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Anneke Van Giersbergen (The Gentle Storm)

Interview with Anneke Van Giersbergen from The Gentle Storm
by Anamaria Ionita at 08 March 2015, 6:10 PM

Longtime friends and collaborators, Anneke Van Giersbergen and Arjen Lucassen have teamed up to create more music; this time, they have created a full album together, under the band name, "The Gentle Storm". Early 2015 sees the release of the debut album, "The Diary", and will feature over 40 instruments played by a wide range of musicians. Anamaria shared a few words with Anneke about the new band, the new album's concept nature and her future solo work.

Greetings Anneke! I should start by saying congratulations on “The Diary”, it’s almost out there. Excited, nervous about any last minute changes?

Thank you! Yes, it's always such an exciting moment just before the release. It's really the silence before the storm (pun intended). The album is finished, so the job is done, but it has not reached the listeners yet. This bit of time in between is exciting, because I just can't wait to let everybody hear what we have created.

You had so many things on your plate recently; you collaborated with Devin Townsend (again), had several acoustic shows and went touring with The Sirens. Where did you find the time for The Gentle Storm? Do you work better under pressure?

Last year there were many projects and they were all intertwining indeed. I love doing different styles of music with different people at the same time, because one inspires the other. I enjoy it very much and I learn a lot from it. I always want to grow as an artist, musician, singer and performer. I work best under a bit of pressure, but no insane amounts, so I decided 2015 should be a year where I focus on only a couple of things, one of which being TGS and that album will also be my main focus!

Who came up with the idea of a ‘two in one’ album, a ‘gentle’ and ‘stormy’ part? Can you tell us more about the concept?

Arjen was already working on some music when I got in contact with him about doing a possible collaboration. He had asked his fans what their preference was for his new album. Should it be heavy, or folky? People wanted both almost equally so he decided to work on his new material in a way that he approached his songs in two different ways, bombastic, cinematic, heavy and a more soft, layered folky style.

What appealed to you the most in this project?

Apart from the fact that I really wanted to do a full album together with Arjen, it was also the concept behind it that was very appealing. When we decided to collaborate, we came up with a story, music, lyrics and everything else together. It was really great to bounce ideas back and forth and we inspired each other a lot. That process went really smoothe and we are now so proud of this vast, elaborate release that we have on our hands.

Who else will be involved in this production, apart from the mastermind Arjen?

There are more than 40 different instruments played on the album! No synths or keyboards were involved, so there are many instrumentalists, especially on the “gentle” album. Arjen handles the majority of the instruments on the “storm” album, with Ed Warby and Johan van Stratum being the rhythm section. Both Ed and Johan will tour with the live band as well.

The album seems to be like a theatre production, starting with a beautiful overture as the calm before the storm, culminating with a massive metal epilogue. Do you have any plans regarding upcoming shows in terms of production?

I will be performing with this album all throughout 2015 and I formed an amazing band with some the finest metal players from the Netherlands. We will tour the clubs and festivals with a heavy rock show but indeed, it would be very fitting to make this into a theatre production as well. Perhaps one day. First we focus on the coming year ;-)

Where do you see The Gentle Storm in the future? Is it a project you would like to continue and take it one step forward?

TGS is now an official band, so we can definitely continue if this debut will go down well. But until The Diary is out and we kicked off the live shows we won't think about the next album just yet. First things first!

Is The Gentle Storm going to be a touring band? Where might you be visiting with them?

Indeed, we will play all throughout Europe for sure and of course working on the America's as well. I can't wait to take this album out on the road!

As for your solo work, in 2013 you released “Drive”; in the meantime you’ve done plenty of collaborations. When can fans expect another solo album from you?

I’m working on something really special for 2016! Just wait and see ;-)

Thank you very much for your time, good luck with The Gentle Storm, I am sure it will be a great success, and I am looking forward to hearing it. Do you have any last words for the fans?

Thank you too!! I will do a bunch of acoustic solo shows in Greece in May, it will be really intimate and special. I hope to see you all soon! Anneke XxX


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