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 Post subject: Interview Lords of Metal
PostPosted: 29 Apr 2009, 19:43 
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Third chance
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‘The West Pole’ is everything but just another album for The Gathering. It marks the leave of Anneke van Giersbergen and welcomes the new singer Silje Wergeland. Earthshaking but also offering a new challenge but they knew how to cope with that from earlier experiences, they were always able to come out with a positive result. This time too and that feeling is supported by the nice conversation that was held in Nijmegen’s eldest café. Drummer Hans Rutten was there for us…

Text: Winston


I don’t want to focus on it too long but still, Anneke’s announcement of leaving must have hit you hard, or did you saw it coming anyway?
We did see it coming yeah. She told us that she couldn’t pull the weight anymore so at first we thought it was best to give her all the space and time she wanted. The band on hold for two or three was a possibility for us. But she didn’t want that either she wasn’t up for it anymore. The way she left wasn’t too nice from her side but that is between us really. We dealt with it now and it is time to move on and that is what we are doing.

How strange and sad at the same time. You achieved and experienced a lot together and now to let it end like this…how remarkable is it that she soon after her leaving already told to the press that a future collaboration certainly would be possible again with The Gathering?
I agree and I think it’s just very lame of her to say that. It will not happen and she very well knows that. To flirt with the idea is not done really.

And I think you are not the kind of band to keep that door open…

No, that door is closed indeed. I read what she said and I think that’s it’s not sensible to come out with that after a few months already. We discussed taking a long break on several occasions but she didn’t want to do that. So why still flirt with the idea? We grew into her presence on the foreground, deliberate or not, sometimes with a record company behind it. I’m relived we are done with that fact, her being placed above the band…

Clear. And then, what were the first ideas on continuing?
We let it sink in for a few weeks and Rene, Frank and myself discussed this after a little while. Marjolein told us early one that she gladly would be involved if and how we should continue. We did some writing but that went very bad. We were sounding so very sad. We then decided to focus on total different stuff in our lives for half a year. We didn’t start again untill January of 2008.

Did you start work with a certain expectation?
It would stand or fall down with the material we would come up with. Rene was very driven and I think that ‘The West Pole’ is very much hís album. He grabbed the bull by the horns contributed lots of ideas as well as Frank. We then realized that as a band we were still alive so we announced auditions for new singers, male and/or female. At first we wanted to use five or six singers, not just one person. We wanted to search a little and make this album a stepping stone. But that idea didn’t held on, at first we worked with Anne, from Nijmegen, she has a nice voice but more suitable for pop work instead of rock. We enjoyed working with her but she is just 20 years of age and was starting her studies in Utrecht so that was too complicated. Marcella Bovio came to us at the same time we wanted to call her. We already knew each other, from our time in Mexico where we performed with her former band. She is very educated and carries that fado feeling with her. We did a few songs with her, one is on the album and two will be available on the new EP. In the search of more we came across Silje. We liked her easy and calm way of singing over heavy songs very much and we had quite a some rock material ready for the new album. We didn’t want a riff fighter or a high pitched voice. So we sent Silje a rather difficult song to see what would happen and to our surprise she came up with beautiful melodies and she went along with the music on her own way. She was very eager, came by here in Nijmegen one time and all of a sudden we had six songs and by that we turned into a band, in a natural way.

You must have had many reactions on your advertisement for a new singer?

300 reactions and we had a lot of work with that! Among them a few surprises too where we thought “Huh? But aren’t you with so and so? Rather want to sing with us really?”

Who was that?
Hahaha, no I can’t say. But the interest that was showed was warming.

So Silje became the new singer…did you know of her band Octavia Speratil?
No, not really. They are more metal with a black metal and gothic touch I believe? That ban dis on hold now because of Silje’s chance with us but they are supporting her all the way. We are fond of the Nordic scene by the way, even though Silje lives in London herself. We are rehearsing on a regular base, she flies in on Airport Weeze Niederrhein so we can use our time wisely.

Which songs are you rehearsing?
The new album but also older songs as well. What we like and what she likes. Sometimes even to our suprise, Silje wanted to do ‘On Most Surfaces’ which has a difficult melodyline, but she wanted to do it very much.

Are there limitations for the setlist?
No not really. We will see what will turn out to be working for us. We won’t be playing anhything from the ‘Home’ album though, that one is too close to us still. I find it hard to play that album and can’t watch the documentary that was made while we were recording that album. Any documentarymaker ‘wants’ the things to happen that happened with us but this hook wasn’t foreseen of course. (WA: Henk Rutten, Hans and Rene’s father suddenly died during the recording of the album, the documentary is on the ‘A Noise Severe’ DVD). It marks the goodbye of both Anneke and our father…

Did you have an idea how to create and produce the album?

Yes we did, we wanted to everything ourselves as much a possible. We invested a lot in our equipment and wanted to make a –for The Gathering terms- an easy album. I think we deliberately brought some past things back this time. A song like ‘The West Pole’ for instancecould very well hve been on ‘Always’, kinda has that same doomy feeling feel. And ‘No Bird Call’ has something of ‘Souvenirs’. I wanted to have a bit more up tempo songs without sounding ‘happy’ as that turned out to be our tendency. So that’s why a bit more songs with a 130/140 bpm beat like ‘Treasure’ and ‘All You Are’. The criticsm we get now is that we aren’t progressing as we used to. But I think that by using new singer(s) we still are. We like to do new things and this way we do but in a different way this time.

