DPRP's Menno von Brucken Fock speaks with Dutch artists Mangrove in Zeewolde on 15th January 2010
Mangrove are a four piece prog band originating from The Netherlands. The band was founded in the late nineties by guitarist and vocalist Roland van der Horst and drummer/vocalist Joost Hagemeijer. Fairly quickly a bass player was found: Pieter Drost but only when keyboardist Chris Jonker joined in 2001, the ultimate and still existing line up was formed and the first steps to national success were made by the release of the album Touch Wood (2004). Reviewers from both The Netherlands as well as from other countries critically acclaimed the next album Facing The Sunset (2005), for which they received the "prog-award" from "iO Pages", the leading magazine on progressive rock in the "Benelux". All expectations were met (and even more!) when the quartet released Beyond Reality last year, considered by many to be the band's major breakthrough.
On a somewhat misty Friday night, your correspondent drove off to the farm of Pieter Drost in Zeewolde, where the band would be rehearsing that night. Walking past a giant machine and an old Datsun, the band and their manager Henri Heijink were waiting in the back of the barn. A nice coffee/soda/beer corner and a lovely brand new PA system were the striking features of this well insulated part of the barn and there was plenty of room for each member of the band. After a cup of coffee this was what Mangrove had to say about who they are, what drives them and of course their comments on the making of Beyond Reality ...
MENNO: Firstly, the members of the band introduce themselves:
CHRIS: Well, I'm Chris, the keyboard player for Mangrove. What more is there to say (others are laughing). From the age of 11 until I turned 19, I have been taking classical piano lessons. I've studied lots of classical pieces and my favourite composer was J.S. Bach. I just loved his preludes and fugues. When I quit taking lessons I stopped playing music from sheets altogether and I don't think I would be able to play the stuff I used to play at the age of 19 anymore. Anyway, that's when I started improvising and playing in several local bands until in 2001 a friend of mine I used to play with, Rommert van der Meer (guitarist in DIAL), saw this add in iO Pages Magazine: Mangrove (then Joost, Roland and Pieter) were looking for a keyboard player. Rommert pushed me to go for it and instead of trying to put something together with Rommert I became the fourth member of Mangrove. My interest for symphonic rock started with Genesis, albums like Invisible Touch, from there I travelled back in time and discovered the "Gabriel years". I discovered Marillion and later Yes, Pink Floyd etcetera but Genesis has always been my favorite band. A band I listen to these days is Kansas, they're still one of my favourites. Although I have albums by bands like IQ, I find myself listening to the old stuff like Yes and Genesis most of the time.
ROLAND: I started to play guitar and piano when I was twelve years of age. I had a brother and a few sisters who played guitar and every time it was somebody's birthday, they picked up their guitars and that pushed me to learn to play too because I wanted to be part of such a celebration. So I started banging the E-minor chord on the guitar for hours, the next day the A-minor and so on, then I was totally lost: music would be my life. I locked the bathroom door and practiced for hours with a cassette recorder, trying to play Harry Sacksioni songs. At the same time I tried to learn to play the piano by myself but started taking lessons only when I turned 16. At the time I had serious thoughts about going to the conservatory. I could play both guitar and piano but couldn't read a single note so I had to start learning all the theory from scratch! During secondary school I met Joost and played in a lot of bands, partially with him aboard. That's how Mangrove got started because Joost and I got together at a later stage and recorded (multi track!) some pieces of music under the moniker of Brainstorm, around 1997/1998. We still play some of those songs! This was the time Joost and I sat together and had to decide if there was to be another project or that we would try to form a band. So at first there was singer Eric Holdtman and he knew about Pieter Drost ..... the first line up of Mangrove! After a long search for a suitable keyboard player we finally found Chris in 2001. My first heroes were YES, later I found out about King Crimson, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd and Genesis. I still listen to Genesis albums but also to classical music.
