on scientific studies, wrapped in unconventional yet always fitting compositions." Irish sounding vocals (yep!), folky guitars and ingenious bassplaying, amongst others, are not rarely evoked to illustrate the far-beyond-metal nature of Tim's favourite beast.
As you already gathered, Tim's Favourite themselves came up with an entirely new word to capture the sound they produce: "zen-metal". The word indeed seems to cover both the unmistakable metal roots as well as the somewhat less straightforward, not instantly definable aspects...
Whatever the case may be, it remains a hard fact that not only the elusive style but also the live-performances of this threesome have driven many a spectator to the brink of madness. What would you expect? Every single Tim's Favourite-concert is a challenge to your braincells (just try to comprehend the pseudo-philosophical speculations of the video-wall), a raid on your guts ("Does anybody know where the toilets are?" is a frequently-heard expression amongst Tim's Favourite-audiences), an assault on your eardrums (if only because for the umpteenth time you had forgotten to bring along those darned earplugs).
So, to sum up: Tool, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Metallica, Korn, Jonny Logan, Spinal Tap,... your own uniquely-trained sense of hearing will undoubtedly detect some additional influences whilst putting the band's songs to the test. One thing's for sure: Tim's Favourite knows its roots, but also knows how to treat them in its own mysterious ways.
In 2003, all of the above culminated in a record deal with the humble but nonetheless very fine independent label Buzzville Records, harbouring at that time, amongst others, Cowboys & Aliens, Mezzanine, Monkey3, Semitones, Sengir... The debut album, "Noises from the Darkroom", was released in September of the same year. The rest should have been history by now.
Five years (and probably even more bassists) later Tim's Favourite is still not history. The band has recently released its second album entitled "Geometry for the Selfish Herd", a first sign of which was the video-clip for the song "Piggy Ways". In brief, the song is a tale about mankind's illusions of and obsessions with "growth" in all of its forms: spiritual, moral, intellectual but also material and economic growth. Where does "all this strife" lead to? the clip asks. The recent turmoil and financial frenzy on the stock exchanges is but one of the consequences of the human species' obsession with growth and outright greed. Not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. In the end, we all return to our "piggy ways", the clip seems to suggest...
In a way, all of the songs on "Geometry for the Selfish Herd" are more or less a variation on this common theme. To conclude this biography, here's how Tim's Favourite describe the thematic genesis of their new album (only for the freaks):
"About ten years ago, we stumbled upon a scientific paper in which the author, William D. Hamilton, gave a mathematical description of the herd behaviour of animals. One of the patterns that came out of his observations was that the individuals belonging to a herd tend to imitate and follow their immediate neighbours, thus enforcing the movement of the entire group. In human society, this kind of behaviour can be discerned in all sorts of mass-phenomena, such as religion, nationalism, violent confrontations between ethnic groups and in the stock exchange. Apart from this fascinating subject, the title of the paper, "Geometry for the Selfish Herd", immediately struck us as having such a beautiful ring that we couldn't shake off the feeling that one day we would have to use it in our music.
Five years later, when we started composing songs for our next album, Jan was just reading a book entitled "Growth Fetish" by one Clive... Hamilton. In brief, the book condemns the Western obsession with economic growth and consumerism, supposedly the solution to all our problems. As the title suggests, this idea of "growth" is considered an unassailable truth. But, the book says, unlimited economic growth is an illusion and in fact destroying our planet.
Maybe the strange coincidence of two authors with the same name making such an impression on us had something to do with it, fact is that these two writings sowed the seeds for what our next album was to be about: growth and herd instincts.
In december last year, the CD was completed. And during the writing process, the seeds of growth and herd instincts had grown into a fully developed and astonishing conclusion, underlying the entire CD: "The free competive market system is not a superior and objective scientific system organizing our economy. No. The free market is no more than an ideology, a RELIGION. And a rather absolute one, one with dogmas that had better not be questioned."
Indeed. Right from the start, the founder of free market capitalism, Adam Smith, conceived his "invisible hand" not on scientific, but on purely religious grounds, no more, no less. He was convinced that God, the "Great Director", had blessed us all with moral sentiments, self-interest included. These God-given moral sentiments, unfettererd, would see to it that, at the end of history, all wealth, created by self-interested individuals, would be miraculously and justly redistributed, eventually.
250 years have passed since. We have all become believers. Believers in a creed of greed. Self-interested individuals have unwittingly distributed their wealth all over the world and poverty has come to an end. And in their moving enthusiasm these selfish individuals have swept us all along, right into the middle of a financial and economic crisis with no equal. The invisible hand has blessed bullish speculators and turned them into panic-driven cattle, plunging stocks below depths no man has seen before. The invisible hand has blessed people by throwing them overnight out of their houses, right unto the street, literally. From riches to ditches, miraculously. And yet the only solution to our problem seems to be more of the same: buy more now.
How long will we, the selfish herd, keep on believing in the moral and scientific superiority of this so-called "science", called "free market economics"? Or maybe the time has come to realize that this geometry is really nothing but a religion, based not on moral, but irrational emotions, such as blind faith, trust, and most of all: greed."