How is it going with Sculpture?
David: Well, with Sculpture we're a bit awaiting
things recently. We are looking how and if we should continue on and in which direction we
should go on. Whether we should go on or not and how it all connects with each other. So,
we are awaiting how things are going to be.
What are the chances you are looking for?
Uh, not really chances. That is all up to the amount
of energy you put into it. Especially the question where we should put our energy into is
important. Also the personal things, as we have enough on our hands. And with this we are
wondering "should we go on or not". It's mainly a spiritual business: "Does
God want to use us as a band or are we the ones who want to go on?" And that's what
we are still looking for.
And, Ardi, how do you think about this?
The same. We stand shoulder to shoulder.
Last month you played at the Baroeg for example.
That is of course an excellent chance to present the band in a secular club. The band's
show was very well received. Also the organization was quite satisfied with the band. As
you are considering the question whether to continue on or not, is that also something
you've keep in mind?
David: Yeah, these are things we are looking at.
When doors are opening you'll have to decide whether you'll go in or not. This concert
came on our path. We didn't do much about it ourselves so we picked it up. And it's also
to look if this is something for us. And for one third it was a confirmation, in a sense.
These three concerts (Baroeg, Peacedog Festival and Freakstock, mpo) that we're doing are
things for us to look for clarity.
A confirmation of what?
David: A confirmation whether we should go on or
Ardi (off-handedly joking): From?
Robert: From whom?
David: From the neighbor!
David (pretending to be angry): Well, if you think
you know anything better why don't you do the talking!
Is there some interest from recordcompanies besides
David: No. No, right, Gerben?
Gerben: No. And that's not what we are busy with.
Isn't it disappointing? You release a CD, try to get
David: It depends how much you expect from it! You
can only get disappointed when you have high expectations. The higher the expectations the
bigger the disappointment may be.
The band exists since 1991. You are married and
besides that you all have busy jobs. How is it to continue on with the band? You do have
certain responsibilities within your marriage and you have your jobs. Is it easy to go on
with Sculpture. You are already wondering whether to go on or not.
David: That is not something linked with it
directly. It's more like "Does God want to use you". Perhaps God wants us to go
to Amsterdam and do some preaching there. Is that what we need to do? And how do you know
it? That is the question of course. It is the question how you can be used. It can be at
your work too. We all work. We practice as a band only once every week. Only half an hour
perhaps and for the rest we are chatting all night (laughs loudly).
You are looking for answers in a spiritual
direction...What are the questions you ask yourself?
David: Whether God wants to use us this way and
wants to continue using us. Because after the Flevo Festival last year it all became quiet
around us. And Flevo wasn't a good experience for us in fact. A very tiresome one. That
was one of our worst concerts. And we had struggles with the organization. In the end we
didn't feel like doing it. It was a bit disappointing. And then things slowed down until
we began wondering and then we finally had three new gigs.
Does it have to do with the CD being quite old? Two
years old. Do you get response about it or is it a dead thing?
Gerben: Reactions are still coming. The export is
still going. In Holland the people who like it have the CD of course. Through the internet
I still sell some CD's every week. And recently I sent a bunch to various organization in
America like Rowe Productions, the new office of Rowe Productions in America. On those
CD's you can find our message too and this way it will reach the people. So, that goes on
Robert: Old is not really the case, I personally
think. It only goes for the very great bands who bring out a CD now. In September they
should have sold most of it and after three months it's old. For bands on a festival like
this one it doesn't go like that. If you bring out a CD without a big company to back it
up then it may take two to three years before you come with something new.
But it is true that the songs are old. There are
songs on that CD from the second demo and in the meanwhile you wrote a whole bunch of new
songs. So, in a sense they are old.
Robert: In that sense they are old but for someone
who hears them for the first time it's all new.
But then the first CD of Larry Norman can be still
Robert: On the other side we as a band don't make
music focused on the time we live in. We just make what we like and that's what we are
playing. And if that's linked to this time, we don't consider, do we?