JOOST: My interest in music started from early childhood. My mother told me I could sit still on a couch and listen to Mozart from the age of three. I was taught the general principles of music and I started to play the organ because my main interest was 'weird sounds'. Unfortunately my parents chose to buy a piano. I held out taking lessons for another two years but then, when I was about eleven years of age, I quit. My brother, whom I slept with because we had quite a large family, introduced me to Genesis and Deep Purple. One day I woke up to the sound of Dancing With The Moonlit Night and from that moment on, I was enchanted. I wanted to unravel all the lyrics and found they actually had something to say. I still play those records with joy. When I met Roland in secondary school because he was taking music classes too, I found out he could play quite well even back then and then there was this urge to pick up music myself again. However, Roland was interested in jazz rock at the time and I didn't like that genre very much. A few years later we met again on the higher level secondary school and Roland played in the school band. When the drummer decided he'd rather wanted to play bass, they asked me if I was interested to become their drummer. As a coincidence my parents had saved some money and I was able to go to Haarlem (near Amsterdam) and buy myself my first drum kit! My first stokes in some attic and my first collaboration with Roland. We're talking 1985 or so. Then the schooldays were over, relationship, less time so temporarily I quit drumming but picked up playing the piano again. I bought myself a Yamaha and started writing my first compositions. A bit later on came the first Korg and I was writing even more music. That's when I met Roland again. It turned out we both worked for the same employer and we got together, exchanged ideas and that's how Brainstorm came about. I don't listen to music often, most of the time I'm working on my own stuff but if I'm in a listening mood it's still Genesis!
PIETER: At school I learned to play the flute but only by watching how other schoolmates put their fingers. I never learned how to read notes but this approach was just enough to get me a grade up to the mark. One time when I was sixteen, hanging out with a bunch of guys in some bar, I was asked to come and play in a band. I had pretty much to drink at that time and not thinking clearly I answered them "yeah sure, give me a call". I never expected them to call me, but they did! They told me they had arranged a bass and that they expected me to come and rehearse. The first song I had to learn was a Bruce Springsteen song. Anyway, that's how I got started. I was able to use that bass for a few weeks more and went looking for my own gear and managed to buy a bass + amplifier for 'just' 150 Dutch Guilders (about 68 Euros). At some point I bought an instruction video and the guy in the shop recommended me one by Billy Sheehan. It turned out that many of the techniques he was instructing, I already used but I became a huge fan of Mr. Big and started collecting all their albums and playing bass lines of all the songs. From one coverband to another, I climbed my way up until the band I was playing at that time, split up. Luckily, Erik Holdtman, singer with Roland and Joost remembered he saw me play live once and he made the connection. On a Sunday afternoon I joined these guys for a rehearsal and I enjoyed it tremendously, although I had no experience in playing original compositions and I had never listened to 'prog' ( I still don't by the way!). In spite of my 'non-prog' history we decided to give it a try, and guess what... I'm still here!
CHRIS: The first time I auditioned for Mangrove, it struck me how tight these three guy were playing, like a smooth running machine!
MENNO: Almost 10 years in the same line up, which is quite a remarkable accomplishment, but per year 'just' between 5 and 10 shows. Does this mean you don't spend enough time together to argue or would you rather be touring half the year and still think you would be able to get along just fine?
CHRIS: Of course we would be delighted with more shows, but compared to other bands in this genre whose members have a regular job, we play live rather often and surely more frequently than many of our colleagues. Don't forget we rehearse here in Zeewolde almost every single Friday night and we did so year after year, so I would say we are quite a disciplined band and we do spend a lot of time together. Furthermore we do a whole lot of things ourselves for the band too behind the screen, so I would say Mangrove is undoubtedly a BIG part of our lives (the others fully agree with this statement).
ROLAND: We write our own music, we make all of our arrangements ourselves and we did most of the recordings, except for our last album Beyond Reality : this time we used a professional studio. We also make our own cover designs, photos, website, you name it! Everything, even the distribution of the CD's, is under our own control. Another peculiarity is, Mangrove still plays the old stuff, the arrangements might change a bit but we keep on rehearsing songs from the very first demo of Joost and me.
CHRIS: If you look at our gig-record, you'll notice the venues we play are getting bigger and nowadays we only play in more renowned places. We tend to pay more attention the quality than the quantity of our performances. We have been climbing up the ladder and promoted ourselves from support act to co-headliners and have already proof our new album is opening new doors for. Based on Beyond Reality, Arie Verstegen granted us the first show as sole headliner in November in "De Boerderij" (Zoetermeer, Netherlands) and we will make sure it will be a gig to be remembered! Another difference compared to previous albums is, the sales of Beyond Reality just keeps on going on.
MENNO: Many bands eventually achieve international recognition by playing European venues as support act of a well know band...?
CHRIS: Yes I agree, that could be a good way of making a name for yourself but as said, we all have regular jobs so touring for a longer period of time at this point, is still quite difficult to realize. That's what Riverside did: they felt they were close to international fame and they went for it, gave up their jobs and conquered Europe successfully. We could consider to do the same (grins).
