Officium Triste interview (07/2016)


With: Pim Blankenstein
Conducted by: Bad English (e-mail)
Published: 08.07.2016

Band profile:

Officium Triste


Bad English: Hi. Thank you for doing this interview with us here at Metal Storm.

Pim: You're welcome!

Bad English: Can you introduce yourself, and tell us how you started singing and developed your interest in metal music?

Pim: I'm Pim Blankenstein. Vocalist of Officium Triste (and a few other bands like Extreme Cold Winter, Dark Epoch and The 11th Hour). Let's start with my interest in metal. That was mainly because my older brother had some KISS records in his collection that appealed to me. Later on I heard more bands, mainly on compilation tapes my brother got from a friend. I pretty much liked what I heard from bands like MSG, UFO, Saxon, Motörhead, and Thin Lizzy to name a few. A bit later in the early '80s I also developed a liking for a lot of alternative guitar rock bands like U2, The Alarm, The Cult, Big Country and so on. At school there were some metalheads who copied me tapes of bands like Dio, Iron Maiden, Accept, Raven, Metallica and that pretty much sparked my interest in metal, although to this day I still listen to other styles of music as well.

I started singing when I was asked to try out for a death metal band called Profane. Their original singer left to sing with death metal band Ceremony. The audition for Profane wasn't that great as I hadn't developed the proper technique to do grunts. Profane asked the little brother of the drummer to sing and he happened to be in a band called Reïncremated. The bass-player of Reïncremated was a friend of mine with whom I traded tapes and visited a lot of shows in those days. They asked me and I got the opportunity to work on my vocals. We did a few shows and released a recording of one of those shows as a demo. A bit later we decided to change our style a bit and continue as Officium Triste.

Bad English: You're one of those metalheads (as a listener rather than a performer, in this instance) who doesn't stick with one genre, but likes all genres, from what I understand from the music you share on Facebook. What do you suppose it is that keeps people interested in so many genres of metal as opposed to remaining with one scene?

Pim: Speaking for myself I simply have a passion for music, regardless of the style. I find a lot of cool things in all these different forms of metal too, whether it's a killer grindcore album from Insect Warfare, to a dark death/black act like Degial, to the music of, say, Stryper. As long as the music speaks to me I love to listen to it. Like I said before I even listen to other music besides metal as well.

Bad English: You are one of the key editors of the Dutch webzine Lords of Metal, which also features the talents of Metal Storm's own Marcel Hubregtse. Averaging over 30 reviews a month, on top of live gigs, work, Feyenoord, movies, music, darts, etc... How do you manage all of this?

Pim: First of all I know there is a mention of me doing that many reviews on the Metal Archives page about Officium Triste. It's useless information as far as I'm concerned when it comes to the band.

But yes, I used to write a lot for Lords of Metal. That's right, I used to write as I quit at the start of 2016 to focus on other things that are also important in my life. Things all got a bit too busy and I was having a hard time writing interesting stuff about new releases. I have my job, a relationship, I like to watch movies from time to time, I indeed follow Feyenoord and visit (almost) all home games, and I play darts. All stuff I like to do that make my life complete. Basically it's all about priorities and putting stuff that you have to do on a calendar. So far I have managed although I did have problems meeting deadlines for Lords of Metal.

Bad English: How was Lords of Metal born, and how did you come to work there?

Pim: The webzine was started out by Horst, who used to run a metal radio show and with the possibilities of the internet he started a webzine. I got to know Horst through a Dutch metal forum. At that time I wrote for another webzine called Quintessence. Since I also have a thing for books on metal Horst asked me to review books for Lords of Metal. I'm not so sure when that exactly was but I think it was around 2009. One thing led to another and I also started reviewing albums and doing interviews. Quintessence died out and I kept on writing for Lords of Metal. Next to that I also wrote about metal for a print magazine called LiveXS. That magazine folded a few years ago. So, I have been quite busy over the years, but now it's time to focus on other stuff, like the new Officium Triste album, the next Extreme Cold Winter album and the debut of Dark Epoch as well as a track for the next Clouds album. By the way, I have left the door a bit open and I will do a book review every now and then for Lords of Metal and I'm also helping out the guys who do the fantastic Chilean magazine Compilation of Death.

Bad English: You're active in the Dutch football scene and go often to Feyenoord games both home and away. Are other metalheads very active in attending games?

