INTERVIEW: Daniël de Jongh – Textures

When news broke in May that progressive metal heavyweights TEXTURES were to break up after a 16 year career, the progressive metal world was shook to its very core. With the news still raw for many fans, the band aim to leave a lasting legacy through a farewell tour giving one last chance to say goodbye to TEXTURES. Before a headlining slot at this year’s UK Tech-Fest, which is in fact the band’s last ever UK festival appearance, we caught up with vocalist Daniël de Jongh to talk about the imminent breakup, the impact this had on the likelihood of Genotype being released and a reflection on a band that drove progressive metal forward.

So, this evening you are headlining UK Tech-Fest, which has been billed as your final UK festival show, what can fans expect from this performance?

Daniël: We will do a full set, nothing really fancy for the day, but we will just play the songs that people like best.

So almost like the best songs from your career?

Daniël: Yeah, I think so! We are looking at the last part of the tour at the end of this year and we’ll do some other surprises there but today we are going to play a full blown set.

TEXTURES originally weren’t booked for the lineup for this year’s Tech-Fest, you came in as bands pulled out. Do you think headlining UK Tech-Fest is a perfect opportunity to rope into your farewell tour?

Daniël: Yeah, I think so because we played the first edition of UK Tech-Fest so it is good for us to play this as our final festival in England. So for us, I think it is a good way to end it here. It’s a good festival!

TEXTURES have played Tech-Fest numerous times…

Daniël: I think three times!

Has the community of this festival been really important for TEXTURES?

Daniël: I think so because everybody who is here and on this festival is enjoying this kind of music. I think it is a very good festival for us, I think it is a very good festival for technical metal in general. If you look at the lineup for this festival all over the years it is a perfect mix of all kinds of technical metal.

Going into this farewell tour and the imminent breakup, what were the reasons behind calling it a day?

Daniël: Well actually, I really hate Stef [Broks, drums] and Bart [Hennephof, guitars] [laughs]! Nah, along the way for personal reasons, a couple of our guys have kids and they noticed that it just got a little bit more difficult to go out there and put the energy in to the band, which the band needs! And then eventually we talked it over and we were like “what should we do?” We already had some lineup changes before with people having the same things, we could go on like this but I didn’t think it was really going to work.

If you can’t give it 100%…

Daniël: Exactly, and that is exactly what we stated. If you can’t give it all for the band, if it is a weak 40% of giving it all then it’s not going to work. So maybe it is just time to call it quits.

TEXTURES have been around for 16 years which is a milestone within itself. Looking back, especially as you are calling it a day, what have been some of the highlights?

Daniël: Well one of the highlights we did was actually this year! We played Hellfest on the main stage and it was incredible. We played in our home country and we played one of the biggest festivals we’ve ever done and actually, every show we do is like a milestone. These are the crème de la crème, those are the things that really stood out for me. And of course if you see what the band has done in the past like playing with other bands that we admired and we’ve played with them, that’s a real highlight. Besides that, being called by bands who are big right now our biggest influences, that’s quite a milestone for this band, to be an inspiration for bands, that’s really cool.

Going on with this inspiration theme, the music of TEXTURES has influenced countless bands and, personally, I don’t think you quite get the credit you deserve…

Daniël: I think it goes a little bit hand in hand you know what I mean? We never made a secret out of the fact that we are not a full time playing band. We always said that we want to have fun in what we do and do the coolest things we can do but give it our all. If we were a full time band I think it could have been different, but that is not what we chose, and we never regret that. Maybe in a different world? But we’ve done everything we wanted! We played in the US, we’ve played India four or five times, we’ve seen things we normally wouldn’t see so for us this is perfect! And with the ending of this year we want to do some cool things as well, so it’s going to be good.

With this break up being announced, plans for Genotype have been put on hold. Could we ever see that record?

Daniël: You never know! As we said, last year we started writing and I think we had done 60 or 70% of writing the record and we demoed. We just noticed we couldn’t put the energy in to write the whole thing. Every time there was something coming inbetween, so we just decided to put things on the shelf and let it rest.

I guess you’d rather do that than release something that you know isn’t TEXTURES at 100%

Daniël: Actually we made a joke about it, maybe this is going to be our Smile record. Smile by Brian Wilson, he waited years and then he released that album! You never know!

Well hopefully we won’t have to wait that long! Obviously you have the farewell dates at the end of the year, can fans expect the similar approach to what we will have at UK Tech-Fest?

Daniël: Well we are definitely going to put something different to the table, we’re going to play songs that we haven’t played much before. We haven’t decided yet what we are going to play but we will probably put something online for people for what they really want to hear, so kind of a poll. And then we are going to choose from all those songs and that really will be a best of set!

And once TEXTURES has come to an end what is going to be next for you? Are you going to carry on in music?

Daniël: Definitely! Almost everyone is going to continue playing and creating music. For me, personally, I don’t have something real concrete right now but I’m just focusing on the band right now.

I guess it would be really hard to switch off after such a long time in music?

Daniël: Exactly, it’s strange for us all to think about the end so we are just in this moment and still in the band and we are still giving it our all for now.

Well best of luck for the headline show tonight and for the farewell dates later this year.

Daniël: Well thank you very much!

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