Interview by Miriam C.
Transcription by Tony Cannella
Interview Floor Jansen it’s one of my countless dream that I’ve fullfilled, it was fantastic know that her she’s back with ReVamp but at the same time it was hard to ask for me ask some questions about After Forever, I’ve felt, during the interview, her rage talking about Transmission Records and as a fan and chief editor I feel very sorry for this bad story. In the end she was very happy to talk with our webzine. I want say only one thing before you start to read the interview, for all you After Forever fans overthere : Floor has told us (better had begged me) not to buy the new re-release of “Prison Of Desire” because this release it’s practically illegal or better not officially recognized by the band.
Your first album, with Revamp is available from the 26th of May and the first album of your come back since the After Forever split. What was the genesis of this album and what was the right moment when you realized it was the right time to begin this new adventure?
After Forever stopped a year ago now, over a year ago, in the beginning of 2009. I did need some time to sort of mourn that, I was very sad that we stopped. I didn’t want to stop making metal, I did need some time to recover and to think what was next because I studied a lot of different styles, I like a lot of different styles. I had so many amazing reactions from all over the world, asking, “okay, what are you going to do now ?”, that gave me a lot of strength and energy to start working on Revamp, which was April or May of last year, I am very proud that within a year I managed to get from a concept and an idea to an actual release.
I read through Twitter that you were ill?
Yes, I was. It was nothing serious actually, it was just a lump in my throat – not a very pretty story – so I wasn’t really sick, there was just a little thing in my throat that disabled me to sing. I sounded horrible, I sounded as if I would never sing again. It sounded but it didn’t feel bad. I really doubted if I’d be able to sing again. It took over the weekend for me to get back, I don’t even have my full voice back now, I’m just trying to shut up as much as I can (laughs) and take it easy, live healthy and then I’ll be fine on Friday. Yeah, it’s one of those things that when you work hard, your body becomes tired, it loses its resistance, and then all of a sudden, there you are. If I was doing anything other than being a singer then I would have no problem.
Good luck for the release party with the Red Limo String Quartet.
Yeah, I’m so happy they are joining. I really wanted this evening to be special and so many people had a positive response to the shows that I did with them before even though they were After Forever songs, I’m very sure people will appreciate it.
I know that’s hard to talk about and I can understand if you don’t want to answer questions about After Forever anymore.
No it’s okay, I mean for 13 years it was part of my life and part of the reason why Revamp can become successful is because of After Forever. I know a lot of people felt the end came very sudden. We put our explanation on line and a lot of people felt like it wasn’t enough, a lot of people wanted us to do a good bye show and none of that happened. I can imagine that a lot of people are kind of in the dark, how After Forever stopped then you start with something new and it’s not weird that people want to hear that part of the story.
After Forever is and will forever be one of my favorite metal groups, along with Nightwish and Within Temptation. The only thing that’s missing is an After Forever live DVD. Never got a temptation to film one?
We had a many. We had a record company for our first four albums, Transmission Records.
That label, Epica had problems with them too.
Well, Epica had problems, but believe me, we had way worse because we were with this label for much longer, and we couldn’t get away. We wanted to make a live DVD but the label just made it impossible and by the time we were able to when we were with Nuclear Blast, and the time we can start planning for that we stopped playing live. I understand that people want a live DVD; I would have really liked to have it as well. I was hoping we could do a farewell show or farewell tour, but you need six people to agree on that, and the rest didn’t want to.
In the future, will there be any official re-releases of the early After Forever albums?
I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. The guy who went bankrupt is still in charge of the rights of the CDs, so it is up to him if he wants to release something again or not. That is a very frustrating thing as an artist, to see that your albums are not being made or distributed anymore, or he makes a re-release and he re-masters something or puts more crap on it then re-sells it, he puts After Forever on it but then it is something we never really wanted. I don’t know how the future will look when it comes to this, because the guy who owns it, I’m sorry to say, but he’s crazy. I don’t know, I have to admit that it got to such a negative energy that I stopped running after it, because it is useless, there is nothing to do about it.
