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 Post subject: HANS INTERVIEW COMPLETE
PostPosted: 19 Mar 2009, 18:36 
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Hey guys, i've asked Hans to do an interview for us and he kindly agreed to, since i'm getting all my questions ready I thought maybe you guys would like something to be added. Just post it here or private message me so i can add them. I only ask that your submissions are respectful of the new times of the band, and real/serious questions please!!!!

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Last edited by Faridee on 12 May 2009, 21:08, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2009, 19:31 
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Yes. I really have questions for Silje, too.

For Hans.

Is there a chance of a NA tour in 2009?

Are there any limits on which songs they play live, with Silje. Meaning, they will play any song with her that they played with Anneke. Will they be doing any Pre Anneke songs, live?

You figure out how to phrase my question! LOL

Thanks. :green:

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PostPosted: 23 Apr 2009, 16:27 
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Hey guys, the first part of the interview is ready so im pasting it here, will upload the rest as soon as i get it. Hope you enjoy!

1. Please tell us a Little bit about the months that followed August 2007, the Finland experience having tenths of fans from all over the world witnessing the departure of Anneke van Giersbergen, and the upcoming times of seclusion. Many of us thought would be the last chance to see the band live, how was it for you guys?

Well, we never thought it was our last gig, for sure. But it was a weird period anyway. We were overwhelmed by all fans coming from all different countries witnessing our last gig with Anneke. But we were also happy it was our last day with Anneke, knowing she would quit with the band. We already knew for 6 months she would stop, so it was in a way a relief that this day finally happened. Of course we started thinking about the future of The Gathering immediately when we knew Anneke would leave (march 2007). After Finland we also concentrated on other things different from The Gathering, musically and personally: René started his own guitarshop and joined Drive By Wire, Frank worked as a courier and played live with his alter ego Grim Limbo, Marjolein did several things musically and found a new job, and I (Hans) worked in a children hospital. We needed this break to reload our batteries, and to get creative again.

2. Was there a moment for The Gathering in which you were unsure to continue as a band?

We never played with the idea to quit the band for real. It would be such a huge dissapointment, especially for René, Frank and me, the guys who started this band, to quit because Anneke wanted to stop. We still had a good feeling about the four of us as a band and we know we still have a lot of inspiration and the drive to continue. The Gathering story simply couldn’t end with the departure of Anneke.

3. How difficult was it to come up with new song ideas?

It was a bit tough in the very beginning, but at a certain point, around the beginning of 2008, especially René came up with a lot of very good ideas in a relatively short time. Of course, you can decide to keep on going with the band, but you need strong song material too. We knew it would happen, but it’s always the question when?.
This time we had a clear focus: we really wanted to make a rock orientated album, with a lot of guitars, and not too many layers. This was not a new idea, during the recordings of ‘Home’ we already wanted to make an album which had more guitars. But it didn’t happen in the end. That’s why it felt comfortable that René also produced the album, we knew exactly how we wanted to sound this time.

4. How could you know what was the right step to take regarding the “new voice”? did you have in mind something clear during the auditions?

No, we stood open for everything. The most important thing we had in mind was that we, of course, would like the voice and if there was chemistry going on between the vocals and music. We had this Massive Attack idea: work with several male and female vocalist. We kept an eye and ear open, and as you already know we started an audition via email; vocalists could send their demo to us. We received a mere 250 demo’s in total. It was a heavy task listening carefully to all of them.

5. After many months of silence, the band gave news about finally having chosen a girl to front the band again, how did you choose Silje over the huge amounts of people auditioning?

Well, we were not really in search finding a new permanent band member. We were already working with Anne on ‘Capital Of Nowhere’, and we were talking with Marcela to work on a couple of songs. When we listened to Silje we liked her immediately and we sent her a rough demo version of ‘Treasure’. She sent it back and we liked it a lot. ‘Treasure’ is not an easy song, but she did a fabulous job. Silje was very driven, she wanted to hear all our new material, and before we knew we worked with her on 6 new songs and after we met her last summer she was a Gathereer! :D It just happened on a very natural way. We were not really in search, as we had this Massive Attack idea, but it happened anyway. A project is nice, but being in a real band with full bandmembers is better.

6. As far as Silje’s auditioning concerns, did she apply singing The Gathering songs, or her own material/Octavia Sperati?

No, she sent us some material and links of several projects she did, including of course Octavia Sperati, but we decided to work on new Gathering material. We didn’t do a real audition with old Gathering songs, as we are focused on the new record.

7. In previous news, The Gathering was thinking of using a male voice, why did it not happen in the end? Can you give us some names of the guys you thought of?

