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Ariën Van Weesenbeek
Dutch metallers GOD DETHRONED released their new album entitled "The Lair Of The White Worm" just a week ago and I can wholeheartedly recommend this album to metal fans everywhere. What a great album to slowly say good-bye to the year 2004!
The new album also brought some line-up changes but the best thing you can probably do is read on and learn what drummer Ariën Van Weesenbeek had to tell.
Hi Ariën, how are you and how busy are you with promotion these days?
Hello! I'm ok, yet a bit tired now... We're promoting the new album by
playing seperate concerts while we're working out a tour for next year, doing
interviews and we have made shots for a videoclip that is planned to be released in
December. So.. quite busy as a matter of fact.
So, first of all congrats on the new cd which is excellent! I wouldn't be
surprised if you gained a bunch of new fans with this album. Did you already
notice more interest in the band than with previous releases?
Well, I can tell you that most of the people we spoke, say that this
is the best album since "Bloody Blasphemy" which is great to hear!! I think that
maybe the cd "Into The Lungs Of Hell" turned out a bit too modest compared
to the new album. When you take the songs for instance: on the previous cd
we opened with a very slow song which we liked very much as an opener at
that time. But it was time to take up the irons again and write more furious
songs, that blow through the speakers 'cause of the agression and energy!
Especially the sound is killer on the new one!! "Into The Lungs Of Hell"
isn't a bad cd, not at all! But the new one is just a big step further. I
think that the fans see it that way too.
I definitely think so because from what I read over the internet the reactions in regards of your new album have been overwhelming so far. I can imagine you are quite happy about this.
Have there been some complaints too that you are not so happy about?
It's astonishing how the positive reactions come in!! And fortunately
we haven't had much negative reations yet. So that makes us happy, yeah!
You guys had yet another line-up change just before the recording of "The
Lair Of The White Worm". Who are the two new members and how did you find
Henk and Isaac?
The bassplayer is called Henk Zinger. Henri knew Henk from his label
Cold Blood Industries where Henk used to fill in for Henri when we were on
the road. He's also playing in the grindcore band Grindminded.
The guitarplayer is called Isaac Delahaye. I knew him from the Rotterdam
Conservatory where I studied with him. He played in a lot of projects
before God Dethroned. I knew that Isaac was the one and only replacement for Jens, and
it's great to have two young guys more in the band, so now I'm not the only
young guy anymore, haha!
Especially Isaac seems to have had a major influence on the final result.
Henri repeatedly states that Isaac increased the number of leads from five
on "Into The Lungs Of Hell" to 17 on this new album. I haven't counted them
but even without counting it is obvious that he put a lot of effort into his
Yes, he really gave a new twist to the God Dethroned-sound with his amazing solos!
And his rhythm-playing is also phenominal: powerful, tight and with a great
feel. He practises a lot, and that's what you hear in the solos: structure,
feeling, power, finesse... I think I can say that Isaac lifted the God Dehroned-sound
to a higher level.
The new songs became somewhat more melodic (catchier even, "Sigma Enigma"
for example) yet still remain aggressive for the most part. Agree?
Yes, I do.
Or in other words: What are the main differences between the last and the
new album and what makes the new album better from your point of view?
Our playing. We put a lot more energy into our playing, and that's
also beneficial for the sound on this album. And that's the main difference
and improvement, in my opinion. And of course the songs are even catchier
and more brutal again with a lot of breaks and accents.
How are you guys writing your songs anyway? How long are you working on
them? By looking at the credits all I can see is that Henri and you are the
This time Henri and I wrote the album with the two of us. Henri finished six songs on his own. I finished one on my own, and we worked out two songs together. Most of the songs were worked out in a couple of weeks. I think that Henri and I start writing a song, with a melody of a
guitar riff, then we think of the right grooves and beats, and then we make
the finishing touches. We write the lyrics in the studio.
The lyrics are entirely written by Henri, so I guess you cannot tell too
much about them? Oh no, wait - you took part in the creation of "The Grey
Yes, that's right. But I know the subjects about the lyrics: we have
lyrics about the Dutch 80 year-war, annihilation, corrupt politicians,
self-destruction of mankind, downfall of christianity... more or less about
everyday life subjects.
