Rodrigo Altaf had the chance to interview one of the most iconic woman on the prog scene of our days, the one and only Anneke van Giersbergen. The interview it's been published here and at Whiplash.net (portuguese).
We hope you enjoy this one.
Rodrigo: What can VUUR bring to the current music scene today that is different from your previous efforts with The Gathering, Agua de Annique and The Gentle Storm?
Anneke: VUUR is more heavy I would say. Every album in every era of time has it’s own influences so I would say the latest albums are always the most modern and of the ‘here and now’
Rodrigo: VUUR means “fire” in Dutch. How did you guys pick the name of the band, and was this a democratic decision?
Anneke: No, all the basic ideas and decisions come from me. After Agua de Annique I again wanted a band name with one of the elements, but the word fire in English is already used so many times in band names that I wanted to see if there was another way to use it. To me VUUR had a great twist. In Dutch VUUR also means spirit and drive, and that is exactly the energy I wanted to put in this band.
Rodrigo: Was the album composed in the studio, or did you exchange ideas before recording? And how are the writing duties shared between the band members?
Anneke: We recorded at Sandlane Studio’s in Rijen, Holland. Joost van den Broek and I wrote the songs together, with some amazing co-writes from our guitar players Ferry and Jord, and also from Mark Holcomb - Periphery, Esa Holopainen - Amorphis and Daniel Cardoso - Anathema. Joost produced and mixed the album as well. I wanted a guitar oriented album. No big orchestra’s or anything like that. A pure rock, metal and progressive sound. With all the instruments crystal clear in the mix where the melodies and the energy of it all could take the lead. Joost and I talked a lot about the sound and the direction, and he truly made it happen with his knowledge and creativity. When the band stepped in and learned and recorded the songs, all the songs got an amazing kick in the butt! The guys in the band are such good players and they all have their own character that they put in to the music. I am so happy with these wonderful musicians around me.
Rodrigo: Who created the album cover, and is there a relation between the cover and the lyrics of the album?
Anneke: The artwork is made by the talented people of Black & Finch. They captured the atmosphere and the theme of the album. Reuniting the darkness and the light. I really love the artwork, it fits with this style of music and it is a beautiful image, the man that carries a city. There is a lot of strength in that.
Rodrigo: The album title is quite strong – “In This Moment We Are Free”. It sounds like a reflection of the current state of the band, is that the intention?
Anneke: The title deals with the fact that we live in a dual world, we live with darkness and light. Every day we make choices, big or small, wether to go towards one direction or the other. And it is the one thing in which we need to find a balance. This is the underlying theme of the album.
Rodrigo: The song titles in the album are followed by the name of a city. How were the cities chosen, and is there necessarily a relation between the cities and the lyrics of each song?
Anneke: As you know I travel a lot. We go to so many places every year to tour, and I found that in every town or city there is a different vibe and energy and that these places have a big influence on my state of mind. Which means that in a lot of cases I was inspired to write new music and lyrics. For a long time I wanted to create songs about the actual cities and now, with this heavy band I felt I could actually make this album with this concept.
Rodrigo: Are you planning on playing on all cities mentioned in the song titles?
Anneke: Of course yes, we will tour extensively throughout the rest of the year and all of 2018. I am sure we will hit these cities again.
Rodrigo: What is your favorite track off the first album?
Anneke: That’s a difficult question, all the songs have a different quality and vibe. But I do like songs like Rio. It has a melancholic feel, which I like, and it has a wonderful heavy chorus. It is a positive song.
Rodrigo: How do you plan on juggling your solo career with VUUR?
Anneke: Everything I do wish is heavy oriented I will do with VUUR and everything else, like the acoustic things and some classical stuff among other things, I will keep doing under my own name. The two run parallel to each other and I like that a lot. One inspires the other.
But for the moment I am focussing on VUUR and the new album and tour.
Rodrigo: Is there a question you´re tired of answering in interviews?
Anneke: Not at all :)
Rodrigo: What advice would you give to young bands these days, given the state of the music business?
Anneke: Really, just find your own voice and sound. Be yourself. It’s the only way to stand out. Read your contracts and be smart. Use social media and do not mope or be negative. Even if you are down, find out how you can make things better, don’t complain.
Rodrigo: One final message for the fans out there who have the album fresh in their hands and ears and want to see you live soon?
Anneke: I can’t wait to go on tour with this band and this new album! I hope to see you all on the road!
VUUR - In This Moment We Are Free: CITIES was released on October 20th on www.insideoutmusic.com on different configurations:
Special Edition CD Digipak
atefold black 2LP+CD
Gatefold silver 2LP+CD
Gatefold red 2LP+CD
Get your copies here:
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