Trying to conquer the world
Picture was the first Dutch real heavy metal band and their legendary song/anthem Bombers was played a lot on the radio. Hence they became very popular in countries like Germany, Italy, Japan and Latin-America although they never really made the final breakthrough. The band quit and in 2007 Jan Bechtum, Laurens Bakker and Rinus Vreugdenhill decided to give it another try with Picture. They released a live comeback album in 2008 and 2009 saw the birth of Old Dogs New Tricks. Now 3.5 years later Picture release Warhorse; one of the finest albums so far and they are ready to conquer the world! Nowadays Picture consists of Pete Lovell (vocals), Rinus Vreugdenhill (bass guitar), Laurens Bakker (drums), Mike Ferguson (guitar) and Peter Bourbon (guitar) and with the latter I have a talk about the new album and other interesting stuff concerning Picture.
“As you probably know I played with Vengeance for the last four years and now I have joined Picture. They asked me and as I had nothing better to do I said yes right away. I wrote eight of the new songs on the album in my own studio. I have more than 40 years of experience as a musician so I definitely know how to write rock/metal songs that listeners dig right after the first time they heard it. I had a couple of ideas and I started writing immediately. Then I sent all the demos of the songs to each band member and they decided if they liked the songs, or not. Eight songs were approved of right away and made it onto the album while a lot of songs did not end up on the album. Well, the result is that I have more than 30 songs left for the next three albums. Now we have to wait what is going to happen as most of the reviews are rather good. Lately I have read a bad review in a German magazine, stating that it was a really bad album with amateurish arrangements, and so on. Man, I hate those reviews as I think that guy does not know what he is writing about; he really has not got a clue… We recently played in Spain and I can tell you that the new songs really came across; the crowd loved them. Of course we have chosen this approach/sound of the new album on purpose; meaning no overproduction, no extremely long guitar solos; all that we played and recorded in the studio must sound the same on stage! Shadow Of The Damned is a real head banging song and that is what these Spaniards did, bang their heads! It still bothers me if I read a bad review especially about this new album as I believe that all the tracks on War Horse are just fucking good! We have worked very hard and intensively on the album and I think that the result is great. Old school metal is alive and kicking in countries like Germany, Japan and Latin- America and I believe that is also due to a game like Guitar Hero, where the kids learn to play all these classic metal and rock songs.”
Did you also write the lyrics?
“No, that is Pete’s job. He really wants to do that by himself. He is a good singer for all the Picture songs but he does not like multi-vocals; I on the other hand really like them as an extra dimension in the songs and the sound. The music we make is honest, simple and the production is awesome, really heavy. A lot of bands nowadays work with pro-tools but we do not like that. If you use pro-tools a lot during the recording you will miss a lot in the sound if you play those songs live. And then you have to use samples to get the sound right as that is something I do not like at all.
You asked Oscar Holleman (Within Temptation, My Favorite Scar) for the production?
“Yep, I have known Oscar for a very long time already and I really trust him. He did a great job although due to lack of money and time there are still a couple of shortcomings on the album, if you ask me…. I would have liked to have changed a couple of guitar solos, but there was no time and no money left, so… But, overall I am very happy with the album and I think it is a real metal gem filled with killers!”
So, what happens now?
“Good question, of course we would like do a couple of festivals like Bang Your Head or Wacken Open Air to promote the album, but at the moment we do not have a booker, so that is a huge problem for the band. We are being asked to play all over the world, do not get me wrong, but we also want to make a couple of bugs with it. The glory days of rock and metal music are over and competition is very keen, so in the end I expect nothing; but there is still hope, I guess….. Picture wants to play live but we need a reliable booker otherwise nothing will happen, I am afraid.”
On the new album is a new version of the classic Picture song Eternal Dark, why is that?
“It is 100% for the fans who really dig and love that song. Do not forget that the album Eternal Dark sold more than 400,000 copies and the title track is really a song that everyone knows and shouts along to when it is played live on stage.”
Thanks for the interview, Peter.
“You were more than welcome.”
Interview for Rockunited by Martien koolen
See Picture live: