ReVamp (Floor Jansen)
ReVamp: this charming monicker hides the story of a strong woman. The former singer of Dutch symphonic metal pioneers After Forever, who announced their disbandment in 2009, has just come back with this heavier project and a brilliant self-titled album. Here's what Floor told us about her past, present and future during a nice chat on the telephone!
Article by Marco Belafatti - Publish on: 02/06/10

Floor, the album has just been released in Europe. Are you excited about it? How's the feedback?

Oh, I'm very excited. You know, ReVamp started some times ago as an idea and to see that just one year later that the album is released is very cool. I had nothing but positive reviews so far so... I'm happy!

Let's start from the omega (the Greek symbol appearing both on After Forever's last album and on ReVamp's debut)... It seems like you wanted to pick up what After Forever left behind with this new band... am I right?

No, you know... I just wanted to start a new band, with a new sound, a new face and... a new look (laughs)!

What does the name of the band mean?


It means to redo, to renovate; it is something adding more energy to my carreer. I also like the word 'vamp': it is not about vampires or sleazy women or something like that, but more like strong women with a connection to women's world in general.

You started working on this new album with two great composers such as Joost van den Broek and Waldemar Soryctha. Why did you choose them and what can you tell us about the songwriting process?

I chose them because Joost already played with me in After Forever and we wanted to work togheter on something new. In general, he's a very nice, professional, reliable guy. He can draw from a lot of different styles so I wanted to have him by my side to create a new metal band that wouldn't sound so much like After Forever. As for Waldemar, he contacted me for other projects after After Forever stopped, so I asked him if he wanted to write songs with me and Joost for a new band and, you know, he had this very heavy sound that I hoped he could bring in for ReVamp. Some songs started out with Waldemar sending back to me some ideas to work on the vocal lines in the studio and to add keys to them, other songs started out with Joost. Some songs were born from Joost and Waldemar together, they sat down and wrote the instrumental base together, then I went working on my vocal lines and then we joined each other again to complete the songs. For the first time in my career, some songs actually started out from me as well, I brought some rough ideas to the guys. You know, I'm not good keyboard player or a guitar player, but I can write down some instrumental ideas so that the guys can pick them up and make them better. So, I guess our team had an equal share (laughs).

And what about all the guests on the album... was it nice to work with them?

Sure! Waldemar played the bass and the guitar on the album, he directed the drums recordings which had to be done in the studio in one day, but I already knew Koen, the studio drummer, who's a good, good drummer and a very nice guy. Joost did everything at home as well, he worked with strings to make the arrangements and I was very happy with the studio I've recorded my vocals in, the Graveland Studio. I had a great time with the choir, Joost made the arrangement for it and I was one of the singers in the choir together with other talented people and it was nice to work with them.

 

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At the same time, the live band is composed by different musicians. Do we have to consider them as permanent members from now on?


Yes, ReVamp started a bit more like a project cause I wanted to come back with a good album but at that moment it was impossible. So the process took three steps: first writing the album, second recording the album and third forming a band. The guys I'm on tour with today are in the band as permanent members, so ReVamp is not a solo project or something like that.

ReVamp sound a bit heavier and less progressive than After Forever. Did you want to follow a new direction or just to release your metal soul to the world?

You know, when you start a new metal band and you do the same style you did with your former band, people might start considering the new band as a cover band. I didn't want ReVamp to become an After Forever cover band; from the start I had this idea on my mind “I want it to be heavier, a more riff-oriented and less orchestral band than After Forever was”. I see a lot of bands sort of choosing between either a more poppy variation or a more metal variation. I wanted to follow the second path.

What does your lyrics talk about? Most of them seem to deal with dark feelings and images. Are you inspired by personal life situations, by what happens around you or what else?

A bit of all. There is personal stuff but also what's happening around in the world, there's a good balance. It's a bit dark partially because music actually requires heavier, darker stuff and also because at the time After Forever stopped I had to get back on my feet and see what was going to happen and things weren't so easy for me. I think a lot of lyrics on the album reflects these feelings, even if it deals more with situations around me in the world. It doesn't entirely come from my own life, fortunately, but it is also inspired by stories of people around me, even by people being sick.

By the way, there are three songs on the album which seems to be connected: is there a concept behind “In Sickness 'Till Death Do Us Part”?


Yes, it is about people being sick in a way they can't recover anymore. It analyzes different moments of this process they are in through different point of views, both from the side of patient who is facing is sickness knowing that he's not going to be there anymore and that there's only one way left which is death, but also through the eyes of the ones connected to these people, who can't do anything for them.

Nowadays there is a growing interest in female fronted bands. Do you think ReVamp can stand on their own?

Well, there's one thing about ReVamp that makes them different from a lot of bands that start today and it is the fact that I was one of the first singers in this genre. Ten years ago female fronted bands started to grow and become more popular and After Forever was one of the bands who created this genre and I think that this makes things special. I know a lot of people are fans of me because of that and this will also be good for ReVamp. Next to that, I think that the genre in general has become a more diverse genre, there's more variety among female fronted bands nowadays, think of Arch Enemy for example, or the more poppy Dutch band Delain. The genre is developing because there are so many different styles within this world.

What do you see in the band's future? A European tour, a video or something like that?

A video is not in the picture yet, while the European tour is even if there's nothing confirmed yet. I'm working on several options and I hope to know something more in the coming weeks. The time has come for ReVamp to cross the borders of Europe, to go to South America for example, where we have a lot of fans.

I can already tell you that there are a lot of fans waiting for you in Italy!

Yeah, I really hope to come over to Italy, I'm getting a lot of positive feedback from the Italian fans!

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I have one more question and it is about the cover of “Bad Romance” by Lady GaGa that you recently played in your live shows: why did you choose this particular song?


There are a lot of metal bands who play covers from the eighties. I think that it is fun, but I wanted something more modern, something so far away from metal. ReVamp is definetely metal and Lady GaGa is more popular. I like a lot of different music and I respect her for what she does and what she is, even thought I'll never buy her album. It is not my music, but I respect other musicians and artists and I think she's doing a good job, I like that fact that she's not taking herself too seriously. I wanted to play this song to see if it could change into a metal song and I found that the result was very cool. I have to tell you that we get so much fun from the audience reaction cause no one expect us to do something like that and that's all (laughs).

Ok, the interview is over, thank you very much Floor... Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers and your italian fans?


I really hope that ReVamp can come over soon, cause we haven't been in Italy enough with After Forever. Another very important thing for me is that people listen to ReVamp as a new band, not as After Forever, because this is a different style, it is a different band and I hope that with a pair of fresh ears they can give it a clean start. Of course I hope that the people who liked After Forever do enjoy ReVamp as well and for those who never listened to After Forever or who never really liked them, I hope that they can give us a chance.


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