MENNO: Being influenced by for example Genesis so profoundly, how can you manage to refrain from 'sounding too much like ...."?
ROLAND: Obviously we try hard not to 'sound like' but here's where our manager Henri comes in: he is our 'conscience' and he helps us to rearrange or rewrite bits and pieces that 'sound too much like'.
CHRIS: It doesn't matter if there's occasional riff or fragment that might sound 'a lot like...'. People might appreciate it because they can relate to such music. What's more important, we try to let the music flow naturally and we try very hard to avoid a song consists of unnatural melted bits & pieces. We take it as a compliment if reviewers or fans say to us a 20 minutes track sounds like only 5.
ROLAND: In a way we think we picked up where bands like Genesis or Yes changed their sound. We don't mind to read in reviews that we create the same atmosphere as those legendary bands but like to read that we are no copy cats!
CHRIS: The term 'progressive' I always find very confusing : we make music that we are extremely proud of but I would be inclined to call it "regressive!" (laughter).
MENNO: Why a quartet and not a quintet with a genuine front man/lead vocalist?
JOOST: When Eric Holdtman left the band we had some shows already planned so we had to improvise. That's when Roland and I started to sing but based on the response of the audience this didn't seem like the ultimate solution and we really searched to find a suitable replacement.
CHRIS: Looking back, this was a great time, all those so called lead vocalists auditioning. Man oh man, we had some good laughs!
JOOST: For example we auditioned a guy who pretended he was usually compared with Peter Gabriel and Peter Hammill, but when he was done we thought the comparison was only for 1% right, tops.
CHRIS: I can't even remember why, but we even looked for a second guitarist...
ROLAND: We thought we could do even more with our music using two guitar players as one could imagine.
MENNO: How do you determine what a particular instrument should sound like? I'm a bit surprised by the sound of the bass for instance: Pieter sounds more jazzy than comparable to either Rutherford or Squire?
ROLAND: Such things we leave up to the one playing the instrument. We have our own ideas and we can make suggestions but in the end it's the individual instrumentalist who decides what sound he prefers, because he is the one that should feel good about what he hears.
PIETER: Sometimes it's quite difficult to establish the sound you have in mind. Playing live is in no way comparable with the sound in the studio and we have to bear in mind that the sound you record must be played live as well. I'd like to sound like Sheehan most of the time but it doesn't always work out like that.
JOOST: Actually sometimes it's really funny: for example I read in a review "the way Roland plays his guitar sounds like Rothery" (Marillion). I don't think Roland has ever listened to a Marillion album in his life! It's very easy to look for references in our music but everything we play is strictly honest and with no intention to sound like any band in particular.
MENNO: Between 6-10 shows per year, does that mean you rehearse even more frequently before a show or is once a week enough? Any comments about the shows abroad in the UK and Poland?
CHRIS: Usually once a week is a solid base to go on stage without being nervous. For major gigs such as the one we have planned in November, we will certainly get together more often not only to rehearse but also to talk about special effects, lights etcetera.
ROLAND: Poland has been really awesome. Two shows we played there and had a massive response from the audience. Really nice. You almost feel like a rock star there, because everyone wants to have his photo taken with you and that sort of stuff. Very touching.
CHRIS: It's amazing how the crowds respond in different countries: when Roland plays a really nice guitar solo, in Holland people would start to clap their hands during the solo, while in Germany people would tend to wait until the last note has faded away and in Poland people just go crazy! In the UK we visited London and Oxford and when does one get a chance to do these things? After the show in "The Peel" someone came to us and said "How on earth is it possible I've never heard of you guys?" It's a bit of the same kind of question we ask ourselves, when we realize we've been playing progressive rock for about 10 years now and we never had an interview for DPRP until now (laughter). We also visited the boarding school where the members of Genesis met and guess what: the atmosphere, the dresses, they haven't changed in thirty years!!
JOOST: Verviers was an extraordinary experience for us too. Some 250 people were there and we played Beyond Reality there and the part where the music is really soft, everyone seemed to be breathless.... not a single sound!
CHRIS: I agree, in just one hour we got such a great response and we sold many CD's after the show that night!
MENNO: Surfing the internet I got the impressions that most of the Dutch zines and related were are quite positive about Mangrove while the reviews from abroad are more diverse: what is your experience?