We had some guys in mind, the boys from Anathema for example, and I was in touch with Trickster G, but this album just wasn’t meant to be for male vocals. We were working with Silje and at a certain point we worked with her on all the other tracks of the new album. We were happy with the results, so we just went with the flow. We still think it is a good idea to work with guest (male) vocalists (and musicians) in the future though.

8. How are you handling the distance with Silje, as you have informed us, she’s currently living in the UK, how hard will it be to tour around with her?

I don’t think this will be a problem. It’s just all about planning. We will do a couple of gigs in weekends instead of stand alone gigs. And I don’t think we will do an extensive tour like we did in the past.

9. What is the idea behind TWP? Is it a concept album?

We have created a context in which we worked. When we were in the middle of the writing process it became clear this album is very ‘urban’. Most of the songs were fast, guitar driven, it felt like this album was ‘city’ orientated in a lot of ways. So we created a fictive kind of city, and gave this idea to the vocalists. It’s like walking in a city, in the park, the harbour, and imagine that people having dialogues, or monologues, and you have the ability to listen to those conversations. Everybody was free of course to make her own story, as long as it was connected to the context.

10. Where does the whole artwork come from?

It was Gema (girlfiend of René) who was surfing the net and stumbled upon the artwork of Adam Abernethy, an artist living in New Zealand. He actually knew The Gathering and we liked his work a lot, it connected very well with our context and the atmosphere of the album.

11. There are two beautiful contributions by guest singers Anna Rosa & Marcela Bovio, how did you choose the tracks they would be singing in? Who wrote the lyrics of those tracks?

They all wrote their own lyrics. It was more a feeling rather than choosing, really. We had the feeling Anne’s voice would fit on Capital of Nowhere, and the same goes for Marcela with Pale Traces.

12. Originally TWP was planned to include only 9 songs, why did you choose to make it a 10 song CD, and which track was the last to be added?

René came up with the idea to include a song of Silje on this album (You Promised Me A Symphony). The album is quite ‘dense’, so it was a good idea to break up the album a bit, with a piano orientated song. Silje was already working on this song for a while, she recorded this song I think it was in February this year in Norway.

13. Were there any songs left out of the album? Will they be included in a further release?

All the ‘left-overs’ will appear on the EP ‘City From Above’. This EP also includes the 13 minute title track which was written for a dance piece we contributed music to.

14. How has it been to work with a totally different personality in the vocals? Anneke and TG had been together from way back, it is to be assumed you had already a very specific method in the writing process…

Most of the songs (in the past and on The West Pole) were written by René and/or Frank. Later on we took these rough ideas to the rehearsal room or René’s studio and worked on arrangements together. When we had a rough demo we sent it to the vocalists. We have always worked like this so this didn’t change, it has been our way of writting for many albums.

15. Which bands would you say are the biggest influence for The Gathering right now?

Every bandmember has his or her own influence. We all like bands such as Doves, Dredg, Archive, The Arcade Fire, Elbow, and you can always hear a bit of influences, without losing our typical Gathering sound.

16. What are your favourite tracks in the album, and why?

I like Pale Traces, Treasure, No Bird Call and No One Spoke a lot. This can change of course. I can’t explain exactly why I like them. When I hear them I am touched a bit more then the other ones.

17. TWP is somehow a double release because of the EP "City From Above" which includes an instrumental track, TWP itself opens energetically with “When Trust Becomes Sound”. Are we seeing the rebirth of the epic atmospheres in ways of the tracks “How to measure a planet?”, “Black Light District” &” Sand and Mercury”???

Who knows? It depends on the material we have and the mood we are in. I myself love bands who are able to write long, interesting tracks, such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

18. “Treasure” is for sure one of the happiest songs The Gathering has ever written if not the happiest. I find a very strong influence from Arcade Fire in the drums, would you say the band is heading to a more “indie” sound rather than alternative rock?

I am not sure if I know the difference between ‘indie’ and ‘alternative’. They are more or less the same for me. I think albums like ‘How to measure...’ are more alternative already, so it is not really new for us. I think we still have this typical Gathering atmosphere, only the approach is a bit different.
I think we wrote a lot of uplifting songs lately, more extravert. If this is what’s coming out of the minds of René and Frank, then so be it. We are not going to force to write a ‘dark’ or ‘gloomy’ album. We were full of confidence when we wrote The West Pole. I think we also felt a relief. In the past, more and more the band became The Gathering + Anneke. There’s nobody to blame, it just happened. Right now it feels like we have the band right back where it belongs. It’s a band again. That’s what you hear.

19. “All you are” sounded at first listen like very generic female fronted metal, now i fully dig it and like it lots, makes sense inside all the stories told in the album. Nevertheless one cannnot deny it’s a very easy going track, is this the band’s attempt to get radio play in the Netherlands due to the huge success this genre has had in the past years?

