The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

Todd JOLICOUER interviews Dirk Verbueren, drummer with SOILWORK

 

God, I love Facebook.

 

I am toiling away at my job when I see a message from my Rockpit friend Shane. "Who knows about and would like to do an interview with Soilwork?" My jaw drops… my fingers can’t type fast enough. I’ll do it!

 

I have been a fan of the band for a couple releases now and would love to get some insight into the new material being prepared for release. Shane sets it up and before I know it, I am LISTENING to the new album that won’t be released here in the US for another month (July 13, 2010)!

 

Then I get the email. I am going to be talking to Dirk Verbeuren, the drummer of not only Soilwork, but also Scarve and a solo project by Warrel Dane of Nevermore. A good friend of mine, Matt Wicklund (guitar – God Forbid) worked on the Warrel record and tells me to say hi to Dirk for him. And away we go…

 

 

Hey Dirk, Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule for the Rockpit.

 

No problem Todd. Thanks for having me. I hope you don’t mind I called early; we are on a tight schedule and was hoping to catch up here.

 

Works for me… let’s get started so you can get on with your busy evening. The new album – “The Panic Broadcast” – please tell us about it. How did you guys jump into this project?

 

Well, it is a great album. Something we are all proud of. We went into the recording without any preconceived ideas. We wanted to capture the energy and hunger that had been building since the last album. With Peter (Wichers) back in the band and working with Sylvain (Coudret) again [Dirk and Sylvain were in the band Scarve together – TMJ], we were all really ready to take it to the next level. The demos we cut were very raw and we wanted to keep that when we recorded the actual songs.

 

 

Working through the tracklist, I have my own personal favorites, but would love your take on the songs. Which songs are your favorites?

 

My favorite is the song ‘Let This River Flow’ because of its groove and differing vocals. I also really like the opening track ‘Late For The Kill, Early For The Slaughter’ which is just an extreme song – a great CD opener. The last song, ‘Enter Dog Of Pavlov’ is also a good song. When we were recording the song, I was very unsure of the sound, but it came together nicely.

 

My favorite has to be ‘Night Comes Clean’ - I love the time changes and the way the drums don’t just keep time. They seem to aid in telling the story.

 

Thanks. I really like that song too.

 

How did the songs come together? Did Peter, Sylvain, and Speed [Björn "Speed" Strid] come with finished songs and ask the band to play them or was it more of a team effort?

 

It was both really. Some of the songs were prepared in advance, some came partially finished and we arranged them. Peter and Sylvain are excellent writers. There was a lot of writing and interaction between all of us on certain songs. Some of the basic drum ideas were laid out for me and then I was allowed to make the sound mine. It was very inspiring to record this album.

 

Dirk at Ozzfest 2005, photo copyright Hannah Verbeuren

 

The CD drops in Europe on July 2. You start your US Tour the day after the CD is released in North America on July 13. Are there any cities you prefer or favor, other than Cleveland (Dirk lives in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife)? I myself can’t wait for the Detroit gig on July 21st.

 

Of course, I prefer Cleveland, as it is now home. But I love touring the US. It is a very important market for us. We have always had fantastic tours and great fans at shows in the States. It would be great to see you at the Detroit show.

 

Tell me about the technical aspect of the album. There is some great drumming here. The time changes, fills, and cymbal work. Again, I love your prowess on ‘Night Comes Clean’. I also think you killed it on ‘Two Lives Of Reckoning’ and ‘Deliverance Is Mine’.

 

Thanks again. I am glad you like it. It was a deliberate attempt to raise the dynamics and sound from the last recording. Some of the drum parts were brought to me for my own touch to be added. Everything for me was much better during the recording of this album. While recording the previous album, there was a death in the family and I wasn’t there 100%. This time out I was much more relaxed and was determined from the beginning to give my all to do the best drumming I could.

 

 

By the way, a mutual friend asked me to say hi.

 

Really, who is that?

 

Matt Wicklund. I have known him quite a while now and I mentioned to him that I was going to be talking to you.

 

Oh hey, tell him me and Peter say hello. We worked with him on an album for Warrel Dane [his solo project, Praises To The War Machine]

 

I will do that. You know, I was playing your new album today in my office (imagine a very serious accounting office being rocked by the sounds of Soilwork) and someone who typically listens to more mainstream pop music asked who I was listening to. I explained who you guys were and that I was preparing for an interview. She (Carrie Doyle) wanted to know, “What can you tell me about your band that might make someone who normally doesn’t listen to this genre pay attention to your music?”

 

Wow, that is a good question. I guess commonly the aggression frightens people that are not familiar or accustomed to our music. I would tell them to look past the initial aggression and listen to the melodies and beautiful arrangements. We have worked hard to become more melodic over time.

 

photo copyright Hannah Verbeuren

 

Now for the last two serious questions. What is one song you wish you had a hand in writing or recording?

 

One that made a lot of money. Hahaha. You know, I can’t name one song, but could tell you a whole album. I love Scum by Napalm Death. To me, that album is amazing from first note to last. If I could have been part of anything other than what I have done, I would want it to be that.

 

Dirk, what is the meaning of life?

 

Wow. Well, I think it is about being good to each other. Being good and having a good time. Being good to other people. To everyone. I am not an activist, there are just choices my wife and I make for ourselves that affect others. We eat right and make personal choices that are positive in influence. We all matter. We are all creatures and should learn to live together.

 

Before I let you go, where can your fans get up to the minute information on you and the band?

 

Well, there is always our website, http://www.soilwork.org/ or Myspace (http://www.myspace.com/soilwork) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/soilwork). If they want information on me, they can go to my website http://www.dirkverbeuren.com/

 

Dirk, thanks again from The Rockpit for your time and we will see you in Detroit on July 21.

 

Thanks Todd. It has been great talking to you.

 

You can find Todd on Facebook by searching for Todd Rockpit

Read Todd's review of Soilwork's new album "The Panic Broadcast" here