Interview with Joseph Black about “Excipere”

Summary

On Feb­ru­ary 6, 2015, Aron Ver­bogt joined me (Fer­ry Meštro­vić) for an inter­view via Skype in which we talk about Joseph Black and his new sin­gle “Excipere”, which he released on 21 Jan­u­ary 2015 via social media.

Thank you for attend­ing this inter­view, Joseph. Can you tell me some­thing about your­self?

Thank you for hav­ing me. My name is Aron Ver­bogt, I am best known as Joseph Black, which is my stage name. I am 29 years old and cur­rent­ly live in Enschede, where I study at the Artez Con­ser­va­to­ri­um. I am a song­writer, vocal­ist and lead gui­tarist.

My musi­cal inter­ests start­ed since I was four years old. I was inspired by children’s songs, it was very play­ful and I learned a lot dur­ing that time. When I was 18, 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 had to get there some­how. For­tu­nate­ly, both my par­ents and for­mer in-laws helped me buy a gui­tar. I imme­di­ate­ly start­ed prac­tic­ing by play­ing songs from my favorite artists. I prac­ticed day and night until I thought I was ready to form some sort of band.

About four months after I got my gui­tar, I formed a band called “Pure Pow­er”, which was a pow­er / goth­ic met­al band that con­sist­ed of four mem­bers, includ­ing myself. We quick­ly start­ed writ­ing songs and almost imme­di­ate­ly went on stage. I felt like we made it as a band. We had big plans to release an album with 12 songs, although we bare­ly got 5 songs. Three of them were played live, and we were even broad­cast on tele­vi­sion. I thought that we would become the artists you read about in the mag­a­zines. I was real­ly full of myself then, but I was wrong.

Look­ing back, our first ver­sion lacked a lot of tech­nique, and although we were praised by the pub­lic for our per­for­mance, we lat­er received a lot of neg­a­tive feed­back. I think I often dam­aged my vocal chords dur­ing this per­for­mance. It was a dif­fi­cult time for me to face the fact that we were not as good as I had hoped we would be. After some time, Pure Pow­er split up and I joined a num­ber of oth­er bands such as Artemis Cir­cle. I gained a lot of expe­ri­ence dur­ing that time, but that was clear­ly not enough.

In 2005, I took gui­tar lessons from Joos de Lange, who just start­ed giv­ing gui­tar lessons, but I think he did not know exact­ly how to do that. For­tu­nate­ly I am a teacher by nature. While he was learn­ing me to play gui­tar, I taught him how to teach. It was a fun expe­ri­ence. I want­ed him to teach me to play songs like “King of Ter­rors” from Sym­pho­ny X and “Autumn Leaves”, but I think he could not touch me this, that’s why 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 had 100 lessons. I have improved a lot and I felt moti­vat­ed and con­fi­dent enough to make music again.

You have already answered a num­ber of ques­tions that I had for you, which of course is fine! Have you fol­lowed 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 have fol­lowed a few lessons, enough to learn how I do not dam­age my vocal chords (laughs). It worked bet­ter than I had hoped, although I stopped after a few lessons.

I also want to learn how to play the cel­lo one day!

It sounds like you have learned a lot over the years, I under­stand that you lat­er joined oth­er bands, can you tell me some­thing about it?

That’s right, in 2008 I joined a band called “Crim­son Black”, a met­al band that con­sists of four mem­bers, includ­ing myself. I was the main vocal­ist and gui­tarist of the band. We made three records, our most notable record is Sece­do, which was record­ed in Avalanche Stu­dio. Even­tu­al­ly I left Crim­son Black because I felt that the band was not pro­gress­ing.

Ah, I remem­ber Crim­son Black. I recall help­ing you record a demo song of ‘Retal­i­ate’ in 2008.

Yes that’s right! Actu­al­ly, the main rea­son I stopped was because we were about to sign a sus­pi­cious look­ing con­tract with a Sony-relat­ed label. Some­thing just felt away and I did not want to be a part of it.

How did the oth­er mem­bers respond to your deci­sion?

They under­stand why I left, but I did not feel like I had left in a good way. Lat­er we offi­cial­ly made the announce­ment and the band quick­ly found anoth­er singer.

Cor­rect me if I’m wrong, but you’re now pro­gress­ing as a solo artist, right?

Yes that’s right. But before that, I was a gui­tarist for a band called “In Dis­may” which is now known as Fire With­in. I have been in var­i­ous bands for many years and had to adapt to the genre of oth­er peo­ple. I want the free­dom to do what­ev­er it is that I want to do cre­ative­ly. It was also an oppor­tu­ni­ty for me to give oth­er artists an idea of what I want.

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 recent­ly released a sin­gle called “Excipere”, can you tell me some­thing about this song?

For a project I did at the Artez Con­ser­va­to­ry, I had some time to record a video clip. I did not have much time, so I imme­di­ate­ly thought of a song that I wrote a while ago, called “Excipere”, which is actu­al­ly planned for a full album release.

I think it’s a great oppor­tu­ni­ty because I get 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 songs, which I am still work­ing on. I am very busy, so I do not have much time for that. I intend to release it in a year or so.

What can the lis­ten­ers expect from this album?

I want to sur­prise the lis­ten­ers. Emo­tions such as vio­lent aggres­sion, melan­choly become the main theme for this album. I want it to sound “in your face.”

That sounds very excit­ing, I am look­ing for­ward to hear­ing your new album next year! Thank you very much for your time.

I am also enthu­si­as­tic about it, but at the same time con­cerned about the dead­line. (Laughs) Thanks for hav­ing me, I’m look­ing for­ward to read­ing it online.

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