Dirk Verbeuren - Drummer phenomenon
17/09/12 || Lord K Philipson
You don’t know who Dirk is? Then go away. Leave this site. Leave the Internet altogether. Silently go back to whatever barn you were born in. Say hello to your 2 fathers and ask them to beat you to death with a blunt object for being an ignorant and completely useless fool. Don’t speak to any other human being ever again and forever live in shame (if your fathers refuse to beat the life out of you that is).
Dirk is The Man. Seriously. Besides being The Man he’s also recognized as one of the best drummers to ever walk up straight. In case you wanna know more about this living superhero, check out his page at Wikipedia. Or how about his death/grind/blast-the-fuck-out-of-you project Bent Sea? Or what about his completely own site, located at www.dirkverbeuren.com? Yeah. I knew you’d dig that, you slut. Oh, and he’s obviously in some Swedish metal band called Soilwork too. You can also go to the site of his wife Hanna Verbeuren and get a load of some amazing photography. How about that plug, huh? I’m too nice. I’ll plug Hannah’s site any fucken day, not only becoz she’s an extremely talented photographer, but she’s married to Dirk. That warrants as many plugs on GD as you can possibly think of.
So, with Dirk being the fucken icon that he is, I naturally had to interview him for this site. Safe to say, it’s an incredibly great piece of journalism and you should be happy me and Dirk decided to do this for you all. When 2 insanely awesome individuals work together, the result will be astonishing. This is such a result. Congratulations to you all.
Global Domination: Hey, brother. Naturally my first question is, since I didn’t see this coming from a mile away… How the fuck did you end up doing the drums for the latest Naglfar album? It’s not like you are going to tour the world with them I take it? They’ll sure as shit have a hard time finding a permanent drummer to handle your work considering you kinda know your way around a drumkit… Don’t you feel bad about leaving them high’n‘dry like that, man? Did you hold back a little so the eventual next Naglfar drummer can handle the level you set on their new piece?
Dirk Verbeuren: What’s up brother? First off, thank you for taking the time to ask me stuff. That’s very kind of you. In regards to Naglfar, here’s how it went: I was doing a drum clinic at the House of Metal in the quaint Swedish town of Umeå. Mattias from Toontrack- of the legendary Drumkit From Hell and the aptly-titled Superior Drummer- is good friends with the Naglfar guys who were hanging out drinking beers. As it turns out, they needed a drummer to play on their next album “Téras”. I’ve known and enjoyed Naglfar for a long time so I was- and still am- really stoked that they’d give me a shot. I always strive to lay down the best beats I can summon and to make life a bit rougher for whoever has to play that shit on stage, haha! On this record there were definitely some pretty challenging songs drum-wise, which is good cause it helps me become a better musician. I’m absolutely positive that their new live drummer, Efraim Juntunen, will deliver a classy performance.
Apart from doing that session job, are you into the kind of melodic black metal that bands such as Naglfar create? I ask shit about Naglfar becoz I truly dig that fucken band, and I had no idea their drummer fucked off.
I like all kinds of black metal. Bathory, Satyricon, Darkthrone, Mayhem, 1349, Immortal and Thorns all rule. In the melodic realm, Emperor’s a huge favorite of mine. A few days ago I actually pulled out “Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk”. It’s been ages since I heard it. Verdict: still a total masterpiece! Celtic Frost is absolutely essential of course. Speaking of which, Triptykon is unbelievable. Absolutely stellar music! Tom G. Warrior is an incredible songwriter. So go check out Triptykon right now if you haven’t yet. Back to your question, “Nightwork” by Diabolical Masquerade is a true gem. Certain records by Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth I enjoy. I’m sure there are a lot more I can’t think of right now. Recently I’ve started digging into the French scene, stuff like Blut Aus Nord and Deathspell Omega. Still got a lot of listening to do though, before I can say something useful about that. Have you ever heard Phazm? It’s a band I formed with a few guys from Scarve. We called it black’n’roll, kinda like Motörhead meets Satyricon with a lot of blastbeats. I only played and toured on the first album. We recorded it live in the studio which is a process I’d love to repeat someday.
By the way, what’s your one absolute fave cymbal? I mean, that is something you sure have to ask a fucken drummer, no? Me? I love me some splash cymbals of various kind, yes? Those fuckers make a great sound, no?
