Lead Singer, Guitars and Piano – Anneke Van Giersbergen Keyboard and Backing Vocals – Annelies Kuijsters Guitars – Ferry Duijsens Bassgitarre – Joost van Haaren Guitars – Gijs Coolen Drums – Rob Snijders
Time For Metal / Timo&Ray: Hello Anneke! Thank you very much to taking the time for an interview. How was the show just one hour ago?
Anneke Van Giersbergen: Thanks fine, it was really nice concidering playing at 5 o‘clock in the evening. In this kind of festival there are a lot of people who are into very heavy music and the ones in the back are going like „show me what you got“…so you have to work really hard for these people, you have to earn their respect…
Time For Metal / Timo&Ray: You are doing this for years…!
Anneke Van Giersbergen: Yes, and I love it, I like this kind of crowds because they are not easy. You have your fans in the front but I have to have everybody on board and we all have to work hard for it and I really like it because it gives good energy. In the end we really got them, so I am very happy.
Time For Metal / Timo&Ray: Your album Drive came out earlier this year. Do you have any less favourite songs on the record that turned out to be one of your favourites to play live? Or the other way around?
Anneke Van Giersbergen: For some reason you already know when you are recording a certain song or even writing a certain song that it will work live like theres a good beat, a nice up-tempo or even in a club show you have a ballad going on and you know its going to work or not. And some songs you drop after playing them a few times live. I really like this album because its good to play live.
Time For Metal / Timo&Ray: You are involved in so many projects right now. Lets start with THE SIRENS. How came that project alive?
Anneke Van Giersbergen: I met Liv Kristine (Theatre Of Tragedy/Leaves’ Eyes) on a few locations and the last time we met on a festival we said „let‘s do something together“ and I say that to everybody *laugh* but this time we said we should really do something together. We were one of the first ladys of metal so we said lets do some shows whenever.
When I was working on Drive I wanted to have a duet with Kari Rueslåtten (The 3rd And The Mortal). I like her as a vocalist and also as a person, she’s a lovely person. This song turned out to be too soft for my album, so it dropped. Then I said to Liv let’s ask Kari aswell it will be a trio like the first ladys of doomy metal kind of music and it should be good. We will sing songs of our own bands and we will do some solo stuff. We also have the same kind of careers we all went solo, we have kids, there‘s lots we share. So we thouht its a good idea to come up with a bunch of shows and to do something really cool. https://www.facebook.com/thesirenspage
Time For Metal / Timo&Ray: November this year you will join The Gathering on stage to celebrate the 25th anniversary, can we expect something like a live DVD/Blue-Ray?
Anneke Van Giersbergen: I am not sure…it might be recorded because its like a special thing of course and I am looking forward to it very much because it was 8 years ago since I joined them on stage. They made such good albums and their latest albums are really beautiful. The whole The Gathering history is so rich…with BartSmits the first singer and with Silje Wergeland the latest singer and me somewhere in between. I thought its a really good idea to celebrate this. We are not quite sure wich songs we will play but we are still working on the set. We, the vocalists, are also trying to do something together. There is like one show you dont have to wait for a certain songs. https://www.facebook.com/thegatheringofficial
Time For Metal / Timo&Ray: You are working again with Arjen A. Lucassen on a new Project called The Gentle Storm. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Anneke Van Giersbergen: Arjen is known for his Rock-operas and this is what we are doing but this time just me and him as a duo. We have a very beautiful story it‘s going to be 10 songs and it will be super heavy. And this songs will also be recorded very softly with old instruments, no drums or heavy guitars. It’s an interesting project. It will be finished soon and will be out I think in the beginning of next year…March maybe…not sure… https://www.facebook.com/ThegentleStorm Time For Metal / Timo&Ray: How was the record session with Devin Townsend on Z2 and what can we expect?
Anneke Van Giersbergen: I think its even a bit more dark but I didn‘t hear all of it – I only heard what I was singing on. I do a little bit of Ziltoid 2 and on a new Devin Townsend Project album I do some stuff. Mostly like heavy choirs what he‘s famous for. I love his music and when he produce this much music I always think „Oh, Devin is making another album could it be that it‘s less good than the previous record?“ But no! He can do it better *laugh*. Some songs are really like under your skin and meaningly. I am proud to be a part of this. https://www.facebook.com/dvntownsend
Time For Metal / Timo&Ray: Besides all that, how do you manage your family life? Anneke Van Giersbergen: I have to say that there are not enough hours in a day but I think every working mother has the same problem. We have just odd hours that we are working. We can work all the time and we have such a great kid he knows whats going on. He’s going into the crip when we are on tour. I try to combine it as much as I can. Sometimes I think I don‘t have enough time to everything perfectly well but than again I think we are only human, right? So we have to accept the fact that we can‘t do everything perfect.
Time For Metal / Timo&Ray: What are your experiences with homosexuality in the Metal szene and do you know some gay artists? Anneke Van Giersbergen: I don‘t know a lot realy. I do know there was like once this Black-Metal band who’s singer came out. Even in this scene it is more an issue. In general we are all human beings and all we need is love – it doesn’t matter from whom as long it is genuine. I don‘t know how it is for gays because I am not one so I can‘t experience what its like. But in the metal szene nowadays there are more women. A lot of things are possible. More open minded than 20 years ago…like what are we talking about don‘t you think? We live in Holland/Europe and its okay there but when you look at other countries there are still huge problems. Like people get killed on the streets because of their sexuality it’s an gruesome thing. When you sit down and think like, why?! We all want the same thing and that is love and to be loved. Time For Metal / Timo&Ray: What can we expect from your solo career in the future?
Anneke Van Giersbergen: Good question *laugh* I do a lot of projects and I will concentrate on that for a while. I do have lots of plans for something really nice but first I am going to work out a plan and then I tell you. The next solo thing is going to be different than what I am doing now.
Time For Metal / Timo&Ray: Any last words for Time For Metal readers? Anneke Van Giersbergen: Thanks for having me in your scene for so many years and thanks for having me on this festival. I am not doing lots of metal festivals. People are still so warm-hearted to us, to me and the music, whatever I make got really embraced. I feel very blessed to be part of this scene and to be here today.
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