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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2009, 18:10 
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source : http://www.radiometal.com/thegatheringi ... 6_2009.php

Radio Metal: The West Pole is your latest record. If you had to choose one word to define this record, what would it be and why?

Hans Rutten (drums): Extrovert. That's what the album is. It's a celebration, also because we still exist and we’re celebrating our 20th anniversery. It's an open album, lots of songs are up-tempo, it's guitar orientated, but I think “extravert” is the best word to describe The West Pole.

One of the biggest events in the recent THE GATHERING history is the departure of Anneke, your ex-singer. Was it a disappointment for you? Or was it rather a step that you would have expected? How do you get on with this situation?

We expected it a bit, though we made a whole plan together with Anneke about our future. She was unsure of her future in THE GATHERING for a long time, but that's something you understand afterwards. We did everything to keep her on board. Now we do our own things. It is ok right now. We had a great time together but now we have to move on.

Most people associate THE GATHERING with Anneke, but one of the real highlights of the band are your compositions. Anneke has a fantastic voice but THE GATHERING is, for many of your fans, a band that offers great personal melodies before a singular-personality oriented music. Do you agree?

Yes, I think the same.



(Hans) : « We expected it a bit, though we made a whole plan together with Anneke about our future. She was unsure of her future in THE GATHERING for a long time, but that's something you understand afterwards. We did everything to keep her on board. Now we do our own things. »


Do you think that THE GATHERING fans, when they focus specifically on your singer, lose one part of the identity of the band?

If you are an “Anneke only” adept, well, she still sings in her own band, so fans of hers can check her out and go to live concerts. But I am sure a lot of people accept this change in our band and welcome Silje as the new singer.

Was it a problem for you to be considered by the media and the audiences as some sort of backround musicians for Anneke? During all these years, was it a kind of frustration about this situation? Because, in a certain way, you were more peaceful than now when you give many more interviews!

Well, that's what the press made of our band: Anneke + musicians. Well, we know better. It is not really frustrating. People see what they want to see, but I am happy that it feels a bit more like a band right now.

Let’s now come back to The West Pole. This album is very guitar-oriented. Why did you make this choice and could this be a kind of particular symbol? And if yes, what is the nature of this symbol?

To make a guitar-orientated, uptempo album was already our goal before we actually recorded Home. So it wasn't a new idea for sure. We just felt for a long time we wanted to make a more stripped down, guitar album and experiment with up-tempo beats. We definitly didn't want to make a Home part II.

When Trust Becomes Sound is the first song of this album. It's an instrumental, very intense, based on guitar, which makes us think of the band ANATHEMA, with their song Closer for example. In fact, THE GATHERING evolution could be compared to a band like ANATHEMA. Do you always listen to this kind of alternative and atmospheric music?

We know ANATHEMA personally. Nice guys. But they didn't really influence us on The West Pole. I don't think we were heavy influenced by any bands on The West Pole, though we love to listen to THE PIXIES, DOVES, DREDG, bands who know how to write atmospheric, yet uptempo songs.



(Hans) : "Silje is a musical omnivore, just like us! She is listening to rock, metal, good pop, alternative, etc. She sung in a gothic metal band called OCTAVIA SPERATI, so she has definitly a metal background too, like we have."


Silje Wergeland is now your new singer. What are her influences ? Rock/pop music like you?

She is a musical omnivore, just like us! She is listening to rock, metal, good pop, alternative, etc. She sung in a gothic metal band called OCTAVIA SPERATI, so she has definitly a metal background too, like we have.

Silje seems to be very active in the process of writing. How can you describe her implication in the band ?

She wrote all her lyrics herself, and she is really participating when it comes to song structures. She gives her opinion and she is really into the whole song writing process. She is very active indeed!

With her musical voice, she transmits the ways of THE GATHERING very quickly. When Anneke joined THE GATHERING I think she was very dynamic too. Could you analyze these two situations ?

Well, lots of the music on The West Pole was already written before Silje joined us, so on the next album we will even work closer with eachother. She is very willing, like Anneke during the Mandylion period.

The voice of Silje is beautiful, very sweet and fragile but you say The West Pole gives an urgence feeling. How could you explain this fact? From the outside it might seem like a paradox.

No. I was talking about the music, which is very extravert and has an urgent feeling. I also think that the vocal lines and lyrics are not always sweet or fragile, it depends on which song.

Now THE GATHERING will start some live tours to promote The West Pole. Your set-list will probably be based on this album but should we expect some surpises as well? If yes, of what kind?

I think everybody will be satisfied with the songs we will play live. Of course we will play some old tunes too. No real surprises, but I can promise an intense set full of energy.

Last question, this album will produce quite some differences between people. There are a lot of critics. Do you think that THE GATHERING fans will be able to understand this record without doing the comparison between Silje and Anneke?

Yes, I think they will. I expected way much more critics, really. I think people have to understand that THE GATHERING with Anneke is over. This is a new era. If you came to our concerts only to see Anneke, please stay home. But I am confident our fans understand that!

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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2009, 19:50 
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interesting.


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