"I see you walking away
falling down I cry
and scream your name
and again the rain falls down
together with me."
Here we proudly state that women are making sure they are part of the scene. We have Anneke Van Giesbergen fronting a strong group of musicians. She has not always been part of The Gathering though, this band first had a male singer. The Gathering was formed in October 1989 by drummer Hans Rutten, guitar player Rene Rutten and original singer, Bart Smits.
As the story goes, several members came and went, by 1994 Anneke added her personality and musical vision that complemented the rest of the bands musical atmosphere. They have by now established themselves among the elite in metal music history.
The line up:
Anneke Van Giersbergen (vocals)
Jelmer Wiersma (guitar)
Rene Rutten (guitar/ flute)
Frank Boeijen (synth)
Hugo Prisen Geerligs (bass)
Hans Rutten (drums)
The result of this sextet are emotionally beautiful songs with atmospheric, dreamy music on an album called Mandylion and even stronger every album thereafter.
Interview with the lovely Anneke by Lucifera
1.How were you approached to sing for THE GATHERING?
I was singing in a jazz-blues duo called BAD BREATH and a friend of mine told me that THE GATHERING was looking for a singer. So he took us to a cafť where The Gathering always are and they saw me and asked me to join audition and was chosen!!
2.Did you hear the older material before trying out for rehearsal for The Gathering? Whatís your opinion of the old singer?
I didnít know The Gathering before I joined but of course now I do and I really like their music. They have their very own sound and you see it doesnít really matter who sings! I like Bartís voice.
3.Did you write the lyrics on this album (add name of the album Iím talking about here) or was it all of you together? What can you tell us about each song? What kind of feelings did you get while singing them?
The lyrics; I wrote them myself. Strange Machines is about traveling through time. I would be so nice to take a look into the past and see your parents when they were our age or whatever itís a fantasy I knowÖ Eleanor is about people who wear masks, a lot of people pretend to be somebody they are not. And it takes no only a lot of energy out of them, but I guess they are not happy in the long runÖ In Motion #1, itís actually only feeling, on paper. Not really a story but you can feel the story behind part #1 or the explanation in #2, In Motion #2 is about someone who is living but it feels like the other half of you has died, very heavy!? Leaves is also about someone who is leaving but in another way. Somebody you donít really know and touched your heart anyway. Few the Sea is about water and nature, we drink the water without thinking about where it comes from but the truth is that we are not that strong as people. If nature wants to wipe us out from this planet it can, so if you think about that, than whatís the use in making wars and bombs and all that shit!! Sand and Mercury. I was thinking about how it would be if you had your last hour and how you would feel if you would say goodbye to your loved one. I saw it happening in my family and that breaks your heart! Sentimental shit isnít it!?
If I sing them, most of the time I feel the same way I did when I was writing them, it works, cause itís therapy for meÖ
4.Do you have any plans of touring the USA? Who would you enjoy touring with?
We would love to come to the USA but obviously there is a big money problem. We donít sell enough to have people paying us to come so maybe by the time we make another album we might be able to go with a great band. We would like anyone with atmosphere like TYPE O NEGATIVE, BJORK, it really doesnít matter. There are also a lot of Century Media bands which are great!
5.Asides from singing, do you play any other instruments?
Yes, I play a little but guitar, mostly in my duo and to make my own songs.
6.What does The Gathering have in store for the next album?
This time we have more difference. Fast songs and very tragic slow songs and also we want to experiment with new and different instruments.
7.Do you worry that some of The Gatheringís audience will not take this change lightly? (In regards to having a new and different singer).
Some people donít like this of course, they want growling voices. Thatís ok, everybody has his own taste, but we gained very many people from all sorts of genres of music so we are very happy with the people who like us. But a lot of old fans stayed! They are very faithful and thatís good to see.
8.How has CENTURY MEDIA helped with the distribution of your album?
Century Media is for us a good record company. They do a lot of advertisement and take us very seriously.
9.Can you site any influential female bands/ performers/ artists? What is your opinion of how women in the underground music scene have portrayed themselves?
I donít know that many females in the underground, Iím not really inspired by them. But I like THE 3RD AND THE MORTAL a lot.
10.What other kinds of bands and music are you into? And aside from THE GATHERING, what other hobbies do you have?
I love FRANK SINATRA, KING CRIMSON, ELLA FITZGERALD, BARBARA STREISAND, PRINCE, BOOTSY COLLINS.
11.Any last enchanting words?
Thanks for having us in your zine! Greetings to everyone whoís reading.