Pim: I wouldn't say I'm active in the football scene. I simply support Feyenoord and visit their games. I used to go to away games a few years ago but you are treated like you're the scum of the earth so I quit doing that. Now I usually go to my local pub to watch away games. I have a season ticket and go to the home games. I know quite a few guys in the metal scene who go to football games and who support various teams. I don't think it's all that strange that people who enjoy a certain style of music also like to watch football or any other sport for that matter.

Bad English: The days when long hair and leather jackets typified metalheads seem to be changing, at least in most places. Nowadays, metalheads have amassed all kinds of looks, backgrounds, and professions; you even find them among priests. Meanwhile, in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, disco, techno, and other pop crap music seem to be taking over. How is it in the Netherlands?

Pim: Well, you still see people who dress in the typical 'metal dress code', but you see a lot of people with regular haircuts and clothing at shows too. That's all fine with me. In the Netherlands there's a huge dance scene, but I don't follow that. I don't care about it. It's not like it's taking over metal. I think the Netherlands is a pretty good country for metal. It started in the early '80s when lots of British bands got popular here, Jaguar for example. Metal never left, there's tons of bands, plenty of gigs every week. It's quite good I'd say.

Bad English: Back in the old days, my friend had Officium Triste's The Pathway on CD, but he didn't want to share it with us, so I rediscovered OT thanks to the internet, when the band's home page offered some demo songs. How do the internet and illegal downloading affect your band today? What has the internet given to OT, either positive or negative?

Pim: Well, back in the day before internet I used to write to lots of people, which had its charm. Internet made communicating so much easier and I think I even got more contacts. That's the benefit. The fact that people get to know about your band is great too. Of course your music can be downloaded, but I stopped worrying about that. Fortunately there are still people who want to pay for your music and buy your albums. In the end it's a difficult discussion and it all has its pros and cons. As long as I can do the stuff I like to do in music I am happy.

Bad English: You are part of Officium Triste, The 11th Hour, and Extreme Cold Winter, and you were a guest vocalist for Doomed, Clouds, and Falling Leaves. Are there any other bands you have been involved with?

Pim: Yes, I also am in a band called Dark Epoch for which I was asked by Stu from The Slow Death. We are working on a first album. Next to that I also have a classic rock cover band. I play with them a couple of times a year.

Bad English: How did you come to do guest work with those three bands? How did they approach you?

Pim: Well, Falling Leaves simply approached me and asked if I wanted to do some guest vocals. I thought that was a pretty cool thing to do for a band from Jordan. Not much else to say about that. Pierre of Doomed also asked me as he likes my vocal style and I recorded some vocals for a song as well. I actually think they are an outstanding band. Clouds is a bit different as I am actually part of the band even when I just did vocals to one song on Doliu. I'm currently working on a new track for the next release. Daniel approached me for Clouds and I enjoyed every minute of it being part of that.

Bad English: Is Extreme Cold Winter your new main band, or just a side project?

Pim: It's a side project. Extreme Cold Winter was formed in 2009 by AJ (Temple, ex-Beyond Belief) and Seth (Severe Torture). They recorded some tracks and in 2011 they asked me to do the vocals. AJ always expressed that he wanted to work with me. There was even talk about me joining Beyond Belief, but that fell through and the band doesn't exist anymore. Since we are all busy with our other bands and we all live in different parts of the country it only is a studio project. We are working on a new album as we speak. The band formed in 2009, by A.J. van Drenth and Seth van de Loo.

Bad English: You joined in 2015 and that same year the band released their debut EP, Paradise Ends Here. Why has there been so little media coverage of it?

Pim: I think I covered most of this in my answer above. I actually joined in 2011 and recorded my parts then. It took a while to get Paradise Ends Here out. I have no clue why there is so little coverage. I've seen quite a few reviews though.

Bad English: The EP's album artwork reminds me of Zyklon in some way. Who created it, and what was the idea behind it?

Pim: I think AJ came up with that pic of an oil pipe in Siberia. It suits the band name, the album title quite well and the music quite well. Not a lot more to tell about that really.

Bad English: The 11th Hour came like mushrooms after rain. One day there was nothing, and the next day the whole internet and all the metal media were talking about the band. There haven't been any major updates or news lately, though; what's the band's current status?

