Interview with Joseph Black about Excipere
On the 6th of February 2015 at 8pm, Joseph Black joined me (Ferry Meštrović) for an interview. In this interview we talk about Joseph Black and his new single “Excipere”, which Joseph released on the 21st of January 2015 through social media. The interview was done through Skype.
Thank you for joining me today for this interview, Joseph. Can you tell me a little about yourself?
My name is Aron Verbogt, I’m best known as Joseph Black, which is my artist name. I’m 29 years old and I currently live in Enschede where I study at Artez Conservatorium. I am a songwriter, vocalist and lead guitarist.
My musical interests started since I was 4 years old. Back then I was inspired by children’s songs, it was very playful and I learned a lot during that time. It was at the age of 18 that I truly discovered my passion for music. I was heavily inspired by artists such as Kamelot, HammerFall and Symphony X.
I knew that music would be my life, I just needed to get there somehow. Luckily both my parents and former parents-in-law helped me buy a guitar. I immediately started practicing by playing songs of my favorite artists. I practiced day and night until I thought I was ready to form a band of some kind.
About four months after I got my guitar, I formed a band called “Pure Power”. Pure Power was a power / gothic-metal band that consisted of four members including myself. We quickly started writing songs and gone up stage almost immediately. I felt like we were ready as a band. We had big plans to release a 12 track album, although we barely came up with 5 tracks. Three of them were played live and we were even broadcast on television. I thought we would become the artists that you read about in the magazines. I was really full of myself at the time, but I was wrong.
Looking back, our first performance lacked a lot of technique, and although we were applauded by the audience for our performance, we later received a lot of negative feedback. I think I may have damaged my vocal cords many times during this performance. It was a difficult time for me to face the fact that we weren’t as good as I hoped we would be.
After some time, Pure Power split up and I joined some other bands such as Artemis Circle. I’ve gained a lot of experience during that time, but that obviously wasn’t enough. Eventually, In 2005 I took guitar lessons from Joos de Lange.
Joos de Lange just started giving guitar lessons, but I think he didn’t quite knew how to do that. Luckily I’m a teacher by nature. While he was learning me to play the guitar, I taught him how to teach. It was a fun experience. I wanted him to learn me how to play songs like “King of Terrors” by Symphony X and “Autumn Leaves”, but I think it wasn’t something he could teach me, so he taught me how to play Jazz instead. It worked surprisingly well for what I was hoping to learn.
I quit after about 12 lessons, but it felt like I’ve had 100 lessons. I improved much and I felt motivated and confident enough to create music again.
You already filled me in on a lot of questions I wrote down for you, which is fine of course! Did you take other lessons besides guitar?
A friend of mine told me about a singing teacher in Terneuzen (Zeeland, The Netherlands) Her name is Ana Rossi. I took a couple of lessons, enough to learn how to not damage my vocal cords (laughs). It worked better than I hoped for, although I quit after a few lessons.
I want to learn how to play the Cello someday, as well!
It sounds like you’ve learned a lot throughout the years, I understand that you later joined other bands as well, can you tell me something about it?
That’s right, in 2008 I joined a band called “Crimson Black” which is a metal band that consists of four members including myself. I was the lead vocalist and guitarist of the band. We’ve created three records, our most notable record is Secedo, which was recorded at Avalanche Studio. I eventually quit Crimson Black because I felt like the band wasn’t progressing.
Ah, I remember Crimson Black. I recall helping you record a demo track of “retaliate” back in 2008.
Yes, that’s right! Actually, the main reason I quit was because we were about to sign a suspicious looking contract with a label associated with Sony. Something just felt off, and I didn’t want to be a part of it.
How did the other band members react to your decision?
They understand why I was leaving, but I didn’t feel like we necessarily departed in a good manner. We later officially made the announcement and the band (Crimson Black) quickly found another vocalist.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but you are now progressing as a solo artist, right?
Yes, that’s right. But before that I’ve been a guitarist for a band called “In Dismay” which is now known as Fire Within.
I’ve been in different bands for many years. I always had to adjust myself to other people’s genre. I want to have the freedom to do whatever it is that I want to do creatively. It was also a chance for me to give other artists a sense of genre that I am heading for.
I’ve recently heard that you are looking for musicians, does that mean you want to form a band again?
Yes, that’s right. I still want to form a band, but I want to have the freedom to express myself creatively. In Crimson Black, I felt much of that were declined.
You’ve recently released a single called “Excipere”, can you tell me a little about this song?
For a project I was doing at Artez Conservatorium, I had some time to record a music video. I didn’t have much time, so I immediately thought about a song I wrote some time ago called “Excipere” which is actually scheduled for a full album release.
I think it is a great opportunity, because I receive a lot of feedback.
You say you want to release a full album, can you tell me something about it.
That’s right. The album will consist of about 12 tracks, which I’m still working on. I’m very busy, so I don’t have much time for that.
I plan to release it in a year or so.
What can the listeners expect of this album?
I want to surprise the listeners. Emotions like violent aggression, melancholic will be the main theme for this album. I want it to sound “straight in your face”.
That sounds very exciting, I’m looking forward to hearing your new album next year! Thank you very much for your time.
I’m excited about it, too. But at the same time I’m worried about the deadline. (laughs)
You’re welcome, and thank you for taking the interview, I’m looking forward to reading it online.