This interview with the vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen of the Dutch atmospheric metal band The Gathering was done through e-mail in June 2002.

Hello, how are you doing?
Fine, thank you!

You have just released your new mini album "Black Light District", could you tell us a little about it?
It is an EP with 3 songs. These are the songs we wrote during the last 1 and a half years together with many more which will be out on a full length release later on. These 3 songs did not fit the concept of the moody and dark album but were very beautiful and so we released them on this EP. They are all 3 very different from each other but certainly worthwile listening.

You have now left Century Media in favor of creating your own label Psychonaut Records, what were the reasons for this?
We have now total creative and business freedom. It is good to make your own decisions. For the full length release we will look for a partner who can help us out to get the CD released everywhere.

Will Psychonaut Records promote other bands than The Gathering?
For now we will promote only the Gathering but in the future we might try giving other bands a fair deal and a chance in the music industry.

Who handles the artwork for The Gathering these days?
We do it ourselves with help from a company specialized in that field.

You have had a very long and prosperous career so far, which one of your albums are you most satisfied with and why?
We all love "How to measure a planet". It was a good period, we had a great producer and that album was a big experiment with songs and recording techniques. The songs turned out very good we think.

Dutch metal has become very successful on an international level during the last five or so years with bands like Ayreon, Within Temptation, God Dethroned, After Forever and of course yourselves just to mention the most well known. Is there even more to come?
It is a growing thing, there are a lot of young bands out here, who knows?

Is the general attitude towards metal more supportive in Holland today than it was ten years ago?
The masses yes, but the underground do not like this very much because it is not underground anymore. I think it is all silly, we should listen to the music we like, whether it is liked by many people or not. Sometimes these genres get picked up by a lot of people and that is nice for the bands because they get some exposure and they get to play everywhere.

What will you occupy yourselves with for the rest of 2002?
We will finish the songs for the full length album and in the mean time we will play some festivals around Europe in August. From October until way in 2003 we will tour.

What is the best thing about being a musician?
Expressing yourself.

What are your top five albums ever?
1- Sign o the times- Prince
2- Revolver- the Beatles
3- Kid A- Radiohead
4- Three of a perfect pair- King crimson
5- My beautiful demon- Ben Christophers

Now to my own and brand new right or wrong section. You are just going to tell us whether you think the following acts would be right or wrong:

I think these questions are too silly to answer!

a) If someone killed Hitler prior to his mass murder campaigns.

b) To burn down a church because it's "evil".

c) To burn down a church because it represents oppression.

d) Sado-masochism.

e) Death penalty.

f) To lie if it will be of benefit to yourself.

g) Censorship.

h) Religion.

i) Communism.

Any final words of wisdom for the fans?
If people want more info about the band please check out That's it!

Links of interest:

The Gathering
Psychonaut Records