CHRIS: Well that's odd, because we feel the response outside of the Netherlands is much more enthusiastic than in our own country. Possibly the reviewers are a different 'breed' than the people attending the live shows? Our live performances used to be a whole lot more powerful than the previous albums and we noticed this by the critics. Fortunately we have managed to catch that same power & energy on our latest album in the studio as well.
JOOST: It's always flattering when you read a positive review about your music but to be honest, I like reading the reviews on prog sites or magazines, but most of the times these are written by people who like the genre and they are not particularly critical. I'm even more interested what reviewers have to say who are writing for different genres like metal or from the Music Forum. These people are music lovers, connoisseurs with no particular interest in prog. When I read a raving review from these sources, that's when I rejoice even more!
CHRIS: Another great way to find out what people really think about your music is when you play in the open air, like we traditionally do on the Queens Birthday in Apeldoorn on April 30. Real music lovers don't come out to see us, they just happen to walk by, are touched and stop to keep on listening and - most of times - buy a CD and send us a mail a few days later, stating they had a great time listening to the album as well.
MENNO: Are there plans to make efforts to gain more popularity outside of the Netherlands?
CHRIS: Definitely. Our manager Henri is very busy to try and get us more shows abroad and the sales of the CD's to other countries is one of the time consuming activities I'm responsible for. Marketing our albums and keeping in touch with existing distributors but also finding new ones is one of my major assignments. In fact it takes up so much of my time that we decided that I would be working my regular job for one day less to be able to handle all these things. I think there is a tendency that a lot of bands are taking over that part of the business themselves and even the major labels are copying the policy of the smaller independent labels because they found out the old concept isn't working anymore. Recently I have been negotiating with a distributor from Italy, so these marketing related things are an ongoing process for me. We've talked about this a lot but after careful consideration we have chosen not to look for a record label, but to try and do everything ourselves, as we have been doing all along.
ROLAND: Well, another point is, our popularity is growing, our network has been expanding over the years and at present we have several albums, a good website and many positive reviews to support us. Every year we have found new doors opening for us! You just need to have contacts everywhere and the internet is a nice medium but to do things the right way it 's very time consuming as well.
MENNO: About your compositions: do you compose as a band, strictly individually and arranging in a later stage or do you send files to each other to work on?
JOOST: It's all three I suppose, although sending files to one and other mostly happens when we have been taping stuff, often jam-sessions. Chris is our computer wiz and he listens to the recording, takes the best parts and sends them to Roland, Pieter and myself and then we go over those and try to improve, adept and arrange to our best knowledge. The instrumental part on Facing The Sunset was the result of a jam-session, only the acoustic guitar part by Roland was added later. Using files is also very useful when we have solitary parts, a solo or a nice chorus but we need to implement those in order to melt them to a complete song.
CHRIS: As we discussed in the article in Interface Magazine, what we do is custom made, carefully crafted by hands, not computers. We are really a very old fashioned band because the majority of our songs are composed in the rehearsing room! Because of the dynamics we refrain from using the computer as an aid for composing. It's absolutely on purpose we have named our site "Mangrove, the art of progressive rock", because we feel our music is art, not computer made.
JOOST: Gigging is fun, the mixing process is very challenging but fun to do in its own right but being part of creating the music we like is the ultimate joy for all four of us.
CHRIS: There are exceptions however: Love And Beyond was written at home by me behind a piano, Reality Fades was an almost complete song delivered by Joost. The beauty of composing during the rehearsals is you can influence each other and inspire one and other to a higher level of performing, the individual wouldn't have been able to realize sitting at home, making music on his own.
JOOST: But a track like Time Will Tell took us about a year and some 36 versions before we finally decided which of all the takes we would pick for the recordings. The weird thing about that song is, that if you would listen to take three, you wouldn't even recognize the song from the version on the album! The title track Beyond Reality was recorded in just two sessions, so there can be a huge difference between the songs as for time and place of their origins and the time it took for us to be satisfied with the result.
MENNO: How do you decide whether a demo is ready to be recorded as definitive version?
PIETER: Either the long road or the short cut where we need only one or two sessions: it's always a band decision when we say: this is enough, this is it! We have yet to encounter a moment where we don't agree on what ends up as the 'final version'.
JOOST: We are very keen on details. We want the music to flow in a natural way but we also try to realize that each fragment of a song has something to draw the attention of the listener and keep her or him focused by changing the key for example or using a different arrangement. Each member of the band has to be 100% satisfied with that final version.
