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  INTERVIEW WITH AMANDA SOMERVILLE AND SANDER GOMMANS ABOUT THE RELEASE OF HDK 'SERENADES OF THE NETHERWORLD'

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland

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hdk

HDK (Hate Death Kill) is a project started by ex-After Forever guitarist Sander Gommans. The debut album 'System Overload' was a spitting, fiery, Metal juggernaut of an album released in 2009.

The follow up, 'Serenades Of The Netherworld', is due for release soon and so I had a chat with Mr Gommans and his partner in crime Amanda Somerville who sings on both HDK albums about 'Serenades' and much else besides.

MT: Thanks very much for taking the time to talk to me. First of all I notice that you have an unusual release strategy for the new album. Can you tell me a bit about that?

Article continues below...

 
 


AS: We're all in new territory right now. We were searching for a way we could do this next HDK release and Sander is getting more and more into coaching and producing and doing things for other bands. He decided that he could be a pioneer in the do it yourself music process and test out some things. So we're initially releasing the album one song at a time online.

We've got the whole album done and we're leaking the songs out one at a time at this point. It appeals to me as a strategy and as I'm always so busy I may tweak it for my next solo album and release each song immediately I have it recorded and build up a full album over a period of time. I'd release it at the end with bonus tracks or remixes or something different.

The HDK release is a good try out at least and we're not totally sure at this point that we're going to release EVERY song one at a time. We're probably going to do a few and then release the whole collective thing...

SG: It has to be worth it for the people who are going to buy it, they need to get something special out of it. We had the first 50 people who bought the first track get something extra and if someone buys three tracks or whatever then they need to get some kind of a discount. We're not touring with this so we're not going to be rich, we're not going to sell a huge amount...

AS: Even if we toured we wouldn't get rich! (laughs)

SG: The important thing is that the music gets more chances to be heard instead of releasing an album, promoting it for a week then no one hears anything about it any more. This strategy means the promotion is spread over a longer period.

hdk
Geert Kroes

AS: You'll have seen sometimes that for months and months and months people give out teasers and say the release is coming, it's coming, here's a snippet, guess what the title is and things like that. For me when I follow that process I often get to the point when I'm going shut up already and just give us the freaking album(laughs).

By the time the actual album arrives people are getting so sick of hearing about it they just go next please! Also as we're both do it yourself, unsigned kind of artists we have to do a lot of self promotion and this means we can do some that doesn't involve posting our faces online!

MT: I guess you have to keep putting yourselves out there or it's hard to make any money...

AS: It's about keeping the ball rolling really. It's not necessarily about making money but more about keeping a presence out there as it's so hard to build up a following now but it's so easy to lose it.

MT: it's really hard to get noticed now with so many bands and musicians out there vying for attention but I think both you guys do pretty well!

AS: Thank you! We're trying to be different, so many people jump on bandwagons when they see something working musically or visually or thematically. That's another reason we didn't try crowdfunding with the HDK release as while that's a valid platform to finance a release a lot of people are doing it and we didn't want to feel like we were begging our fans for money. This is a kind of compromise.

MT: So how about the actual music? How does the new album compare to 'System Overload'?

SG: Oh it's quite different! With 'System Overload' I wanted to get as far away from After Forever as possible. I'd been writing music for that band for years and years and I had ideas which were way more extreme that didn't fit with that band. The album was really extreme....

AS: It was extremely different from After Forever!

SG: Instrumentally 'Serenades Of The Netherworld' is a combination between the first HDK album and After Forever so you could say it's still extreme but it's way more melodic. It's also way more experimental in other ways. The vocals on this with Amanda and Geert Kroes who did all the male vocals on this release I can't even compare it and I think it offers way more. It's not that I'm not proud of the first album which was really at the time what I wanted but this has given me more freedom to do whatever I want here and with the next project. Now we have a platform where we can do anything we want which is what I hoped for.

AS: I think this album is more mature and a lot less angry! (laughs)

MT: The first one IS a little angry! (all laugh)

SG: It is a little bit!

hdk
Sander Gommans

AS: That was Sander just spitting out his frustration and that really became the theme for 'System Overload'. This one actually deals with the afterlife and near death experiences! There's a lot of spirituality although there is some anger creeping here and there! You can't get totally away from it with the Gommanster here (laughs)

SG: You have to be angry in metal(laughs). It's great to have a project where nothing is expected from you, you don't have to attract venues full of people. You can make the music for yourself. It was a source of frustration for me that in After Forever the music had to fit a certain genre and I think we proved with this album that you don't have to fit in a certain genre, you can do what you like with the music and what comes out at the end IS a unique style.

MT: You've said you're not going to tour with this album. Does that mean there will never be an HDK live show?

