Recently Dutch female fronted metal ensemble theName signed a contract with V2 recordings, a deal will take the band to the next level. ThisIsNotAScene‘s scribe Raymond Westland had the pleasure of speaking to guitarist/main composer Silas and the ever charming front lady Hadassa about the band’s latest prospects, their new album “Unchained” and landing a deal with V2 Records.
Hi there and thank you for doing this interview. Can you start by introducing the band and shed some light on the roots of theNAME?
Hadassa: Hey! You are welcome, thank you for asking us! theNAME consists of me as the lead singer, Silas as founder / music writer / guitarist / backing vocalist, Rens second guitar, Tim bass and Jasper drums.
Silas: I wanted to start something different. Most female fronted metal bands at that time used opera voices and keyboards. I wanted to start something more rock/metal with a pop voice. Of course by now there are multiple bands that kind of do the same, but I dare to say we’re still different
You guys just recorded a new album, called Unchained at Split Second Sound with Jochem Jacobs (ex-Textures). How was it like to work with him and what did he bring to the table as far as ideas go?
Hadassa: Jochem is really cool to work with. He helped us with the preproduction that we did ourselves. He gave us advice about making (certain parts of) our songs faster or shorter and where to add more musical stuff like samples. He helped with the recordings in the studio and he mastered the tracks. Some recordings were done by his colleagues, as was the mixing of the songs.
When listening to Unchained the fresh sound, the well rounded songs and Hadassa’s wonderful vocal capabilities clearly stand out. How important is it for you guys to write memorable songs instead of focusing on technical prowess for instance?
Hadassa: Oh, thank you! That is a great compliment. Well, to be honest, we just write what we want to write and what sounds good in our metal ears ;). Actually, we kind of like technical stuff, but it has to have this edge of rock and roll and it has to be played from the heart. Still, to play it you need quite some technical skills too.
Silas writes the music and I add the lyrics and most of the vocal melodies. We just hope that people like what we write, ‘cause in the end, we love to share our music with a great audience. And of course it makes us proud if the audience thinks we’re bringing memorable songs and a memorable show. I must admit we are the kind of band that wouldn’t mind playing in front of an ocean of people, banging their heads to our songs
Famed record producer Beau Hill (Alice Cooper, Europe) remixed ‘Draw The Line’. How did this came about and why did you guys decided that remix was in order for that particular song?
Silas: Beau actually emailed me that he really liked what we are doing and asked me if he could remix/remaster a song for the American market. Amazing! It was even greater that he wanted to do ‘Draw The Line’, because we already recorded our second music video for this song. So now we can release the video with the mix/master of Beau. I am really enthusiastic about his version. I still love our sound on ‘Unchained’, but Beau’s mix gives a whole new perspective to the song.
Earlier this year the band had some line-up changes. What happened and how did this affect the overall band sound?
Hadassa: It was time for theNAME to make the next step. Unfortunately the musicians we had before weren’t able to make this step with the rest of the band. Together we decided it was better to search for a new bass player and a new drummer to get the band to the next level. I think that is exactly what Tim and Jasper are bringing.
The band recently signed a contract with V2 Records. How did you guys land this deal and how will this affect the band as far as touring etcetera goes?
Silas: We landed this deal by simply sending an email to V2 Records. They immediately saw the potential and asked us to come for a meeting. V2 takes care now of distribution and marketing for ‘Unchained’ and I have to admit, it is pretty cool to see our album appear everywhere.
Hadassa: I don’t think we dared to dream to actually get ourselves a record deal. We work really hard for theNAME, but unfortunately that is no guarantee for recognition. I am very pleased that we are with V2 Records now.
How relevant are record deals still when more and more bands decide to fund their projects via crowdfunding?
Silas: I think it is still of big importance. You notice immediately that you have grown to the next level when you are appreciated and in this case even signed by professionals of the music industry.
You guys seem mostly content with touring in the Netherlands and the occasional gig across the border in Germany and Belgium. Would you guys be interested in a full blown European tour or even beyond?
Hadassa: Yes, we would love to do an European tour or even a world tour! We want to play everywhere we can In fact, we just announced that we will be the opening act for the European tour of the band of Tarja Turunen! That is absolutely great! We are really excited
theNAME also shared the stage with luminaries like Epica, Delain and Anneke van Giersbergen just to name a few. What are your favourite memories about those gigs and what did you learn from the aforementioned bands and artists?
Hadassa: It’s great to play with those bands. I love their music and their audience is great too. I personally really love Epica. I was very honored that their drummer, Arien van Weesenbeek, actually said yes to be our drummer for a while! I love to see those bands get ready for the show. I love to secretly watch and learn how they soundcheck, what the vocalist does to get warmed up, how they put out their merchandise etc. Only to be inspired by their great authenticity and professionalism. I think those two are very important. It makes you stand out and makes you deliver quality. Of course I also really like to see them play and learn from their performance.
Time for the final question. What is next in terms of touring and possible side projects?
Hadassa: Well, the tour with Tarja starts May 2and will last till May 19. We are really looking forward to that! About the side projects: I would be honored if I could sing a duet with a great known female or male metal vocalist in the future. I also think it would be cool to do some studio work for another metal band. However, I like to focus on theNAME. I am so happy to be the front lady of this band. I have all freedom to express myself and I am looking forward to see what the future will bring for us!