Anneke van Giersbergen was lead singer of The Gathering for almost 15 years, now she is involved in her solo project Agua de Annique. We interviewed her on 29th of november on A38 before her show. Just as we were told, she was really cute and smiling all the time.
The questions were compiled by Ágnes Rajnai and I was there to help in translation, which explains the strange question about the Tibet Night below…
– How are you doing? Did you enjoy the show in Pécs?
– Oh yes, It was very nice, actually it’s nice to be here (in Hungary) again. We have never been to Pécs before and we didn’t see the city, cause we were going there from the airport. We played on a bands’ contest, so it was funny, also the audience was great. This was the first gig we did with new guitar-player and a new bass-player.
– You have been several times to Budapest, and yesterday you had a day off, have you ever had any freetime for a sightseeing?
– Yes, in the past we did, I have been in the city many times. Yesterday we didn’t, we were driving from Pécs to here in an old van so we were slow and we didn’t have time to go into the city, but we did before, I think its really beautiful and historical.
– Is it easy for you to share your time between family life and touring?
– Yes, we can do it, but it’s not easy. You know, you have to divide your time. But when we are away eg. for a few days, then our parents take care of our son.
(First support band started rehearsing, everything became noisy, she told some promoter guy to close the door)
– You were singer of The Gathering for 13 years, please talk about these days!
– Well, one answer is difficult for this one, we had fantastic time, you know we I did The Gathering in most of my adult life and I grow up in this band and I learned everything so I look back very proud of these years so I’m happy to carry this history with me in this new time.
– Have you already got some plans / goals for the next album?
– Yes, I’m writing for the next album again. Actually I want to do a bit more happy stuff, cause I made a pop-album you know In Your Room is a pop album and I really like it and really wanted it. After then what I write after that is longer, a bit darker, a bit more up-tempo with more melancholic lyrics. I want a really good album…
– Of course…
– Yeah, I always want to improve my singing, but also my playing and my writing… I would say I’m really determined to make a really good album.
– I think, you have already answered my next question in connection with In Your Room album. It will be more heavier and darker.
Yes, heavier darker, uptemo, but positive as well. You should be like this you need.
– Wow, you smile a lot and i guess you’re happy every day.
– I think positivity is also quite important in life, I can be very thinky sometimes you know I am human (laughs) but in general I’m a happy person..
– You were a guest musician for Devin Townsend’s new album, Addicted, did you enjoy working together with him?
– Yeah, very much. I could talk about him for 3 hours, he is a fantastic man and not only is he genious, and he writes fantastic music, he is a great song writer, guitar-player, a great singer, but also a nice man and is very funny and I spent 4-days in Canada with him to write songs into record his album. And I laughed so much, he’s a very sweet man and is very devoted to his family and his music and his band members and everything. So we had a great time, and I love Addicted, and its not because I am on it, I love these songs and I am proud to be part of it.
– How many time did it take for you to sing all the songs?
– Four days and in the daytime we worked on his songs, and in the evening after dinner we wrote songs for my album. 4 songs… one is used for In Your Room and one is used for the live album… or more? (she becomes uncertain) No, just 2 songs are already used.
– You can release the rest as bonus songs on some japanese edition stuff 🙂
– Haha, yes…
– You performed several acoustic shows with Danny Cavanagh together, could we expect any similar ones in the future?
– Yes, absolutely. Every half a year or so we tour a little, for 2 weeks somewhere, we were in South America and in Europe and in January we’re going to Greece and around maybe somewhere to the Balcan, Turkey, there. So it became a thing that we make together in every half a year.
– Are there any musicians you would love to share the stage with?
– Well, my big wish would be, well I am already happy with all the collaborations, and my big wish would be Mike Patton, one of the best rock-singers now after Freddy Mercury, so he must be a great guy, I have no idea but I guess he is, but I am scared to ask him…
– Hehe, really?…
– Yes I am, he might say no…
– I dont think so…
– For this new album I would like to invite him, but first I want to make a really good song to present to him.
– We’ll send him a link to the interview…
– (Laughs) That’s nice. I listen to Faith no More since I am young, I love all the albums and we also covered some songs.
– What kind of music do you listen to lately, and what other stuffs inspire you?
– I listen to a lot of different stuffs, but I recently bought the album of Deftones… Its all I am playing today. The new album. Playing a lot, I love it. I have got tickets for them, in Holland, and I couldnt go, and I also had tickets for them few months ago in Amsterdam, and I couldnt go, and in between these two gigs I was in Portugal and I played on the same festival (its is Optimus Alive) as they did, I played with Moonspell the day after, and I was there and I couldnt go. Its haunting me! (laughs) It became an obsession to see them live, I hope I still have a chance for that…
– And what other parts of life you get inspiration?
– Mostly every day life, you know, meeting people, going to different countries, culture, music, movies, just being at home with my husband…
– Any movies you could recommend?
– Yea, I like funny movies, movies about laughing… so i like maybe… did you see the movie called Hangover? I loved it! I also like road movies… also actors Steve Carell and Jim Carrey…
– You performed as guest with Smashing Pumpkins at Night of Tibet Festival. Please talk about it? (How did you get invited there, how did you like it?…)
– Actually we played with Smashing Pumpkins at a different occasion than Night of Tibet Festival… both in Holland but two different shows…
– Sorry, we gonna skip this question then 🙂
– In the Night of Tibet we played for Dalai Lama, we made a single with dutch artists, we got the number one, its really good, and the profits were going to Tibet, because life is very problematic over there… So Dalai Lama was speaking and we were playing for Tibet, and this band was group of dutch artists, and also we had dutch language. And we playing this song while Dalai Lama was on the stage, in a chair, and that was a fantastic moment to play for him, it was really amazing. Big pillars of my career.
– Are you going to cover any favourite songs of yours in the future?
– Yea, we always wanted one cover for the set, you do know Eurythmics cover, I always try to look for a good rock or pop song. I like searching for it, for a good song everybody knows.
– What about your relation to your fans? Are there any, who dont leave you alone?
– There are always weird people… But you know, 99.9% of people who follow us and me around are great, I think we have a wonderful audience, people who like The Gathering and still following me around, and we have very varied audience, we have the old rock guys, metal guys, students, people who like pop music, older and younger people, its colourful, really, I like that, I like my audience. People who like this alternative style of music feel it from their heart. They really follow us. If I make an album they dont really like, they just wait for the next one. They dont go away, its great, they respect what we are doing, thats cool.
– What do you think about your previous hungarian shows?
We liked them, we played two times on Sziget Festival, I think it’s one of the best in the world.. by far.. there are 2 or 3 festivals that you should play at once in your career and Sziget is one.. not only as an artist but as a visitor it’s fantastic.. its fantasticly organized, cool bands, good audience is coming there and people dont fight, they are really music lovers… and more and more dutch people come to visit. And we also did some club shows here, its always nice. I am looking forward for tonight cause it has been a long time since we played here.
– Do you plan a next tattoo?
– Yes I guess (laughs), it never stops… This is my last one (she points to her left forearm, which has several tattoo’s), its one year old (now she points to the other one) and this is very empty now (laughs).
– People say its an addiction, if you make a tattoo on yourself, you will do the next one as well.
– Yes… I started with this one (she points to a heart on the top of her right hand), it was this small heart only and later it was upgraded to this more colourful one.
– Have you got any message for the hungarian fans?
– Yes! Actually the most important thing for me is to be here and play. And it will be just so nice if people just check the next album out. The last album is good. But the next album (she smiles) will be really-really good. I am already proud of my next album! Just check it out and follow me.