AS: Well I never like saying never. Why limit yourself? There are no plans and Sander has no desire to play live right now but never is a strong word!

SG: When Amanda learns to play drums and guitar as well as sing at the same time then we'll think about it (laughs)

AS: I have played a couple of HDK songs live with my band in the past in Detroit so you never know!

MT: Who played and sang on the album this time round?

SG: We used very good musicians from the Netherlands. The male singer on the album Geert Kroes not only sang but contributed vocal lines, did the artwork and has been a creative power within HDK.

AS: He's an amazing guy, he's really talented, a huge talent! When I heard what he had done with the songs and his vocals I was like, wow! Where has this guy been? He's amazing!

SG: We used two keyboard players Uri Dijk and Erik Van Ittersum who combined to cover the orchestral side and the industrial side so we have different keyboard sounds covered and we also worked with drummer Koen Herfst who sometimes works with Armin Van Buren, a Dutch DJ so brings another completely different scene to the album. Paul Owsinski and Mark Burnash from Trillium also played on a couple of tracks. And of course Ms Somerville here! We really worked more as a band compared to the first album where there were a lot of musicians.

MT: So on the new album most songs are performed by pretty much the same line up?

AS: Yes, very similar.

SG: As Amanda does all the female vocals and Geert does all the male vocals it really feels like a band to me.

MT: I know you're both very busy people and always in demand, what's the next project after this HDK album?

SG: We're working together on some Kiske/Somerville material and some new Trillium material.

hdk

AS: Tomorrow I leave for rehearsals for the Rock Meets Classic tour with Alice Cooper and Uriah Heep and so on so that should be fun! It's a bit like Avantasia with loads and loads of singers and a bit crazy. but it should be a blast! After that there's solo stuff and a German tv show that I'm lined up to perform on but the details are still being sorted for that. It's free promotion on German TV so some good exposure but I don't really know how it's going to go for me. I don't need it but I'm looking forward to it and maybe I can make some new contacts. Oh and of course we're getting married in July!!!

MT: Congratulations! From myself and of course everyone at MetalTalk!

SG: The physical CDs are not printed yet but I will send you a preview copy of 'Serenades Of The Netherworld' so you can let Metaltalk readers know what it sounds like and what you think of it.

MT: I look forward to hearing it. Thanks very much for your time and good luck with the album launch, your other projects and of course your wedding!

The MetalTalk review of 'Serenades Of The Netherworld' will follow soon.

Online:
http//:www.therockstation.eu/2014/#hdk-release
http://www.amandasomerville.com/
https://www.facebook.com/sandergommans


12.3.14





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With the new line-up powering the band to bigger heights, Asomvel are heading out on tour...

dr living dead DR. LIVING DEAD! LAUNCH BRAND NEW VIDEO
'TEAMxDEADx' is an example of the quality Thrash Metal displayed on the upcoming third album...

mabel greers toyshop MABEL GREER'S TOYSHOP RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOOTAGE FOR 'ELECTRIC FUNERAL'
The band which grew into Yes have reunited and will release a new album in March...

paradise lost PARADISE LOST ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM TITLE AND RELEASE DATE
"We have written a very dark, yet melodic album, but this time many songs definitely have a death Metal edge, which is something we haven't done for a long long time ..."

ensiferum ENSIFERUM ADD MORE EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
We're really looking forward to the new Ensiferum album, 'One Man Army', here at MetalTalk...

airbourne AIRBOURNE SIGN WITH SPINEFARM RECORDS
"We're pumped up to have signed on the dotted line to the world's toughest and truest hard rock label..."

vader VADER BRING BLITZ! OVER EUROPE TOUR TO THE UK AND IRELAND IN MARCH
"We come together with our dudes from Hate. We can't wait to bring Hellfire to you soon..."

thy art is murder THY ART IS MURDER ANNOUNCE UK SHOWS SUPPORTING EMMURE
Tickets are on sale now for what promises to be the heaviest tour of the year...

horror holocaust CROSSOVER DEATH SUPERGROUP DENIAL FIEND RE-ISSUE 'HORROR HOLOCAUST' ON VINYL AND IN EUROPE FOR THE FIRST TIME
Ten tales of blood curdling horror that are anvil heavy thrashing death...

wacken EUROPE AND DREAM THEATER ANNOUNCED FOR WACKEN
The sold out legendary German festival announces more details of the mouth-watering bill...

camden rocks CAMDEN ROCKS 2015 ANNOUNCE THE FIRST ACTS
The bands include Trail of Dead, Funeral For a Friend, Heavens Basement, The Dictators, Black Spiders and more...