I have a question about the cover. Who is the creator and what does it symbolize to you?
Well, it’s not a literal symbol for something. It’s more that I wanted the cover to be very aggressive and dark with a feminine edge with a lot of bright colors (white and pink). I saw a picture in a magazine actually, where that was one image with more pictures morphed into one, I really liked that idea, so I asked the team who made that picture, “can you do my art work?” so yeah they created that image out of pictures of me. I never wanted to be on one my own albums, but the way it’s done now, it’s not like typical singer on the cover thing, and it’s really integrated artwork. I’m really happy with it.
If I define your style as Gothic or Symphonic metal, is that right or is there something you would add?
We can be Gothic as far I am concerned. I never understood what Gothic or our music has to do with each other (laughs).
Can you talk a little about the lyrics behind the songs?
The lyrics all have different subjects. Some are more written by personal subjects, others are written about what is happening in the world. Three are connected to one theme though, “In Sickness Till Death Do Us Part”, they are three songs that deal with the subject of a person being very sick without ever being healthy again. The only thing left for him or her is death and this process is seen through different eyes and different moments in those three songs. “I Lost Myself” for instance, the piano ballad at the very end of the album that is a more personal song.
The album has three guest stars on the album. Russell Allen of Symphony X, Bjorn Strid of Soilwork and George Oosthoek formerly of Orphanage. How was working with them?
With all three of them I didn’t work personally with them. George came to the studio on a day I couldn’t be there, but he did come to the same studio that I did my vocals at here in the Netherlands. He sings on the song, “Here’s My Hell” which was basically done but we felt we were missing something, we missed growls. I called him because I knew him when he was in Orphanage. Russell Allen I met on the Arjen Lucassen’s Star One tour in 2003 and we stayed in touch ever since. We’ve always had the intention to record something together and when I was writing, “Sweet Curse” it felt like the perfect time for that. Bjorn of Soilwork I never actually met before, I am a big Soilwork fan though, it was actually the record company who recommended him for that part, they contacted him and I got a message from him the very same day that he really liked the song and liked my voice and was happy to work on it. So that was very cool.
Do you have any promotional video clips planned?
No, nothing yet.
Let’s talk about the present line-up. Are they only live members or in the future will they be considered the definitive ReVamp Line-up?
Yeah, the ReVamp members that I played with live today are the ReVamp members. I started with them more as a project. I got the name, I had a plan for the art work and the music and I thought, “okay, how do I get this done fast and good”, so I started to work with two other songwriters that I knew, of course it is never a guarantee that it will work, but fortunately for me, it did. We also recorded the album together with a studio drummer and at the same time we started to look for band members, and the guys who are now in the band are the ones that I want to continue with. ReVamp is not a solo thing, but it is initiated by me, I am sort of the captain of the ship. We are doing this together and hopefully we will be able to write the next album together.
Talk about your plans for the future…
I have some things in the pipeline but nothing is concrete yet. The main thing we are focused on is doing a tour in Europe – hopefully Italy as well. It is definitely important that ReVamp crosses the border soon and we probably will be supporting a bigger band in Europe, and there is a lot of interest coming from South America as well. Nothing is 100% yet.
Never thought about just publish a live album with the Red Limo String Quartet?
I did, but because After Forever just stopped, it wasn’t something that was on my main priority list. I was working hard to set up a new band and After Forever stopped. To release something with After Forever songs, the rest of the guys didn’t really want that.
Thank you for the interview, Floor.
Thank you spreading the ReVamp word in Italy.
