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Interviews : Soilwork – “We have actually talked about a triple album” – (An interview with Dirk Verbeuren)

By on September 5, 2013

SoilworkSoilwork – Dirk Verbeuren

Melodic death metal grand masters, Soilwork are back with their latest album, “The Living Infinite” This release proves that Soilwork is working stronger than ever, a collection of 24 tracks with no filler. Metal Obsession had the exciting honour to talk with drummer Dirk Verbeuren, prior to the band’s performance at Wacken Open Air to discuss the new album and the band’s upcoming tour in Australia this October.

Metal Obsession: I have a lot of questions to ask you, so I guess the best place to start would be on your new album! Whose idea was it to make it a double album?

Dirk Verbeuren: [laughs] We have been getting a lot of questions about the double album man. Our singer Speed came to us with the idea. He had come up with it a few years ago. It seemed like a lot of work, but eventually we warmed to the idea. It took a while to figure it all out, to work out how we would do everything, but we decided to give it a shot. In the end it all went a lot smoother than I imagined [laughs].

soilworkthelivinginfinitecoverMO: That’s awesome. Was it a lot more work than usual to record it? Does a double album take double the work?

DV: [laughs] Yeah man it was a lot of work. We basically had the same amount of time to record this album as we did for our previous albums, so that’s recording a double album in the same time as a normal album. We had to track everything in around 8 days, so 24 songs is a lot to do in that time. They were very long days as well, [laughs], very late nights. Next time it might be nice to have a little more time, but because we hadn’t done anything like this before it was hard to tell. In the end though the whole thing went very smoothly and we are all so happy with the result. Everyone just worked really hard and everything seemed to fall into place.

MO: And how does recording work for you? Do you guys lay down the drums first or all play together?

DV: I tracked all the drums first. I played over the demo’d guitars in the studio. Again, there was a lot of work to do in that time. I had to make sure I was concertrating on nailing each take.

MO: Sheesh, that’s amazing! I know you guys live all over the place, so how did that work for writing and recording the album? Did you all meetup a lot beforehand?

DV: You know, even though we live in different parts of the world it wasn’t too hard. Over the years we have grown as a group and worked out a solid dynamic. We work really well together. We send each other demos and ideas we have recorded. Things went really well this time around, everyone got to express their ideas and work on their own songs.

MO: What has the reaction been like to the album been like for you? From what I have read the reviews have been really positive.

DV: The reaction has been really positive so far man! People coming from everywhere just saying how much they love it. You know, the fans are being really positive about it! We just feel like we have made something really special. People are saying how there is no filler album or weak parts. It feels good to put something out that we have worked hard on and then get a reaction like that.

MO: What is your current tour schedule like? I was looking through your website and you have a lot of dates coming up, I know Wacken isn’t too far away!

DV: Yeah Wacken is coming up which will be a lot of fun, it’s always great to see and hang out with so many bands there! And then it’s straight on to a show in Vienna. We have some more festivals coming up as well like Summer Breeze. A lot of travelling and playing, and a lot of fun. Then eventually we will be back in Australia!

MO: When it comes to touring do you prefer to play on big festival stages or at smaller venues.

DV: Oooh, that’s a tough one man [laughs]. Well festivals are good because you get to play to big crowds, everyone is there to have fun and see a lot of bands. You get to hangout with the other bands too which is cool, it’s like one big party. You are outside in some nice area and sunshine instead of in some dark hole you know? [laughs].

On the other hand though when we play at smaller venues for headline shows and such they are much more intimate with the crowd. We can really feed off the energy from the fans who came out to see us. Sometimes we play a little club somewhere and it’s just full of people that want to have a good time and there is just so much energy in the room, it really pumps us up.

MO: When you come to places like Australia or a new country, do you get much of a chance to look around or do any sight seeing?

