Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Soulnerve Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We are a melodic thrash metal band from the Zevenaar, a city in the south of The Netherlands. When we started out back around 2004 as a 4 piece band we played mainly covers of bands like Arch Enemy, Carcass and At The Gates. After a year we started writing songs, did quite a few shows and finally the band disbanded around 2008. A few years ago I breathe new life in Soulnerve and started writing new songs which finally led to what would become our first full-length "The Dying Light" which was released last month (July).
The revived Soulnerve, can be seen as a project at this time and that's a choice I made for a reason. I see so many guys starting a band with great ideas and plans and stuff and finally going their own way after a couple of rehearsals because they musically just can't get along. I wanted to come up with a decent debut and find the right guys after the releases so we can basically skip that frustrating and time wasting part and have kind of a kick start. Currently we are of course promoting our album as much as we can and we are already doing some auditions but we are still looking for some musicians to join us. So, lots of things going on. (STEPHAN)

My reason to join the band was really an adventure in what I was able to deliver with my voice. My recording experience was quite limited but I did have the necessary equipment to deliver high quality recordings to help Soulnerve out. It was a project that during the process has grown on me once I saw all the songs take shape both musically and production-wise and all of the fun that came with it. Looking back, it was really cool to do and I am proud what we have created! I hope Soulnerve will have a complete line-up asap and if my if my voice is needed once more, I am more than happy to oblige.  (KEVIN)

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the demo you had released in 2008?
We take our influences from a wide variety of styles, from 80's and 90's thrash, melodic (death) metal, new wave thrash and metalcore. I am are more into new wave thrash and Gothenbörg death metal and Kevin (vocals) for example is a huge fan of metalcore and deathcore. We try to use the best of both our own qualities and all the music we are influenced by.
In think that our demo wasn't that much different from our debut album in terms of musical direction. On the other hand, for this full-length debut we took quite some  time to shape the songs as perfect as we could and i think that the songwriting is a lot more mature then it was back in 2008. Our skills and vision developed over the years and that also had it's effect on the songwriting process for our debut album. We wanted the album to be in your face, tight, catchy and with a nice balance between aggressive thrash riffs and slower and more melodic  even melancholic parts.  We also had this album mixed in a professional studio while the demo was just a rough recording with a poor mix.
(STEPHAN)

3.According to the Metal Archives page the band was broken up for a couple of years what was the cause of the split and also the decision to reform?
Well, this is kind of a complicated situation because I wasn't really involved in the split up of the band so I actually don't know the exact reason behind it. After a few years of playing with the band members who were in Soulnerve by that time (2004-2007) I wasn't really happy with the chemistry in the band so i decided to leave. The remaining band members continued with the band and found a replacement guitarist but apparently things didn't work out for them as well anymore so they split up around 2008.  In the years after I left the band I've always been playing guitar and writing and recording new songs. Music is one of the most important things in my life you know, and I always felt the urge  to write music and keep doing this. After a few years I decided to take up where we left off, since I was one of the founding members of Soulnerve and the others had called it quits and were focused on other music. (STEPHAN)

4.The band has been around on and off since 2005 but so far has only released one demo and one full length, other than the break up what was the cause of the gaps between releases?
That's mainly explained above. I don't know why the remaining members have never recorded anything new after I left the band. I started writing new songs around 2010 and took quite some time to do some demoing, finding the right singers and to write the best songs  I could come up with. I also recorded everything except for the scream vocals in my own home studio and I took care of the whole production and promotional process. When this has got to be done next to a full-time job, it will take some time though. (STEPHAN)

5.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
All the lyrics on the album are about humanity as an uncontrollable machine and the many aspects of our behavior that will probably lead us to our own demise in the end. It’s also about the struggle of living in a society that hardens both emotionally and physically and where it’s hard to find a balance and stay focused on what really matters in life. Songs like ‘They Come For Us All’ and ‘The Dying Light’ for instance are mainly focused on the downfall of the world as a result of human actions, motivated by greed and corruption without considering those consequences. But as with most music, the topics are open for the listeners own interpretation. Take the track ‘My Demise’, which deals with eternal struggles someone can have, whether this means dealing with an addictions or living with some terrible secret, it’s up to the listener to decide. The entire album covers a brought arrange of things that are terribly wrong with the human race, both on a personal and global level. (KEVIN)

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Soulnerve'?
There's no specific meaning behind that name, it just popped up in my mind. It sounds cool though, so I think it doesn't necessarily need to have a real meaning. The fictional contraction between the words Soul and Nerve is an interesting one though because one can interpret it as the physical connection with the soul through a nerve system or something like that. Even while the soul is an intangible concept on itself. We definitely want to touch people with our music, inspire them and make them feel good while listening to our stuff, so in that case you can consider the band name is representing this in a certain sense. (STEPHAN)

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The last shows we did with Soulnerve were almost ten years ago, but we definitely  did some great ones back in the days. Some of the local metal fests and club shows we played in The Netherlands were pretty cool as well as the outdoor festivals.
I think it's important to create a certain energy on stage and share it with your audience.
Most of the times we were one of the opening bands and it's up to you to get the crowd moving and make them having a good time. Besides that, nobody wants to watch a band who's stage performance is boring as hell and in that case you definitely don't stick in anyone's mind, that's for sure. But our music is pretty technically so you'll always need to find a middle way between cutting loose on stage and being able to perform the songs well enough, without making that much mistakes.  (STEPHAN)