I dig splashes and effects cymbals. I play Meinl and they happen to make a ton of cool stuff in that realm. The Generation X series is pure bliss if you like quirky and unique sounds. But my overall favorite is the Mb20 22” Heavy Bell Ride. That thing is a monster! It’s so heavy it’s not even funny and it sounds so damn good it’s worth every second spent dragging it around. It’s metal as fuck and it sounds like… How the hell am I supposed to describe it? Just check it out on www.meinlcymbals.com if you’re interested. They have this nifty feature where you can listen to every one of their cymbals.
When we met up last summer and I introduced you to my beloved better half she said: “-Yeah, I know it’s Dirk. The drummer from Scarve”. Would you have preferred if she said “the drummer from Soilwork”? Seriously, I think my chick sure got herself some deserved metal credit by referencing your work in Scarve instead of that pop band stuff you do with the Swedes.
She couldn’t have said it better. I’m not one to brag but I think we did some really great stuff with Scarve. I’m super proud of the music we wrote together. The funny thing is, I keep reading left and right that we split up or that I left the band. We’re not touring for the time being but there will be another Scarve album at some point. When the time is right, it’ll happen. We’re all recording ideas and eventually all those riffs and beats will materialize into a kick-ass record.
Shouldn’t cowbells be prohibited when it comes to drums?
Here’s what I gotta say about cowbells. Last year, I was a very-lucky-ass bastard to be asked by Devin Townsend to be a part of the DTP London shows; the ones that were shot for “By a Thread”. I had to have a cowbell on my kit just to do this one roll in “The Mighty Masturbator”. During that silly one-second roll, which accompanied a little guitar tremolo thingy, Devin and Dave Young (the other guitarist) would come up to me and we’d laugh our asses off. Every single time. For that reason alone, I like cowbells. That and the SNL skit, of course.
A large drumkit prolly makes up for a small penis… So, for the female readers of GD, of which we have exactly zero, how big is your… drumkit?
Haha! Nice phrasal construction there. Confirms how talented a writer you are! I started out on a small second-hand kit which my parents gave me when I was 15 or 16, an old Maxtone jazz kit with no resonant heads. It had one kick drum, three toms, a hi-hat, a crash and a ride. Over the years I gradually added stuff because using the same sounds all the time tends to get boring. Nowadays I use ten or eleven cymbals, one kick and four toms. I’m not sure if that would be considered a large kit. I guess it depends if you’re a metalhead or a punk rocker. I’d say it’s relatively small compared to a lot of metal drummers. My kit, not my penis.
You are a huge supporter of the world’s best death metal band Torture Division. You have even donated money to the cause of this fantastic band. Why is that? It’s very rare that fellow musicians give a fuck about fellow musicians, but you obviously do. Torture Division is a huge fan of you, by the way. We haven’t donated any money to you though…
First off, thank you guys for being fans. That’s truly an honor. Oh and feel free to donate anytime you want! Haha! Seriously, I love the concept you got going with Torture Division, free demos every so often that end up growing into killer full lengths. So far I don’t think I’ve missed a single Torture Division track so it’s only logical that I would help and keep the good stuff coming. I know pretty well how much work goes into that shit. You even inspired me to do something sorta similar with Bent Sea. So really, supporting you is only fair. I happen to think that everyone who downloads your stuff and likes it should do the same. But that’s just my two cents- which also happens to be how much I donated to you, haha!
What album holds your best work, you think? For me, “Stabbing The Drama” is one insane fucken display of superb drumming on all accounts.
Thanks a lot man! That’s kind of interesting (read: weird) for me to comment on. Let’s see. I’ve always been very happy with “Irradiant” by Scarve. The production kicks ass and I love every song on that record. “The Panic Broadcast” by Soilwork I’m super happy with as well; there’s a lot of dynamics on the drums and they really shine through. “Deconstruction” by Devin, even though the drum sound isn’t my favorite, has some of the most over-the-top beats I ever played. That album’s totally out there on every level. If we’re talking pure death metal, Aborted and Infinited Hate stand out. You know, when I think about it, I like most of the stuff I’ve recorded. Working out every detail on a song, you tend to get a pretty strong feel for it. Even stuff I didn’t expect to really grew on me because I enjoy the end result. And as much as I’m obsessed with drumming, it’s everything combined that does it for me, or not.