No, this is not our main goal when we write a song. It just turned out more catchy than we thought. There is no masterplan to conquer the world :lol: .

20. One of the master tracks for myself in TWP is the self-titled track, the chorus line is catchy and dreamy as hell. Would you say/agree this is perhaps the track that mostly has the band’s signature in the album? Follows in the vein of classic tracks such as “Travel” & “A Noise Severe from your past releases”?

René wrote all music, Silje wrote lyrics and vocal lines, and Frank, René and me arranged the song as it is right now. It is a typical Gathering song. René came up with these riffs and instinctively we all knew exactly what to do. It is a very strong indeed. We will see if this song will end up being a Gathering classic :D

21. “No Bird Call” & “You promised me a symphony” sound as the most intímate & personal tracks in TWP, how much did Silje contribute in the music and melodies writing process?

YPMEA was entirely written, arranged and played by Silje so i would say it is very intimate. No Bird Call is a song Frank wrote, and Silje wrote lyrics and vocal lines. Nevertheless, almost every song was already written and roughly arranged when Silje (and Marcela and Anne of course) joined us to finish the songs as they are right now. This is how we work for years now, and it’s the way of working we like best. Of course in the future things can chance. Maybe we will invent a whole new way of writing songs.

22. In “Capital of Nowhere”, it’s easy to find a very high influence from Cocteau Twins in the voice and Pink Floyd in the music, it’s incredibly fresh and atmospheric, should we expect The Gathering to wander around this kind of songs in the future? I should add that i believe Anna Rosa did a WONDERFUL job on this one.

We think so too! :D Well, we enjoy to play dreamy, shoegaze orientated music a lot, and YES, we are thinking of writing more songs like Capital of Nowhere. We are huge Cocteau Twins and Slowdive addicts. But we didn’t really talk about new songs yet. First we need to take some distance from TWP and let it develop as it should.

END OF PART 1

Cheers!!!!!

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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2009, 10:44 
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Nice!! Very NICE!!! Waiting for part deux! :flower:

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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2009, 20:17 
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Very nice interview in which we learn a lot about TWP, thank U! :D ...

Faridee wrote:
8. How are you handling the distance with Silje, as you have informed us, she’s currently living in the UK, how hard will it be to tour around with her?

I don’t think this will be a problem. It’s just all about planning. We will do a couple of gigs in weekends instead of stand alone gigs.
And I don’t think we will do an extensive tour like we did in the past.


I'm worrying a bit about the answer to this question. :roll:
Does it mean the band won't tour anywhere else than the festivals of this summer?
I wish I could see them in the fall/winter 2009/2010 in France....


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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2009, 20:44 
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PART 2 of this interview will have those answers hahaha, im hoping it wont take long until i receive it from Hans. Cheers!

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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2009, 21:00 
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Haaah I want to knowwww!!! :D


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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2009, 21:15 
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Nice interview :)


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PostPosted: 12 May 2009, 21:15 
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23. After listening the desolation coming from Silje’s longing and sadness in “You promised me a symphony” we are bound to be hopeful again with “Pale Traces”, holding the second & last contribution from a guest Singer in the album. The whole mixing in this song seems very different from the rest of the tracks, since we listen to a very clear vocal line with perhaps less dreaminess and more down-to earth upfront melodies. What’s the story behind this track and Marcela's collaboration in TWP?

Well, I think Treasure and especially All You Are are also not really dreamy, but I know what you mean, it has another vibe. It’s an uptempo hiphop beat and beautiful violin arrangements Frankie came up with. We worked on it whole last summer, trying to find the right vibe. We were positive that Marcela would do a great job on this song. She did a magnificent job in the end. The demo versions are more electric, like the alternative EP version of our EP. Zlaya, who mixed TWP muted a lot of background sound, made the drum beat louder and more ‘important’, and gave it a direct mix, which we all liked immediately. It’s duration is almost 8 minutes, but it feels like 4, that’s always a good sign. Definitly one of our finest tracks on the album.


24. It’s been long since the last time The Gathering chose to close an album with catchy rockier tracks, and this is the case with the last songs from TWP, “No One Spoke” and “A Constant Run” take the listener to a journey through guitar riffs entwined with new instruments and an incredibly powerful voice from Silje, as one finishes to listen to the new CD we are sure it was a more guitar orientated album, rather than focused on Frank’s keyboards. We are struck by the force of will from the band, saying “we are here to stay”, is this closing meant to give that impression?