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Not yet. At the moment we are trying to find the right musicians to get a full line-up so we can start practicing the songs and become a live band. So, anyone interested,  keep an eye on our website and contact us in case you think you are the right person of filling a spot in our line-up. (STEPHAN)

9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Actually, we haven't sent out any CD's or demo's to any label. As mentioned, Soulnerve 2.0 as i like to call it started out as a project, that's why I worked with sessions singers (Koen and Kevin) for example. Every label wants the bands on their roster to play live as much as possible to get lots of attention and that's something we cannot do yet. But with our future releases we are surely interested in working with a label and booking agencies by the time we are ready to hit the stage. (STEPHAN)

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme and melodic metal?
Reviews from both fans and magazines/e-zines worldwide have been awesome so far. In most of the magazines our album got a rating of 8 or even 9 out of 10 and even the magazines that are focused on extreme metal seem to be diggin' our tunes. All great so far! We are always interested in new album reviews, so any magazine or ezine that's interested can contact us. (STEPHAN)

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
The Dying Light is a very technical album with lots of different styles. I never wanted to limit myself to play just solely one metal style and I like to combine interesting elements of a variety of styles. I don't feel the need to create a whole new style (if that's even possible nowadays) but I think we created kind of an distinctive sound when it comes to compositions and riffing. For the future I have got already some ideas of how I can develop our sound even more in terms of songwriting, melody, riffing, diversity and vocals. One thing that we want to do is keeping the tracks more basic without losing the technical feel. "Less is more" you know.  (STEPHAN)

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
When I started playing guitar back in 1997 I guess, there weren't such things as Guitar Pro and YouTube. So if you wanted to learn songs you either had to figure them out by ear, learn them from someone else or study some tab books. By that time I was just getting into metal and really liked albums such as Ride The Lightning (Metallica) and Seasons in the Abyss (Slayer) I basically learned to play all songs from those albums from tabs and by ear. Ride the Lightning certainly laid down a basis for my playing, because it's also one of Metallica's albums where they showed a great balance between hard riffing and fast songs and lots of melody and groove on the other hand.
Later on I really started to get  in to Megadeth. Dave Mustaine is such a great songwriter and he really influenced me as a guitarist. I also really like Marty Friedman's lead playing because of his great sense for melody and the way he builds up his leads for example. His solo's are like a story on their own and he's still one of my all-time favorite players. Nowadays I like to listen to bands like All That Remains (Oli Herbert is an insane guitarist), Killswitch Engage and Darkest Hour. The latter has been an huge influence in the songwriting process for our debut album, because I really like their way of combining the classic Gothenbörg riffing with metalcore, thrash and lots of melody.
When it comes to guitarists, I'm also a big fan of Steve Vai, Satriani, Dimebag Darrell,Vinnie Moore, Jeff Waters (Annihilator), David Davidson (Revocation) and the guys in Shadows Fall for example.  (STEPHAN)

I jumped a bit later in the metal boat, during the early 2000’s. The usual suspect bands like Slipknot, Soulfly and Korn laid a nice foundation for my need of intense, heavy tunes and also left room for me to explore more technically and melodically challenging music which preserved the ‘heavy’ feel to it. My choice to become a vocalist was made after doing a few local shows and experiencing the freedom a singer has to interact with the crowd. Furthermore, I realize every musician looks at this in a different light ( ;) ), but in my opinion, creating lyrics for a song decides what the subject and mood the song carries with it. In a way, the vocalist can become the face of a song, which to me is a very interesting thing to explore. Nowadays, I enjoy mostly metalcore and deathcore bands like Hatebreed (Jasta’s my favorite frontman) The Acacia Strain, Fit For An Autopsy (their newest album ‘Hellbound’ is INSANE), Caliban and Still Remains to name a few. Other bands worth mentioning are Demon Hunter, Devin Townsend, Dragonforce (I loved the last two albums), Def Leppard and dozens more which slip my mind right now. All of the bands I’ve listened to have shaped me in a way to become the singer I am today.  (KEVIN)

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Travelling certainly is one of my interests. I'd like meeting new people and visiting interesting places. It broadens your horizons and gives a lot of inspiration when it comes to writing new songs and lyrics. Travelling costs money but will make you an even richer person and gives you a lifetime experience. Besides that, I'd like to watch a good movie every now and then, and I'm really into series, at this moment The Walking Dead, Dexter and Sons of Anarchy for example. Besides that i'd like to hang out with friends, family and I really like to spent some quality time in the kitchen. I also do some guitar teaching next to my job which is a fun thing to do. (STEPHAN)
I am a total multimedia enthusiast, which is a polite word to say that I’m a huge nerd. Also, coming up with setup improvements keep me busy to create the best multimedia experience  possible (after hearing the new Opeth album in surround-sound, I’m glad took the effort).I love movies and story-driven games and I’m not ashamed that a few of both have inspired me to go write some lyrics. Visiting new places is also one of my hobbies which I would love to do more often though.  (KEVIN)

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the interview and your interest in the band. Anyone who hasn't checked out our latest release; It's available almost everywhere like on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon etc. Physical CD's can be ordered directly through us (just send an email to info@soulnerve.com) or via our Bandcamp: soulnerve.bandcamp.com. We'd love to stay in touch with our fans via Facebook or Twitter so give us a like and share your thoughts on the new album with us! (STEPHAN / KEVIN)

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