Any particular albums drumming wise that you are truly fucken fond of? What about Death’s “Human”, an album that I definitely think re-drew the map for what could be done drum-wise, in death metal at least.
“Human” redefined death metal drumming. When that came out, just like probably most drummers at the time, I didn’t know what the hell was going on. Those accents and subtleties were unheard of, at least in extreme metal. I think I went out and bought a splash cymbal the next day. At last year’s Sick Drummer Camp, everyone from Gene Hoglan to Derek Roddy mentioned Sean Reinert as a major influence. That tells you something! Another album that still knocks me off my socks is “Sol Niger Within” by Fredrik Thordendal’s Special Defects. The music is too good for words and Morgan Ågren’s drumming is from another planet. It’s not full-on metal drumming but it’s without a doubt one of the most amazing performances, and albums, ever. I gotta stop this list right here or I’ll keep going forever.
You had a bunch of clinics throughout Europe and whatnot a few months back. Is that shit putting food on your table and do you truly enjoy it, or is it more of something you need to do to being cash to the household?
Clinics are a blast. I was really intimidated at first by the thought of being up on stage alone for two hours without a band to hide behind. I found reasons to put ‘em off for a few years. But people kept asking me. I’m really happy I finally went with it. You get to meet kids who are big-time into music and hopefully share some insight with ‘em. It makes you feel like what you’re doing isn’t completely selfish. The travels can be really cool too. I went to China for the first time a few months ago, that was a great experience. I’m actually going back there next month. I also got to visit the state-of-the-art Meinl factory in Germany which was really fucken cool. And yeah, clinic tours help with paying the bills which is always nice.
And now you are currently doing the drums for the coming album of The Project Hate as well. Yes, my band. It’s not like you made your regular fee for this one. What made you decide on doing it anyways and do you have any words for The Haters out there?
I really wanted to do it ’cause I’m a fan of you, Jörgen and Tobben. I’ll be honest, I don’t know all The Project Hate albums, not even close. You got fucken ten of ‘em! But I sure as hell know you guys are top-class players and writers with 110% dedication. I’m proud to be a part of such a classy team. It’s obvious to me this album has no other option but to completely destroy. And guess what? I’m four-and-a-half songs in and it fucken destroys! Haters, better believe me when I tell you this: you’re gonna have some absolutely amazing tunes to ingest. When this beast gets unleashed, you’ll be shitting your pants. I mean that.
I would definitely consider you one of the best damned drummers in the world of best damned drummers. Where do you rank yourself? I mean, you are one of the most humble and respectful guys I know of and you wouldn’t talk highly of yourself if your life depended on it, but you do realize you are right up there at the top, huh? Is there anything you seriously believe you have to improve drumming wise? I mean, you can do it all at this point…
Haha! Thanks man, you’re way too kind. From my perspective it feels different. There are a ton of drummers and musicians I look up to. I’ve got a million things to learn still. I’m always learning whenever I play, always trying to get in some practice when I have 10 or 20 minutes. My feet constantly need work. Same thing for my improvisational skills. And my double stroke rolls, and my blast beats, and my dynamics. The list goes on. I’ll never be done, which is a good thing cause I’m super happy to be drumming a lot. As long as I get to keep playing music that moves me I’ll be one happy fucker.
Do you remember how it came about that you first picked up drumming? What influenced you and is there one single fucko that is responsible for it, as in a friend who made you understand you might have a knack for this drumming thing…
I had a classmate in school when I was 13-14 years old who’d fill up tapes and tapes of extreme stuff for me. This was in the late eighties when Earache ruled the underground. That “Grindcrusher” comp changed my life. There was no Internet of course, and I’d buy records cause I liked the cover or the band name, or simply cause they were on Earache. I was spending all my pocket money on vinyl and CD’s. The first four Slayer albums were on repeat. Dave Lombardo was my drum hero. Napalm Death, Repulsion, Carcass, Morbid Angel, Metallica, Obituary, Terrorizer, Pestilence, S.O.D., Suffocation, Nocturnus, Entombed, Sepultura, Dead Kennedys, Gorefest, Suicidal Tendencies… They all became hugely influential to me. Very early on, I formed a “band” with a friend where we’d record ourselves playing along to the first two Napalm Death LP’s played at 45RPM so they’d be faster. He’d scream and I’d play blastbeats on wooden crates and cardboard boxes. My drum sticks were actually wooden rulers that would blister the fuck out of my fingers. Through all that, my parents noticed how passionate I was about that stuff. They’d always encouraged me to play music. Once they got me that second hand Maxtone kit I mentioned earlier, I was doomed to drum. I was playing along to my favorite songs every day after school. I had no idea what I was doing but I loved it. The coolest thing is, my parents were actually happy to hear me blast away. A lot of parents would hate all the noise, whereas my mom always said “- I love to hear you play”. I owe my mom and dad massively for always supporting me.
