The Gathering

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PostPosted: 13 Jul 2009, 10:27 
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Joined: 10 Jul 2005, 13:58
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An interview with Silje from The Gathering

The Gathering was one of the most influential Dutch bands during the nineties. During this millennium the band ventured into many different musical directions. It was a shock when we learned the news that Anneke van Giersbergen, the voice and face of the band had decided to leave the band. After a long time of silence a new album and singer was announced. The album was "The West Pole" and the new singer Silje Wergeland. This interview is with her.

About you:

Did you always want to become a singer?

Yes, and do something within music. Started playing piano at the age of 6, and had a family that was very interested in music and playing music, so it was in my blood from before I can even remember;-)

And to what kind of music do you listen yourself?

All kinds; folk, metal, rock, some general good music;-)

Did you have any other bands before Octavia Speraty?

I was in a band when I was 13 for a year or so, just being a backing singer. Have done some projects later, but no other full time bands.

And what is the differences between Octavia Speraty and The Gathering? Because these are two very different bands

I guess you are referring to the music style; The Gathering play a different kind of music, more variation within the music, touching different genres in a bigger scale than Octavia. Octavia played music based in the hard rock and metal genre, TG don't have much double bass drums;-)

About joining The Gathering:

You already had a career with Octavia Speraty. What made you decide to send a demo to "The Gathering"?

I was already looking for other projects when I saw TG was looking for a new singer. Octavia wasn't very busy at the time, and I wanted to work more with music as well as try new projects. As you know Octavia decided to take a break, it had reached a level where this had to happen, time to take a break so the band members could focus on other projects as family, studies etc.

Did you see them live during the "Anneke" era?

I saw them twice I think; Wacken Open air in 1999 I think as I was there with another band playing the festival, and a club show in Norway around the same time.

Femme Metal also did an interview with Marcela Bovio, who also has contributed to "The West Pole" Marcela said to us:

"It was great, I really enjoyed working with them and getting a glimpse on their vision of making music. They basically gave me some tracks to work on and gave me total freedom to do what I wanted with them, I felt honoured. I worked all the vocal lines at my place and sent them over to them; they were really excited about them, which made me really happy!"

What was your part in the song writing of "The West Pole"?

We worked the same way as Marcela with the song making process. They sent me some instrumental songs, most of the songs were already made instrumentally before I joined. I wrote vocal lines and lyrics at my home, recorded it and sent it back and they liked them :) also wrote, played piano and sang "You promised me a symphony". I recorded it in Bergen on my own with Bjornar Nilsen from Conclave/Earshot studio. I recorded all the vocals (except YPMAS) with John Mitchell in Reading, England. And after finishing recording each song we sent the tracks to the guys who were in Holland and they like them all :)

You did record some albums with Octavia Sperati but "The Gathering" is a well oiled machine and the members know each other for ages now. How was it to work with a complete different team of musicians?

Not too different from Octavia as we worked a lot the same way, but with The West Pole, most of the songs were already made, only vocals and vocal lines missing, so I wasn't part of the song writing process since I came in so late. With Octavia we worked on the songs more together as I was there from the start. I always made vocal lines at home just as I do with TG. I have spent a lot of time in the UK the last few years, so instead of travelling to Bergen to rehears, now I travel to Holland;-)

After the album release:

How did the first two gigs at Heerlem and Purmerend go?

I was very nervous on the first gig in Herleen, had a few technical problems which didn't actually help;-) But it was so fun, and the crowd was absolutely amazing!! I got such a warm welcome! The next day was of course better for me as I wasn't so nervous as the first day and the crowd was still amazing! People came from all over the world, and it was very special for me to finally meet some of them, all very sweet.

Since I did not have the change to see you live, will The Gathering keep songs from the 'Anneke' era in the setlist? Because it will be a bit strange to have a Gathering gig without songs like 'Alone' and 'Strange Machines'

Yes, I agree that it is important that the band play some old songs. The band decided to continue with the band name TG and we tried out a few oldies that worked very well, so it was very natural to do so. Some songs work better than others, and they also have to fit with the concerts we do. So far the band has decided to not play any songs from Home as it was very traumatic for the guys when Hans and Rene's dad died during the recording process. But there is plenty of other songs to chose from :)

How did the media, and more important, the fans react on the new album?