Gerben: In fact, there are no ten other bands who
play like Sculpture. There are four songs on the album which are like the old death metal.
But a song like Spiritual Matrix isn't a song of which you can say: "this and that
band sounds like that too." So, throughout the years we created a certain sound with
which we began writing our other songs. In that perspective is this the Sculpture sound
and then you don't have to expect all kinds of idiotic changes. This is what we play and
we enjoy it and we are feeling happy with it. So, it just grew that way. We as a band
don't have the intention to move on.
There's a sampler CD coming up through Laceration
Productions with one of your songs on it. What do you expect from that?
Gerben: That CD will be released soon and it will
feature quite some new bands. It will be promoted secularly really well. The cover of the
CD is already on the internet. In principle I expect a broader interest in the band.
That people will say, "hey, great band, I buy their CD". The song No Respect
will be on it. It should have been released last month but a couple of bands were late
with sending in their material. I hope to have it before Flevo. I don't know. I did get an
E-mail saying they are going to do the printing. But they didn't mention the releasedate
You were featured on a couple of other compilation
albums as well like the Fear Dark sampler and 2000 The Second Coming and....
Gerben: We were on 2000 The Second Coming of Dwell
Records. We were on the HM Magazine Sampler. We were on the Fear Dark sampler Glory
Hallelujah Amen and we were on the Cross Rhythms Music CD.
And how was the feedback? I can imagine that being
on the HM Magazine Sampler had a lot of impact as many people will receive them. Did you
get many reactions on that?
Gerben: To give an example: Cross Rhythms Music
already did order some CD's from us. But I think they now have bought from us 200 CD's.
And for us that's a lot as we only had a little more than a thousand copies made. So, for
us it's quite a lot. So, that went well. The Fear Dark sampler is something else as we
already had the CD released in The Netherlands. It was just fun because the Dutch scene
that existed around that time is on that CD. Actually, we are almost the only band that
still plays live. It was also important promotionally. When others send a copy to a youth
center then they could see which bands were active. From that point of view it was a good
So it had a positive influence, that people said
"hey, this band is still active". Coming back to what we discussed earlier, the
question whether to go on or not, does this have an impact on the whole issue?
Gerben: You can always say "wow, I play in a
band." But the band exists for ten years and then you can feel like, "I had
enough." This is not for me as I'm in the band for a short while so I don't feel that
way. But we could use our time differently. All four of us are part of the same church.
And there we have our tasks too and we could make them priorities. So, it just depends on
where God wants you to be. You can do a lot yourself, but is it blessed? Blessing is not
something that comes forth automatically when you do something. If you are willing, then
you'd like some guidance as to where you can be of meaning.
Do you feel like there's still a blessing on
Gerben: Well, we're in a position right now that we
are looking for it. Not to take the steering wheel ourselves and move on to some place.
But to expect it from God. And I have most contacts outside the band and then you receive
E-mails from young people. And at the concert in Rotterdam at the Baroeg I spoke with a
thirteen year old guy. He was allowed to go to the concert with his father. Well,
then I think this is really cool. This guy could have had all kinds of secular bands at
home. He just liked Sculpture and then you can be important to this little guy by pointing
him to the lyrics of the band which go further then this temporary life.
Do you think that the music you make can be a
blessing to people? Not only for them to enjoy the music but even more than that?
Gerben: I think so. You mean if this music we play
can bring over the message? Well, I attended a Sculpture show before I was part of the
band. That was in Almelo at the Poort Van Kleef. And that night Decision D played and
Sculpture. And while Sculpture was playing I was in the middle of the crowd. And someone
gave me a push and this guy suddenly said: "Hey, they sing about Jesus!". So,
the music is not really important. You can still bring over the message. And then it can
be as hard as you like. It's the culture of those young people. And they understand as
easily what Metallica sings about or Deicide. They all understand it. And then they cry
out that it's not about the lyrics. But they do hear them. They don't play anything else.
