What is Symmetry and what do you stand for?
Symmetry is a metalband from Zwolle with members influenced by jazz to metal, from death to disco.Two guitarplayers, no keyboards
and a lot of ambience. Maybe that’s why they call us progressive.We put all these styles and aspects into our big melting pot and out
comes symmetrical, symmetrian music.Ideals? Just play what we like and feeling great if others like it to.
Who is in the Symmetry line-up?
Erik Masselink, vocals; he is the main composer of Symmetry, puts the riffs (pieces) together. Also responsible for the lyrics and story-line
Frank Schiphorst, guitars;Frankie is responsible for most part of the riffs (and all the other guitar-oriented things).
Bas Hoebink, bass; Additional vocals, now and then has some riff-ideas, comes with the more bass-oriented riffs and rhythms. Bas also
delivers the art-work.
Martin Kuipers, drums; Groove and timing are the most important words in Martin’s vocabulary. He has great ideas for rhythms and
Why should Symmetry be pointed out to SSS?Why do you think the SSS-crowd will be going mad at your music?
Well, to answer that question I would like to give you some more background information on the way we like to write our music. We are
all into movies as much as we are into music. That’s probably the reason for making concept-albums. During
the making of “Watching the Unseen,“ our previous release, we already tried to create a story within the songs. This was done after the
songs individually were finished. For “A Soul’s Roadmap,“our latest effort, we wrote the music and the lyrics at the same time. Erik
(vocals) came up with a story about Korben who tries to save his wife’s soul. This science fictional story has some cool twists. The story
is told backwards, like the movie Memento. In the first song he is trapped in the dark (so… no happy ending!). Somewhere in the middle
is a ballad called “Turn Away”, in which he speaks with his wife’s soul. In the last song (actually the beginning), Korben speaks of his
agony, the pain he feels because he can’t help his dying wife. In between these songs he enters his wife’s dreamworld, gets lost in a
maze, is haunted by ‘spirits’ and tries to trick ‘death’.
We approached this album as if it were movie: the music is written along with the story; every song is a
scene. Within the music you can actually hear when Korben is chased and lost in the maze, going mad, you can hear his desperation in
the chords and ryhthms we used. We also use freaky jazz/fusion-like elements to create the right vibe!
To complete this story we tried to make the artwork like a log or diary. The pictures we used, visualize the story. So together with the story
and the music, to us this is sort of a movie. The only thing missing are the images which we leave up to your own imagination.Since
your website is about music, movies and art, I think Symmetry’s “A Soul’s Roadmap” deserves to be
mentioned here. Even if you’re not into this kind of metal, regular visitors of SSS will understand and respect
what we have tried to achieve. Hopefully the combination of music, story and art will drive them mad!
For the newbies in Progmetal (including me); what’s the key to your style?
The key to the Symmetry-style is something that has taken a few years to evolve. Our music is very riff-based. All riff-ideas are collected
during the rehearsals. Erik is kind of ‘the composer’ and has a great intuition on which riffs connect. It’s like finding the right pieces
together. The chorus is very important and needs lots of memorable melody. Some songs need a solo-part or some kind of instrumental
part; this also depends on what lyrics or story Erik has for the song. Our main goal is to create a song, even when we fit in some weird
fusion parts. Technique always comes second, though a lot of bands in the genre tend to think otherwise. With that in mind I really don’t
think we are a representative ‘progmetal’ band. We are slightly different…The key to progmetal in general I think, is the use
of elements of all kinds of styles. Like a sponge: suck up all you hear, mix it with metal and let it flow!? Although
I doubt which progmetal-bands are really progressive, really make a difference, really are doing something that has not been done…
How do you and your band experience live gigs?
Live-gigs are fun! For Symmetry it’s the best way of introducing our music to people. Since we have not yet been signed by a record
company, livegigs are also needed to distribute (read: sell) our CD’s. Livegigs also can be very intense. Because of our way of writing
most of the songs have a certain emotion. Erik is very eager to deliver that emotional depth during live-gigs. Dynamics play an important
role to achieve the right vibe. That doesn’t mean we deliver a static and serious show. We always try to make a balance with
songs that just need to kick ass, bring a smile to your face and make you jump into the crowd! But as a whole it
can give a livegig that bit of extra.
What are your influences and why?
Nowadays, Frank is very much into metal/deathmetal (anything heavy and fast), Martin (drums) is more into jazz/fusion/progrock and Erik
(vocals) still relives the 80’s metal hardrock. Our musical likes are very broad.
Since you probably like to hear some band name(s) I’ll go back in time. When Symmetry started Erik and Frank Tiehuis were definitely
influenced by Fates Warning. The name Symmetry is linked to the album “Perfect Symmetry”. After making an EP “To divinity” there were
some line-up changes. Erik is actually the only original Symmetry-member left. That’s probably why he has such a big part in composing
Do you have any soloprojects going on?
Frank plays regularly with some guitarists he met on the internet. He’s endorsed by Bo-el guitars and is recording his own material. He
will probably be using these songs during clinics he will give in the future to show the possibilities of these great guitars.Martin (drums)
has some bands alongside, but Symmetry is his main occupation. The same goes for Erik and me (Bas, bass).
What is your creative goal?
To speak for the band… we have always tried, and will keep on trying to make music WE love. Hypes can’t bring us to our knees.
That’s probably why we have come more and more to our own style.
Frank in 20 years… tell me…
According to a certain bandmember: Al Bundy playing guitar
According to Frank: the looks of someone 40 years older than that… beer in left hand, cigarette in right hand, guitar on knee.
How can the SSS-crowd get into your music and world?
Try visiting our website http://surf.to/symmetry. Downloads of songs, links to metal-oriented sites, reviews, bio and updates on live
shows can be found here. You can also order the CDs and pay with PayPall! The website is completely in the style of the booklet that
comes with “A Soul’s Roadmap.“
What do you think of me?
Some weird colleague with beautiful blue eyes!
PS Thanks to Nico Wobben for the pictures (www.nicowobben.com)
iNTERVIEW BY PETERR