|Peter "Freia" Lindenbergh|
Would you please tell us something about the reason why you initiated Dutch Exposure?Peter Lindenbergh: “Dutch Exposure is in fact the fourth compilation album in a series that started in the eighties when three progressive rock compilation albums were released. Releasing such an album with an open enrollment is an ideal way to get to know the market, in this case the Dutch progressive rock scene. I was flabbergasted by the number of bands that reacted and even more surprised by the quality of their music. I believe we could have chosen any of twenty bands and we would still have the same standard of quality. But I'm proud of the eight bands we have on the album now.”
Why did you choose to collaborate with iO Pages, Background Magazine and Progwereld?“Well, being new in the scene it seemed logical to ask those organizations that have a long track record in the Dutch progressive rock scene. Each of them knew how to reach the bands. Later on Progmotion took over from Background Magazine due to unforeseen circumstances.”
I believe 30 bands signed up to take part of the competition. Do you think that all these bands represent the musical genre we call progressive rock?“We had even more reactions, but a couple of bands were dismissed immediately as they didn't fit the profile. We had a couple of bands with quite a few albums under their belt, but also a band from Indonesia. I believe the eight bands on the album are a good representation of what's happening in the Dutch progressive rock scene. However, I'm not going to claim that we have the eight best bands. There are more good bands in the Netherlands and there are more new bands starting every day!”
|Cover design of the album, based on the skyline of the Dutch town Deventer|
Was it difficult to get the final eight bands?“Yes and no. We tried to get the most diversity on Dutch Exposure as possible. So we chose our favourite from each subgenre. That is, we could have chosen three or four instrumental bands even an all-female fronted album, but we wanted to select a representative of each subgenre. And that's why you get so many different types of music on Dutch Exposure. That also explains why in reviews there are nearly always clear favourites since it's difficult to compare the eight bands with each other.”
What do you think of the level of professionalism of these acts?“It's rather difficult to compare the professionalism of the bands. Some of them are 'real' bands; others are projects. And because of the many different styles the sound of the music differs a lot. But overall I think they all did a good job.”
The audience can pick out the best of these eight bands. Aren't you afraid that those with the biggest fan base will get the most votes?“We have a system where everybody chooses four bands for the next phase. So that will be no problem.”
The final winner will be chosen during a live festival. What happens if a finalist can't play live?“If a band can't play live they will not perform during the festival and you may conclude that they will not win.”
Will there be a second edition of Dutch Exposure?“After this fourth edition of the Exposure-albums there may be a fifth one, but that doesn't necessarily have to be on FREIA Music. However, I don't think a second Dutch Exposure will happen. It's a one off thing!”
How do you look back at the album and the competition so far?“It's been hard work but very rewarding. I was surprised about the number of proficient bands in the Netherlands. I didn't expect that when I started. I was wondering whether we would even find six bands since that's what we aimed at the start. But we got so many entries from obviously talented bands and I believe the album gives a good overview of the current Dutch progressive scene. The competition element is new in the series but I would be surprised if only the winner of the competition record an album this year. There's so much potential!”
Gallico - The Parallel Universe Of Gallico
Gallico is a studio project and the brainchild of Luke d'Araceno, keyboard player to the Dutch progressive rock band 5bridgeS. At the moment this band is in a state of hibernation.
Would you please introduce the band by telling something about the band's background?Luke d'Araceno: “5bridgeS impressed the progressive world back in 2009 with their debut album The Thomas Tracks; Gallico leans on the musical heritage of this band. Like 5bridgeS, Gallico is strongly influenced by the seventies, when adventurous minds were musically pioneering and experimenting beyond the main stream borders. For this first attempt I have sought collaboration with my 5bridgeS mates Enzo Gallo (guitars) and Rob van der Linden (drums). Earlier studio recordings of Rob have been the starting point for the Gallico track. By digitally editing and rearranging these drum takes, I modelled a structure on which a completely new composition has been built layer by layer including the guitar and bass ideas, which afterwards have been reinterpreted and played for real by Enzo. Every single part has been done at home, and audio files were exchanged via the web. The advantage of working this way was that no extensive and exhausting rehearsals or expensive studio time was needed to fulfil the project, while still a kind of live feel has been maintained.”
How did you become aware of the Dutch Exposure project?“Just by reading the glossies in the dentist's waiting room...”
Did you expect to be one of the eight finalists?“I had good hopes for being selected, as I regard Gallico's music and vision to be different from what I think to be the average of Dutch prog. Or to translate a Dutch proverb literally in English: We considered ourselves to be 'a strange duck in the hole of the ice' or in correct English: to feel the odd man out. I'll get back to that further on.”
Would you tell us a bit about the music you wrote for the album and how would you describe the music of Gallico?“Well, as I told you before, the seventies are Gallico's main reference. I started covering songs of organ dominated bands like Uriah Heep and Deep Purple. But after hearing Yes' Roundabout I was captured by prog - seemingly for the rest of my life. From that time I knew what I was searching for: a sophisticated blend of the intelligent composing by bands like Gentle Giant or Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM), the rock attitude of classically trained musicians like Eddie Jobson, Keith Emerson and Kit Watkins to name a few, and the awkward approach of let's say Magma, Van Der Graaf Generator and King Crimson.”
Do you think to have a chance to get a record contract with your music?“I'm sceptical about that: I don't think there will be a broad audience for the music of Gallico, especially not in the Netherlands where the prog community's main focus is on neo-progressive rock or the heavier stuff. Besides, the competitive element is not my cup of tea. I'm a musician, not a salesman, but marketing seems to be the main skill in a world where it all depends on how to promote yourself and how many friends you can mobilize on Facebook. It's the looks and appearances that count, the music has been degraded to a by-product.”
How do you see the future of Gallico if you don't win the contract for releasing an album?“Well, actually such a record deal hasn't my main focus. While working on the Dutch Exposure track, I discovered inspiring new ways of playing, composing and arranging, thus finding new directions to develop my musical ideas. I want to avoid any such thing as psychological pressure: a tight schedule of deadlines can kill a creative process. On the other hand, discipline isn't my strongest point. It would be good to have someone else in charge of the process: such external trigger could work out positively for my productivity. And Peter Lindenbergh, the president of FREIA Music, is a great guy to work with.”
Have you listened to the other bands on Dutch Exposure? What do you think about the general musical level?“In my opinion, our national progressive scene lacks diversity. I tend to categorize the greater part of the Dutch scene to either the heavy (progmetal and gothic) or the mellower (neo-prog) side. The album is a reflection of both sides. The international progressive genre offers a much wider range of styles and varieties - from basic to experimental, from subtle to complex, from plain to monumental, and from songs to epics. I was hoping to meet Dutch offspring of for instance Gentle Giant, King Crimson, National Health, Thinking Plague, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum- instead of another Porcupine Tree, although − don't get me wrong on that − Steven Wilson is one of my heroes. In other parts of the world like Scandinavia, Japan, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and yes: Belgium, a variety of prog related styles is explored, but I haven't seen such versatility in our country so far, regretfully. My ambition is to fill in that gap and to find musicians and fans to share and maybe work together on this same musical interest.”
Profuna Ocean - Waiting For The Fall
Since they started in 2008 Profuna Ocean have the same line-up consisting of drummer Fred den Hartog, bassist Arjan Visser, his brother René Visser on keyboards and backing vocals and guitarist-singer Raoul Potters. They all played in different bands before and are musically experienced. Profuna Ocean recorded the Watching The Closing Sky album in 2009 (see review) and are now busy recording the second album.
How did you become aware of the Dutch Exposure project and did you expect to become one of the eight finalists?Raoul Potters: “We're always keeping our eyes and ears open to what's happening in 'progland.' I think we were checking out progwereld.org and signed up. You never know what to expect; there are so many good bands. We were surprised and surely made a dance of joy in our rehearsal room when we heard the good news.”