Your patented “Dirkblast”, is that something you have seen being incorporated into other bands by fellow musicians? Just coming up with the technique of doing that is kinda impressive. It sounds good, it looks good and therefore it must be good, right? What made you work that shit out?
What I dubbed Dirkblast is basically an application of a snare rudiment that I learned in music school called “flam accent”. The first time I used it was on the Scarve demo tape, on the song “Shelly’s Dead”. That was late 1993-early 1994. It’s a good beat in the sense that it allows you to play way faster and with less strain than a regular blastbeat. The purists may not call it a blastbeat, but whatever. I showed it to a handful of guys like Morten Løwe Sørensen when he filled in for me in Scarve. He plays it on the second The Arcane Order album, which is a really amazing record by the way. And Morten’s a killer drummer! I haven’t really seen anyone else play the Dirkblast, except recently when the drummer for Brain Drill posted a link to a video where he does something similar. A few months ago I did a video explaining the Dirkblast (check it out on http://dirkverbeuren.blogspot.com) and a lot of people seem to be into it. So it’s maybe gonna spread more now, which is awesome!
I know you’re interested (read: obsessed) in extreme drumming and full-on death metal/grind. So, what the fuck are you doing in Soilwork anyways?
I’m obsessed with death, grind and extreme music in general. But I grew up listening to the radio. I love what I consider good pop, rock and alternative music- which is totally subjective of course. I love a lot of what Prince and Björk do. I love a good portion of the first Lady Gaga album. I love the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Tom Waits, Young Gods, Bowie, Primus, the Stones. Again, I could go on forever. The point is, I really enjoy the melodic side of Soilwork. Speed is an incredible singer. He knows how to be super catchy without being cheesy. And the guitars and keys combined make for goosebumps in many a Soilwork song. I was playing “Figure Number Five” on repeat at the time when they reached out for me to tour that very album. It’s a straightforward and poppy record but I totally love that shit when it’s well done. That’s one reason right there. Secondly, they’re an awesome bunch of super-talented guys, which makes touring endlessly easier. And thirdly, it was a massive step forward for me to be in a high-profile band like Soilwork. It took me almost two years to decide to be their full-time drummer just ‘cause I didn’t wanna give up Scarve. The thing is, Scarve is an underground band if there ever was one. We were investing way more money than we were making. That’s fine when you’re 20 but unfortunately not viable in the long run, when music is mostly all you’re doing. Soilwork was a lot of fun from the get-go. I’m playing kick ass grooves and some really fast, tough-to-master shit. I was just true to myself in joining ‘em full time. It was the logical and reasonable thing to do and most of all, it felt right. And it still does.
Are you interested in bringing your grind project Bent Sea to a higher level? Like playing gigs and whatnot perhaps? I can do guitars for ya. I can handle that shit. Maybe. Drums… not so much. I’ll leave that to you.
Thanks man! That’s awesome. My goal with Bent Sea is first and foremost to have a band with the most fun and least pressure possible. I want everyone to do what they like and hopefully get a kick out of my songs. If gigs are ever an option I’d love to do some. I really would. As of now, it would take for me and Sven and Shane to simultaneously be free of other obligations, which isn’t super likely to happen. Knowing that, I’m just gonna keep releasing music. Hopefully word of mouth and illegal downloading will do the rest, haha! The new songs I wrote, I’m stoked about. There’s more death metal in some of ‘em, should be right up your dirty ole’ alley. Sven and Shane are supposed to record their parts before the end of the year so keep your eyes and ears peeled!
Is there any other reason than the fact that Dream Theater absolutely blows that made you not apply for the job when they looked for a new drummer some year back or so?
That’s pretty much the exact reason. I respect them a lot as players, they’re absolutely amazing, but it’s not at all my thing musically. I don’t think I’d truly love playing their music no matter how much good comes with such a huge gig. I may be wrong about that though. I did stop listening to them ages ago. Bottom line is, you gotta feel what you’re doing. And I‘m pretty damn comfortable with where I’m at. Part of the appeal in music is the freedom of doing what you want and love, and I really love my bands and all the session work I’m doing.
Exceptionally talented drummers always bring up these absolutely redundant drummers like that fucko from AC/DC, some Led Zeppelin fucko, unknown jazz drummers and bla bla fucken bla when asked about their personal heroes or inspirations. I don’t give a fuck about that, I wanna know some names of drummers in METAL who you believe hold the chops.
Gotcha. I love John Bonham, he’s a god! Seriously, Dave Lombardo’s so damn good it’s not even funny. Especially on “South Of Heaven” and “Reign” and “Seasons”. He made me wanna be a drummer. So did Pete Sandoval. He’s the master of old school blastbeats. Gene Hoglan is a god. Sean Reinert and Atheist’s Steve Flynn are gods. I love what Martin Axenrot did on that Bloodbath “Unblessing The Purity” EP. So groovy. The fills are perfect and you can just feel the energy. Kai Hahto on “Murderworks”- holy fucken shit. Mario/Gojira and Tomas/Meshuggah blow my mind. So do Norman Lonhard/Triptykon, Dave Witte and Peter Wildoer. I’ll stop there but I also wanna say this: I get a real kick out of straightforward and sometimes sloppy old school drumming. Some people don’t get how I can be into that stuff. Here’s why: to me it’s a million times more heartfelt and exciting than any ProTooled-to-the-tits, perfect-but-lifeless “modern” shit. Mick Harris, Nicke Andersson, Bob Bagchus, Chris Reifert, Fenriz, Rich Hoak, Donald Tardy: they’re all unique and fantastic in their own way.
The one keyword in drumming to me is GROOVE. You got that. Nicke Andersson (ex-Entombed) got that back in the day. Ed Warby’s (Hail Of Bullets) got that. Tobben Gustafsson (Vomitory) got that. That Kollias (Nile) dude is impressive as fuck, but groove? Not so much. That Yeung bloke in Morbid Angel – impressive as fuck, but groove? Not so much. Why is it that it seems like the important thing in today’s extreme metal drumming is to be the fastest and most technical drummer EVER? If you can’t combine that with some muthafucken groove, what’s the point?
I couldn’t agree more. Groove is key. Nicke Andersson is amazing. Those old Entombed records set a new standard for the entire scene. Ed Warby and Tobben also have a unique groove. “False” by Gorefest was a massive influence for me, and you know how much I love Torture Division and Vomitory. I love Morbid Angel and Nile too though. I guess there’s a place for über-technical drumming and another for more groove-induced stuff. When it’s full-on wankery, stuff like Fleshgod Apocalypse and those kinds of bands, that’s where I lose interest. It may be super impressive technically but the music doesn’t move me. Maybe I’m just getting old though. Anyway, like groove, songwriting is key. And in my humble opinion, Morbid Angel and Nile have written a lot of classic songs.
I recently learned that this Wichers guy quit Soilwork again. Will you let him back in 2 years when he wants in for a third time or so? I say fuck that guy and his unreliability and go with what you have now, no matter how big a part he’s been of the band in the past. Judging from some comments made by you in some interview, it doesn’t sound like you guys split on a very super friendly basis? You pissed at him? I have no idea who this guy is, I never met him or anything and he could be the coolest fucken guy since Jesus, but I have a hard time taking a liking in people who leave a band, come back and leave again. That’s not cool.
Here’s how I can best explain what happened: sometimes life takes unexpected turns. Peter found out his wife was pregnant shortly after rejoining Soilwork. Then we went out and did a bunch of long-ass tours which, except for one, ended up being super rough financially. When you tour for a whole year you gotta make decent money doing it, especially if you got a family to support. It’s all part of the game of course, as we all know. But the game doesn’t always work out for everyone. Peter was producing records at the same time which was way too much for him- and for anyone, if you ask me- to handle without going nuts. I can see how from the outside it looks like he was wishy-washy. Some guys in the band may even say he was just that. What’s undeniable though is that he’s an amazing musician and songwriter to whom Soilwork will always owe a lot. And just to make it perfectly clear: he didn’t leave the second time around. The initial communication on that was all fucked up, so here’s the truth straight from my mouth: it was a mutual decision that our upcoming tours and his obligations wouldn’t blend.