all that remains ALL THAT REMAINS LAUNCH #thisprobablywontendwell PICTURE COMPETITION
This unique competition marks the release of new studio album 'The Order Of Things' out on Feb 23rd...

titanfest TITANFEST ANNOUNCED FOR MAY IN LONDON - FIRST BANDS REVEALED
Titanfest now sees some of the most respected and time-hardened Metal musicians working side by side with the next generation of the emerging UK Metal scene...

joe lynn turner JOE LYNN TURNER ANNOUNCES UK AND NORTHERN IRELAND DATES THIS SPRING
Legendary rock and roll singer Joe Lynn Turner of Rainbow and Deep Purple fame is pleased to confirm details of his intimate acoustic 'An Evening With...' tour...

wildfire festival EXCLUSIVE: WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2015 ANNOUNCES FIFTY BAND LINE-UP
Wildfire is known for bringing the best in Scottish talent to Wiston Lodge, and there is one name everyone at Wildfire HQ agreed should be on the bill...

kiss KISS GET ANIMATED IN COLLABORATION WITH J-POP IDOLS MOMOIRO CLOVER Z!
Just when you thought the Metal world had gone insane enough with Babymetal...

ronnie james dio RONNIE JAMES DIO FIFTH ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL EVENTS ANNOUNCED
The weekend will include a public memorial service, a celebrity bowling tournament and the inaugural Ride For Ronnie motorcycle ride and BBQ...

walkway WALKWAY RELEASE SINGLE AND VIDEO FOR 'STREETWISE'
The single is the first release from their second studio album. Walkway will support Status Quo in June 2015...

motley crue MOTLEY CRUE REVEAL DATE OF FINAL SHOW AND FINAL TOUR LAST LEG DETAILS: NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO OUT NOW
Motley Crue are also in the process of putting together the ultimate collector's album package...

art of anarchy PRESENTING ART OF ANARCHY FEATURING SCOTT WEILAND, BUMBLEFOOT, JOHN MOYER OF DISTURBED AND JON AND VINCE VOTTA
Poised to become one of the biggest new bands of 2015, Art Of Anarchy is redefining the rock supergroup...

jettblack JETTBLACK RETURN WITH A BRAND NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO
Jettblack get serious in 2015, kicking things off with a headline tour and new single in February...

dead kennedys DEAD KENNEDYS FANS PERFORM PUBLIC SEX ACT LIVE ON STAGE
"This was something definitely different to see at a punk concert..."

evil scarecrow EVIL SCARECROW'S MISSING TRACK FINALLY RELEASED! A MESSAGE FROM DR HELL!
Evil Scarecrow have just released a new, old version of 'Robototron', which they feel is the definitive version of their most popular track...

eddie and the hot rods BREAKING NEWS: ORIGINAL EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS LINE-UP REFORM FOR 40th ANNIVERSARY
This will be the first time all original members have played a full show together for over thirty years...

carthagods CARTHAGODS TO RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM WITH SPECIAL GUESTS INCLUDING TIM "RIPPER" OWENS, RON THAL AND MARK JANSEN
"It's been a long time that we look for this occasion to finally satisfy our fans..."

paddy goes to holyhead EXCLUSIVE: PADDY GOES TO HOLYHEAD ANNOUNCE FINAL CONCERT FOR ST PATRICK'S NIGHT
Sadly it's the end of an era as Paddy Goes To Holyhead have announced that they are to play their final gig...

grateful dead BREAKING NEWS: GRATEFUL DEAD TO RE-UNITE FOR 50th ANNIVERSARY FAREWELL CONCERTS
The reunion, billed "Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead", will feature the band's surviving members...

nazareth BREAKING NEWS: VOCALIST LINTON OSBOURNE LEAVES NAZARETH
"I am no longer a member of Nazareth. It didn't work out, for me, or for the band..."

lordi LORDI ANNOUNCE UK DATES FOR TOUR FORCE ONE
Lordi bring 'Scare Force One' to the UK for ten dates in the Spring...

nightwish NIGHTWISH REVEAL TRACKLIST & FORMATS OF 'ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL'
The new studio album, released on 30th March, is available in several tasty formats...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN LEADER STEVE HARRIS' MANSION BACK ON THE MARKET AT KNOCKDOWN PRICE
The mansion boasts its own pub called the Horse and Cart as well as an indoor swimming pool...

pete way EXCLUSIVE: ALL PARTIES IN BATTLE BETWEEN FIN MUIR AND PETE WAY OF WAYSTED GIVE A RESPONSE
"I can confirm that this appalling defamation is completely without foundation..."