Would you tell us a bit about the music you wrote for the album and how would you describe the music of Profuna Ocean?“It certainly was an erratic time. We were recording the drums for our second album and working on the songs for that album. Not in a state of songwriting actually, but more in a fine tuning mode. We had to make a new schedule. I think the song has been written and recorded in four weeks, which is quite unique for songs that easily run over seven or eight minutes. The song really shows where we musically stand right now. We don't see our music as typical prog or symphonic rock. We all have our influences and they're well used in this song and even more important: we think it has the most Profuna Ocean sound in it to date. It's also a product of real songwriting starting only with an acoustic guitar and ending as a full band piece.”
Do you think to have a chance to get a record contract with your music?“Of course, there's always a chance. I think we will surprise people with the promo video we made that will be on air after the presentation on the 15th of December. Maybe this will help.”
How do you see the future of Profuna Ocean if you don't win the contract for releasing an album?“We are busy recording and find a way to bring our music to the audience, but we could certainly use someone who has more connections than we have in order to spread the album.”
Have you listened to the other bands on Dutch Exposure? What do you think about the general musical level?“So far we only listened to our own song... no, seriously, we were surprised by some great song writing, but we also heard some pieces that should have been put on a shelf to mature. The overall feel is really great; all these bands deserve a chance to be heard by a wider audience. Viva la vinyl!”
Armed Cloud - Destructible & Got Her By ...
Wouter van der Veen (guitars) and Boris Suvee (bass) met on the internet in 2010 in their mutual search for a new band. This became the symphonic rock band Armed Cloud. After several line-up changes the band were completed in late 2011. Apart from the two founding members Armed Cloud consist of Remco van der Veen (keyboards), Kevin Brandts (drums) and Daan 'DD' Dekker (vocals). From that moment on Armed Cloud practised intensively in their rehearsal room in Nijmegen.
How did you become aware of the Dutch Exposure project and did you expect to become one of the eight finalists?
Would you tell us a bit about the music you wrote for the album and how would you describe the music of Armed Cloud?“The two songs we've written for the album are Destructible and Got Her By... both written by Wouter van der Veen. The first one is an up-tempo catching song with pop influences. However, in the middle of the song the instruments go frenzy in the passage that leads to the first guitar solo. Got Her By... has a different tone. It's a dark, heavy and sometimes haunting song in which one would easily drown. The title is unfinished, but the second part of the title will become clear in the heart of the song. Furthermore this song contains some guitar and keyboard solos. We have chosen for these songs because they're different. In our opinion these songs represent our song-orientated symphonic rock with rock, pop, prog and metal influences.”
Do you think to have a chance to get a record contract with your music?“Well, we hope so. The only thing we can say is that we're satisfied about the quality of the production and mixing done by Hans Reinders of The Pit Studio. And yes, we would like to win the record contract, because that will mean a huge step forward for Armed Cloud. However, the music isn't the only thing that counts here. The presentation that we'll give on the release party of the album will play a huge role in the contest as well, because we need to get enough votes to reach the final. This final consists of a live competition between three or four bands. So if you like our music and you want to see us in the finals, please give us a helping hand and vote for Armed Cloud to realize this dream!”
How do you see the future of Armed Cloud if you don't win the contract for releasing an album?“We are currently working on new material and we're busy with acquiring gigs within the Netherlands. So if we won't win, we'll just continue with that. And after all, the Dutch Exposure gives us a lot of promotion as a band. The prog scene now knows about our existence and that's a winner for us anyway! But who knows what the future will bring? One way or another, within the upcoming years we will make plans for a new release, such as an EP or a debut album.”
Have you listened to the other bands on Dutch Exposure? What do you think about the general musical level?“Our singer has been present at the listening sessions of the album. What he has heard from other bands is very professional. The Dutch Exposure album is a unique document of the current upcoming bands in the symphonic rock scene. The diversity within prog is in our opinion well-represented on this album. It holds pure prog that could have been made in the seventies, dark and ambient music in the vein of Tool and Porcupine Tree, technical prog rock and prog metal with complex pace variations, instrumental epics, catchy neo-prog, female fronted symphonic rock and of course our song guided prog rock with metal, pop and rock influences. For all fans within the scene there's something that would suit their musical taste, so all p rog fans in the Netherlands should get the album!”
