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INTERVIEW: FLOOR JANSEN of ReVamp – March 2014

| 20 March 2014 | Reply

I always love when I get the opportunity to speak with an artist that I am particularly fond of, but ecstatic when given a second opportunity on the eve of an American tour.  In this case, getting a little time with Floor Jansen of ReVamp just before they launch their music on an American audience for the first time, is a definite score in my book.  I can’t wait to see Floor and the rest of the band take over St. Andrews Hall in Detroit on April 12 when they open for Iced Earth and Sabaton.

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Toddstar: Thank you so much for taking time out for us today, Floor. We really appreciate it.

Floor: You’re very welcome.

Toddstar: You guys are finally bringing your ReVamp show to America. How exciting is that?

Floor: That’s great, yes. It was about time.

Toddstar: It’s past due actually. It is past due.

Floor: Yeah, you can’t speed up things. Considering everything, it wasn’t even possible before so I am happy it’s happening now.

Toddstar: I am just excited that we’re going to get to see what Europe got to see when you guys rolled with the Kamelot. How was the tour when you guys rolled out with Kamelot?

Floor: That was nice. Yeah, that was okay.

Toddstar: How did the crowds respond to the new material from Wild Card?

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Floor: They liked it. It’s definitely heavier than the previous stuff but a lot of people see it as a very welcome change. Yeah, only positive reactions.

Toddstar: Excellent. Now, you’re bringing this to America. Are you already working on or do you already have the set list pretty set? Are you guys going to be real heavy with the new album? Are you going to play a lot from both releases?

Floor: We have a 30-minute set. There’s not that much we can do but it’s nice too since it is the first time, and we do have a setlist which includes material from both which is indeed already set. It was only because we share our backline with Sabaton, and they have a left-handed drummer, so our drummer and learning how to play the whole set the other way around because he is right-handed.

Toddstar: Really?

Floor: Yeah. Cool, right?

Toddstar: It is very cool. When you’re bringing to the US, you’ve traveled the US before, is there anything that you’re really looking for during this swing other than introducing the crowd to ReVamp?

Floor: I love your health stores, the food stores where they have the most amazing crazy, healthy stuff that is really hard to get by here. I think the American crowds are great and I am curious to see what they’re going to think of ReVamp. It’s funny because this is my third American tour, and I toured three different events. After Forever and Nightwish, now, ReVamp. It’s funny how that has happened.  There is a different vibe in the States than there is here in Europe in general, of course. I always really enjoyed that. To feel the differences. Europe, it’s cold here but of course, there’s all these different countries of different cultures, and different languages, and all that. In the States, it’s different but then, of course, the differences between the States is something that I am learning bit by bit every time I am getting there. I always find it interesting. Yeah, those kinds of things I am looking forward to, and just playing again so much. I love touring. That, in general but yeah, I can’t wait.

Toddstar: When you’re getting ready to hit the road, what are the couple of things that you look around your home, and you think, I have to take this with me. I can’t survive without it?

Floor: My yoga pants and my yoga mats so I can do yoga wherever and whenever. I recently discovered that my body and mind both really enjoyed that especially when you’re having music and heavy, aggressive stuff, and heavy traveling, a lot of people around you constantly. It’s super important that I can close myself off from time to time. That line of thoughts, I always bring my own music and my headphones with me.  I can’t bring it, unfortunately, but else I would have taken my blender with me. I would just think all the nutria-bullet which is something I can mix all kinds of fruits which makes my shakes for juices. You never know in a venue what you’re going to get, if you’re going to get something, and no input, no output, I always say. With the right input, you keep yourself healthy which is one of the most important things on the tour and one of the biggest challenges as well because the circumstances aren’t like home. Those are definitely a few things on the top of my list.

Toddstar: Putting together a set list, what kind of songs, if you don’t mind leaking, what kind of stuff off the new album can we expect to hear in the US?

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Floor: We just recently made this lyric video, the song called “Nothing.” It would be cool to play that. Actually I have a few sets made. We’re not going to play the same thing for the sixth time. It sounds like “On the Sideline,” we’ll probably do there every time because it’s also the first song on the album, and it has many of the old ingredients that ReVamp has to offer nowadays. That song would be important. One of my personal favorites, Wolf and Dog, probably will be in there too, but again, it might just vary. We have a couple of setups so we can play around a little bit, and keep it interesting for ourselves.

