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 Post subject: interview with Hans
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2009, 13:54 
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The Gathering – Pole Dancers

By: David E. Gehlke



They’re far, far removed from their classic Mandyion/Nighttime Birds double-header and no longer have the strikingly charismatic Anneke van Giersbergen in the ranks, but The Gathering have gotten a second wind, it seems. After toiling away for the better part of this decade in art-rock obscurity, the band returns with The West Pole, their most reliable and haunting album since Nighttime Birds.

With new singer Silje Wergeland (ex-Octavia Serpati) in tow, The Gathering have created an album of oppossites, striking the balance between melancholy and optimism. The wall of gutiars and muscle is barely evident, yet sterling songcraft and shoe-gaze-oriented soundscapes take hold and don’t let go. The West Pole may not be the comeback to end all comebacks, but it does put The Gathering back on the map, something founding member and guitarist Hans Rutten was happy to discuss.

Blistering.com: First off, how does it feel to be back? And how does it feel to back with a new singer?

Hans Rutten: Well, we were away for two years, that's of course not a real long time. But it feels great! With Silje we have found a very nice and capable singer and we are really eager to play again and of course, we are very proud of our new album The West Pole.

Blistering.com: Going into the singer search, what sort of criterion did you have? I’m guessing an Anneke clone wouldn’t have sufficed, right?

Rutten: Not really. Well, the original idea was to make a new album with guest vocalists only. We already worked with Marcela Bovia [Stream of Passion] and Anne van den Hoogen on songs when we contacted Silje to write a couple of songs with her. Things went so well, we were busy with seven songs after two months. It felt like a band so we decided to have Silje on board of The Gathering as a full member. We were not looking for Anneke part II, and wanted to work with male vocals, also. If it would feel right, he or she was welcome to write songs with us. It's all about that so called chemistry.

Blistering.com: What does Silje bring to the table that Anneke didn’t in her last years with the band?

Rutten: I think Silje is more into the band, also business-wise. She comes up with a lot of ideas. I also think the atmosphere, the balance in the band is better then ever. Anneke wanted to quit the band, but we did some gigs and a USA tour, the relationship between us was not really great anymore.

Blistering.com: Were the songs on The West Pole written before she joined the band?

Rutten: Yes, we wrote all songs before the vocalists entered the process of recording.

Blistering.com: There’s a large study of contrast on this album between positive, upbeat sounds and dreary atmospheres. Was the album sequenced to bring that out and if so, why?

Rutten: The idea was to make two albums, an up-tempo rock orientated one and a shoegaze kind of record, but in the end we decided just to make one strong album. We really wanted to end the album strong, so we choose to end with two heavy, up-tempo songs. We always mellowed down towards the end of albums.

Blistering.com: Songs like “Treasure” and “You Promised Me A Symphony” are some of your strongest tracks in years. For you, what are your favorites off the new album?

Rutten: I love “Pale Traces” very much, and “No Bird Call.”

Blistering.com: For a band that started in the early 90’s with heavy death and Goth metal influences, are you at all surprised that you’ve gradually drifted away from metal? Do you even consider the Gathering to be a metal band at all?

Rutten: We don't care if people call us metal, rock, alternative, whatsoever. We were always flirting with different kind of music. We just do what we want and have to do, without looking to commercial aspects.

Blistering.com: You created your own record company, Psychonaut Records to combat the ills of the industry. How has this worked out for you and what have you gained from this experience?

Rutten: It is a lot of work. We all do things ourselves. It's hectic, but the freedom we have is fantastic. It's all about the things you want to do, not the things you have to do because you have to sell an x amount of albums. We are free, that's the best thing.

Blistering.com: Some consider Nighttime Birds your peak, but with a new singer and an excellent new album, do you think The Gathering is capable of topping that with future albums?

Rutten: I do believe we still have to make our best album yet. Our peak is still to come.

Blistering.com: Finally, what’s in store for the rest of 2009?

Rutten: Well, we will tour and write new songs. Same goes for 2010!


source:www.Blistering.com

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 Post subject: Re: interview with Hans
PostPosted: 08 Feb 2010, 12:20 
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"founding member and guitarist Hans Rutten"?? :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: interview with Hans
PostPosted: 26 Sep 2010, 18:39 
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interview (in Dutch) with Hans from gig at Elf Fantasy Fair last weekend

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 Post subject: Re: interview with Hans
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2010, 11:58 
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From when is this interview? Somewhere around the release of TWP?

And the most haunting album since NB? What do they base that on?


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