METAL PULP AND PAPER: Hello Linn. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us at Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it. How are you? How are things going so far?
LINN VAN VUGT: Things are going great actually! We’ve got so many amazing things planned with the band at this moment, it really sparks my enthusiasm and it gives me a lot of energy.
MPAP: For those that haven’t heard about your band before, let’s give everyone a quick introduction, shall we? PicturaPoesis is Symphonic Blackened Death Metal band from Helmond, the Netherlands that formed in 2013. The group already has a couple of releases under its belt, 2014s Demonic Delusions, and 2017s Miseriae Mundi. Also, you aren’t the original vocalist either? You stepped in after the band previously already had two other vocalists over the years. Before we get into that more, is there anything else you’d like to say about the group to grab the reader’s attention?
LINN: Well what I can say is that the band is formed by some amazing people. Everyone is really talented and they all welcomed me in a great way, which is not something you might experience in every setting. Even though it is a bit scary to step in the footsteps of the former two male vocalists, the rest of the band really gives me a confidence boost. We are always trying to look for a unique sound, and I hope to make a good contribution to the future of this band.
MPAP: So, how did this all come about you joining the ranks of Pictura Poesis, because weren’t you already in another band called Desolace Divine, or were you no longer with that band anymore?
LINN:Desolace Divine is one of the first bands I joined when I started singing, but that was a long time ago, around 2011 I think. It really was a beginning musicians band where I used to do clean vocals in a pretty high vocal pitch, but in the end, it just really wasn’t my style of music. I quit that band in 2015 and they changed their name to Veil of Delusions. Their album Echoes of Dawn’s lyrics and vocal lines of 2016 however is approx. 60% made up of my work, so I guess they really liked what I did back then and used it after I left. I see it as a nice compliment and confirmation for the quality of my work! After that I wanted to do more extreme and heavier vocals and perform on a more professional level than I used to do in the past, I already experimented a bit with grunts and screams in the meantime and after some practice I started to look for a band that fit my wishes. Eventually I auditioned for Pictura Poesis around autumn 2017 and we found a perfect match in each other! MPAP: Now that you are behind the microphone, what can everyone expect to hear? Will Pictura Poesis still have the same style and sound?
LINN: It would be a lie to say that nothing will change for the sound of the band. Although my grunts and screams are pretty solid, you can hear that I’m a woman and my vocal sounds are a bit higher. We don’t see that as a bad thing though, I don’t want to act as if I’m a dude and being a female growler is not of less quality than a man would do. Because my sounds are a bit different, we’ve experienced that the change of pitch gives room for the other instrumental parts and they fit each other perfectly. I think my vocals are more diverse since I can do low, mid and high grunts and screams. We also make use of backing vocals done by Didier (Guitar) and Harald (Drums), so in the end the sound will be just as brutal, if not more!
MPAP: Will there be anything different about the band that previously wasn’t done before? Any experiments? Like recording a song with clean vocals or anything like that?
LINN: Honestly, we don’t really know yet, it really is a flexible process. At this moment we are writing songs for the next full-length album and the sound will have a variety of influences. I’m not sure if I will do clean vocals in the future, for now I really want to focus on the extreme vocal parts. MPAP: What have some of the other band members said about you joining?
LINN: Apart from the obvious differences in sound, I mainly received positive feedback. However, it was a leap of faith since changing a band’s sound can go both ways and the audience can react in a different way. Up until now we have only received good feedback on the live performances though, and I’m excited but also a bit nervous about the reactions people will give on the EP that will be published soon. All in all, I am really grateful that they all put their trust in me. My personal sound has already grown a lot since the first day that I joined, and I like the way we all give feedback to each other. We always try to make the band and all the members stronger and better at his or her instrument.
MPAP: What do you feel you have brought to the Pictura Poesis table? Now that you are a part of it, where do you want to lead them?
LINN: Well I definitely bring a big load of enthusiasm with me! I would love to play at bigger stages and I’ve got so much energy to put into this band. I think that we are capable of achieving really great things together. I’m also a bit of a mother figure sometimes for the rest of the band members haha, I think I’ve got a caring personality which sparks a positive mentality in the group.
MPAP: Going back to the other band members for a moment, let’s introduce them to everyone as well? Didier Lasoe on guitars, Maurice Braam on bass, Rick Krause on keyboards, and rounding it out, Harald Bouten on drums. What do you have to say about them since you are the new one in the group? How is it playing with them so far?
LINN: They really all have a different personality, which is a good thing I think. Everyone is really open and gives his or her opinion in a good way. The level of friendliness and openness in the group is something I have never experienced before in a band, we always have a good time. I think that open communication and saying what is on your mind is an important aspect of a band and I think we all got that covered pretty well. It’s also something you can see on stage, we are all smiling, energized and having fun. In the beginning it took some getting used to for me, and we planned some smaller gigs to give me some extra experience with the group’s stage performance. During the week our rehearsals are always fun and crazy, with a very relaxed atmosphere.