Very well, a bit overwhelming actually. So much good feedback from the die hard fans and really good reviews, even in metal magazines!

According to Octavia Sperati the band is going to take a break for a while. Will this mean that you will concentrate yourself on The Gathering or will there be some room & time for other projects since The Gathering does not have too many gigs right now (Like the one at De Boerderij this December or some big festivals like Graspop)

There are no further plans for Octavia, and TG is my main focus now. We have some touring coming up, just waiting for getting dates confirmed, but as you say TG is not extremely busy as some of the guys have children and other jobs. I always keep my eyes open for other projects and I have done a few acoustic things with some friends, but TG is my main priority now.

Is The Gathering planning a tour to promote the new album or will you only do a few special gigs?

I don't think TG will be doing anything like a 5 months tours in a row, but there are a Europe tour coming up this autumn and a few special gigs around. Hopefully we will play South America next year.

Two other singers from Norway, Liv Kristine and her sister Carmen left Norway to start a career in Germany. And Marcela moved over to The Netherlands for Stream of Passion.

Well, I have been based in UK for the last few years and managed to play both Octavia and TG, so so far so good;-) Aeroplanes are great!;-) And I think Liv Kristine left Norway for her boyfriend first of all, the others I don't know :)

Do you think it will be necessary to move over to The Netherlands? I know from other bands like Imperia (also with a singer from Norway) that it is not easy to work when each band member lives in another country.

As long as you can travel, plan things and have regularly communication over internet or phone I think it can work fine like this, and as I said above; so far so good;-)

Can you tell us something about the songs on 'The West Pole'

The West Pole - Track list

01. When Trust Becomes Sound
A great song which I don't play on the record, but I play piano live, very fun to play!

02. Treasure
One of my audition songs; they sent me this one and 'A constant run' with no vocal lines or guide lines. They turned out both almost identical to the demo I sent to the band for audition.

03. All You Are
A great song to play live, with some punk elements which was super fun to make vocals on.

04. You Promised Me a Symphony
A very personal song (all my lyrics are personal, but some are more than others and this is one of them) and the only song I wrote in total on the album which I am very proud of that the guys wanted on the album.

05. The West Pole
A very atmospheric song and maybe the most 'typical' TG song. I love it.

06. Capital of Nowhere
Sung by Anne van den Hoogen, very beautiful! I can hear a lot of Pink Floyd references in it, which is great and her dreamy vocals fit perfectly on the song!

07. No Bird Call

A sad song, with very sad lyrics. I love this song as it has so much atmosphere and is very emotional.

08. Pale Traces
Sung by Marcela Bovio, and also a Spanish version appears on the EP. I love the way Marcela made the vocals here, and I can almost hear the Spanish lyrics through the English version as Spanish is such a colourful language using a lot of pictures, absolutely beautiful!

09. No One Spoke
A very straight forward song, with melancholic lyrics describing a almost broken relationship. Great to play, love it!

10. Constant Run
As Treasure it was one of my audition songs. I liked both songs imediately and for me that was the main thing for joining the band.

And what is the idea behind the name of the album?

The West Pole was just a working title for the song with the same name. We thought it was great, and we also thought that song was very representative for the album.

The first idea was to think of each songs as all a part of a town, representing a building, a park, the people, the emotions etc. It is not a concept album, but we thought The West Pole fitted perfectly as a frame for this.

What is your favourite song on the album and why?

I don't have a favourite, but 'A constant Run' and 'Treasure' means of course a lot to me as they were the first songs I made with TG :)

And the last question: is there anything that the reader should know that I have not asked?

Not that I can think of.. maybe just..thanks for the interview :)

Thank you for your time,
Erwin van Dijk

water travels by itself inspires us to fear the sea

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PostPosted: 13 Jul 2009, 19:39 
Third chance
Third chance

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 18:32
Posts: 112
Location: Stgo de Chili
thanks ; D

well. Some change on the set list...??.. I wait for this.


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