DV: We would love to, but we don’t always get a chance to. If you aren’t playing you are paying you know? And our schedules are usually pretty tight. Plus we have to do things like press work, talking to interviewers and stuff [laughs]! There’s also things like ordering gear and fixing it and stuff like getting to the club and soundchecking. So basically, we aren’t on holiday! We do get some nice days off here and there where we get to relax and take in a bit of the country we are in, which is great.

MO: Is Australia seen as a risky destination at all? It’s such a big country, but there aren’t that many big cities to play in.

DV: Not really man. For us at least, Australia is seen as a great destination. We can always rely on it to be an awesome place to play, both in terms of the quality of the shows and on the financial side of things. We always seem to get a really good turn out, we’ve had shows sell out before and the crowd just seems to love it. I get the feeling that the people are just really happy to have us there, and we love coming there. It can be a little expensive and it’s such a long way to travel, but for us at least it is definitely worth coming there.

MO: What was the previous Australian tour like? I was at the Melbourne show and it was nuts, my shoe broke and I had a big bruise on my leg, the crowd was loving it!

DV: [laughs] Yeah it was crazy man. They have all been good though. We always get the feeling like the crowd is just so appreciative of us being there. And that means we really put a lot of energy into the shows here because we are feeding off the crowd so much.

MO: How many times have you played here?

DV: Well the band has been there about 7 times now, for me it’s 4 though. As I said though man, each time has just been so fun and memorable. I’m really looking forward to coming back and partying with you guys again.

MO: From the beginning, did it take a long time for you to get used to touring? Or did you take to it right away?

DV: It took a while, I’m still not sure if I’m used to it or not [laughs]! It can be a bit rough. The thing a lot of people don’t realize about it you know? It’s not the glamorous rockstar lifestyle people sometimes imagine. There can be a lot of travelling on the road in a bus with a lot of other guys, so you can imagine how that can get eventually.

It’s always fun though, partying with the other guys and other bands is a lot of fun. And the show itself always makes the travelling worth it. Sometimes we will drive for hours and hours just to play a show that goes for one hour. But as soon as we are up on stage it is all worth it.

MO: I know you have just released your new album and it may be too early, but have you already started thinking about future releases? Double, double album? A triple album?

DV: We have actually talked about a triple album [laughs]. Well I can’t reveal a whole lot and nothing is definite yet, but just anything and everything to keep it all fresh. Doing the double album really opened our minds to what we can do and made us ask, “why always do the same thing?” It’s good to keep things different and experimenting with things. Always moving forward!

MO: I’d like to ask about your side project Bent Sea. How did that come about? I know you have Devin Townsend and the guy from Aborted on vocals, that’s quite a lineup!

DV: Actually Devin isn’t involved anymore because he is too busy at the moment. But we have Shane Embry from Napalm Death now which is awesome. I just decided to start it as a fun thing to work on. I’ve been listening to grindcore and stuff like that all my life, so I’ve always wanted to make a band playing that sort of stuff.

My wife encouraged me to start recording some of the stuff I was working on. I just wanted to keep it really free and sort of underground you know? We aren’t releasing the music through a label or anything, and I’m playing around with different ways of releasing music. Like, a while ago I had a track up for free to get it out there. I just want to keep it fun and interesting. We released an E.P a little while ago and I’m working on some more stuff now, so we will see what the future holds!

MO: That’s all really awesome man. I think we have reached the end of our time now. It was really awesome to talk to you, and I can’t wait to see you guys here in October!

DV: Thanks man, we will see you then!

Soilwork touring nationally this October. General admission tickets and VIP packages on sale now via Metropolis Touring. www.metropolistouring.com

SOILWORK AUSTRALIAN TOUR 2013

Wednesday 2nd October
Brisbane
The Hifi
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Thursday 3rd October
Sydney
Manning Bar
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Friday 4th October
Melbourne
Billboard
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Saturday 5th October
Adelaide
The Gov
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Sunday 6th October
Perth
Rosemount

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