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INTERVIEW: Daniel de Jongh – Textures

Back in 2001, Holland’s TEXTURES were among a elite few credited for kickstarting the djent movement into life. Now, 15 years later, the scene is enormous and after a five year gap between albums, the band are back on the scene with Phenotype. Before a supporting performance to AMORPHIS in Manchester (read our review here), We spoke to frontman Daniel de Jongh about the tour, their upcoming record Genotype (released next year) and whether the djent scene is stagnating.

So we are day two of the AMORPHIS tour, how was the first show last night?

Daniel: Yeah it was pretty good, it was the first one of course and it was pretty different from what we are used to, normally we do headline shows. It was a bit of a learning curve, setting back into gear two! But yeah for the first show, it went pretty well!

So how is the new material sounding live?

Daniel: Yeah it’s sound pretty good! People are really getting used to it, when you look into the crowd you see people singing along instead of the old records, people still don’t really know those records. We’re getting new fans and those songs are working really well live, we doing five out of nine now so there’s quite a big chunk of the new record being played. It’s what we wanted to do, this record screams for play it live!

So would you say it’s the best received album for TEXTURES?

Daniel: Yeah I think so. We hear that a lot and it’s what we went for. We wanted to have another banger, not for just the audience but for ourselves. Dualism was a more clean record, a lot more clean vocals, therefore for me and Uri [Dijk, keyboards] we had just joined the band. So for us, just getting to know the band and in six months we had to record that record. Phenotype we were there from the beginning and it just made sense.

It had been five years between Dualism and Phenotype. Why was there such a gap between records?

Daniel: That was down to a lot of bands. Jochem [Jacobs], our former guitarist, had left the band and we had another guitarist coming in, Joe [Tal], so that was another adjustment. And then we had a ten year anniversary tour for our first album, Polars, so that was another year gone which caused delays. We actually started the recordings a year before but it just didn’t feel right even though the songs were there we needed to take more time.

And do you think that by taking more time you’ve made a stronger album as a result?

Daniel: Definitely. That was the whole idea. We didn’t want to come back with just an album, we wanted to come back with a really strong album.

And of course next year is the second part of this double album, Genotype, will the transition between Phenotype and Genotype be seamless?

Daniel: No, it’s completely different! There will be elements that remind you of Phenotype like a drum riff or a vocal line. But the difference is that Phenotype has songs on it, there are nine songs. Real songs from start to finish but Genotype is one long song. A 45 minute song and you will hear transitions and differences but mainly it’s going to be one long song! You won’t really be able to skip across the record, it’s going to be an epic ride!

When TEXTURES first started it was when the djent movement really starting to explode. Now, it’s enormous, do you feel the scene has stagnated?

Daniel: Well there are bands still jumping out of the ground. The thing is, when this band first started and I wasn’t even in the band yet, they had this idea. This idea is almost the way to go now. Clean singing and growls, chugging riffs. TEXTURES started it with the MESHUGGAH style and with the vocal lines. Now all these bands all have that, but the funny thing is that bands like TESSERACT and PERIPHERY and so on all mention this band as their influence. I don’t know if it’s stagnated, I just think a lot of these bands should be a little more different. It seems a lot of bands call themselves progressive but what they mean is that they use different time rhythms and that’s it, there’s nothing really progressive. The only band now which is progressive, in my opinion, is TESSERACT because they really change. They try to change their game constantly.

And as a result of the popularity of djent and tech metal you have festivals like TechFest which you guys are playing at this year. Do you feel that more of these festivals are emerging that are dedicated to specific styles?

Daniel: Yeah, but I hope they won’t. In Holland they started one called Complexity Festival, it was really nice and we played there as a headliner alongside HACKTIVIST. It was really cool but the funny thing is that we spoke to the guys that run Complexity and they said they don’t want to try and stay in this genre. They want to mix styles, have the tech music but in different genres. That sounds really cool and I hope festivals like UK Tech and Euroblast will do the same otherwise it could be very boring! At these festivals you always see the same names. They play every year, I would get a little bit bored if I see the same bands every year!

So to close this off, we have you guys over here for TechFest, can you UK fans expect a headine tour in the near future?

Daniel: Not too soon, we have some things coming up. We are playing Mammoth Fest in Brighton and we’re headlining the Friday night next to HEART OF A COWARD. Then of course UK Tech in the summer, but we don’t have any thing planned for after that so nothing in the near future!

Well I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me, good luck with the rest of the tour!

Daniel: Thank you!

Phenotype is out now via Nuclear Blast Records.

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