sábado, 8 de março de 2014

Interview: Anne Bakker: Classic Goes Metal

Anne Bakker (Photo by Bilal Javaid)
The shows during the tour in Brazil, Blaze Bayley presented the violinist Anne Bakker as "The Incredible Anne Bakker"! And for good reason, sympathy, a little timidity, musicality and talent of this Dutch, who started very early in music, delighted the Brazilian fans. 

We spoke with Anne to know a little more of her work, as she began a partnership with Thomas Zwijsen and Blaze Bayley, combining classical music with heavy metal so naturally, the passing through Brazil and future plans. Check out a little more about the "incredible Anne Bakker"

RtM: First, would you tell us who encouraged you to start in music?
Anne Bakker: There was always a lot of music at home when I was young. My parents listened to classical music, but also pop and rock. My parents are also (non-professional) musicians.

RtM: You started at what age? The first instrument was the violin?
AB: When I was four years old, I started singing in a choir. When I was 8, my parents asked me if I wanted to play an instrument, and I choose the violin.  

Classic Anne! (Photo by Sebastiaan Peelen)
RtM: And about your musical background? Did you studied at conservatories, music schools?
AB: I started with classical violin lessons at the local music school when I was 8 years old. When I was 13, I started in the preparatory class of the conservatory of Arnhem. There I had lessons in improvisation and music theory. When I finished high school, I went to study at the conservatory of Rotterdam.

RtM:And what about your influences in music? What artists, musicians or bands inspired and inspire you?
AB: I listen to a lot of different styles of music. I enjoy listening to classical music and jazz a lot. Also there's a lot of electronic music, pop, rock and world-music I love. Some favorites are Pink Floyd, Arve Henriksen, Nils Frahm, Erkan Ogur, Portishead, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, Massive Attack, Benjamin Britten and Arvo Part.

RtM:And how do you see the space today for more classical and folk music? Also is interesting to see as many bands and artists in the heavy metal, for example, that use orchestras and folk music influences.
AB: Yeah, it's cool to see that lately a lot of artists mix music styles in their performances. I started playing classical music, but as a teenager I wanted to try other styles, like rock-music. Because violin has a long tradition in classical and folk music but not in rock, I automatically made a cross-over of styles. I wanted the violin to make sense in rock-music, so I had to find a way to make it work for myself.

With Blaze & Thomas in Santo Ângelo-Brazil
RtM: With the shows with Blaze Bayley and Thomas, many people here in Brazil became interested in your work. Tell us how the opportunity arose to work with Blaze and also Thomas?
AB: In 2007 me and Thomas were both in the first year at the conservatory in Rotterdam. Thomas was living on a boat, and we had some great jam-sessions over there. We  played a sort of mix of flamenco/latin/jazz, it was a lot of fun. Two years ago we spoke on the internet and decided to record an acoustic version of “Wasting Love”. It was very successful on the internet!

A little later Thomas was recording the Russian Holiday EP with Blaze, and they decided to add violin in two songs; “Stealing Time” and “Sign Of The Cross”. We enjoyed working together a lot, and soon after that we went on our first acoustic Brazil tour.

RtM: And are you a Heavy Metal, Classic Rock or Heavy Rock fan? You already liked this style before working with them?
AB: When I was around 14 years old I listened a lot to Iron Maiden! I even learned the guitar solo of “The Wicker Man” by heart. During my studies I didn't listen to metal so much, though it's super nice to be able to create this new sound together! I think the fact that we have different backgrounds make the sound very interesting and unique. I really enjoy being in the Heavy Metal scene, there's so much energy!

RtM: I’m looking to know more about your work, and I heard the song “Stars in Her Eyes”, from Eira. Would you tell us more about this project and other projects that you have and participate?
AB: Recently I started a duo, named Eira, in which I sing and play violin at the same time. The other duo-member is Johan de Pue, from Belgium, he is playing guitar, singing, and playing an electric bass pedal. 

I discovered writing my own songs and performing them is something I love to do. We only recorded a few songs, you can listen to them here: http://eiramusic.bandcamp.com . We just started off, but we'd love to work hard and play a lot of concerts with this duo.
At the moment I'm in the middle of a tour with my Turkish group, the Goksel Yilmaz Ensemble (www.gokselyilmaz.nl). We are performing in theaters in the Netherlands with a professional dance company. Also we went to Turkey a few times to play concerts. Besides these groups I have some other small projects going on.

RtM: And as a singer-songwriter? Who would you cite as influences and what you like to write, what inspires you?
AB: The songs I write are a bit dreamy, a lot of people tell me the atmosphere sounds a bit Scandinavian. I listen to a lot to artists such as Nick Drake, Ane Brun, Bob Dylan, Bjork and PJ Harvey, to name but a few. Also, I read poetry sometimes to get inspiration for lyrics.

RtM: And the shows in Brazil? How did you feel about the reception of the audience? Surely you gained many new fans and people who will try to know more about your career.
AB: Brazil was amazing! The people are so enthusiastic and kind! Also I like that in Brazil the audience is quite mixed. In Europe metal audience is mostly male, and a bit more introverted. I was overwhelmed by all the positive vibes in Brazil.

RtM: At this time here in Brazil you had time to wander a bit, meet cool places? What do you like most, or what most caught your attention during your time here in Brazil? And, of course, and tell us if you had something that did not please you.
AB: We had some time to hang around! There were often people showing us around and inviting us to their houses and parties. They made a lot of time free for us, that was awesome. Both times we went to Brazil we went from the freezing dark winter to the sun, that was so nice! I was surprised there were a lot of Brazilians complaining about the heat.

A day off in Brazil
RtM: A more relaxed question: Thomas post a picture in his facebook, with you washing clothes, where Thomas made a joke with the fact that it was nice to have a woman on the tour! he he! Now how are they going without you  to put things in order? He he he!
AB: Haha, yeah that was funny. After I'd gone home Thomas posted a picture with the guitar player of the electric band doing his laundry, so he found a way :P.

RtM: Anne, thanks for the interview, hope this is not the only, and I hope you come to Brazil again. I believe you left many fans and friends, a great impression, and had a good experience in this tour. Of course, the heat here at that time and long journeys must have a bit tired! He he! Well, I let a space for you send a message to the fans! Success and see you soon!
AB: Thank you! I can't wait to get back to Brazil to meet all those nice people again. Touring in Brazil is absolutely great.

Live Brazil!

Interview By: Carlos Garcia
Photos: Bilal Javaid  /  RoadTeam and Anne's files

Visit Anne at facebook: Anne Bakker Profile

Anne & Blaze (pic by Bilal Javaid)

Related Links:

The "Power-Trio"! (Pic by Bilal Javaid)

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