MENNO: So do you don't use the computer as an aid for composing but I presume it's an invaluable aid for the recordings?
ROLAND: Yes, we couldn't achieve an album that would meet our standards without computer. All the recordings of our rehearsals & jam sessions were done via computer. The recordings for Beyond Reality were done in Studio Lobbes on the Macintosh and in Roland's home studio we did the final mix, again using the computer. The only disadvantage is that every single version, effect or whatever has been saved and sometimes it's very difficult to decide which take to use. But the huge advantage is you can get rid of clicks, a tingling, noises etcetera in just a few seconds.
CHRIS: As for the use of computers: I use a laptop, even on stage, as a musical instrument. I think I have used the computer as software synthesizer for about ten years now.
MENNO: Because all the record companies suffer from the diminishing sales, many companies don't send promo CD's out anymore but downloads instead. Do you think this is the right way to promote an album?
CHRIS: The internet is a very powerful medium to spread the word, have your music accessible worldwide and as long as these downloads are paid for, I don't mind. Seeing our album being downloadable from Russia to anywhere for free, is very painful for us: we don't create music which we consider to be art, to be 'consumed' as if it were a quick bite from the Mcdrive, although the difference is that people pay at least a little amount for that hamburger! Certainly the younger generation is used to this phenomenon whilst the older generation still likes to have "the real product". Roland just mentioned the new King Crimson boxset of In The Court Of The Crimson King: if there wasn't a market for these products, companies wouldn't bother to release these items.
JOOST: It's a development that can't be stopped anyway. Making your music accessible with teasers and providing good quality downloads for a reasonable price could be a good thing and not a threat. We could focus even more on our shows and create an additional source of income that way. There are still a lot of people interesting to buy the genuine product! Some of the big names in prog history still exist and benefit from the continuous interest of both older and younger fans.
MENNO: What's the reason for the long interval between Facing The Sunset and Beyond Reality, some 4 years?
JOOST: Partly by accident, partly based on thoughtful consideration. Don't forget our double live album Coming Back To Live (2006) by the way, which also took a lot of work. We tried to improve our 'product' every way thinkable: compositions, arrangements, recordings, artwork, you name it and these things take time too. Within our limited resources we all wanted to achieve the absolute maximum with our new album. All these entities but the same amount of spare time available result in a process that takes longer than anticipated. Another big issue was the mixing process. After we recorded in the Studio Lobbes, in February 2008, we were so satisfied with the engineer that helped us recording the album that we also asked him to do the mixing. When we listened to the final mix we looked at each other and we all agreed this couldn't be true: this mix wasn't even close to what we had in mind! So another attempt was made, but all efforts were in vain: we simply didn't see eye to eye on the sound, so we had to end this relationship. Later an acquaintance offered his help and wanted to mix one track for free. In the end this didn't work out as well, but again it took time. Summer holidays came and then we decided to go for mixing the album ourselves. The next problem we encountered, were the sometimes 60 - 70 tracks per song. It needed a much bigger computer than we had at the time.
ROLAND: I've spent a great deal of time figuring out what kind of equipment and software was needed and how to mix an album properly. I took over half a year but now we have our own experience and a next time we will know what to do right from the start!
CHRIS: It proved to be rewarding because the criticism on the earlier albums as for the production side of them, changed to very positive comments on Beyond Reality! In Italy our album is nominated for 'best album', 'best production' and 'best video' (www.progaward.it).
MENNO: Up to now the vocals were subject to criticism; what happened in the past ten years?
ROLAND: I've always sung, but never professionally and I never had the ambition to be 'the singer in the band'. As you know, we had to improvise when Eric left the band and that's how it all started.
JOOST: In the early days I used to sing the parts that I composed but I began to get troubles with my voice, maybe because of a bad technique and at a point my voice became so unreliable that I decided to let Roland sing my parts too.
ROLAND: I began to take singing lessons for a couple of years and I worked very hard to improve my vocal performance. I've learned a lot and I'm convinced it helped me tremendously: purely on technique, not about English pronunciation issues, just breath control and all kinds of exercises to learn how to sing vowels and consonants correctly.
CHRIS: Roland even hired a teacher to improve his English! He deserves all credits for the major steps he made forward and the reviews show all efforts weren't in vain. This is only one of the few reasons we have been busy with Beyond Reality so long.
MENNO: During the live shows you still play a couple of old tunes: any specific reason ? Any plans for recording a DVD?
