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Frank Boeijen (THE GATHERING)

It's been five years since we talk to Hans last time in Zagreb. What happened with the band from that time?

Well, lots of things happened! I guess the most is of course that we had a change in our line up since august 2007. Anneke decided to leave the band and go on with her solo project.

Anneke, your previous singer, leave the band soon after the release of "Home" (2006). Was it difficult to find replacement to her and how did you did it?

Of course every singer has his/her own unique sound but I was always convinced that there is lots of vocal talent. This is a huge planet you know J. So what we did was basically put up a g-mail and let people send their demo's or you tube links with new vocal talent. We didn't want to go for one person at first, because our idea was to make an album with more than one singer on it. Also Silje send in some stuff she did with Octavia Sperati, and we really liked her voice and her appearance. We invited her to make a demo on 2 songs we wrote, and we were blown away by the results! So we set up a meeting with her to see if there was a personal click as well. Silje was really eager and motivated to do more songs, so in the end she sings on 7 songs on our new album, which is great!

THE GATHERING - all you are (with Silje)

Silje Wergeland, former singer of Norway band Octavia Sperati is the new lead singer and she sings on your new album "The West Pole". Do you, as a founding member of the band, feel any difference between those two singers?

Yes, Anneke and Silje are quite different in personality. I have the feeling we are more creative as a band and that there is more chemistry. Of course this is logic after being with a singer more than 13 years, it was a good period in our musical careers. Although it wasn't our decision, but sometimes its better to change and look further.

Tell us something about "The West Pole"?

Well of course when Anneke left we had to take a step back and think about the whole thing. It turned out that we were still very inspired and motivated to write new material. We had the feeling our direction had to be as positive as possible, but also urgent. We really had to go on and make another album. I don't know were this force is coming from but its in our musicians veins I guess J The result is the West Pole , a very uplifting and up-tempo album. Although it has its moody moments, the overall feel is urgent and more positive then former TG albums.

Did you change anything in your sound with the new singer?

Of course it sounds different because there is another singer singing.. We always try to be innovative and create something new on every album, so its difficult to answer this question. I think its still sounds like the Gathering, its not the first time we had a change in (vocal) line up, so the typical TG benchmark is still there I guess..

Do you play any old songs on concerts?

Yes, we will. The old songs fit Silje's voice very well.

THE GATHERING - Liberty Bell (with Anneke)

Song/album that changed your life?

Pfff, lots of albums change my view on music (the least to say..)
Ok here are a few:
The Beatles: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band
Pink Floyd: Dark side of the moon,Whish you were here, Animals
The Art of Noise: Invisible Silence
Slowdive: Souvlaki
Massive Attack: Mezzanine
Radiohead: Kid A

What do you think about Myspace, Facebook and other sites for promotion of music?

I think this is all not only a good way of promoting your music but also letting people know that you exist. Before the internet (yes, then there was a life to J) a band had to rely on record companies to get it all "out there" . Now bands and musicians can do so much more themselves! The disadvantage is that a lot of people do this and that the amount of bands is huge. A big advantage about this is that bands still have to create quality to get their heads above the water. And that is a good thing!

Since it's the end of the year, tell us your favorites of the 2009?

Mew: No more stories
Fever Ray: Fever Ray
Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion
Shells: Sea of the dying Dhow
Archive: Controlling Crowds
Engineers: Three Fact Fader
M83: Saturday = Youth

What do you listen when you're at home, on tour, right now…?

All of the above J

Tell me something I would never guess about you?

Pff, difficult question again.. I guess you're aiming on something I do besides making music? (like something really surprising like Bruce Dickinson is flying an Boeing 757 for a living..) I have an extra part time job as a courier, delivering packages. (not really surprising, in fact a typical musicians second job J).. As a hobby a like to fly and build model airplanes.. Is that something? I once build and fly one with a Bruce Dickinson Action Figure in it J

And of course a message to all the fans in Zagreb?

Well, I hope you all come to our show (Mochvara, Monday 1st of February) in your wonderfull town! We had a great time last time we played there!!

Since "you had a great time last time" what do you remember the most?

I remember the venue which was full very nice people and it had a nice creative atmosphere!
Also the organizers of the concert were very nice and devoted! And of course the city Zagreb (beautiful place!!) and the lovely Croatian food!!

Thanks and Keep on Rockin!!!

pedja // 11/01/2010


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