If you don't play anything else but Bach or a certain opera, then you know exactly what
they are singing about. For them it's not gibberish. To me an Opera often is just
gibberish but those people know exactly what it is about and they simply feel it. And that
is the same with our music. So, you can make as much noise as you want but I still think
the message will come across.
Do others in the band feel the same?
David: Well, what Gerben says is true indeed. But
speaking about being a blessing, we have experienced in recent years that we more occupied
with the bands we played with, also Christian bands and guys in organizations, trying to
be encouraging to people, then to evangelize. And that's remarkable. That as soon as you
arrive you start talking with other bands who are operating secular and who never go to
churches. And that you talk with those people. And it's remarkable as in the first place
we should evangelize to people who don't know God at all. We have seen a difference, as
that was a big deal of our task in the last few years.
Robert: And also the mutual bond within the band. I
personally see the band as 70% a strong mutual bond. I don't see the band playing big
stages and lots of fans and blahblahblah. It doesn't interest me. What interested me and
still interests me is the bond we have with each other. On one hand that's one of the
biggest reasons for me not wanting to stop. You can do your best to organize a concert and
I think that a concert like the one at the Baroeg is certainly blessed. And perhaps not
directly the concert itself but everything that happened during the concert, before and
afterwards. I belief that God blesses it but what I say is, at one point you'll have to
put it down before God when you want to go on. Because it's a small effort to call a whole
bunch of clubs to play there but if God wants you to be there, he will put you there.
That's how we want to get out to play. We do play a very extreme kind of music. If you
don't long for God's guidance then you won't go to the places where you have to play. And
that's where you have to be, I think. So, something like the Baroeg or that festival in
Germany (Freakstock, mpo)
And in case you decide to go on, is that what you
want to do more? To play clubs like the Baroeg?
Ardi: Yeah, to go to secular clubs more. At
Christian festivals you always meet the same people. You see the same faces and that's a
pity when you want to bring the gospel. You need to be at places where people are who
never heard of God before. That's one of the goals of the band. But besides that it's also
good to be an encouragement for Christians. Sure enough!
David: You do indeed see a lot of folks who never go
to a church. So, you get stuck in a Christian environment but to be really devoted, that's
not what's happening. When they are at home they are surrounded by their troubles again.
And every once in a while they can forget about them when they go to a concert. They like
it and it does them well. But at home they fall back into their miseries. God can use us
for this too.
It might be that the band has the function of a
rolemodel. Like "hey, they're Christians and they dare to be frank about it and they
make loud music". It can be encouraging too.
Robert: Oh, yeah, that's is true all the same. And
it's generally accepted at the worldly places where we come. People simply don't
Gerben: We played in Veenendaal. And there was a
secular band too and we talked with them. And they were surprised. "Are you going to
church?" And "I used to go to church but I wore a leather jacket and was kicked
out of it." That way you get a conversation and they see it can be different. And
that's wonderful. And when you talk about it quite frankly then they don't reject you for
nothing. Then they are really anxious to hear more. And they start asking more questions.
And we answered their questions. It wasn't like us trying to convert them because that's a
work of God. That's not what we are for. We only can be a tool in God's hand. And that you
could see then. They just came to us and started asking questions. At other concerts we
don't see it happen as clearly perhaps. And when we have a concert we just go to the place
and see what happens. We don't have high expectations previously. Perhaps now we have as
we want to be confirmed whether we are on the right track.
Ardi: It's simply important to get an answer. Not
only for us to go on but also if we stop. I think you simply can't stop something you've
done for so long while you believe that God put us together. And kept us together these
ten years because that wasn't easy either. We had quite some rows (laughs loudly). So,
when we stop we want to have the answer to that too.
The band is the oldest Christian metalband in
Ardi: Perhaps the only one....(laughs)
...So that the band is a binding force for the scene
perhaps. Sculpture as a figure-head.
