Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions! Before we start off; how have you been?
We've been doing great, very busy with the new record!
For those uninitiated, would you mind introducing Extremities to the world? I bet you’ll do a much better job than I would.
We're a five-piece band originally formed in 2015 at the Metal Factory, Eindhoven. We like to make beautiful and heavy music while also arguing about the bands we like and dislike.
It’s very clear where your influences lie – Periphery, Textures, Meshuggah and maybe some A Perfect Circle and Tesseract. There’s also some influences from outside the metal genre, though. If you had the reigns to program a festival, what would the lineup look like?
Of course we would want reunion shows of Textures and Exivious! I guess it would be combination of our favorite bands and the ones we're friends with. You'll get a weird proggy mix of Haken, Meshuggah, Deftones, Opeth and maybe something like Slayer for the hell of it. Combine this with cool Dutch underground bands like Hillsphere, Hibakusha, Our Oceans and 3rd Machine.
Speaking of Textures – you guys impressed me big time with your show in 013, back in November. How did you guys get that tour gig with Textures anyway and what was that tour like?
Stef Broks (drummer for Textures) introduced us to their management JBM Events when we played with them at Dynamo Metal Fest in 2016. After that we stayed in touch and joined JBM Events. So when we accompanied Textures on their Dutch run in April they enjoyed the music and liked the company so they asked us along for the final tour. Touring was AMAZING! We've had so much fun playing in so many different countries and traveling so much. We've seen great places in between shows and had fun talking to the guys from Exivious and Textures and the Greeks from Mother of Millions as well as all the fans after the shows. Of course some of us got sick and had some hick-ups but we learned a lot from it and as you said yourself, at the end of the tour it's a well-oiled machine.
You guys are releasing your debut full-length ‘Gaia’ early next year, how exciting! What can you tell me about the writing process and the songs on it?
Thimo (singer) wrote the lyrics for 'Gaia' again. Other than that, writing this album was a big difference to our last work. We tried a more collective approach for this record. Mainly David (guitar) would bring a lot of worked out songs to the table and we would remove and add ideas, changing certain parts and just let everyone work on the songs they felt comfortable with. Because Maarten (guitar) joined shortly after our first release “Rakshasa” you may hear difference in guitar parts but mostly his way of working on a song to make it more direct and catchy. What's also new is the amount of layers in the music. We added a lot of instruments like synthesizers, saxophone, cello, different kinds of percussion and backing vocals provided by Bart (bass, synths).
As for the songs, I have divided the songs in three categories: Heavy, melodic and epic. So the first song (‘Colossus’) is a pretty heavy hitter, having a fast-paced rhythm section and a big statement as far as the lyrics go it's perfect to open the record with. We've already released the second song of the record (‘Circular Motions’) in the form of a lyric video. It's melodic, relaxed and very catchy, easy to listen to. Emissary is the third track, we've played this live many times now and people seem to really love it. Just riffing and double-bass drive this song. After such an intense track we put in a softer song called ‘Hydrosphere’, that builds up to a big, heavy outro filled with Moogs and percussion etc. Then we have the heaviest track of the album. It's called ‘War’ and I guess the title says it all. We tried to make it comfortable for the listener to switch songs, which was hard seeing as all songs differ from vibe and build-up. So after ‘War’ we put in ‘Reanimate’. It's a very groovy song, almost catchy I'd say without losing any heaviness. After the shortest track we go to a real dreamy, proggy song (‘Through The ‘Dreamscape). It definitely has a real Opeth vibe to it, very much focused on ambiance and multiple layers of vocals and synths. Finally we have my favorite, ‘The Inward Eye’. It's clocking in at around nineteen minutes, making it the longest song we have ever written. It reminds me of my favorite songs like ‘Close To The Edge’ or ‘A Change Of Seasons’, where you hear certain parts in different ways coming back after ten minutes, a story with a clear beginning and end. We tend to write a lot of information within a song and with this one being so long it actually was easier to give everything the space it needed. Really proud of how it came to be.
The Dutch metal scene is ever changing and keeps growing bigger and bigger. Do you feel it might be harder now than before to really leave a lasting impression, with so many bands fighting for their moment in the spotlight?
I guess the biggest challenge is finding a fanbase that works for you and how to speak to them via social media. Facebook and Instagram and all that is cool because you can speak directly to the fans and followers, but now that everyone has it you have to stick out, not just play great shows. You'll need to analyze statistics and see how every post is doing. What did people like about it, did they share it, did they comment on it etc. Right now with Textures calling it quits there is a gap to fill in the Dutch prog scene. But we've noticed that a lot of these bands help each other. Making a package, booking shows in your hometown and then you have 3 shows with mainly friends watching. After that we just try playing bigger shows with bigger audiences that are not just friends but also real music fans.
You guys are all technically really proficient at playing your respective instruments. Are you any of you classically trained per chance?
David, Thimo and I studied Metal Factory and Maarten finished the Conservatory of Amsterdam a long time ago. Only Bart hasn't done a study in music, but has been playing cello, bass and other stuff since he was a kid. David plays guitar, piano and drums (probably a lot more if he had the time). Maarten plays multiple instruments same with Thimo. I guess that helps when playing and writing in a band. You understand each other a lot better. I'm the only one who just plays one instrument, but I take care of the business side of things, which is a handy skill to have when having a lot of creative people.
I’m really looking forward to ‘Gaia’. What else is on the horizon for Extremities in 2018?
We're busy with developing the new material into a live set and seeing how that works. We've got some new gigs planned and are working on some smaller Dutch shows again, while also looking into festivals outside of the Netherlands. Mainly 2018 will be releasing and promoting our first record, with the release show in Altstadt Eindhoven the 19th of January. We are finishing up this first before making plans for a new record of course. But I'm sure that halfway 2018 we'll have the first pieces of new material to puzzle together. So I guess just staying busy is the plan!
Once again, thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?
Thank you Job for the lovely interview, it was a pleasure!
And how about some shameless self-promotion?
Come visit our show Friday the 19th of January at Altstadt Eindhoven and have a listen to our new album 'Gaia'!