death angel DEATH ANGEL ANNOUNCE UK HEADLINE SHOW AND DATES WITH QUEENSRYCHE AND ARMORED SAINT
Los Angeles Heavy Metal legends Armored Saint will join both acts for a special London show at the Electric Ballroom...

udo dirkschneider U.D.O. TO PLAY ENGLAND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DONKEY'S YEARS
Germany's favourite rock god Udo Dirkschneider has announced three exclusive shows for the UK...

california breed CALIFORNIA BREED HAS GONE THE WAY OF BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION
After a great first album, the departure of a superstar drummer, and very little touring, California Breed is extinct...

kamelot KAMELOT SIGNS TO NAPALM RECORDS; NEW ALBUM AND TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED
In support of this highly anticipated release, Kamelot will hit the road for select UK shows, followed by a massive North America Tour...

the gentle storm ARJEN LUCASSEN AND ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN'S NEW BAND THE GENTLE STORM REVEAL TOUR DATES AND ALBUM DETAILS
"We'll perform some Ayreon classics together and premiere a couple of songs that will be on our upcoming album..."

jimmy page JIMMY PAGE IN FIGHT WITH ROBBIE WILLIAMS OVER HOUSE RENOVATION
The pair are neighbours and have fallen out over Williams' plans to revamp his multi-million pound mansion...

hard rock hell SAXON ANNOUNCED FOR HARD ROCK HELL 9 WITH ROCK GODDESS, PIG IRON AND MORE
Hard Rock Hell, aptly titled 'House of Horrors', are pleased to welcome Heavy Metal Titans Saxon back into their realm...

dark funeral DARK FUNERAL TO RELEASE 7INCH & DIGITAL SINGLE 'NAIL THEM TO THE CROSS' IN FEBRUARY
The single is available as a hand-numbered 7inch limited edition of which 500 copies are on black vinyl and 500 on blue vinyl...

santa cruz SANTA CRUZ TO RELEASE BRAND NEW SELF-TITLED ALBUM ON MARCH 9th VIA SPINEFARM RECORDS
Santa Cruz will also play five UK dates as main support to Amaranthe...

tygers of pan tang TYGERS OF PAN TANG TO HEADLINE GARAGE DAYZ RE-VISITED ALL DAYER IN LONDON
A mouth watering bill not only from bands that were a huge influence to bands like Metallica and Megadeth....

truffle TRUFFLE TO PLAY SPECIAL SOUTH COAST GIG WITH SIEGE, TOLEDO STEEL AND KODIAK JACK
Tickets are priced at only $7.50 for a night that promises to be full of faces from the area past and present....

ensiferum ENSIFERUM UNLEASH TWO NEW VIDEOS ON EVE OF LAUNCH ON NEW ALBUM
Today Ensiferum unveils the official new video for 'One Man Army''s title track as well as an in-depth "making of" clip...

autograph AUTOGRAPH RELEASE FIRST NEW SONG IN OVER 25 YEARS
Simply put, a reunion was both inevitable and essential...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT ANNOUNCES NEW SOLO STUDIO ALBUM 'WOLFLIGHT' OUT ON 30th MARCH
The ten tracks take the listener through a journey in space and time looking at the different faces of the endless fight for freedom...

adrian smith IRON MAIDEN'S ADRIAN SMITH ROCKS UP IN CHISWICK WITH DOOGIE WHITE, ANDY BARNETT AND DAVE 'BUCKET' COLWELL
MetalTalk's first Gig Of The Week for 2015 turned up two major surprises as a great night was had by all...

sabaton SABATON ANNOUNCE "SABATON OPEN AIR" WITH POWERWOLF AND CIVIL WAR
Tickets are on sale now for this special event in Germany in July...

pig iron PIG IRON ANNOUNCE RELEASE DATE FOR FIFTH STUDIO ALBUM
'Sermons From The Church Of Blues Restitution' will be released worldwide via OYR on 2nd March and will be preceded by a high value four track EP...

sonata arctica SONATA ARCTICA ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE LONDON SHOW FOR 'ECLIPTICA OVER EUROPE TOUR 2015'
"On these shows we'll perform 'Ecliptica' in its entirety as well as assorted hits from our catalog..."

skalmold SKALMOLD UNVEIL NEW SPRING TOUR DATES WITH ELUVEITIE AND WIND ROSE
For those who didn't catch the Viking/Pagan Metallers live on tour, here's another chance...

tony iommi BLACK SABBATH LEGEND TONY IOMMI TELLS ALL ABOUT HIS CANCER BATTLE
"In the good old days there was cocaine everywhere. This time we had tea and coffee and health drinks..."

def con one DEF CON ONE ANNOUNCE CRUSHING HEADS TOUR
British Metallers Def Con One can be seen across the UK in 2015...

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