MPAP: Had you heard of Pictura Poesis before you had joined?
LINN: I only heard of the band’s name, since they did a gig with some other bands I knew. I had never seen them live though. MPAP: Ut pictura poesis is a Latin phrase meaning "as is painting so is poetry." Can you go into more depth of what it means to you now that you are a part of it?
LINN: The band’s name is indeed based on the Latin meaning, since they found a lot of inspiration in art, literature and stories. It is also a fairly unique name and it tells a story on its own. I really like the fact that we use history and all kinds of art in our music, it gives the songs another dimension and something to really listen to. Sometimes you can even learn a thing or two without removing the freedom of interpretation. Luckily my vocals are pretty understandable, contrary to some other extreme vocalists, and I find that it is an important aspect in communicating the meaning of a song to our audience.
MPAP: Before joining, Pictura Poesis released Miseriae Mundi on May 6th of 2017. Usually, a band would wait another year or two before even thinking about heading back into the recording studio, but now that you’re on board I bet you’re hungry to record some new music correct?
LINN: Yes, I think it is also essential at this point because the sound has changed with my vocals. We recently recorded a new EP that will be released this year, as some sort of transition between the old and the new sound. This way we’re able to present some up-to-date material if people are interested in our work. At the same time, we’re already working on new songs for the next full-length album which will be even more awesome!
MPAP: While we were messaging each other back and forth before this interview, you mentioned that there would be a new EP out at the end of this summer? Can you go into any more detail about that?
LINN: As I said the EP will be used as some sort of transition for the public, so they can get used to my vocal sound. It will contain one new song, and some older songs that were not on the full-length album last year, which we recorded again. This way people get something recognizable and something new all in one.
MPAP: Any song titles floating around yet that you can mention here?
LINN: One of my favorite songs of the band will be on the EP, which is L’immortaliter. I like the energy the song has and the diversity in the instrumental parts. The title for the new song will be the same as the EP’s name: Nightmares. This song is based on the famous painting ‘The Nightmare’ from 1781 by Henry Fuselli.
MPAP: This July 25th you travel to Tolmin, Slovenia to perform at the Metal Days Festival? How excited are you about this?
LINN: You can’t imagine how excited I am! I think I’ll be literally jumping up and down upon arrival at the festival area. It’s a combination of all the things in life I love the most: making music, performing, awesome metalbands, friends and beer! What more could I want?
MPAP: Quite a few heavy hitters are playing at this festival. There’s Judas Priest, Loudness, Hatebreed, Obituary, Accept, and Behemoth, among so many others. This must be an honor to be a part of this with those iconic bands being a part of it as well don’t you think?
LINN: At first, I couldn’t even believe that we got the chance to play there, it just sounded too good to be real. Especially when you get in mind that I only joined the band last year, and we haven’t even played a full year together. I think it’s a really amazing compliment for our work to be invited and I feel honored to be part of such a great event. At this moment reality still needs to set in that in a week I will be on that stage and it’s all real and not a dream. I hope there will be many more wonderful experiences to come in the future!
MPAP: Is there one band you must make sure to watch from side stage?
LINN: I’ve got a full list of bands I want to listen to, but my favorite will be Battle Beast this year. I love the rawness in their sound and the energy they have in their live performances. A band I also don’t want to miss is Splinterbomb on the newcomer’s stage. They’re a local band from my area in the Netherlands and they’ve been building on their musical career like lunatics. They really deserve to be on that stage.
MPAP: After this Metal Days Festival, what’s next for Pictura Poesis? Is it back to the recording studio? Or a quick tour perhaps?
LINN: We still have a lot of great things planned ahead, we’ll be doing gigs in Belgium, Iceland, Germany and even the UK within a year. All the while working on our new album, which we hope to record in 2019. Stay tuned for more brutal metal tunes and amazing songs!
MPAP: On behalf of myself, and Metal Pulp And Paper, I’d like to thank you, Linn, for doing this interview. We look forward to what Pictura Poesis does to finish out 2018 and beyond. Before we bring this to a close, is there any last words you like to say to everyone?
LINN: I want to thank you a lot for this interview, I feel honored for this opportunity! I hope everyone will keep enjoying all the great experiences the metal scene has to offer, and I hope that we can be a little part of that wonderful experience for you.
MPAP: Any shout outs you’d like to say for any hometown bands out there?
LINN: Only thing I can say is go out there, support the local metal scene, follow your gut feeling: If you believe in yourself and in your music then give it all you’ve got! There are a lot of great bands out there waiting to be discovered by you.
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Pictura Poesis/ Linn Van Vugt/ July 22nd, 2018/ Interview #111