Within Temptation are an excellent doom/gothic metal band from Holland, home of The Gathering and other like-minded musicians. With splendid female vocals, male grunts, and rich, melodic songwriting, they are one of the rising stars in the metal scene, and if all goes well, they should become as popular as the best of them. Because of school and other time-consuming activities, they are currently inactive, but expect to see a new album by the end of 2000! The following is my interview with Jeroen van Veen, bass guitarist for Within Temptation.
Jeffrey Shyu: I'd like to begin by thanking you and the band for bringing such wonderful music into the world. I've heard some people compare Within Temptation's sound to that of your fellow countrymen, the Gathering. Personally, I think it's closer to the Theatre of Tragedy blueprint, but it's not a carbon copy of either band by any stretch. Who do you cite as influences?
Jeroen van Veen: We grew up with Paradise Lost, Anathema, and My Dying Bride. Robert and I were listening to bands like Marillion and Rush too, so I think they were influences too. Anyway, they made us pick up instruments.
Jeffrey: I've noticed that Within Temptation are more upfront to their fans about news pertaining to the band. Most other bands won't say anything on their WebPages about full-time jobs or college studies, for instance. Was the band always intended to be a side-activity for its members, and not a full time occupation?
Jeroen: Well, we are smart enough to see that you can't make a real living by making metal music in Holland, no matter how big you are. So you need a certificate (diploma? - Ed.) and a job...
Jeffrey: No albums and no tours for a while, eh? That's a shame. (Not true anymore, because of my negligence... - Jeroen)
Jeroen: We will do the Metalfest 2000 tour with My Dying Bride and Orphanage! (Different from the Milwaukee Metalfest - Ed.) This mini-tour will be on 3, 4, 5, and 6 February. For the exact information, please check the homepage.
Jeffrey: Do you have any idea when Within Temptation will start recording new material?
Jeroen: If all goes according to plan we will record the new album around July 2000.
Jeffrey: So is the band on hiatus, temporarily broken up, or what?
Jeroen: It's just that all the members have other important things to do, so we just don't have the time that this band really deserves, but we will persevere. We will NOT break up! It will just take some time...
Jeffrey: I hear that Ivar de Graaf is back with the band. Why did he leave, and what made him come back?
Jeroen: He wanted to start a new band, playing more progressive music. He did that and now he is trying to do both bands. He thought he wouldn't have enough time to do so, but because of us having not that much time (i.e. inactive - Ed.), it is possible for him to do both.
Jeffrey: It's difficult to find your albums here in the United States; for Americans like me, the only option is to order them by mail. Any suggestions as to where we can buy the CDs and not get raped by the price? Is the single, "Restless," still available?
Jeroen: I really don't know... I'm ashamed... But you can put questions like these on the message board on our site. You will probably get an answer from there...
Jeffrey: It seems like Within Temptation and Orphanage are very close. How long have you known the members of Orphanage?
Jeroen: It started with the recording of our first CD. Lex Vogelaar was the producer, Guus Eikens helped with some synths, and George Oosthoek did some grunting. Then we did some gigs with each other and then the Germany-tour came. Two weeks in one touring car really connects people ;-). They are all smart, likeable guys (and girl) so we are looking forward to doing the upcoming gigs and CD, for which they will lend their help again.
Jeffrey: Was Dynamo your biggest gig?
Jeroen: Yes, it was! But I must say, a small gig is just as nice, because you have better contact with the audience, and atmosphere is something of great importance with our music.
Jeffrey: Maybe Within Temptation can come over to the States to play at the Milwaukee Metalfest or at a similar event. You'd get to visit my wonderful country and see it in all its glory!
Jeroen: Chances are small... It will cost too much money. Only a big record company can afford that.
Jeffrey: My previous comment was not without a bit of sarcasm, in case you didn't notice. American music sucks. Even American metal sucks big time, for the most part. Are there any American bands that you can even remotely tolerate?
Jeroen: I think American music not only sucks... America sucks! I will not dwell in this... :-) But if I had to name a band, it'd be Spock's Beard, one of my favorites.
Jeffrey: Does your other band, Barton Dean, have any albums available?
Jeroen: Not yet, but we are finishing the last songs. We will record our first album in February (again, if all goes according to plan...)
Jeffrey: And what do you do for a living, outside of the band(s)?
Jeroen: I recently stopped working as administrator. I did this for three years, but I wanted to do something else. I'm looking for the right study to design homepages and that's not easy...
Jeffrey: Thanks a lot for the interview, and good luck to you!
Jeroen: Good luck to you too!
Interviewer: Jeffrey Shyu, December/1999