Label : Nuclear Blast Records
Review by Tony Cannella
Many were absolutely blind-sided when it was announced that the legendary, long running Dutch band After Forever had decided to call it a day, especially because their self-titled final album saw the band at the top of their game. Now, AF fans can rejoice, because singer Floor Jansen is back with her new project, ReVamp. This new musical endeavor sees Floor picking right up where her previous outfit left off, while adding new and different elements to keep things progressing at a steady pace. ReVamp has many of the same bombastically, symphonic vibes that After Forever had. Floor sings better than ever and on this debut she is joined by three different male vocals to add their talents. The CD begin on a seriously ferocious note from the opening riff of “Here’s My Hell”. This is just a heavy, go-for-the-throat opener that sees ex-Orphanage grunter George Oosthoek adding some vocals to the track. This song also features a huge After Forever like chorus. If there were any doubts concerning Floor‘s post AF career, they were quickly erased after hearing this stormer of an opening track. The next track, “Head Up High” slows the tempo a bit whilst not sacrificing any bombast or melody. The third track, “Sweet Curse” is a duet with Floor and Symphony X frontman, Russel Allen. This is a beautiful duet with the two great vocalists and one of the highlights, for sure. There is plenty of variety to be found on ReVamp, which is a huge strength for the CD. Other highlights include: the melodic, “Million”, “Disdain” (featuring Bjorn Strid from Soilwork on vocals), “The Trial of Monsters”, “Under My Skin” and “I Lost Myself”. But honestly, it’s all pretty solid. I am a little bit biased, because quite simply Floor Jansen is one of my favorite singers, and the debut album by ReVamp does not disappoint, not for a minute. ReVamp is an inspired release from start-to-finish. A great album that fans of After Forever and symphonic power metal should love. Welcome back Floor!
Rating – 95/100
- Here’s My Hell
- Head Up High
- Sweet Curse
- In Sickness – ‘Till Death Do Us Part: All Goodbyes Are Said
- In Sickness – ‘Till Death Do Us Part: Disdain
- In Sickness – ‘Till Death Do Us Part: Disgraced
- Kill Me With Silence
- Fast Forward
- The Trial of Monsters
- Under My Skin
- I Lost Myself
- Floor Jansen – Vocals
- Jord Otto – Guitar
- Arjan Rijnen – Guitar
- Ruben Wijga – Keyboards
- Jaap Melman – Bass
- Matthias Landes – Drums
Label : Metal Mind Productions
Review By Tony Cannella
Holland’s Orpanage have long been one of the most influential and respected bands in the Dutch gothic metal scene. Unfortunately, the band called it quits in 2005 after releasing 4 widely praised full-length CDs. Their final release “Driven” is considered one of their best by the bands loyal following, now that final piece of work by Orphanage has been re-issued, thanks to the great Polish label Metal Mind Productions. Orphanage is centered around the duel vocals of George Oosthoek who handles the grunt vocals and the angelic vocals of Rosan van der Aa. This is clearly the case as soon as the opening number “The Sign” kicks in. The two vocal styles work well together and the rest of the band adds in their talent as well, painting a complete picture of atmospheric metal. “Black Magic Mirror” continues things with a disarming intro, that is really a surprise for a band such as this before getting heavier and maintaining a consistent pace throughout the duration of this 4-minute song. “Cold” is another strong track, that has almost a psychedelic vibe to it. This one quickly became a favorite and it shows that the band were not adverse to adding different influences to their sound. The 3-minute intro track “Back Gate” is also really cool, it begins and ends with the sound of rain falling and some tribal sounding drums are played and it brings us into “In Slavery” – one of the heavier songs this CD has to offer. There are many strong moments to point out, to name just a few: “Truth or Lies”, “Driven” and the closing track “Ender’s Game” - which, all things considered is probably an appropriate end to the last CD that this band would record. The whole 14-song opus clocks in at over an hour long, and it is definitely time well spent. After listening to “Driven”, it’s a shame that Orphanage called it a day when they did, and it is easy to see why they were so influential. “Driven” is a great final statement for the band to make and thanks to Metal Mind for not allowing this great CD to fade into obscurity.
Rating – 85/100
- The Sign
- Black Magic Mirror
- Prophecies of Fame
- Dead Ground
- My Master’s Master
- Back Gate
- In Slavery
- Truth or Lies
- Beyond the Fall
- Ender’s Game
- Rosan van der Aa – Vocals
- George Oosthoek – Grunts and Screams
- Guus Eikens – Guitars, Keyboards and Vocals
- Lasse Dellbrugge – Synths
- Remko van der Spek – Bass and Guitars
- Sureel – Drums
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
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