TheNAME - Interview @ Summer Darkness (Utrecht, NL) - 11.08.2007
After their concert in the Tivoli, we did an interview of Silas (guitars/grunts) and Hadassa (vocals) from the Dutch band theNAME. We also took a few pictures of the whole band, which means, in addition to the ones already named, Mike (bass) and Salvador (drums). We talked about the creation and evolution of the band, and also about their last album Recognition, released in July 2006.
Metal-Ways: Can you describe the band, for people who don't know you?
Hadassa: Well, actually I think that the description on the website says it all. So it's a groovy rock metal band, with clear sensual female vocals, and heavy male screams.
Silas: I like the description: "The Beauty and the Beast tension"
Hadassa: Yes! On the website of the Summer Darkness, someone wrote a really nice piece and we couldn't say it in a prettier way than he did.
M-W: Why 'theNAME' for 'theNAME'?
Silas: I started only with a drummer, and we looked for a name that was kind of arrogant, you know like "this is THE thing, this is what you wanna see, what you wanna buy". So it was like: ok, 'theBAND' sounds really stupid and it didn't sound heavy anyway... so it became 'theNAME' !
M-W: Hadassa, are you ok with this?
Hadassa: Well, I came later so... at first I thought "maybe I could change it", but now I'm used to it (laughs).
Silas: And another argument was that it had to be short, and very easy to remember, and this is really easy to remember.
M-W: Silas, you came with the idea of the band, and then you met Hadassa... How did everything happen?
Silas: It's a long story. We had a lot of musicians. The first song was written in 1998, and then, after 2 years, I had the first band set up, and after that, musicians just kept coming and going.
Hadassa: Until you found the right ones!
M-W: Give us 3 reasons to go and check 'theNAME'.
Silas: It's a very hard question. (laughs)
Hadassa: How do you say it without being arrogant...? Well, first I think they'd like our show, because we are a band that's about performance. It's not only the music that matters to us, we want to entertain as well, that's very important. If people come to see us, they are sure to be entertained.
Silas: But that's just one reason, right?
Hadassa: Hum, maybe because of the Beauty and the Beast tension...
Silas: Yes, it's just a combination of everything in the music we do. It's metal, it's... well people like to call bands that have a female singer 'gothic', but we're not...
M-W: Do you agree with that appellation?
Silas: No, definitely not.
Hadassa: I also don't agree and think that we're something different. We are more a metal band with a pop/rock singer. I don't use an opera sound when I sing.
M-W: Yes, there are a lot of female fronted Dutch metal bands... In which way are you different?
Silas: Our originality comes from the pop voice, the absence of keyboards and the whole crossover of styles we do.
M-W: Was the choice of not using a keyboard planned from the beginning, and why?
Silas: Yes, definitely, because I just don't like it... I mean, I like the massive "thing" of keyboards... But it takes out the roughness. It makes it a little bit like there's something under the music all the time, that goes on, and...
Hadassa: It makes it smoother, softer...
Silas: Yes, and I wanted to be a heavy band with a pop singer, not a smooth gothic band with a pop singer.
M-W: On the songs available online, sometimes you don't hear the guitars so much... So I wanted to ask you if you weren't afraid that the pop voice would suck out the metal part, but then I saw you on stage and...
Silas: Yes, that is a mix decision we made at that time.
Hadassa: We might do that differently on our next CD. I don't know how it was today in the Tivoli.
M-W: Definitely more heavy than on the album.
Silas: Yes, we get that a lot after shows, that we sound more heavy live. On the next CD we are going to try to get that live heavy feeling in the mix.
M-W: Tell us a little bit about the evolution of your music between the demo in 2002 and the last album Recognition in 2006.
Silas: Actually in the beginning, we had this gothic voice, but it was not the original idea. I wanted to create something heavy, with a clean voice; that was the basis. And then the first singer who was good enough was really gothic, and if you listen to it now, it's like "Wow!" And then, the second singer was really "rock", really really loud, but she couldn't make a lot of variations, so that went wrong as well, and then we got Hadassa, and she's actually between the first and the second singer. And she's exactly what we needed from the start.
M-W: In the Netherlands, there are a lot of female fronted metal bands, would you say that it helped your progression, or that it stopped you from emerging?
Silas: Well, I don't think it matters at all, because we don't fit in the same category, so it didn't help us and it didn't hold us back.
Hadassa: No, I think that when you're good, you're going to get there anyway.
Silas: It can help you if you get some support acts, for example today we played before Epica, and a lot of people came for them, and they saw us as well.
M-W: If you could choose a band for which you'd be a support act, who would you choose?
Hadassa: Not with this band! For me, it would be After Forever. I really like Floor's voice.
Silas: Kiss is just a joke because it's like THE band, but it would be stupid to be there as a support act... So maybe Guano Apes.
Hadassa: Or maybe the "metal Madonna", you like her so much!
Silas: Doro!! Yeah so that's either Guano Apes, or Doro.
Hadassa: And for me, still After Forever! Oh, or also Lacuna Coil...
M-W: Did you already play outside the Netherlands yet?
Silas: With this band, only in Holland but I did some touring with an old band.
Hadassa: (laughing) and now it comes!
Silas: It was a cover band called 'Kiss This', it was really cool.
M-W: Why did you stop?
Silas: Well, you know, the costumes and the make-up... It was getting pretty annoying. But it was really cool for a while because we played everywhere.
M-W: So since you already travelled a lot, which country would you like to visit first with theNAME?
M-W: Because of the crowd?
Silas: No, not necessarily... for the crowd I'd go to Germany, because they're still really metal minded... but I just love Spain.
M-W: And you Hadassa ?
Hadassa: Oh, any country would be great!
Silas: Oh, and Paris is great too by the way, I already played there, and it was a great venue and a great crowd.
M-W: What are your plans for the future?
Hadassa: Play a lot! As many gigs as we can! And be even a better band, and write new songs.
M-W: Do you already have some ideas for the new songs?
Yes, a million ideas!
M-W: Who's writing the lyrics?
At the beginning I did, or external people did. Now Hadassa is, because it's better, she can sing them with more feeling. She already wrote lyrics for about 3 songs on the last CD, and the new song we played live today, the last one, called Mirror
, it's also from her, but we didn't record it yet.
M-W: About tonight, what did you think of the crowd?
It's always a pretty hard crowd in Holland. People are, you know, looking at what it is, curious... but it's weird, because many times, when you do a gig, you think "hum I don't know if they liked it..." and then, after the gig they're like "Yeah, it was great! It was great!"
M-W: To conclude, what was your better concert experience so far?
In the Melkweg in Amsterdam, it was completely wild. There's a video on MySpace.
Yes, and the crowd yelled in a song on a part we've never thought of making them yell. So I actually used that today, to make the crowd yell at that moment! :)
theNAME's official website: http://www.thename.nl
theNAME on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thenamemusic
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