And you produced it yourself!

Rene was the producer indeed and that was new too. We set out not to make a weird jazzy album or something like that as we knew how criticized this one would be. The material what we had was that what we had, a lot of songs and ideas came from Rene. He insisted to open up the album with ‘When Trust Becomes Sound’.

A real letting-some-steam-off song to me…
The album was made to play loud! It is no ‘How To Measure’, ‘Souvenirs’ or ‘Home’. We are glad to still be around after 20 years. This is a Spring album, we still exist! Maybe no tour magnus opus but we did know very well what we wanted to create. ‘Home’ was supposed to be a rock focused album but that fell through now were determend to stock to that idea. You kind of have to prove yourself again.

And what about The Gathering live on stage?
With Silje. Marcella told us that she would like to be with us on stage too. In June we will do some try outs in Purmerend and Heerlen, then we will do Graspop and some other foreign festivals in Czech Republic and Portugal for instance. In the Autumn we go into the clubs in Holland and Europe and it will be next year I guess when we will head to South America again. The response there is good, they understand that it was Anneke’s wish and decision to leave and that she wasn’t kicked out by us. We will prepare ourselves well as a lot of people will be hanging on the old band. We want to talk about that period in promotion for this album but not much more after that…we’re moving on…

And that is noted down! To my humble opinion the spirit is back in The Gathering. The arent’t afraid of their past, are realistic about the present and are ready for the future. They have proven to have phoenix abilities; risingg from the ashes to achieve new highs. ‘The West Pole’ is a good stepping stone (pun intended) so I say good luck to them.

http://www.lordsofmetal.nl/showintervie ... 65&lang=en


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2009, 00:06 
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Third chance
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Joined: 18 Mar 2003, 02:02
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Location: England
Very good interview. Especially interesting :

saskia_ wrote:
The way she left wasn’t too nice from her side but that is between us really. We dealt with it now and it is time to move on and that is what we are doing.

How strange and sad at the same time. You achieved and experienced a lot together and now to let it end like this…how remarkable is it that she soon after her leaving already told to the press that a future collaboration certainly would be possible again with The Gathering?
I agree and I think it’s just very lame of her to say that. It will not happen and she very well knows that. To flirt with the idea is not done really.


You must have had many reactions on your advertisement for a new singer?
300 reactions and we had a lot of work with that! Among them a few surprises too where we thought “Huh? But aren’t you with so and so? Rather want to sing with us really?”

Who was that?
Hahaha, no I can’t say. But the interest that was showed was warming.

Haha, I'd like to know who that was too.

saskia_ wrote:
Which songs are you rehearsing?
The new album but also older songs as well. What we like and what she likes. Sometimes even to our suprise, Silje wanted to do ‘On Most Surfaces’ which has a difficult melodyline, but she wanted to do it very much.

Excellent!


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2009, 14:14 
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Second sunrise
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Joined: 31 Mar 2009, 09:32
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saskia_ wrote:
How strange and sad at the same time. You achieved and experienced a lot together and now to let it end like this…how remarkable is it that she soon after her leaving already told to the press that a future collaboration certainly would be possible again with The Gathering?
I agree and I think it’s just very lame of her to say that. It will not happen and she very well knows that. To flirt with the idea is not done really.

And I think you are not the kind of band to keep that door open…

No, that door is closed indeed. I read what she said and I think that’s it’s not sensible to come out with that after a few months already. We discussed taking a long break on several occasions but she didn’t want to do that. So why still flirt with the idea? We grew into her presence on the foreground, deliberate or not, sometimes with a record company behind it. I’m relived we are done with that fact, her being placed above the band…


I definitely hope they're not starting a "Nightwish drama" :o , let's keep these issues inside the band. I wanna know about music only.


Quote:
Which songs are you rehearsing?
The new album but also older songs as well. What we like and what she likes. Sometimes even to our suprise, Silje wanted to do ‘On Most Surfaces’ which has a difficult melodyline, but she wanted to do it very much.


:D :D :D :D

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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2009, 14:52 
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King for a day
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Joined: 14 Mar 2003, 15:15
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Very nice interview. Thank you!
So they should tour in Europe this autumn, what a good news! :D
It would be fine to hear 'One most surfaces' again, although I'm a bit sad they won't play any "Home" songs cause I have missed the 2006 gigs (I lived abroad during this period), but it's perfectly understandable. I'm a bit sad too to see that the door is definitely closed to Anneke but however... that's life... :roll:


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PostPosted: 02 May 2009, 00:11 
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Joined: 27 Jan 2006, 18:26
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WOOHOO

Which songs are you rehearsing?
The new album but also older songs as well. What we like and what she likes. Sometimes even to our suprise, Silje wanted to do ‘On Most Surfaces’ which has a difficult melodyline, but she wanted to do it very much.

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PostPosted: 03 May 2009, 01:19 
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Third chance
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Joined: 12 Feb 2004, 02:59
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After reading the interview.... You can't help but wonder about When Trust Becomes sound/Treasure...

The title of the first track and the lyrics from the second...

We found our stepping stone
Over darkest hours
We left no trace at HOME...
But saw our footprints ahead
It was our dream stone


That home there has to be the Album =P


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