Toddstar: Sure. Now, when you’re going from venue to venue, sometimes, artists will leave things behind. If you accidentally left your iPod or your phone behind, what must might your fan find on there that would surprise them?

Floor: Cool. I don’t know. What’s surprising? I am now driving into my iTunes. I guess, a lot of people know that I am into the heavier stuff so there’s a lot of that on there. Most surprising might just be the Depeche Mode.

Toddstar: Okay. That’s definitely a bit of a change from what your music is.

Floor: Yes. Not metal. I listen to a lot of things or David Gilmour. He is a guitar player. He has some solo stuff that I really like.

Toddstar: Sure. Now, last time we talked, I actually had the pleasure of interviewing you back in August. At that point, the most recent CD on MP3 you had purchased was The Best of Leonard Cohen.

Floor: Yeah.

Toddstar: What would it be now? What was the last thing you went out and purchased?

Floor: I don’t know anymore. I do actually. The last one is the album Sound Awake from the band Karnivool. It’s an Australian band. You write it and it is K-A-R-N-I-V-O-O-L, Karnivool. There is a song on it called New Day. I heavily fell in love with them. I have been playing it a lot. The whole album, I must say, it’s fantastic.

Toddstar: Cool. Very cool. You’re going out on this tour. You’re going out Iced Earth and Sabaton. The last time we spoke you mentioned you’d love to tour Soilwork.  Have you been able to work towards getting that done?

Floor: No but the funny thing is, and I think I can mention it now because the show is on Friday. I am going to join them on stage. They’ve asked me to be there at their DVD recording show that they play in Helsinki on Friday. I am one of their special guest for this show. No touring but I’ve met them a couple of times, and yeah, I don’t know how it really happened but they asked me to sing on it. Yea.

Toddstar: Cool. Very cool. Maybe it was my interview. Who knows?

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Floor: Yeah, you never know. Yeah.

Toddstar: Tell us a little bit about the Master Class you have been teaching surrounding vocals.

Floor: Nothing particularly on a consistory or a university or something like that but last weekend, I had my first master class for singers about singing, of course, here in the Netherlands, and I will do the same thing next week in Helsinki. If that proves to be successful, I am thinking of doing the same during the tour in the States, and maybe South America as well because as soon as I announce, I am going to be doing a master class, I got reactions from all over the world. Of course, I cannot be everywhere always but at least, I am going to be in the States. I might have some time on my hands where I can provide some of those master classes.

Toddstar: Excellent. Excellent. Yeah, I assume it was through a university?

Floor: No, it was my own initiative and organized by me.

Toddstar: Very cool. I am huge fan so I follow you on Facebook and that’s how I knew about it.

Floor: Awesome, wow. Fantastic. Thanks. Yeah, indeed. I’ve been teaching since 2003, all kinds of occasions and in schools, and at home, and all that, but I just don’t have the time anymore. For a while, I’ve been teaching via Skype which worked and was fun initially, but just too much of work. When I realized that there is still so many people asking me for classes, it’s like why don’t organize one master class where I can reach some people, and I filled that one out in one day.  That was the one last weekend. Yeah, I still had more people who wanted to come. If I can, I should try and do a few more of this because there are so many people who want it. If I can do it, it’s just fun. It was great from last weekend. It was really, really nice to work with all these singers and look at their problems. Usually, it was a bit of a troubleshooting classes where someone would sing a part with their certain question like, “Why can’t I sing this part high enough?” or “Why is my voice doing this …”

Toddstar: Just a couple more before … I know you’ve got a busy day with interviews here.

Floor: No worries.

Toddstar: When we spoke last, you had so much things going on, but Wild Card was just coming out.  It was just getting ready to drop, which got a ten out of ten on our site.

Floor:   Wow.

Todd:I use it to run, because it’s got just such a pounding beat.  You mentioned that you used it as well.  Do you find that the album still is as magic to you as it was when it was still so fresh and new, and you had just finished it?

Floor: Yeah, it is; actually, maybe even a little more.  It had to sort of grow on me.  Usually, when you work on a CD, you have the recording, you make the artwork, the pictures, you do the promo; everything happens in one line of work, and then comes to release, and then you start touring.  I had all this Nightwish stuff in between this time.  I am not able to … I’m 100 percent focused on the shows with Nightwish, when I play with Nightwish.  I focus on “ReVamp” 100 percent when I work on the recording, and all the stuff that needed to be done for that.  It did create … the feeling of working on one thing was sort of lost on me, because of all this; which is still possible, but I think that’s the reason why the album later on grew on me more than it did before.  By the time it got out and we started touring, I was like, “Whoa.”  It felt like I was running, and barely able to run fast enough to keep track of my own life in a way.  Like, “Whoa, things are going so fast.”  Now, things have been a little slower for at least the last month.  I’m still doing tons of things, but not as crazily busy as last year.  It gives you some time to let everything sink in, and do some more touring and stuff.  Now, when I look at the album, I’m like, “Fucking yeah.  We did great.”  Being modest and biased.

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Todd: You’re a woman in metal who has always done everything by her own rules, whether it was  getting out and creating a masterpiece like “ReVamp”, and the two albums that they’ve done; whether you were doing it to Kickstarter-type programs.  You’ve always done it on your own terms.  Is that something that you set forth in the beginning, you wanted to be able to pull and call your own shots?

Floor: Yes and no.  When everything is arranged already very well, and things are rolling like they should, for instance in Nightwish, I am not the person who feels the need to be in charge, at all.  I’ll think along, but I don’t need to be the leader of the pack.  Of course, I would like to have the feeling of being in charge of the things that are happening to me.  I think everyone wants that; to sort of be in control of things that are happening in your life.  The stuff off After Forever was not in my hands at all.  It was not my decision.  I had to follow, because I was the only one who didn’t want to stop.  That was something I had no say in.  I just lost it.  I guess after that, I was a little more determined to put things, or to churn things more towards … do things more my way, but that backfired on me with the whole burnout that I got.  After that, and still … I need to live by my own rules and boundaries, without always wanting to be in charge of everything, which is of course an illusion anyway.

Todd: Again, I thank you so much for your time.  I cannot wait until this machine that you’ve created rolls through Detroit, Michigan on April 12th.  I’ll definitely be at that show.

Floor: Awesome.

Todd: Are there any cities that you’re looking forward to personally, to coming back and visiting?

Floor: Yes, but I am a terrible idiot with names and places.  I can go, “Yeah that was awesome.”  If you want me to say, “Yeah, that, that, that,” I couldn’t.  I have been in Detroit many years ago for the first time.  I don’t know, maybe I told you last time, too, that that was my first experience in the states, in general.  I wasn’t there with the band at the time; I was on a holiday visiting friends.  It was in Flint, Michigan.  I flew to Detroit, and came out and walked around.  I was like, “This is … wow.  This is like in the movies.”  It was a little scary at some points in the city, because I’m a tourist and a complete idiot.  I have no idea that some parts were maybe not so smart to go to.  I remember going to this venue … Sepultura was playing there at the time.  The lady at the hotel told me, “Take a taxi.  I’m going to call you one.  I’m going to ask for a lady driver.  Ask for her number.  Don’t go into any other taxis, certainly not with men.  Make sure she drives you up to the door.  Don’t go walk around, and whatever you do, don’t leave the building.”  I was like, “Really?”  She didn’t look like it was a joke.  I later heard that whole area was kind of funky.  I was like, “Wow, this is something else.”  I hope that the experience in Detroit will be somewhat more positive this time.

Todd: You’re playing a very cool venue called St. Andrew’s, which is going to be a great show.

Floor: Awesome.

Todd: I can’t wait, and I we have even set up for an on-site promotional interview while you’re here, which I’m very excited about.

Floor: Great.  That’s fantastic.  Thanks again for spreading the word of ReVamp in the states.  Yeah, I’m looking forward to rock with you, then, in Detroit very soon.

Todd: Thank you so much for your time, Floor.  Good luck on everything until we see you in about a month in Detroit.

Floor: Absolutely.  Thank you, too, and have a lovely day.  See you soon.

 

http://revampmusic.com

https://www.facebook.com/ReVamp

Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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