June 19, 2015 Interview – Dirk Verbeuren of Soilwork
Soilwork, the glorious cultivation of Swedish melodic death grooves will add a tenth studio release, The Ride Majestic, to their twenty year catalog of Metal mastery on August 28th via Nuclear Blast Records. Few bands have blended the primal brutality of Death Metal with the delicate beauty of melodic chorus-work to such momentous results. Breaking into the mainstream in a big way with 2005’s Stabbing the Drama, Soilwork has been part of the upper echelon of International Metal bands in the modern scene since. Often heralded as innovators of their own subgenre, Soilwork boasts debuting two of their previous albums on the Billboard Top 200 charts, and look to continue to shred and deliver with their follow-up to 2013’s double album, The Living Infinite. Beyond all the accolades, some might even still insist Soilwork are one of the most underrated Metal bands today, and they would not be wrong. Shortly after receiving the anticipated news of a massive North American tour also taking place this Fall, we caught up with drummer Dirk Verbeuren for a closer look into the story behind the band, the making of The Ride Majestic, and much more.
CrypticRock.com – You became a member of Soilwork over a decade ago and in that time the band has achieved a great deal of success internationally. Tell us, what has the ride been like for you as a member of the band?
Dirk Verbeuren – It has been a fun ride and really opened my opportunities to meet and work with so many different people. This is the biggest thing I have ever done musically, and it is been amazing to be recognized as a part of this band. It has really been a great experience with some amazing human beings.
CrypticRock.com – It sounds like it has been. Your first record was in fact Stabbing the Drama in 2004. That record many look to as a turning point for Soilwork. Looking back on that being your debut with the band, what was that experience like?
Dirk Verbeuren – At that time I was still pretty new, so my input was limited to basically my drum parts. I did not really have the same experience as I do now and it taught me a lot. We were, and are still, very happy the way it came out. We had no idea that Stabbing The Drama would spawn fan-favorites like the title-track, “Stabbing the Drama,” “Nerve,” “Blind eye Halo,” and “Distance.” We also did not know that we would do four tours in North America including Ozzfest, just for that album! Looking back we have all grown a lot musically and have become more connected as a band. Stabbing The Drama is our best seller, but our strongest work is the most recent work we have done. I know everyone says that. (laughs). We are just really proud of how far we have come and what is coming next.
CrypticRock.com – As you should be. Striving for progression is essential in anything you do. The band, as stated, has gone onto great things since. In 2013 Soilwork released a double album entitled The Living Infinite. It is not too often bands put out double albums anymore. What inspired the band to put together this double album?
Dirk Verbeuren – It was planned from the beginning and as you said not too many bands do that now. I really think that is where the inspiration came from. It was Björn who came up with the initial idea and we really wanted to do something that represented a stronger connection we all have with music. Sometimes in this day and age it seems like music becoming almost a throw-away thing, we grew up with physical music like double vinyl, we wanted to bring that connection back because it is a part of why we all love music. It was kind of a crazy thing to do because it was a lot to work on, but it was important for us to give something cool to our listeners.
CrypticRock.com – It worked well, as the album is very strong and having two full-length discs to play provide quite a musical journey. The band is in fact set to release their tenth studio album, The Ride Majestic, in late August. What was the writing and recording process been like?
Dirk Verbeuren – The vibe of the album itself was influenced by the deaths that were surrounding during making of the album. It was very special to us in that way as well because we had to pull it together in a very short time and keep going despite tragedies. What came out is very much an inspiration to keep going no matter what. I am very excited about the music, it is going to be a really great album, and we cannot wait to share the new music with our fans!
CrypticRock.com – It sounds quite compelling. Sometimes the best music comes out of the tragedies we face. Besides Soilwork you have worked with a variety of other bands, including The Project Hate MCMXCIX which released a new album last year. What has it been like working with them?
Dirk Verbeuren – They are a very unique band that releases music on their own. I respect them a lot especially for their strong views about pirated music. Many people still do not realize that it really does affect income of musicians, especially new ones. You cannot just pirate music; someone did put their hard work and sweat into that creation. The Project Hate MCMXCIX takes a stand for the art, it is an honor to contribute to that.
CrypticRock.com – Agreed 100%. It certainly is sad to see the way entertainment has gone the way of downloading music and film with consumers essentially stealing a great deal of the time, as you stated. My last question for you is pertaining to movies. CrypticRock.com covers music and Horror films. If you are a fan of Horror films, what are some of your favorite Horror films?
Dirk Verbeuren – I enjoy Horror movies from time to time. It is very connected to Metal and has been a part of the bands I have been in which has been a unique experience for me. I get the biggest kick out of the movie Dead Alive (1992), it is very American. (laughs) My second and third favorite Horror movies are Hellraiser (1987) and The Midnight Meat Train (2008), I am a Clive Barker fan.