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Hans Rutten (THE GATHERING)

Zbog nedolaska članova benda na ugovoreni intervju (opravdano su prošetali po gradu i pojeli nešto), a nakon satipol čekanja uspjeli smo uloviti "samo" Hansa, bubnjara i osnivača benda THE GATHERING, jer je i ostatak benda bio zaokupljen davanjem izjava i pripremanjem za koncert, te s njim popričali o stvarima koje su nas zanimale. Uloge su podijeljene ovako Hans (H), Lana (L) i Pedja (P).

(L) Hy!
(P) Hy!
(H) Hello!
(P) Is this is your first visit to Croatia?
(H) Yes. I have never been to Croatia, not private and not with the band so this is the very first time, yes.
(P) You went walking a little bit. Did you see something interesting in Zagreb?
(H) Yes, we've been to inner city, saw the plaza, it's a really beautiful city.

Pretpostavka je da su se vrtjeli oko Importanne centra, što smo uspjeli zaključiti iz razgovora.

(P) Why is the name of the band The Gathering?
(H) Well, when we started 15 years ago we really wanted to have sort of neutral name; not like Rotten Christ or something, but really neutral name so that we could develop and it was a must for us that it would also be a reggae band or dub band. The name didn't tell anything but we just wanted to have good strong name. I do still think it's a good name. We can get old with this name. The name came from the movie "Highlander". We saw the movie as little kids and we liked it, especially the first one. There is a sentence that goes about "There is a gathering tonight" and we thought "Oh, the Gathering, that's really nice" and we decided the title.
(P) People like to describe your music as progressive metal (Hans smiled), gothic-rock, trip-rock lately... How would you describe your music?
(H) Well we invented the word "trip rock" more or less. Well we didn't invent it but I think it's the best word for it. I think also "crossover" would be good one, cause I think there's elements of metal in it but also pop, maybe gothic, world influences, there is a lot of things in it, crossovering genres really. And I think that is a strong point of the band, but also a weak point off course because you cannot pigeonhole it and for some people that's quite difficult. We don't have any problems with it.
(P) How did you find Anneke?
(H) Well a mutual friend of ours, he was the boyfriend of Anneke, they split up the relationship but we were searching desperately the vocalist (after first vocalist Martine van Loon left the band - op. P) and he said - you have to try that girl. And we said something like -OK and René and Jelmer watched her doing a semi-acoustic dual. It was very good, we invited her and after 10 seconds we knew it already - this is great.
(P) So the idea for making a semi acoustic album was from back then?
(H) It's an old idea, yes, not that old but it's an old idea. We always wanted to do something in the way of "Dead Can Dance" or "White Birch", bit more gloomy also stripped from every drum loops and certain things, just stripped at a total essence of music. That's what we did.
(P) And how are you satisfied with this product?
(everybody laughs after a word "product")
(H) Product is not such a good word, it's like McDonalds, a hamburger. It could be better off course. As a musician you always want to do better but I'm really glad how it turned out. I think we really catch the atmosphere, the evening was special. I'm very proud of the recording, sound is very good, and it's total live, pure 100%, we didn't do overdubs or whatever, it's really…,
(P) no machines,
(H) yeah, no machines, it's maybe simplistic but stripped from everything but it's total pure and I like the strongness of the purity.
(L) The audience also liked it. We wanted to buy a CD. But you sold it out in 3 nights.
(H) It sold out already yes? It was going totally hectic, but it will be out here, I hope so.
(L)But we wanted to buy it from you with your signature.
(H) Yes, I have to sign something else.

Sad je uslijedilo davanje omota na potpisivanje i kratka pauza.
[ hans & lana ]

hans & lana   © pedja

(L) Which song do you like the most from this album, which one is the most favourite for you and why?
(H) Right now to play and maybe also from album, I think there are two songs which I like very much. But if I have to choose one it would be "Amity"
(L) Really that's my favourite…
(H) Oh, yeah. It's such a strong song
(L) It's very very strong song.
(H) I love the melody very much,
(L) What is this song about?
(H) "Amity", friendship in all kind ways and manners but it's a word for friendship. And I like "Travel" also very much.
(P) You named the new album after only one new song on it. What is the song "Sleepy Buildings" about?
(H) Sort of not really fantasy kind of thing. Anneke is describing it as lifting up, but you have to ask Anneke herself because she can explain the lyrics way more better than I do
(P) We would like to ask her but she is very busy
(H) Maybe after the show you will have the chance.
(L) Maybe later then because we would like to see her and say hello from our friends who met you in Graz few years ago and you were so kind to send them a postcard. They just got a baby last week so they couldn't come.
Hans smiled when we showed him a postcard from that period. And after a while we continue our conversation.
(L) What kind of music do you like to listen?
(H) Norvegian bands are very good, I like post rock scene. GSYBE, they are from Canada
(P) We were on a concert, but we didn't like it
(L) It was very difficult for me I fell asleep,
(H) Really
(L) few hours and only six songs, very difficult
(H) Maybe I can imagine, but I like it very much. So, I like Interpol
(P) Yes Interpol is great.
(H) They are from NY, I listen to them day and night more or less. Mogwai, from Scotland. They are really great, totally loud, but really good, I like the attitude of the band very much, what else…
(P) What about the scene in the Netherlands?
(H) There is no real good scene, there are a few bands who are quite OK, I like "Lohn" they are from the north Holland. There is a very big gothic metal scene. I'm not that interested in gothic metal anymore because it's not that original anymore and I don't like that scene in Holland. There is no scene, if there was a scene we could like it, start something. But we really feel on an island and we have much more relationship with the band like "Pale Forest" or "Ulver" from Norway, they are more post metal kind of band try to develop a new kind of sound because I think the metal scene is quite suffocating and we are totally not into a bands like "Rhapsody", and that kind of dragons music.
(L) What other bands made a great influence on your career?
(H) "Sleepy Buildings" is very much inspired by a band also from Norway it's called the "White Birch", I don't know if you know them, it's totally great, you have to check them out; and of course "Dead Can Dance", not that good , but the atmosphere, especially their live album, totally amazing
(L) If You could support any artist, who would You choose?
(H) Massive Attack, Radiohead….
(P) Which do you prefer to play, great open air or clubs?
(H) Well open air is just for the money really, but I don't like the "zep" culture in which people are eating, drinking and they watch the band for 5 min and go further. That is why I prefer clubs like this.
(L) I'm going to Amsterdam next weekend. What place would you recommend?
(H) Not that much that I like in Amsterdam, but there is a restaurant…how do you pronounce it in English…The Restaurant of 1870 and you can eat there meals from 1870 and it's totally amazing, very cheap and really great. Then you have another place, it's called "Mutter" (it's "Mother") and the meals are motherless made of 100 years ago. Typical Dutch food, Paradiso is a great club, Melkweg (Milky Way) is a great club and avoid the coffee shops because they are boring.
(L) OK. Thanks. That'll be all for now.
(H) OK. Thank you. I'll better go prepare for the concert. Bye.
(L) Bye.
(P) Bye.

pedja // 17/03/2004

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