Tuesday, 23 September 2014

INTERVIEW: MindShade


MindShade are a metal band from The Netherlands who combine Mezzo Soprano vocals with grunts.
The band were formed in 2007 and currently consist of Nienke Verboom on vocals, Jeroen van Noort on bass and grunts, Norbert Veenbrink and Eli de Kruijf on guitars and Mischa van der Hout on drums.

Femetalism recently featured the bands album, Asylum of the Fallen on the site.  Now we are pleased to present an interview with Jeroen van Noort, the bands bassist and provider of grunts.

How did MindShade get together?

MindShade started in 2007. Norbert (guitars) and me (Jeroen; bass/grunts) met through a mutual friend and hooked up to jam a bit and maybe play some cover songs. We had great fun together and decided to start an actual band and write music of our own. Another friend joined on guitar and later that year vocalist Nienke joined in a full line-up. Through the years some people came and went, but since the fall of 2013 the band has the line-up we have today.

Can you tell us a bit about each member of the band?

To generalise; it is great fun when we get together at rehearsals and gigs. Unfortunately, we live quite far apart so we don’t get to see each other a lot outside the band. We do however make time for extra non-band related things like going to an amusement park once a year or a BBQ. Then also our spouses join so it’s a lot of fun getting everyone together. And we also visit quite a few metal festivals and concerts of other bands so then we meet there.

Music wise, we all come from different backgrounds and enjoy listening to different styles of (metal) music so everybody contributes to the band in his/her own way. One thing always stands out though; we all love this band, creating music and playing live together!

Where did the name MindShade come from?

When we started the band and needed a name, I was looking for something dark and obscure but not too ‘metal cliché’. And since we had no idea what kind of music we would be making it had to be a name that would not immediately push the band to a specific genre like trash/black/gothic metal et cetera. So we needed something that would leave people with questions... hahaha. Moreover, at that time there were a lot of things going on in my life so I could really need some peace of mind, some shade to hide from the burning light. Hence, the name MindShade.

A couple of years later I actually found the name MindShade in ‘the urban dictionary’ meaning:

“A person who will mention obscure and scary knowledge during a conversation to the extent that after being around them for a while some of the things the MindShade says will begin to fester in your head and cause you to come back to them for an explanation. A MindShade is known to cause temporary insanity in those around him/her, using this to get his/her way with people.”

I think this describes our music pretty good and especially our album Asylum of the Fallen. Listen to our music, let it fester in your head and you will come back for more...

So, how would you describe your sound?

A diverse mix of heavy rock and metal with a twist is probably the best way to describe it. Since we are a ‘female fronted band’ and we combine mezzo soprano with grunts in our vocals we are of course easily compared to a lot of gothic bands. But I think we have our own diverse style. For example, we don’t have a keyboard player but use several samples. We just wanted to add something extra to our sound but that doesn’t need the full orchestral backing. Other than that, I think we have quite a heavy sound with both Norbert and Eli playing on heavy 7-string guitars and myself on a down-tuned (AEADG) 5-string bass. It creates an extra ‘boom’ in most of the songs.

Your album Asylum of the Fallen was released earlier this year and we at Femetalism are most impressed with it. Can you tell us about the album?

Thanks! It’s great to hear that you like it!

Asylum of the Fallen is actually a compilation of songs we wrote through the years, some even dating back to 2007. When we were thinking of artwork and a title for the album I came up with the ‘asylum style’-concept and thought: “what if every song is somehow connected to a patient in this mental hospital?” Throughout the years, I never wrote the lyrics to specifically match that specific concept but it worked out nicely for this album. So next, me and Nienke talked to our regular photographer Maarten about what I wanted for each band member and he shot our new asylum-style band pictures that are in the booklet. After that, he created the rest of the album artwork.

What motivates you to make music?

When making music together, the most important thing is to be passionate about what you do. After all, for most musicians it’s not a regular day job (yet) so it’s a hobby. Like every other hobby, it has to be something you absolutely love doing. If you don’t have fun together anymore, it’s better to quit...

But, like I said before, when we get together at rehearsals, in the studio or on stage we have great fun making music together! That the bottom line. Of course, like any other band we had some minor difficulties over the years with changing our line-up, but despite that there hasn’t been a dull moment these past 7 years. And at the moment, we are stronger than ever!

Which artists have influenced you?

Hmm, so many... Of course we are influenced by other female fronted bands like Nightwish, Evanescence and Lacuna Coil. By the way, did you know our singer Nienke used to have vocal lessons from Floor Jansen, the lead vocalist of Nightwish and Revamp? When we create music, every one of us has quite a different personal taste in music, so that brings a lot of diverse styles into the band. It really goes from black metal to eighties guitar rock hahaha.

What do you enjoy most about playing live and which MindShade song do you most enjoy playing?

When playing live, standing on that stage, in front of a bunch of people that are enjoying your music - that is the best feeling ever. For example, when we play ‘In life or death’ and I see almost every one singing along, that is totally awesome! That’s probably also one of my favourite songs to play live. The other being ‘Firedemon’ because it’s one of our heavier faster songs and it has some great grunting parts for me. hehehe.

If anything was possible, who would you most like to tour with and why?

I would love to go on tour with another great Dutch band like Delain, Stream of Passion or ReVamp. We played with ReVamp a couple of years ago in Haarlem and we had great fun. By the way, if ANYTHING was possible, we would go back in time and go on tour with After Forever. Unfortunately, that band doesn’t exist anymore, but produced so many great artists like Floor Jansen and Andre Borgman (who produced our demo in 2009).

If you could travel anywhere to play live, where would you most like to perform and why?

I know Japanese metal heads are totally crazy, so that would be one hell of an experience. And like they say: “when you’re big in Japan...” Also, South-America is really passionate about female-fronted heavy metal; just look at Dutch bands like Epica and Within Temptation, who have great success there.

Closer to home, I really want to do some gigs in the UK. Both me and Nienke have quite a lot of friends there who want to see us play live, so a few dates in England would be great.

Inspired by a recent guest article on Femetalism, I am interested in finding out more about the metal scene in other countries. Can you tell us about the metal scene in The Netherlands as a whole and in your more local area?

There’s quite an active scene in the Netherlands, but rock or heavy metal are not mainstream so it doesn’t get any airplay on the radio and stuff like that. We’ve got a few good music festivals, but the big ones (like we used to have great festivals like Dynamo Open Air in the past) don’t exist anymore. We’ve got pop festivals like Pinkpop and Lowlands, but only the Top 40 crap gets a spot. The other thing is, since most venues get less financial support from our government they a forced to book bands that attract a larger – mainstream - crowd. So, it’s getting harder and harder for metal bands to get good gigs.

On the other hand, we’ve got some great bands from The Netherlands like Within Temptation, Delain and Epica who play all over the world. They are our international ambassadors for Dutch heavy metal. Let them pave the road, because there are a lot of great bands who are ready to roll out!

So what’s next for MindShade?

Promoting our album Asylum of the Fallen, writing new songs for our next album and playing live. And like I said before, hopefully in England very soon!

Huge thanks to Jeroen for this interview.  We would also like to see you grace the UK with a gig or two.  The album is great and we look forward to hearing more from you in the not too distant future.



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Originally posted by Emma Sheridan on Femetalism.