Exclusive interview for MetalDays with VUUR

Exclusive interview for MetalDays with VUUR – Anneke Van Giersbergen (vocals - guitar) in Paris on 2017, December 7th

‘I love performing live. To me, it’s the best thing in the world’.

Hi Anneke! We are here to talk about MetalDays Festival which will happen next summer, in July 2018, in Tolmin, Slovenia!

But my very first question is the following: how do you feel a couple of hours before the gig here in Paris?

Hey! I am looking forward so much to it because this show has been planned for a long time and we are very happy to play here! I have been here in Paris on my own with Pain Of Salvation on their acoustic tour. I was opening up, just me and my acoustic guitar, and it was great. I always love playing in Paris because the audience is so nice, people are really there with their heart and into the music, so it’s fantastic. I do love French people!

Let’s go to MetalDays topics, I think it will be your very first time at MetalDays, Slovenia, am I right?

Yes, I think so. You are right.

So, what do you know about this Slovenian Festival? Have you already heard about MetalDays or Metalcamp Festival in the past? About the surroundings and so on...?

I only know it’s a good festival, but of course we have played in Slovenia before. And I like the spirit of, you know, eastern European and Balkans. Those countries are very much into art and music. And I love young people as well. So, I am very looking forward to that festival because we are not playing to many festivals on this area, and this one will be a blast for sure! I am very happy to go there.

Would you please tell me what do you think about MetalDays bill so far? Please check it and comment.

All right! Hey, Epica! Awsome! So good and nice lineup so far. I like so much Accept, happy to see they are in! Myrkur is coll also. Rage, we tour with them a lot of times in the past. That’s cool. I remember nice pictures of this festival, with beautiful surroundings

If I am correct, it has been a while you didn’t play in Metal Festival Anneke. Are you exited to do it again?

Yes, you are right. I did it sometimes, with Devin Townsend and some other things. We did it also with my own band, my solo project, but not very often. But I like festivals in general, because you have to do everything on the spot. I also like playing in front of an audience which is not entirely yours. Then, you have new people, and you can convince them of your music. I see that as a challenge.

Back to VUUR as a band and your last record Anneke. How was the writing process on Vuur’s first record? How did it work?

Yeah, I wrote the album with Joost van der Broek. He is our producer and we wrote songs together for this album. He also mixed the album, so he is a very important man for this record. I was going to his studio during a year, every Tuesday morning, and then we wrote a lot of stuff. And apart from that, we also wrote together with our two guitar players. But also, we had some friends on the album. We had Esa Holopainen from Amorphis, Mark Holcomb from Periphery and Daniel Cardoso from Anathema. We are all friends, and you know, I just texted them and asked ‘would you like to join us and write something together?’. And they all answered ‘YES’! So, in the end, I wrote all the lyrics, and we had a rich choice for songs, sounds, melodies and I was extremely happy with the songwriting process. Usually, I do like songwriting, but I love playing, above all. I love performing live. To me, it’s the best thing in the world.

Where did you find your inspiration as a songwriter? As you talk about big cities, does that mean the lyrics were born on tour?

Well, I write a lot on tour. I love traveling, and I love being in those different places, all the time. I love particularly that not a day is the same. So traveling in general inspires me, then I write a lot on tour. And for this album, I wanted to make a concept about cities and nice places I love to go to. So I have my memories, and when I wrote this album, I wasn’t touring but traveling on my own. And I took really the time to focus on my memories in the studio. And I wrote songs in a very poetic manner, as I do not want to give any History lesson, you know, when you talk about cities. So, it’s poetic and always in my mind.

How « VUUR’s album » has been received by the fans?

Yeah, good! We just did our very first tour with Epica. And Epica fans were very open minded. It was great for us because it’s a new start, as VUUR is a new band, new music, and people have to become familiar with it, even though some people might know me or any other musician in the band. They don’t know the new music and it’s not… let’s say… easy music, so… we have to take the time to get it across. But I have to say it’s a hard work. We have to take the time. Because also, people were thinking ‘Anneke is making her own heavy album. Ok, so it’s The Gathering’. And it’s not. I don’t know if it’s more progressive or more heavy, and it’s not sounding like The Gathering, although it’s my voice of course. Then it takes time to get it to the people. As I am always in a hurry, I should slow down and just do what I have to do (laughs). And I love the combination of strong and heavy music, very masculine in a way, and the contrast with my sweat voice and melodies, plus the poetic lyrics. My music on this album has been more inspired by Devin Townsend than The Gathering. Because Devin also writes songs with transition between heavy and dark music, and Beauty. I love that!

When you are not playing with VUUR, what do you like to do in your life? Do you have any hobbies and if yes, which ones?

Yes, I have big hobbies: music! (laughs). I like listening to music, so I walk a lot in nature as I like being outside, sometimes I walk on my own for hours…and then I listen to music, I listen to Opeth, to Devin and also quite music such as classical music. I like music, I like nature, so I try to combine both. But I also like being with my family, sitting on the sofa, and watching movies, and chilling out with the family.

What are your main plans for the next months?

Touring, and when we will not tour, I will be back home and paint my walls of my new house! (laughs). I think I will do it at Christmas time (laughs). And after that, we will do some festivals, shows and…writing for a new album. I already have ideas!

Very special thanks to Rob Snijders, Strictly Creative Music Management

Interview and pics by KEUF.