Plus an adapted story by Bram Stoker. Is there a particular reason you chose "The Lair Of The White Worm" as the album title? I actually think it's a bit too long. Not so memorable perhaps.
I disagree. I think it's very memorable because it's not used much
and you don't read those words combined a lot. And because of the fact that
that book of Bram Stoker is not his best known story. And I really don't think it's too long.
Hm ok...what can I say? ;)
The artwork doesn't leave too many questions once you know about the story
behind "The Lair Of The White Worm". It was done by Jacek Wisniewski who I
think has done quite a few metal covers before. Have you always wanted him
to do a cover for God Dethroned?
It turned out to be the right moment to work with Jacek Wisniewski
for this album. We wanted a cover that was not too busy this time.
Did you give him free hand to do whatever he wanted to?
We just gave some clues about how we would like it to be but he could do whatever he would like to.
For the recording of "The Lair Of The White Worm" you returned to the Berno
Studio in Malmö/Sweden to work together with producer Henrik Larsson. Why?
When we go there for three weeks, without more time after that, then
we know we have to work really hard to get everything recorded in time. That
makes us very focussed, and that pushes us to our best. Tnat's what we need.
And of course for the fat sound that Henrik is able to capture.
And he's a very relaxed, nice fellow to work with.
Do you have a favourite track among the new songs and if so, why?
I think it would be "Nihilism" because it's a very dynamic song with
a lot of power and strong vocal lines and a big kick in the ass when you
listen to it!!
Yeah, it's a strong opener!
You mentioned earlier that you plan to shoot a video for the titletrack these days. Can you tell us a little more about that?
We already recorded the band-shootings. But hey... just wait and see...
It wouldn't be fun if you knew all the details already, haha.
I hope I get to see it then. Do you expect the video to get airplay somewhere? It might have improved but it's still pretty hard for (extreme) metal bands to get their videos screened on tv I think.
It's getting better. When Morbid Angel is being broadcastet on MTV, then there might be a chance for us. I mean: the most extreme metalband for me is still Morbid Angel, so if they get on tv, then there's hope...
Obviously. I had no idea Morbid Angel were present on MTV.
On the website I could read that you started playing at the age of 7. How
does a little boy get the idea to start playing drums? :)
It was in my blood, literally. My father is a drummer too, so that
explains a lot, right? Haha. I was seven when I first took drumming lessons.
It was a logical thing for me to start playing drums because I was already
bashing on everything with forks and spoons....
LOL! I had secretly hoped for a "spoons and cooking-pot"-kind of answer, hehe.
I saw that you have mainly been playing in metal bands and are still doing
so in bands/projects besides God Dethroned. Aren't you interested in other
genres as well?
I am also playing in a blues-band once in a while. And I used to play
in a sort of latin-percussion band when I took drumming lessons at the local
music school. But I totally forgot to mention that on the website...
I think it's very important for me to stay open-minded about music because
if I played only metal then I eventually would end up with no more inspriation, I guess...
Who are your favourite drummers?
I like a lot of drummers, and if I hear a great band, then I immediately like the drummer too - in most cases. But when it comes to extreme music, then my all time favourite drummers would be Dave Lombardo and Pete Sandoval. Their feeling, vibe and innovative drumming are very inspiring, apart from the fact that they're blistering fast!!
As you said earlier, God Dethroned have a couple of shows lined up already, mostly in the
Netherlands and Germany. I bet you plan to tour on a bigger scale in the new year though? :) And are there also some summer festival appearances in negotiation? I for my part hope to catch you live somewhere again soon!
We're working on a tour with Dragon Agencies from Germany. But
nothing is certain yet. However... We're going on tour, no matter what! I
really am looking forward to that. We have no summer festivals confirmed
yet but maybe that will change soon enough.
I'll keep my fingers crossed! That's it from me now.....thanks a lot for the interview. Anything you would like to share with the readers of this interview?
Hope you all like "The Lair Of The White Worm", and rock & roll !!! Bye!!
submitted by Cora 24.11.2004