Interview with Rik van Schaaik (Vocalist of Shade Of Hatred and Ex-Rhovanion).
How did your passion for music start?
A lot of people I know now have been raised with music as an integral part of their childhood. But I never really had much of an interest in music if I’m completely honest. My mother had been in a choir for as long as I can remember and although I remember enjoying their performance and listening to classical music, there was never really that spark. That changed when I got into high-school and realized that there was more music to be heard than what the radio was playing at the time.
When I started listening to metal, I started playing. However, I didn’t really practise seriously enough to ever get any good at it.
Though at some point a few friends wanted to jam out and we played Seek and Destroy. During that jam I started screaming through a mic. They all told me it sounded horrible (and it did) but I really enjoyed it. This was in 2011, so after about 6 years and some practise, here we are.
For how long are you having this passion?
I think it is about 6 years now? After a few months I was doing vocals with my first band called Druantia.
Which artist did you inspire to make music?
Chrigel Glanzmann has always been a massive influence to me. His stage presence is amazing and his song writing is also phenomenal. When I was starting out with growling doing vocals, Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth was a major example for me. Especially because his vocals were in my vocal-range so yeah. Even to this day, a lot of people tell me my vocals remind them of Hegg a bit. So that’s a big compliment!
Besides music, what kind of other passions do you have?
Writing lyrics for sure. Of course it has to do a lot with music but besides writing, I enjoy reading up on science, biology and mythology. Maybe an occasional walk through the woods?
What is your favourite record?
That’s a tough one! It changes from time to time but the record that I listen to the most at this moment would probably be ‘Enki’ from Melechech. But if you want to know my favourite album of all time, that would be ‘Crogacht’ of Suidakra. Or perhaps anything by Eluveitie.
Besides being the vocalist, do you play any other instruments?
I have an Irish Bouzouki but I don’t play it well enough to say that I “play the instrument”.
Have you played in any other bands?
Before Shade Of Hatred I was in a Germanic folk metal band Druantia.
I also did vocals with Rhovanion, but we recently announced that we have dibanded. Which saddens me greatly.
How do you see yourself in the future for Shade Of Hatred?
I think there will be a lot of growth in the writing process. It’s been a year since we released our last EP and we are really searching for a new way to write music. A way where every band member can leave his/her unique signature on the music. From more complex drums to euphoric guitar work and maybe even some throat singing. We’ll see, these are exciting times for us!
At the moment, there are some plans to join with a French band to do a mini -tour and there is a Belgian promoter that has a lot of interest in Shade. He arranged some gigs for us in Belgium, one of which was with Gus G (ex-Ozzy and ex-Firewind) which was very cool!
What were your highlights of being a vocalist?
The gigs at small bar’s that were packed. Occultfest in Hoogeveen was awesome, it was our first open-air gig ever. With Rhovanion I played Castlefest which was very cool for me because I’ve been going there for years as a visitor. Also playing with Heidevolk in a packed Luxor was an amazing experience.
Are there any things that you would’ve done differently?
If I could go back I would have started on doing more diverse vocals sooner (clean singing, Khoomei, Kargyraa). Also I would study up on music theory way sooner since it helps with writing songs.
With which bands would you like to perform?
I’d love to perform with Gojira, Cattle Decapitation, Melechesh and so on, but in all honesty, every band we play with feels like an honour!
Where do you get idea’s from during writing process?
I don’t have a lot of experience is writing chord progressions or melodies yet, though with lyrics I take a lot of inspiration from a merit of different texts. These can be stories, lyrics of mythological texts. I tend to gravitate towards anything that’s written with uncommon words.
When do you know when a song is up to level?
When we’ve rehearsed/written it and it gets stuck in your head.
Or this feeling you get when you play that song flawlessly after weeks of practise for the first time. When it’s right, it’s right. And you’ll feel it. J
How did you guys meet and how did you join Shade Of Hatred?
The roots of Shade Of Hatred lie in high school. Florian, Bas and Yannick went to the same school and after a few line-up changes I got invited for auditioning after recording with Druantia at Florian’s studio. (It’s called Firmpro, check it out ;) )
What was your first mistake at a gig?
I wouldn’t know my first one but I certainly know some of the worst ones. I threw my brand new wireless mic into the audience. I passed out on stage because I had a very high fever. I once introduced our song ‘A Merciless Fate’ as Mercyful Fate and I screamed ‘EINDHOVEN’ at a gig in Utrecht which was a bit awkward.
Which personal aspects you like about yourself and don’t like?
I’m content with my grunts as they are. And on stage I try to be energetic as possible.
That said, I’m really not happy with my clean vocals and I wish I was better at writing.
Have you taken any singing classes or did you learn it by yourself?
I learned the ‘False Chord’ by myself by experimenting and reading and watching a lot of tutorials. Though It’s a shame that the internet is full of people that don’t know what they’re doing. I’ve had singing classes of Jaqueline van Heugten. She helped me out with breathing technique, posture and so on.
Which artwork which has inspired you the most?
I really like the album artwork of ‘Thanatus’ and the design of our latest shirt.
Are promoters asking a lot for Shade Of Hatred?
We get offers to play quite frequently which is an awesome feeling!
If you are a millionaire right now, what would you do?
I don’t really care about money that much but I would probably buy the in-ear monitor system every gear-nerd would get a hard on from and with the leftover money I would buy a tour van and go across the globe with Shade!
Which instrument in the band is your favourite?
Since I’m with Shade Of Hatred, I started to appreciate the drums more and more. Our drummer Yannick is very passionate and since then I’ve been paying more attention to drums in other bands as well. In a band no one instrument is better or more important than another.
The British say it best. A whole should be greater than the sum of its parts.
Interview done by Dirk Kremers | Dutch Brutal Death Metal Thrash