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Picture's Rinus Vreugdenhill: "We should have done this much earlier, we received many requests for the first lineup from Picture"

Interview with Rinus Vreugdenhill from Picture
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 16 September 2019, 11:12 PM

As if it was written in the stars, it was bound to happen eventually, yet it did cost something for several people. The original lineup of the Dutch veteran Metallers, Picture, is back in action. Well, it did last year with a live CD of one of their earlier albums, and fan favored, "Heavy Metal Ears", yet the band continued forward with their old lineup to release the new "Wings" album, via Pure Steel Records. Steinmetal had a chance to talk to one of the band's prime members, Rinus Vreugdenhill, about coming back and what happened, the new album "Wings" and more…  

Hello Rinus, it is a tremendous honor having you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine. How have you been doing sir?

Thank you for the interview first. Fortunately, I'm doing well again.

Is it safe to say that the band is back together? Even though, Picture was never really disbanded, only undergone lineup changes. Yet, last year the lineup of the first two albums, came back together and continued forward. Even though it was a year ago, how do you feel about this reunion? Do you believe that it will hold for years to come?

We should have done this much earlier, we received many requests for the first lineup from Picture. After "Warhorse", which was a perfect record, but was not accepted by the Picture fans, we had to do something.

Just curious, what happened with Pete Lovell, which has been the band’s vocalist for quite a long time?

Picture received a request in 2016 to do 3 concerts with the original line-up, so with Ronald and Jan. Pete did not fully accept this. After the record "Warhorse", it was also time to present the real Picture sound. With the result Picture Live CD and the new record "Wings". And during the tour in South America, back in 2016, there was a little misunderstanding of the other band members (except for Bakkie then) regarding my Stroke in 2014. Because something happens in your head during a stroke. Very disappointing that was…

Following the Picture reunion, you guys signed with Pure Steel Records for the release of your new album, in seven years, “Wings”. I guess that the sky is the limit with the given title for the album right? Like a phoenix rising from the sand

Well, it feels naturally great that Picture can make a new record once again. First, the Live CD "40 years Heavy Metal Ears" and now "Wings"… Incredible.

Was it a mutual interest by both parties when you signed with Pure Steel Records? Did you have other offers on the table?

That was mutual. Picture have faith in Pure Steel Records. Great people to work with.

Certainly, what I have been listening on “Wings” isn’t the “Picture” or “Heavy Metal Ears” era, but actually a punchy direction, yet melodic, crispy Heavy Metal, plenty of 80s influences and with a few modern chops. Would you deem “Wings” as a progressed Picture? Was it your intention to move forward with your music with the old lineup other than writing songs that are more in the spirit of the band’s older days?

"Wings" is like touring over the decades of the band, between 1980 to 2020. Old school heavy metal for everyone. You don't have to change anything about the Picture sound, as good is good. Simply Picture. And "Wings" is an example of that.

What were your main focuses in the songwriting process? Was it a joint collaboration of the band members or a single or duo songwriters that took charge?

It was actually a matter of writing with the band members, as a unit. Again, the same thing all over for us. Jan come in with a great riff and the rest of the boys finish it off. Just like in 1980s

Can you describe how was it to get back together with guys you haven’t worked with for some time?

Great to see, and be, with the rascals again… And with Appie van Gelder's becoming one of the lineup, it went perfect right away. It clicked. He is a great musician, which is very much appreciated.

I wonder, which of the “Wings” tunes meant to you the most? That one track that made an impact on you and it can’t leave your ears. Please elaborate on your pick.

I think "Stroke" is a beautiful song that is pretty much the story of my past stroke. "Wings" with the Hammond organ is great as well. "Empty Room" is great a really old Picture number but slightly different in a way.

Correct me if I am wrong, but your biggest show was this year’s Bang Your Head Festival in Germany. How was the show for you? How was it to perform on such a big stage alongside some of the Metal industry’s giants and also newcomer prospects?

Bang Your Head Festival was one of our high points in 2019, but also the DVD recordings in 2019 Brazil Manifesto bar and Sao Paulo. Nonetheless, it is hard to argue with the organization of Bang Your Head, which was perfect.

Picture has been around for more than 40 years, you saw plenty of artists come and go, some of those artists took influence from you. Nowadays, the younger generation is rather interested in the modern driven Metal, along with reshaping of Hardcore music. Do you believe that Picture survived the test of time? Does that band still have a role to play in such modern scene?

I believe that the old school Hard Rock, and Heavy Metal, will always remain. It gives you a good feeling, whether in shows, or at festivals. with Picture we can laugh, drink beer etc. As I said, the old school music will never die.

Off topic, it was found by various studies that Heavy Metal music is actually a cure to reduce stress, make people better, in comparison to the stereotype that it has been given all these years. Do you think that this notion is true? What is your opinion on the matter?

With Heavy Metal music you will be more cheerful and you will get a lot thirstier thirsty, so it is certain that will be happier again. From experience, it helps against stress.

Recently, in the British Bloodstock Festival, after a decade, K.K. Downing, ex-Judas Priest, came back on stage with the band of ex-Manowar, Ross The Boss. I see it as a sign for better days for the British guitarist. Do you think that K.K. should still try getting back to Judas Priest or is it a lost cause?

It seems natural, K.K. is a co-founder of Judas Priest. It was great to see K.K. Downing going live again

What are your plans to support “Wings” for the rest of the year and the next?

The "Wings" world tour 2020 and I hope a lot of gigs in Germany

Rinus, I wish to thank you for the interview. No doubt you guys are legends and I am glad that you found the way to reach the old lineup. All the best!



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