Sylvium - True Images
In 2010 Ben van Gastel decided to record the experimental music he was working on for more than ten years. On the albums he recorded he worked with different musicians and musical genres. Purified (see review), the first EP was recorded independently with Fred Boks who played the bass, synths and drums. It contains an instrumental concept that, thanks to the online distribution via the internet, was able to rapidly reach many music lovers.
How did you become aware of the Dutch Exposure project and did you expect to become one of the eight finalists?Ben van Gastel: “Well, I read about it in a message on Facebook from Progwereld.org. I decided to send them our EP together with some information about the band. After some time I received a message that they were quite enthusiastic about our music. There were quite a lot great bands nominated for a track on the album so we are very proud that we are part of this album.”
|Ben van Gastel (picture Bert Treep)|
Would you tell us a bit about the music you wrote for the album and how would you describe the music of Sylvium?“The track on the Dutch Exposure album called True Images slightly differs from our first EP. On this track I worked with jazz pianist Jan Roel Koppen. I got the inspiration from some early albums by Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. I love their unique sound and since the album was scheduled for release on an 'old school' vinyl record, I thought it was a nice opportunity to create a unique Sylvium track. It became a nine minute instrumental piece with a lot of retro guitar and drum parts combined with some nice piano and experimental ambient parts.”
Do you think to have a chance to get a record contract with your music?“The record contract is not the reason why I participated on the Dutch Exposure album. I think the album is a perfect opportunity for some great Dutch progressive rock bands to get some attention for their music. Also I love the concept of FREIA Music to have some high quality music recorded on vinyl were part of the profit is intended for charity (Children With A Challenge). It's a real pleasure to work with FREIA Music.”
How do you see the future of Sylvium if you don't win the contract for releasing an album?“At this moment I'm working on a new album scheduled for release in 2013. I'm in the middle of the creative part were I'm looking for the right musicians, sounds and instruments. I love this part of making a record; there's a lot going on and the enthusiasm of our great fan base makes things a pleasure to work on.”
Trip Trigger - News Feed & Wave Away
Trip Trigger was founded in 2007 and has its roots in Sassenheim, the Netherlands. The band consist of five energetic musicians, namely Joost Kralt (vocals), Björn van der Ploeg (bass), Kevin Hoogervorst (guitar), Paul Hoogervorst (drums) en Erik van Ittersum (keyboards). The machine was put in motion by Paul and Kevin, who wanted to form a new band that would be different from other bands in the local scene.
Would you tell us a bit about the music you wrote for the album and how would you describe the music of Trip Trigger?“We wouldn't describe our music as being progressive rock. It tends more towards alternative rock/metal with a progressive touch. Main influences are bands like Tool and Porcupine Tree, but also Muse, Radiohead and Incubus. For the Dutch Exposure album we wrote two songs that fit perfectly in our repertoire, but we kept in mind that we wanted to show some diversity.”
Do you think to have a chance to get a record contract with your music?“I really don't know; we'll just see what happens. It's already great to be part of this project and to have some of our songs released on vinyl!”
How do you see the future of Trip Trigger if you don't win the contract for releasing an album?“We have already quite some shows planned for 2013 and more coming up. In the mean time we'll be working toward our next album. We will release it anyway no matter if we win the contract or not.”
Thirteen - Before I Die & Just leave
Jeroen van der Wiel has been active for more than fifteen years in the Dutch
prog scene as the keyboardist of Odyssice.
About three years ago he got romantically involved with singer Audrey Lahaije.
They not only fell in love but they shared the same interest in music which resulted in Thirteen, the
lucky number of Audrey, who has been singing all her life. It's her great
passion. On growing older she got interested in the music from bands like Nirvana,
Metallica, Alanis Morissette, The Cranberries and K's Choice.
Recently she started to listen to Nightwish,
Within Temptation and Evanesence, the famous gothic rock
bands. That's also the style of music they want to perform with Thirteen.
|Jeroen van der Wiel & Audrey Lahaije|
Would you tell us a bit about the music you wrote for the album and how would you describe the music of Thirteen?Audrey: “The first song Before I Die I wrote years ago and now I've got the chance to finally make it a finished song. All I had was the text and the melody; Jeroen wrote the music and the arrangements and a new song was born! The result tasted for more, and more followed. The idea behind Before I Die was that I wanted to write a rock song, because I never heard a rock song that could be played at a funeral! Of course it's also a message to all people I love. I'm glad that this song has finally been recorded, so my message will be spread before I die...”
