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Textures

Het was even slikken – Textures kondigde afgelopen jaar via Facebook aan ermee te stoppen. De band uit het Zuiden heeft altijd een heel duidelijke invloed gehad op de Nederlandse muziekwereld en tevens ook haar sporen achtergelaten in de internationale stevige prog. Door invloeden van Meshuggah en juist veel proggier materiaal feilloos te mixen, hebben ze op hun beurt weer een dozijn aan bands wereldwijs weten te beinvloeden. Wij vroegen drummer van het eerste uur Stef Broks hoe het voelt om er nu dan een eind aan te breien.

Door: Job | Archiveer onder different metal

Hey, thanks so much for taking the time to answer some of our questions. It’s been a hard one coming up with these; what do you ask such an influential band that’s calling it quits… Before we start off, how have you been?
It's all ok here. We're preparing the last tour at the moment. We wanna do some special things so tomorrow we try to work it out at the rehearsal. It's all so weird to know that this is going to be one of the 5 last rehearsals we're going to do. Ever.

It all started some eighteen years ago. What was the scene like back then?
The whole music scene has just exploded. Napster and Kazaa just opened possibilities for a new and totally different generation of bands. We all grew up in the old era, but suddenly small and new bands got the chance to see what they got in store without a label. A national band could instantly be an international band without the help of business parties like bookers and record labels. Looking back at seventeen years ago, I guess we were the first real Do-It-Yourself band in Holland with artwork, recording, studio building and press releases all from our own hands.

Over the years, your sound has evolved various times: from the more atmospheric but in-your-face ‘Polars’ to the most recently released ‘Phenotype’, which was just such a focused slab of extreme progressive metal. Were there points down the road where you felt like you couldn’t do any better?
Yeah sure, it has always been our goal to top ourselves, at least for ourselves. Our musical output is a direct representation of how we grew as people and our ideas about music. Textures probably only exists by the meaning of evolution. If there was none, we would have stopped right away. We're not here for only being on stage, and certainly not for the money and the ladies. Where have they been by the way hahaha. We thought you got it for free being a rockstar haha.

There’ve been some personnel changes as well, with one of the biggest ones being main songwriter Jochem leaving the band after ‘Dualism’ came out. What was that like?
We came up with Joe Thal, that’s what happened. Joe is a fantastic guy and he brought us a lot of confidence and rest. When it comes to working together and on a social level, Joe is a really strong a talent dude. His humour can solve problems instantly. When the band is in a dull mood, his behaviour can lift us up directly. Businesswise Bart and I tried to keep the focus as we did with captain Jochem before. We got quite experienced through the years so we knew what we were up to. In the end our management JBM helped us out as well.

And it has to be said; you’ve influenced a ton of bands. How does it feel having accomplished that?
That's probably the biggest compliment as a musician. We are very conscious of the fact that we are part of a long cycle of musical inspiration. We got it from loads of bands, they got from somewhere else etc. And we kinda fulfilled our jobs to pass on the inspiration to future acts as well.
Being mentioned in the Oor Pop-Music Encyclopedia was a real cornerstone for me as well. To really see on paper that you meant something to the whole spectrum of music.

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It might be a difficult question, but does this feel like stopping at your all-time high, or do you feel there might’ve still been some energy in the pipeline, especially now that ‘Genotype’ is not ever getting released?
Topping the stuff that we did is not possible to my opinion. Carrying on would be possible though. But we have fulfilled so many dreams. Playing with my favorite musicians in the first place. Playing with your favorite bands in the coolest cities in the world as second. In the first years of the band we couldn't even keep up with all those dreams that became true every week. We came as boys from a tiny village, who ended up as musical voyagers all over the world.

Over the years, you guys have toured the world. What were the places that really stuck with you, the shows that you will never forget?
Probably one in Oostende in Belgium, somewhere in our first two years live. Not the most shiny place to play, but this was the first show the audience really went totally insane. It was probably the moment we really got the confidence that we could exchange energy on a higher level than we thought. You have to know that the gig was really small (100 people) in a bathroom like venue haha. One other is of course the first time in India. Out of the blue we became big in India, like you can be big in Japan haha. The culture shock was incredible but the warm welcome was not to put in words. We still go there as hotshot rockstars, playing headline shows for 5,000 to 10,000 people. Really bizar.

Continuing that road, what is the album that will stick with you the most?
‘Polars’ is big musical statement I think. The metalstuff we mixed up over there plus the ambient parts were really new to the audience it seemed. So in that way as artistic stament I’m really proud of that one. But with every album we made steps and we had crush our heads to get a memorable album, at least for oursleves. Joe always calls our way of songwriting as cracking a big 10.000 pieces puzzle over the length of three years mostly.

Throughout the years, the fans have had many favorites like ‘Swandive’, ‘Reaching Home’, ‘New Horizons’ and ‘Awake’. I personally really enjoyed ‘Laments of an Icarus’, seeing as how it just grooves so extremely well and it just works live. What were some songs that you always enjoyed playing?
So cool you’re naming that song, because we were not quite content with that one. It had a second part that belonged right after where the song ends now. We just cut if off with mixed feelings. But hey, that main riff is hard to top haha. It has this vibe like ten marching elephants to it haha. I guess even Gojira was inspired by it (not sure) cause there was a lot of ‘Laments’ on their later albums haha. Not stealing credits by the way from their insane musical skills and presentation. They are a huge band, with still humble and most friendly people. By the way: what to think about the songs ‘Laments’ from Tesseract and Icarus Lives of Periphery that were released some years after ‘Laments of an Icarus’ haha.

Is there light at the end of the tunnel for the fans? What is the future gonna look like for you or Textures in general?
Not a clue at all what the future will bring musically to each one of us. We're all on crossroads like the very end of the movie ‘Castaway’. That one with Tom Hanks on the lonely island and Wilson the volleyball.

I don’t want to take up too much of your time. Is there anything you’d like to add in closing?
This journey was just a big big honor. It made every second of my (and our) live worthwhile. I would never have done things differently when It comes to the music. Not a single note. Every single note on every album represents us as a sixpiece on the moment right before releasing. Textures 2017 was Uri, Bart, Joe, Remko, Daniel and Stef. We thank you fans. And a big thumb up to Lords of Metal who have supported us from day one of throwing out our self-released album ‘Polars’ in 2003. Horst, you Rock!

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