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The Gathering

With the 25 year anniversary party, held in Doornroosje Nijmegen December 2014, still fresh in the memory we recently sat down with drummer Hans Rutten to talk about a few things. After 25 years of riding rollercoasters the time has come for them to take a break, and deserves some explanation.

By: Winston | Archive under prog / sympho metal

Hi Hans, it was time to talk with you once again, let's start with the here and now; how are things with The Gathering right now?
It had been a while ago indeed. About the here and now that I can be short but clear; the band is in the refrigerator status now. After the event in Doornroosje, what a wonderful party was for us, time felt right for a break. That was a joint decision, but now it's a few months later, I notice that there are jitters, haha.

I can imagine that, you always remained busy with playing, writing, practicing, then suddenly nothing. That will take some time to get used too.
Yup. that's for sure. René has some music activities such as producing and writing music for projects, and Frank has his musical side project too. Silje lives in Norway, as you know, and has a small child. I focus mainly on my study and work in health care. When the time is right we come back together to see how and where we will go further.

The Gathering to me is not the band to fade out like a candle...
No, I don’t believe that will happen but at the moment everything is open. The only thing still on the agenda is the release of the live recording (CD) of what was performed in Doornroosje. And then a really long silence will follow. It's a strange idea, I know.

The compilation album 'TG25 Diving Into The Unknown' which was released earlier this year already was a beautiful document. As a fan, I had hoped t find specific songs which are not on there. Who decided on the list of songs?
Yeah that often happens with compilations. René, Frank and I have compiled the CD and originally we had a sort of triptych in mind; a live concert with Anneke, the singles and then individual songs. That idea has remained fairly intact but we made some adjustments. Still, I think it's a beautiful overview, with a good running order and very nice artwork. We think it is a nice representation of the band and see it as something you can give for example as a gift to someone. We did manage to get the rights to use everything from Century Media, Peaceville, finally the home of ‘Always’.

What in the beginning nearly happened, you must like that 'Always' is at Peaceville now?
We chose Foundation in 2000 over Peaceville back in the day because it was a better deal and they were also Dutch. For Peaceville we had to come to England and we were all about 16 and found that quite a hassle. Should we have done different? Who knows? The fact is that Peaceville still is quite large and Foundation 2000 is long gone. I think it's nice that the Peaceville logo is now on the cover, haha. The final resting place. The songs that we did in Doornroosje with Bart felt so good, like the tour we did a few years ago with the old line up when we performed the record entirely.

Indeed, especially Bart was very Sharp and driven at the two Doornroosje concerts and at the reunion, he was really into it!
Sure, it looked to me like angry and happy at the same time, sometimes he looked like he wanted to snatch my head off, so full of energy and drive as he was.

band image

Then anniversary in Doornroosje we must also discuss. Were there differences in the two shows that you did, in terms of perception and / or performance?
Yes, I found the second show in terms of playing better, we were warmed up by the first show in the afternoon but the first show had more emotions. The first time again with Anneke was still special for me but also for her. We did shed some tears, not only during the songs, but also afterwards.

Me too and next to me was a group of girls from South America who wept rivers of tears.
I think it is so special that music can do that. And I'm proud of it. Playing with Anneke is still something that is special. If we play the songs with her it feels like magic.

It was then quite strange when she left the band, now it might have felt for you as the farewell that never was? I saw a response of her after a song that she was very happy and thankful.
Perhaps yes, that would be best. I think we may have captured a few things together on that day. Also with regards to Silje. She was pretty unsure whether she could keep up next to Anneke and the others. We have very dear fans, and she found it very exciting. I told her that our numbers are very good as well but just different and her slightly different approach was also worth doing on that day. With Anneke we carry a valued history, we did become sucesfull with her.

The question that can be asked about Doornroosje; why not a DVD?
We thought about it and it was a too big production with so many people on and would it sell enough to take out the cost? Therefore, only the CD and on YouTube you can see many of the songs too after all.

Right, I've seen videos of multiple camera images made by fans, perhaps it is an idea to merge the official CD in time with a selection of images taken by the die hard fans?
That's actually a great idea so, who knows? For now we first do the CD. I realize now that we don’t really have a title for it. We must have a talk about it with the band.

What you said earlier, that it is already difficult for you not being active with playing music, would you consider doing something outside The Gathering?
I do not rule out that, though there is now nothing going on in that area. If it would come to this it can also be something quite different in terms of music. For now it’s refrigerator time, what is coming my or our we’ll have to see.

And with that we take so for now say goodbye to The Gathering, one of Hollands’ best bands ever, quirky and unpredictable. I look forward to the news that the refrigerator door has been opened and it will be proven that that the light within actually stays on.

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