David: Then there should be a to-be-continued.
Robert: Sort of a Jerusalem.
David: Yes, that is my dream. To be used like them.
Ardi: Then you'll have to go on for another ten
David: Then we have to go on for ten years indeed. I
always said that, I don't know. After all these years, what has it been good for? We talk
a lot with each other and we get along with each other very well. How can God use us when
we don't back up each other. It's so easy to chat about each other. But if you really have
a bond with each other, if you are there for the others, then the first thing you can
testify of is: Jesus lives. That regardless of the problems you help each other get
through. That you go on and make God the priority. I believe that that's the most
important thing. And we don't necessarily have to go on. When you are twenty you like
being in a band. But we do have different lives. We have our jobs and our children and
plenty of things in our church to do. We are willing to lay these things down when God
makes that clear to us. Look, when you want to be used by God then God is very glad with
it. But in what way? Is it something I like or something he likes. And that's a search. If
we get the assurance tonight to do something, perhaps even to.....Well, I don't want to
mention something scary....but then we're willing to do so. But this guidance is the most
difficult part. And that's what we experience as a band. But we have to keep faith and we
will find a way through.
Gerben: You could see it with the apostle Paul. He
went to some place and the Spirit drove him into the other direction. In the end he only
could go that direction. And we are looking for our directions and God knows where we will
go only we don't (laughs). So, we are willing to walk on just like Paul. He went away not
knowing which way to go. And when it became clear he already had passed three boundaries.
So, we are awaiting for guidance.
Ardi: But we make a lot more noise then Paul!
And the music style....
Robert: We found out, and perhaps that's interesting
to know, that we can't play anything else.
So, no Britney Spears type of music?
Robert: No, funky stuff, we can't play them!
Gerben: Honestly, we tried. At one point we were
sick of it so we thought, "let's play some other music style."
Robert: Yes, softer. We tried Blues.
David: Only trying!
Robert: Yeah, messing it up. We can't get it out of
Robert: So, we go back to the basics!
So, if you decide to go on with the band, are you
gonna make a new CD?
Robert: If we go on......
Ardi: No, because he sold the mixing table! (David
and Ardi laugh loudly)
Robert: No, but then I want to be honest. If you go
on, then we go for it. Then you go for that too.
David: Yeah, because you can't live on that CD for
another five years! So, how many new songs do we have? Four?
Gerben: Well, we have five new songs of which the
last one we have to work on a little. And we put four of them on tape in the rehearsal
studio just to hear how it sounds like on CD and to work on them a little more. When we
have decided to go on we can write new songs in no time. That's never been difficult for
Sculpture. So, we do have five songs at hand. My biggest wish is to record them. But,
Perhaps it's an idea to record one of the new tracks
and try to get it on a sampler and see if it opens doors.
Robert: Financially that ain't worth it. You always
have the overheads. Overheads are the studio costs. You have to adjust everything. These
are the costs you make and then you have to do the recordings. Then you'd better do some
more. Then you have a complete album.
David: You can record four songs in one day too.
Robert: But on the other side, we've brought out a
CD and we want to bring it to a higher level quality-wise the next time. That's the
experience we have. The first demo was okay. The second one was a little better. The CD
was much better. So, when we do another CD it has to be even better than the first one. We
did everything ourselves so we have quite a lot of experience. So, I think that when we
record a second CD it will be better. But one song is only to keep people warm.....
Gerben: I have been thinking about recording those
five songs and perhaps do a CD with another band. That's been some thinking I did. But now
we'll just see. If we go on, we will record them though.
Last question. The future of Sculpture one big
Robert: One big expectation!
Robert: We are expecting, not personally. I think I
can speak for everyone. We are very anxious to see what God will do. And whatever it will
be, we'll see. But it all may be beautiful. It's important that you'll do what God wants
from you and that you don't do it yourself.