How'd you get started in music?
I was among a bunch of young people who loved metal and wanted to play metal ourselves as well; like so many others I guess. I started playing in bands in the late eighties. Initially just doing vocals but after a while I began playing bass as well. Most of the guys in these early bands were friends of mine, but they didn’t necessarily have the same musical ideas. Hence there were always line-up issues, breakups, different band names, etcetera. Most of these bands only existed for a few months and hardly released any material, though. Then in 1992 we ended up doing Countess and that band has stayed around since.
Who are your inspirations or influences?
Inspiration comes from everywhere, really: books I’ve read, movies I’ve seen, but also my experiences in life and thoughts about life in general. But I assume you mean my musical influences specifically. For me personally, those have always been original black metal (mostly the true originals, Venom and Bathory) and traditional metal (like Manowar and Manilla Road). I think what makes Countess unique (and has always made Countess unique, even if this was perhaps not always very apparent on the early albums) is this blending of early black metal and traditional metal.
Of course, there are dozens of others bands I like and these have probably influenced me as well, whether consciously or subconsciously. Modern bands that play traditional metal like Slough Feg or good death metal bands like Unleashed and Amon Amarth; modern metal bands that push the boundaries of metal while still being metal such as Therion and Blind Guardian, but I also love folky music like Loreena McKennitt and Blackmore’s Night and Irish folky punk music like The Pogues and Dropkick Murphys. I also dig classical music.
What advice would offer aspiring performers?
Stay true to yourself and your artistic vision. Don’t compromise, it’s not worth it. Especially if you’re a metal band. There's hardly any money to be made in today's music business anyway.
Any new gigs or albums in the future?
We're working on planning future shows, but we can't announce anything yet because nothing is definitive yet. As for a new album, we are currently working on new stuff but we don't have a timeframe for a new record yet. Possibly sometime next year