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The Gathering

And it has become a threesome. First the show, then the review of TG25- Live At Doornroosje and now the interview. But then again, the celebration of 25 years of The Gathering deserves all the attention it can get, right? I got together with keyboard wizard and part-time singer Frank Boeijen in his hometown Nijmegen (The Netherlands) and a nice conversation followed.

By: Winston | Archive under prog / sympho metal

So Frank, it is there, the live album of the 25 year celebration in Doornroosje. Are you satisfied with it?
Yes, very satisfied! We were even a little surprised when we got to the mixing of all the songs in the studio, where you cannot properly assess it anymore at some point. Only when I went home and played it I compared with other live recordings we had released earlier, I heard that this is the best live recording we have ever put out. Credit to what happened to the mix and mastering.

And that was a challenge given the field of multiple participants for these two concerts I think?
There were indeed a few extra things to watch, sure, but it also had its advantages. You have more possibilities in terms of sound and have more things to bring in literally. We all really like how things turned out so well.

All members of the band returned for a moment back, except for one. Still a bit of a shame and a missed opportunity for him?
Yes indeed, we wanted to do it with everyone and I approached him a few times (Niels Duffhues) and I even called himn, but unfortunately we couldn’t reach to the same conditions. We wanted to, let that be very clear.

How was the development of the setlist? Who does what and so on?
It was a hell of a job, of course. Everyone had of course his or her opinion but ultimately it was no problem at all and our noses were soon pointed in the same direction. There are certain a few The Gathering classics that belong in the set, and we all felt that. Then those choices were made and then to decide the song order. It was not without a struggle, haha. But ultimately that turned out just good. And the good that came out was that there were also things being done together, so a mix of singers and musicians. That was super enjoyable for everyone, especially the singers who have made it really exciting.

That was surprising, there were twelve people making music together. And to see and hear Silje and Anneke together was fantastic
They did several songs together and especially for Silje this was really something. It was fantastic for her because it has not been easy. The shoes she had to fill were still quite large. To have Anneke back suddenly, but there was a warm relationship. That's great and if it also succeeds musically it's perfect. It was all a win-win experience, bringing people together and allowed to experience this. There is no negative thing to remember about this at all really.

Who were the first added to the current line-up?
We had done not so long ago, The Gathering '92 shows, so these contacts were established soon. Bart, we're seeing a lot, he also lives in Nijmegen now.

What should have also been of interest to you; in such a retrospective show was also clear how you have developed yourself musically in those 25 years.
It might be strange, but the 'old' members Jelmer and Bart find the later things we did really cool. And everyone really dug the construction of the set as it was done. We also wanted to do a lot of stuff with Silje, because it has also become a significant part of us. Perhaps less successful commercially but artistically to us very much. We are still firmly behind that style and time.

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This was also reflected in the most fanatical fans; next to me was a group of girls from Chile and cried the whole concert of emotion, even with Silje numbers. That's a good sign anyway.
These fans are so passionate, and have been for those coming from so far is the one big emotion.

About emotion; How was that for you earlier that day, when the first concert was done. How did you step on stage?
That was considerably more exciting than the second time in the evening. I'm not that anxious type to get on stage but for singers this may be a different story. The second time there was a kind of "burden" of our backs fallen off. That show was also slightly better I think. The balance what is on the album is released is approximately 60% of the second and 40% of the first show.

On YouTube soon appeared video recordings made by the fans, are you still satisfied with the decision not to record a DVD?
Yes, because it would have put a lot of extra pressure on the whole. If I do not know how many cameras are pointed at you on such a day than I can imagine it quite can affect your performance and you do not want that. Rather just the 'cult' of it; own phone and camera shots on the net. And we have no objection, of course.

And the question also arose; is or was still there to be an extension of that line-up?
We talked about it for sure. But agendas showed that this was not possible, some people are just so busy, that really work with an annual plan.

But what is the sequel now? What is the status of The Gathering?
The status is that we do now as nothing indefinitely. There must be new enthusiasm to again start something new. We three have done it for 25 years (Frank, René and Hans Rutten) and that took a lot of time and energy. The last tours we did with Silje were very nice and super creative too. But we came to a point that the feeling just is not there. We are certainly not split up, we are in good contact but there are no events planned.

What are you doing musically at the moment?
I started a cover band with two former bandmates Bart (Smits) and Hugo (Prinsen-Geerligs) for Depeche Mode, with two people. We've only rehearsed a few times because there's a lot of electronics and that takes time. But it is very nice, Hugo incidentally plays guitar, not bass and Bart can really sing this very well. Its great fun to do. I also play keyboards for the band Zamora with Cyril Crutz and Pim van Zanen (both ex-Celestial Season). We do not often perform but it is also very nice. Hans and René started, together with René’s wife, a new band started. It’s in the dream pop / shoe gaze genre, but somewhat heavier. They also asked me for it but I said that I might join in later. First they can determine the musical direction because The Gathering sound is lurking of course, haha.

It is clear that the music scene still captivates the ladies and gentlemen of The Gathering even when the band is in the fridge, but there is activity everywhere. I am very curious about all developments and am sure that the refrigerator it will open again

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