Pim: You could say the band is on hold at the moment. You know it is Ed Warby's band and he is currently occupied with other stuff. It's all up to him if he ever feels the need to continue.

Bad English: Some sites say that The 11th Hour's only official member is Ed Warby, and that the rest are live musicians, whereas others say that all the members are permanent. What is the real status of the line-up?

Pim: Well, it's Ed's band. He created it with Rogga Johansson. I did the vocals on the second album. Other than that it is all Ed. When he got the opportunity to do live shows he found various members. That's when I came in the picture to do the grunts. I think Ed sees it as a proper band and he said that we would record the next album as a band. If that ever happens that is.

Bad English: Any plans for a third album? The first two received good reviews.

Pim: Right now there aren't any plans. It all depends on Ed's creativity. If he gets inspired to do another album it could happen. We all have to wait and see.

Bad English: One of our users, Erik Mols, says of Officium Triste that "Happy Forest" is the weirdest song you've ever written, though I could say the same for "This Is Goodbye." My personal favorites are "Roses On My Grave," those two "weird ones," and "The Sun Doesn't Shine Anymore" due to my geographical bias and that specific time of the year. How did you come up with the ideas and lyrics for those songs?

Pim: I actually don't think those songs are weird at all. "The Happy Forest" just differs from the other tracks on Ne Vivam. It starts out with this upbeat melody but later on in the track it gets quite melancholic. I stole the title from Beverly Hills Cop III where the counterfeit money operation is run from the closed attraction called The Happy Forest in that theme park. The lyrics itself are just what came to mind at that time. "This Is Goodbye" to me also has a strange melancholic yet upbeat vibe. It's about breaking up. About a relationship that doesn't work anymore and where breaking up is for the better. I actually think that little bit of hope in the music shines through in the lyrics. "The Sun Doesn't Shine Anymore" has nothing to do with the actual sun. It's more a metaphorical title and the lyrics deal with divorce where the man isn't able to see his child that often anymore.

Bad English: Every OT album has a ''new direction,'' but it's all in the same genre, and it always turns out well. Are there some key things you try to change from album to album, while retaining the same big picture sound?

Pim: From day 1 we said our music always has to be heavy and melodic and that is what we stand for. As a band you don't want to repeat yourself. You want to deliver an even better album and that's what it's all about. Over the years you also get new influences or other things that inspire you, which also leaves a mark on new material. And I also think line-up changes have an influence on the music. For instance our former guitarist Bram had a great part in the writing of Mors Viri for instance.

Bad English: It has been three years now since the release of Mors Viri. Do you have any plans for a new album? Anything written or demoed?

Pim: We are working on new material. We have skeletons for quite a few songs, we simply need to finish them and once that's done we will record a new album.

Bad English: A few months ago, the band parted ways with longtime bassist Lawrence Meyer. Some bands find it difficult to replace members, especially those with a long tenure, but it did not seem to take very long to find Theo Plaisier. How did you manage to acquire a replacement so quickly?

Pim: Well, the decision to part ways kinda was in the cards. Once that decision was made we looked into our options and we actually had a couple of bass-players we thought that would fit. Theo is also in my cover band I mentioned earlier and I knew he is a great player and I knew he would nail the bass parts in a short period of time. Since we had some shows booked we decided to rehearse with Theo and do a couple of shows. Those turned out great and we found ourselves a new bass-player.

Bad English: OT is into its third decade of life; you have seen an awful lot in that time. What do you think are the biggest differences between the '90s, '00s, and 2010s? What are the good and bad things of each decade, from the viewpoint of a musician?

Pim: What a question. I really don't know if there are so many differences. As a musician I think the internet was a big change with both benefits and negative aspects. Also the changes when it comes to recording, from analogue to digital has been a huge change. This can be seen as a positive thing I guess. But the fact that there are so many releases coming out every month can be seen as a negative thing I think. I do enjoy the fact that it's easier to get heard in other parts of the world and that bands from 'exotic' locations can be discovered by fans here.

Bad English: Do you have any last words to our readers?

Pim: If you haven't checked out Officium Triste yet, please do so if you like melodic and heavy doom/death metal. We've got quite a few shows coming up this year and soon we will also mention some new releases.