CHRIS: Obviously the best reason is the feedback from the fans. A track like Wizard Of Tunes, live more spectacular than on the album, always provokes a lot of positive reactions and of course we like playing them too. There are other tracks of Touch Wood however, we don't play anymore.
JOOST: A DVD recording? How did you guess ? Yes there are some plans but they are not definitive yet.
CHRIS: It might well be that the show in De Boerderij (November 2010) will be taped but the name of Katovice has been mentioned too. We're still contemplating but something like that will happen in the near future.
MENNO: Considering Mangrove do almost everything themselves: who are responsible for the public relations, such as website, My Space, Hyves, Twitter etcetera?
CHRIS: The maintenance of our website is my responsibility and Henri and I do the newsletter and My Space. I wish I had more time because certainly Henri and I would send out a newsletter more often. It's a nice way to keep in touch with the fans, but it there are issues such as 24 hours in a day....
MENNO: Any idea in which countries outside of the Netherlands Mangrove is selling fair amounts of CD's to?
CHRIS: Germany is pretty good but also the UK and the US.
JOOST: Usually we have a good friend handling all the shipments both to individuals as well as distributors. The only thing we have to do is send him a mail with all the necessary data.
CHRIS: Because he’s on holiday now, I had to prepare some shipments today and it cost me more than 1 1/2 hours so indeed we are glad we have someone else doing this for us.
JOOST: Most of the sales is via distributors. The other part is going directly to customers.
MENNO: What's the purpose of all the lyrics in mirror image and the statement that the new album cannot be played in a Ford Mondeo?
JOOST: (hilarious laughing by all members of the band) Take a look outside and you'll find a Ford Mondeo! We felt the urge to put some plain nonsense in the booklet and since Henri is often over-enthusiastic about our music and that listening to the album might interfere with his driving abilities, we decided to the record just 'couldn't be played in a Ford Mondeo'.
CHRIS: It was meant to be a wakeup call and if you would know how often we have been asked this question or how many times this phrase has been referred to in reviews, you'd be amazed! Joost is our lyricist so he will explain about the lyrics.
JOOST: I fell in love with the idea of using a mirror, because a mirror is also "beyond reality": you can see it but you can't touch it. By publishing the lyrics in mirror image and referring to our website, we intend to have people check out our website, because there they can find they can download all lyrics in plain text. Peter Gabriel, who is closely involved in Real World Records, inspired me. He once used a booklet with only images and the invitation to visit his website. For me lyrics are important. Lyrics by Roger Waters for instance are an additional value to his music. For Beyond Reality mainly the entities 'time' & 'space' were the main subjects.
MENNO: If Mangrove succeeds in surpassing the success of the current album, what would you do?
JOOST: Start waving a flag, quit my job and try to be a full time musician.
CHRIS: It has begun already, you know. Recently I started to work half a day less and for the most part this time is used to take care of the business side of Mangrove.
ROLAND: If we would be able to play the bigger venues, we would be paid more money and then we could consider to hire a top notch producer, someone who delivers the perfect mix. Or we could stop doing things like conceiving a booklet and the artwork and leave it for the pro's. If we would ever start touring for 30 days in a row, we wouldn't even have time nor energy to do anything else than keeping on top the game and nothing more!
MENNO: What are the future plans of Mangrove?
ROLAND: We have several shows coming up, some acoustic performances too but we'd like to emphasize that the show in De Boerderij on November 20 is THE main event for us this year. If there will be enough fans from Apeldoorn, we plan to charter a bus and transport the fans by bus to the concert and back. Furthermore we will be doing something very special that night. It's likely we will have a special stage set, maybe guests....
CHRIS: We would love to see as many people as possible and we would like to let our fans know we would like to get in touch with each and every one of them before, or more likely after the show.
JOOST: Talking to our fans after a performance is something we do after every show. In the case of Zoetermeer we want to do something extra special, not only being present, but we haven't figured out how yet....
MENNO: Epilogue: The band then thanked me for coming to Zeewolde and gave me permission to be witness of their rehearsal. I was amazed to see those four guys playing so tight as a band and with such a PASSION for their music ...... that was really beyond reality!
Interview & Live Photos by Menno von Brucken Fock
Photo Gallery Slideshow
Massive Hollowness 2001
Touch Wood 2004
Facing The Sunset 2005
Coming Back To LIve 2006
Beyond Reality 2009
Roland van der Horst
Very recently, several weeks after this interview, drummer Joost Hagemeijer and Mangrove decided to go separate ways.