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Hans Rutten (The Gathering)

Interview with Hans Rutten from The Gathering
by Karila "Femme Metale" Shannis at 21 September 2012, 5:58 PM

It is probably an assumption, but the world probably knows the older THE GATHERING rather than their new form of Atmospheric Rock music. Their shifting of genres made them different but inspiring. Following the release of their new album, “Disclosure”, via Psychonaut Records, Femme Metale had a chance to have a chat with the band’s drummer, Hans Rutten, the only remnant of the band’s extreme era, about the new album and its symbols, the atmospheric approach and the future. 

Hello there Hans, thanks for taking the time for this interview with Metal Temple. Let’s go straight down to the questions, how does your musical approach to your newest album “Disclosure” compare to that of the atmospheric rock nature of “The West Pole”?

The original idea of ‘TWP’ was to make a rock orientated, up-tempo album. At a certain point we decided to make 2 albums, TWP, and a more atmospherical one. We dropped this idea because we really wanted to release a new album after the departure of Anneke, we didn’t want to wait too long. TWP is an album like ‘If_then_else’, a lot of diversity. ‘Disclosure’ is more a unity. We wanted to write more epic songs, also flirt/experiment a bit more with electronics and loops. A sort of marriage between electronic and organic sounds (organic like real trumpets and violins/viola & cello). We had a clear idea what to do during the writing process of ‘Disclosure’. And of course, we were a bit disorientated when Anneke left. This time Silje was way more involved with the songwriting and recording as well. She did such an excellent job and I am really proud of her what she did. It was not an easy task, but she did it, and you can hear she feels 100% comfortable with The Gathering as we are today.

We felt a lot of freedom writing Disclosure, no commercial pressure, so we could work on every aspect of the album, and work very detailed. René did the production again of the album, and of course he grew as well.

The single "Meltdown" was recently released over the internet and features keyboardist Frank Boeijen in some vocal parts who in fact has a very nice voice!  How did you get him to do so?

Silje encouraged Frank to sing. During the preproduction of Disclosure, Frank and Silje recorded some covers of Pink Floyd and Bat for lashes as well as some acoustic TG songs. Frank sung some parts, and he did this very well. During writing vocal lines of Meltdown Frank had an idea for Silje, and recorded it. Silje liked it so much that we kept the vocals of Frank. We worked a lot with choirs as well. In fact, on a song like ‘Paper Waves’ and the chorus of ‘Meltdown’ we all sing! We do not have the ambition to become the new Beach Boys but it is a new aspect and it adds a lot of colour. I think our voices sound great together.

What or who are your songwriting inspirations?

The first song we wrote was Heroes For Ghosts, 2 years ago, and that particular song inspired us to write new songs. So in fact we inspired ourselves. We were really into writing longer, more epic/atmospherical songs. It felt like we had to this after The West Pole. The Gathering is inspired from day one by bands on the 4AD label, as well as the more experimental rock/metal bands. But we do have our own sound.  Silje lyrics are very personal and close to what happened with her years ago.

When performing live, how do you keep the audience energized and engaged?  You can't exactly form mosh pits for alternative rock shows, after all!

We just do what we do best: make music. On the other hand, I saw enormous mosh pits during alternative rocks shows. But our music lends towards music to listen to and dream away. It's not that physical, indeed.

What is the inspiration or symbolism behind Disclosure's artwork?

We simply loved the artwork of Carlos very much. We just felt this work had a strong connection with our music and lyrics. It is as colourful and inspiring as our music, we hope (and think :) )

“Disclosure” is your tenth studio album, but if you could go back in time and change the way you approached one of your CDs, which one would it be, and for what reason? 

Maybe we would remix some songs or albums, but overall we are very satisfied and always looking forward. I don't think we would change a lot of things. Well, maybe the mix of 'if_then_else' could be better. So we would change that.

After the album's release, what do travel plans for The Gathering look like in the foreseeable future?

We will tour in 2013 with our new album, not that much, some gigs, a small European tour, and we didn't have decided yet what to do next. Of course we will work on some new songs. For sure we will take our time. Maybe we will go out for a couple of years to reload our batteries. We will see..

Thank you Hans for taking time out of your day to talk with us here on Metal Temple!

Cheers and thanks!!

The Gathering’s newest album entitled “Disclosure” is available via Psychonaut Records. You can order the album now on their official website: www.gathering.nl



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