 


Comments

Comments: 15   Visited by: 49 users
08.07.2016 - 03:45
Maco
Handbanana
This is actually a nice interview. Good job.
----
I'm derp.
Loading...
08.07.2016 - 06:52
psykometal
A staff guy...
You do realize that if you really wanted to know anything at all about OT, you could have just asked Marcel, him and Pim are, like, pretty good friends and all.
----
~Zep, Database and Forum Moderation~

Loading...
08.07.2016 - 14:12
PimB
Hope you guys enjoy this interview
Loading...
08.07.2016 - 14:30
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by psykometal on 08.07.2016 at 06:52

You do realize that if you really wanted to know anything at all about OT, you could have just asked Marcel, him and Pim are, like, pretty good friends and all.


yeah, all in Boreog club are good friends and likes Feyenoord
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
08.07.2016 - 14:32
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by psykometal on 08.07.2016 at 06:52

You do realize that if you really wanted to know anything at all about OT, you could have just asked Marcel, him and Pim are, like, pretty good friends and all.


Calling us good friends might be a bit of a stretch.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Loading...
08.07.2016 - 14:36
Bad English
Masterchief
Lex if you wanna know something about Marcel, you can ask it in OT facebook page ....
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
08.07.2016 - 14:45
PimB
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 08.07.2016 at 14:32

Written by psykometal on 08.07.2016 at 06:52

You do realize that if you really wanted to know anything at all about OT, you could have just asked Marcel, him and Pim are, like, pretty good friends and all.


Calling us good friends might be a bit of a stretch.


Vague acquaintances
Loading...
08.07.2016 - 16:15
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by PimB on 08.07.2016 at 14:45



Vague acquaintances


That is indeed a better description.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Loading...
08.07.2016 - 18:03
ScreamingSteelUS
Agent of Steel
Written by PimB on 08.07.2016 at 14:12

Hope you guys enjoy this interview

I certainly did. I proofread the interview and found it quite interesting. I'd also never listened to OT before, but now I'm inspired to do so.
----
Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I wonder how you will defend your ludicrous assertions.
Loading...
08.07.2016 - 18:15
psykometal
A staff guy...
Quote:
...vague acquaintances

Ah. Fair enough, then. Thought I had seen Facebook posts about y'all hanging out and doing man-dates every now and again. Muh bad.

Quote:
...also never listened to...

Hmm. This kind of surprises me. I learned of them back in '13 because Craig and Marcel both were all googoo for Mors Viri, and I was intrigued enough by that to check it out. I really enjoyed the release myself as well. One of the few Doom bands I like.
----
~Zep, Database and Forum Moderation~

Loading...
08.07.2016 - 19:01
Bad English
Masterchief
I found in 2004 in doom-metal.com and band home page had mp3 legal demo downloads, so I liked band since then ''roses on my grave''
in 2004 I did not even know what MH is, I know 1th time I saw him hos location in MS was Riga, Latvia
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
12.07.2016 - 11:43
PimB
Written by psykometal on 08.07.2016 at 18:15

Quote:
...vague acquaintances

Ah. Fair enough, then. Thought I had seen Facebook posts about y'all hanging out and doing man-dates every now and again. Muh bad.


We do hang out at gigs quite often. We were taking the piss a bit here.
Loading...
12.07.2016 - 17:14
psykometal
A staff guy...
Written by PimB on 12.07.2016 at 11:43

We were taking the piss a bit here.

----
~Zep, Database and Forum Moderation~

Loading...
12.07.2016 - 19:10
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by psykometal on 12.07.2016 at 17:14

Written by PimB on 12.07.2016 at 11:43

We were taking the piss a bit here.







I am surprised you weren't on to us.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Loading...
13.07.2016 - 06:36
psykometal
A staff guy...
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 12.07.2016 at 19:10



I am surprised you weren't on to us.

I had a feeling, but wasn't 100% because I actually had a similar situation with a couple guys here in Houston some years back.

We met at one concert, and then kept running into each other at various other concerts throughout the year, so we eventually exchanged numbers and would arrange meeting up at shows to hang out at the venues together, but we never hung out outside of the shows because we lived on completely opposite sides of Houston but the venues were scattered about downtown Houston (which is smack dab in the middle of our residences).

So, due to my own past involving such a "relationship", I wasn't too sure if y'all were serious or just fuckin' about.
----
~Zep, Database and Forum Moderation~

Loading...

Hits total: 2036 | This month: 551