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Stef Broks (Textures)

Interview with Stef Broks from Textures
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 21 May 2008, 5:03 AM

There are times when you come across a band or musician and you get so amazed that you just want to know everything about him/them. One day I was spending my time doing useless things on the internet and I found Stef Broks' (band's drummer) official homepage. There I learned about TEXTURES, a band that kicked my ass with its song Swandive and made me be behind each step they do since then. After having the chance to listen to their magnificent latest full-length album Silhouettes I thought that an interview with the man that is guilty of what happened to me would be more than great. So, here you go…

Hello there! Where do I find you now? Home in Holland I suppose…

Nope, in Paris at the Bataclan. We’re supporting ARCH ENEMY on a short European tour. Last night we played in Amsterdam for some 1500 people. Really nice. Today will be kind of the same. It’s really cool we were invited by the Arch Enemies. Thanx.

Since there may be people that hear the name TEXTURES, could you tell us a few things about the band first?

We have two albums released yet on Listenable Records, Polars (2003) and second one Drawing Circles (2006). In the 6 years we exist we toured and played with MESHUGGAH, DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, MORBID ANGEL, MACHINE HEAD, ALL THAT REMAINS and ARCH ENEMY. We got an incredibly good response from modern Metal fans and the press. This year we’ll release our third album Silhouettes.

Let’s talk about your new album now. Why Silhouettes? Who thought of this title and what do you want to show with it?

Silhouettes stands for our shadowside, the side of ourselves that we seldom reflect to. In that perspective the new record is a bit darker compared to Drawing Circles.

Tell us a few things about the recording process of the new album. Where did you record it and who was the producer?

As always we took care of the complete production process ourselves: production, mastering, artwork etc. Guitarists Jochem and Bart are real pros and they handled the production of Silhouettes. The main part was done in our own studio Split Second Sound. The drums were done in Excess Studio in Rotterdam, both in Holland.

What exactly do you want to show with the cover artwork and who designed it? Is there a specific meaning behind the skull and the human figure?

It was vocalist Eric and bass player Remko who did the artwork. The skull and human figure show the contradiction within our inner self. At our first two albums we also wrote about contradictions - for instance between nurture/nature, dark/light, man/machine. But at that time we always focussed on the more progressive side of the whole thing. This time we focussed on the more dark side.

If you tried to compare all of you three releases, what difference would you find between them?

With Polars we set a musical statement. The album-set up was very unconventional with songs that went from Ambient part to brutal Mathcore parts.

Second album Drawing Circles was built around a lyrical theme. All the songs were connected to each other in this big overlapping wave of tension.

On this third album we focussed on every song specifically. There’s no direct connection between every song. The result is that the songs feel more connected to ourselves.

Since your songs have a pretty strange structure, can you tell us the process you follow when composing a song?

There’s not just one way we write songs. Every song is approached differently. Sometimes our vocalist comes up with an idea, like the main part of Messengers. Sometimes our guitarists come up with a bunch of riffs like in To Erase A Lifetime, and sometimes I bring in some ideas like in Laments Of An Icarus. It depends on our mood how we deal with these parts. But it takes some time ’till a song is finished. We’re not the kind of band that writes a song in an hour.

Even though many people have described your sound as Metalcore or Progressive Death Metal, I always said that you are something more than that. How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard a TEXTURES song and how would you name your music?

Heavy music stretching from Ambient to Mathmetal and everything in between. It’s still really hard to describe our own sound, and actually, it’s not up to us haha. But ok, it will give you some names. TOOL, Devin Townsend, MESHUGGAH.

I was looking at your Myspace page and found out that you have some dates supporting ARCH ENEMY, as well as DEATH ANGEL. How do you feel playing next to titans like these? Have you shared the stage with any other famous acts until now?

Of course it’s amazing to play with those bands. Like today we played here in Paris, the crowd went totally mad. We played a lot in France and it’s cool to play for a real big audience now. Besides that I think we did a good job for ARCH ENEMY by warming up the audience.

It’s not the first time we play with bigger bands. We supported MESHUGGAH, MACHINE HEAD, DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, MORBID ANGEL, ALL THAT REMAINS as well. All very cool bands.

Are there any news behind the projects that each member of the band has? Are BRUTUS still active or have they ceased fire after the tragic incident with Luijsterburg’s passing? Really, do you know any info like why did he took his own life?

BRUTUS is going to do a few more gigs with another drummer, probably Dutch guy Yuma Van Eekelen. Our guitarist Bart will participate in BRUTUS for those three or four gigs, but he’s no band member anymore. Also Eric’s project SENGAIA has split up. I guess I’m the only one who has a side project right now. It’s called EXIVIOUS and consists of band members of CYNIC, SENGAIA and TEXTURES. Actually it has not much to do with Metal, but more with Fusion and Jazz like Allan Holdsworth and TRIBAL TECH. I think we will release the record by the end of the year.

About Maarten: life was a heavy burden for him most of the time, although he was very interested and excited about a lot of stuff. That’s all I want to say actually.

Which bands influenced your sound? I suppose you all have different influences.

Yes, it does not come from only Metal. In fact most of us don’t listen to Metal that much. Guitarist Jochem is very much into old Country nowadays, guitarist Bart is addicted to soundscape master Patrick O Hearn, Richard likes prog. As always, I’m into old Soul music. I think bass player Remko and singer Eric are listening most Metal music of us, although they also listen to a lot of other stuff. You know, we all listened to Metal. All kinds, Black, Death, Math, Doom, Thrash. But when you hear so much music like we did now all boundaries fall away. Music is just music and not specifically Metal, Rock, Fusion or Pop.

What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you during a live performance?

The whole PA and Light system shut down in England. It was very funny because it happened in the last 10 second our last song Swandive. The whole crowd was yelling and we were like Damn what’s happening because we didn’t recognized the problem directly. The monitors were still working. Right after the song was finished the crowd screamed even harder. It was an amazing apotheosis of the show.

I heard you have taken part in a Nokia commercial. Tell us a few things about it.

Nokia asked us to play in the commercial for the so called Nokia Sound Booth. It’s a soundproof phone booth which was supposed to be placed on Rock and Metal festivals. The commercial showed us playing a song with a guy having a telephone conversation in this Nokia Sound Proof. Kinda funny haha.

Thank you for your time! Anything you’d like to add?

Silhouettes, check it out. On or somewhere else.


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