When we completed the album we were struggling with the sequence of songs. It is always a difficult task. Because of the epic ending of A Constant Run I suggested to make this song the closing title. We tried it and it felt a bit weird in the beginning, but we loved the idea to close the album strong, instead of doing an outro, a ballad or something else. It gives the album a bit more ‘cache’ we think, more ‘weight’, or, as you say: a more ‘we are here to stay’ kind of feeling ;o)

25. I personally have enjoyed tremendously listening over and over to this new release, you could say most of the hardcore fans of The Gathering are very pleased with this new music and with Silje’s voice & presence in the band. Has the amazing response from the audience given you the peace of mind of being sure of the choices made since the previous singer left?

Yes, it was a relief to understand so many people liked the combination of Silje and our music. We liked it, which is important, but of course we were very curious to know what our ‘die-hard’ Gathereers would think of our new songs.

26. As you have stated in official communications, there are plans to tour on autumn, which countries are included in it so far?

We are still busy. We will do, of course, a club gig in The Netherlands, and some gigs in France for sure. We have to wait and see.

27. How has the response of the press been on the new album? I’ve Heard you got lots of positive reviews by even the most hardcore metal magazines in Europe.

Generally very, very good. We didn’t expect this. The response is very well in all countries. For some the album is a grower, but most of them like it instantly.

28. Some fans think Silje’s voice is too “educated” for the rough style of the band, has choosing her been on the way the new music is developing? Are you guys leaving behind the times of heavy distorsions & keyboardish tunes?

No, it’s very simple: we just like her voice and we think she makes our songs complete. This is how we want to sound. The times of heavy metal distortions are behind us, that’s correct.

29. Is The Gathering thinking on abandoning the band’s repertoire live? Or are you adapting the old material to work with Silje’s voice?

We will play old material from various Gathering records. We let the songs intact arrangement wise, but of course we change some little things. We are The Gathering, we have a past and we will respect this past of course, but if we would abandon those songs it was more wise to start a whole new band.

30. Could you give us some hints on which classical TG songs will remain being played live?

No, it has to be a suprise! Well, On Most Surfaces will make it.

31. Are there any limits on which songs can be played with Silje? Or is the band completely free to choose on the past songs, regardless of the tone of her voice?

Some songs are more in the regions Silje likes to sing then others. But we try a lot of songs and see what feels good. Silje is capable to do a lot of oldies.

32. Is there a chance of a North American tour in 2009?

It will be dificult, but who knows? Maybe some gigs in 2010? We are busy with Europe first.

33. How are the presales of the album going?

Well, they're going very well, and the webshop orders are so much more then we expected.

34. And last but not least, by when should be expect the follow-up album to TWP? Are you thinking of having guest singers as well, or are you keeping solely Silje in the following Works?


We don’t know yet. I think we will work with some guest vocalists and musicians again, as it was very inspiring. Maybe work with more vocals in one song? We will see! Of course Silje will do most of the vocals.

If you would like to add anything to the TG community here is your chance:

Hope you enjoy TWP. Thanks for all nice words, support, enthousiasm and of course all these nice questions! Thanks again!
Cheers!
Hans

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PostPosted: 12 May 2009, 21:16 
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I'm so damn curious about "On Most Surfaces" now hahahaha =) hope you enjoy the intie.

Besos
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PostPosted: 13 May 2009, 16:23 
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Faridee wrote:

34. And last but not least, by when should be expect the follow-up album to TWP? Are you thinking of having guest singers as well, or are you keeping solely Silje in the following Works?


We don’t know yet. I think we will work with some guest vocalists and musicians again, as it was very inspiring. Maybe work with more vocals in one song? We will see! Of course Silje will do most of the vocals.



To be honest, now that Silje is the official new singer in the band I see absolutely no point in working with guest vocalists again in the future! Even on 'The West Pole' I wish Silje had sung all songs by herself. In some ways, it just doesn't feel right that there are other guest singers there. Am I the only one to feel like that?


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PostPosted: 14 May 2009, 01:17 
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I feel the opposite..and this is absolutely nothing against Silje... But guests can make a song be very special, doesnt matter if this is a singer or a guitar player... whatever... a guest on an album always brings something new (if not sod off the guest appearance ;))

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PostPosted: 18 May 2009, 08:36 
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Burn wrote:
I feel the opposite..and this is absolutely nothing against Silje... But guests can make a song be very special, doesnt matter if this is a singer or a guitar player... whatever... a guest on an album always brings something new (if not sod off the guest appearance ;))


indeed! I'd love to hear Trickster G again....I get goosebumps everytime I listen to "a life all mine"... :flower:


great Interview btw...thank you!

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PostPosted: 12 Jun 2009, 18:17 
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thank you for the long job!


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PostPosted: 12 Jun 2009, 18:28 
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You're welcome! =)

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