Do you think to have a chance to get a record contract with your music?Jeroen: “Well, as far as I know FREIA Music offered us to release a full album in 2013. But even if that, for some reason, doesn't happen, we definitely will release an album. We just need one or two more songs and then we can start to work out the demos for an album.”
How do you see the future of Thirteen if you don't win the contract for releasing an album?Jeroen: “It will be great to win, of course, but it won't influence the future of the band. Winning a contest would be a great compliment and it probably will speed up things and open doors easier. But loosing won't change our goal, since that has been set, no matter what.”
Incidense - Reality Check
Incidense was founded in the city of Utrecht after keyboardist-singer Lucas Kruiswijk and guitarist François Koopmans met at a concert. Soon after drummer Rob van Nieuwenhuijzen joined the band. After many auditions and many different bass players, some of whom even took part in the band for a while, the trio started to write challenging and captivating music supported by lyrics that express and represent the band's view on the world and on themselves. In 2011 they recorded the powerful debut album Incarcerated (see review) that was well-received by music fans all over the world. To continue their musical journey they organized auditions to find the fourth member of the band. In April 2012 bassist Rich Huybens joined to strengthen their sound with some heavy tones.
Would you tell us a bit about the music you wrote for the album and how would you describe the music of Incidense?“Incidense want to share our feelings and thoughts and how we experience the world. The music and lyrics intertwine to represent the emotions of the band members. We hope that our listeners will feel that too and join us on our musical journey.”
Do you think to have a chance to get a record contract with your music?“We believe we have recorded a fantastic contribution to the Dutch Exposure project, but that also applies for the other bands. We'll see what the listeners think, and hope they will enjoy our contribution and give us their support.”
How do you see the future of Incidense if you don't win the contract for releasing an album?“We are currently working on some new ideas and hope to launch a new album next year. Whether we win the contract or not, there will be a new Incidense album anyway for our fans to look forward to!”
Summer Breeze Project - Concrete
In 2008, a number of musicians initiated an intentionally transient Dutch summer (prog) rock project, which they named Summer Breeze Project (SBP). After a few sessions, the musicians experienced that the different musical backgrounds blended very well and they felt a strong drive to continue their musical fellowship. This resulted in their first mini CD Energy (2009). By reaching this first milestone, the project members started to see themselves as a band and they further shaped and refined their style, always appreciating feedback from the audience during live performances. Over time the musicians of SBP grew closer together, both personally and musically. SBP recorded their first full-fledged album Unusual Horizons (see review) with the following musicians Gert Bruins (lead vocals, guitars), Gordon van Pelt (guitars), René Troostheiden (drums), Fons Panneman (keyboards, soundscapes, backing vocals) and Jørgen de Jonge (bass guitars, backing vocals).
|Summer Breeze Project|
Do you think to have a chance to get a record contract with your music?“We don't know. We just do 'our thing' and we'll see how it goes... It's up to the audience.”
Would you tell us a bit about the music you wrote for the album and how would you describe the music of Incidense?“For the Dutch Exposure album we recorded Concrete, a new song we were working on and we all thought it would be great for this project. It's an eight-minute song, catchy with odd time signatures. Because of the different musical backgrounds of the band members it's difficult to pinpoint us in a certain musical genre. And that's how we like it.”
Have you listened to the other
bands on Dutch Exposure? What do you think about the general musical level?
“Of course we listened to the other bands and it's great to hear we got so much talent in the Netherlands. All credits to FREIA Music and the way they arranged to get these bands together on an album.”
How do you see the future of Summer Breeze Project if you don't win the contract for releasing an album?“Recently we own our own studio and we have decided not to record a complete album anymore, but we're going to release one or two songs every now and then. So it's an interesting opportunity, but not the end of the world if we're not going to be the winner.”
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