Many people will recognize her name: for a long time she fronted The Gathering, she has her own solo-career, worked with many people (for example Anathema, Devin Townsend and Within Temptation), recently worked with Arjen Lucassen (of Ayreon) for The Gentle Storm and just announced her new band Vuur. Of course, it’s about Anneke van Giersbergen. DutchMetalManiac’s Glenn van der Heijden (who also is a big fan of her music) asks Anneke some questions. You can read the interview below.
Hey Anneke, for The Gentle Storm you worked intensively with Arjen Lucassen, how do you look back on working with him?
I love working with Arjen, the combination of creativity and a strong work ethic is pretty rare amongst musicians, but Arjen has both. The collaboration was effortless and we had a great time writing and recording. We even did a short acoustic tour together, which was pretty unique of course, since Arjen rarely leaves his house/studio. All in all: I look back on working with Arjen with great pleasure.
You have worked with a lot of people in the metal scene. Are there any artists whom you would love to work with?
I’m super happy that I have already worked with a lot of musicians that I admire a lot, like Devin Townsend for instance, but I still have a little wish list, haha! I would love to sing with Maynard James Keenan, Mike Patton, or Chino Moreno. Unfortunately, the best rock vocalist of all time has already left us: Freddie Mercury. I would also love to work with Gojira, Mastodon or Opeth one day!
Did working with Arjen inspire you to create your new band Vuur?
Not necessarily working with Arjen, but touring with The Gentle Storm showed me that a new name can catch on quickly if the music is good and the right people are involved. It also showed me that a lot of people have been waiting for me to be involved again with a progressive metal style and I loved singing the heavy stuff as well, so that’s why I wanted to continue with the TGS live band under a new name.
Can you tell me something about your newest adventure? How did you come up with the name?
I wanted a name that was short and direct, but most “one word band names” in English are already taken, but the Dutch word VUUR is a lot easier to pronounce for non-Dutch speakers than my own name and I also believe the meaning (fire, passion, drive) fits really well with the new music. Most members of the TGS live band are members of VUUR as well, but their involvement in the writing and recording of our album will be much bigger. Besides myself the band consists of: Ferry Duijsens (gtr), Johan Van Stratum (bass), Marcela Bovio (vocals), Jord Otto (gtr) and drummer Ed Warby. I am really happy with them and since we already toured together, I already know we have a good chemistry together.
In what way is the music of Vuur going to be different from The Gentle Storm or perhaps The Gathering?
Well, I will sing, write the lyrics & vocal melodies, and there will be distorted guitars, but other than that things will be quite different. I would say it will be less folky and a bit darker than The Gentle Storm. Compared to The Gathering the arrangements and instrumental parts will be much more complex.
The trailer from Vuur said you want to make a more obvious distinction between acoustic and heavy, what were the biggest reasons behind this?
I love doing the acoustic shows, but if I would do another album under my own name with heavy music, everything could become a bit unclear, as the acoustic theatre shows under my own name are doing really well in The Netherlands. With the creation of a band name for my heavy music, people will know exactly what to expect when they get a ticket that either says Anneke van Giersbergen, or VUUR.
In Vuur you again work with the talented Marcela Bovio, any ideas on how her voice is going to be used in the music?
I love Marcela a lot, both as a person and as a singer. VUUR is my band, but if you have somebody as talented as Marcela in your ranks, you shouldn’t just let her sing backing vocals, so she definitely will be able to showcase her wonderful voice.
Anything you would like to add for this interview?
Thank you and I hope we’ll talk again when the VUUR album is finished (end of summer 2017). I’d love to hear your opinion, the songs that are already finished make me really, really excited! Thanks, Anneke.