I am very happy for you that you get to work with me on the coming TPH album (yeah, you read that right). I’m not quitting this band anytime soon. I hate quitters. But what I wanna ask is: what are some of the musicians (any genre) you would like to work with in the future. Let’s pretend anything is possible…
Cool, cause I’m fired up as hell about this TPH record! As a matter of fact, I’m gonna go record drums for it in the next hour or so. If anything was possible, I’d love to do something with Justin Broadrick. I love his style so damn much. Godflesh absolutely rules. Final and Jesu rule too. And Justin played on side A of “Scum”- it doesn’t get any better! Not that there’s the slightest chance, but if I ever got to play with Björk that’d be the best thing ever. I recently threw on “Vespertine” and that record still blows my mind. You know what the best thing is though? I’m actually working with Shane Embury in Bent Sea. That’s an absolute dream come true for me. I still have a hard time believing it’s really happening. Shane being Shane, and Napalm Death being my all-time favorite band and a huge influence since I was a teenager, it’s seriously unreal for me.
So, again… No cowbells in a drumming environment, right?
Cows are cool. I wouldn’t mind setting up my kit in a field with a bunch of cows grazing around me while I’m blasting away. And let’s not forget Tommy Lee did some classic cowbell beats. My wife and I had “Kickstart My Heart” in our wedding ceremony. So I could definitely use more cowbell, though I gotta add that I don’t actually own one!
Please tell me you’re a massive fan of the UFC. I mean, you are in the States and shit, meaning you can see UFC events all the time, live. I would kill for that. Can you buy me a full-scale Octagon next time you are in Vegas? Preferably one used at an event, but a new one is ok too.
Prepare to be disappointed… Maybe even disgusted. I don’t watch UFC. I’ve seen it on the tourbus many times cause just about everyone else in Soilwork is addicted to that stuff. So it’s not like I haven’t tried. I seriously just don’t get what’s exciting about two dudes beating the crap out of each other. Oh and by the way, the only “Octagon” I know is the Bathory album. That’s some brutal shit right there, probably way more brutal than UFC! Ha!
I take it you have some endorsements, huh? Do you get the shit for free or is it like a discount endorsement? Who were the first company to endorse you anyways?
Tama approached me back in 1995. It started with discounts, and when touring schedules got busier it eventually turned into a full endorsement. The key to endorsements is touring. Companies want their gear to be seen and heard. The 2005 Ozzfest tour with Soilwork was a turning point for me. That’s when Meinl stepped in. Meinl cymbals are the shit! They’ve been super supportive, as have all the people over at Tama. I really love my Tama signature sticks and their new Speed Cobra double pedal. I’m very fortunate playing and representing gear I actually love. That includes Evans heads, dB drumshoes and the awesome Toontrack software. Those guys have helped me immensely too. I’ll forever owe Fredrik Thordendal for hitting me up. Without my Toontrack software I definitely wouldn’t be running my Die Crawling studio and doing sessions all the time.
This Toontrack collaboration of yours… What an amazing, amazing thing you have created. How does it feel to know that I am using and abusing you each and every time I compose something these days? I even muthafucken BOUGHT your latest expansion, even though I could have downloaded it for “free” or even snagged a copy from you (you wouldn’t have said no, you like me too much). You deserve every single penny you can get from the work put into that, making an effort to ease the life for brilliant musicians like myself creating music.
That’s awesome to hear, brother! Thanks! Here’s the idea behind the “Library of the Extreme” series: no one wants to sit there and spend days programming blastbeats or skank beats or double kick rolls. It’s way too much work and it usually just ends up sounding robotic and crappy anyway. So I figured, if I do the work for people by actually playing those beats, not only will it sound way more realistic, it’ll also make people’s life easier cause MIDI is a breeze to work with. Every edition of the Library represents hundreds of hours of intense work. And to know that people such as yourself, Anders from Katatonia, Karl from Nile, the Powermad guys and a shit ton of musicians and bands out there are using it for composing and even recording makes it all totally worthwhile. I even used ’em myself for the first time on a couple of the pre-production demos for the new Soilwork album. Which is gonna be a double album, by the way!
Are there more libraries coming from ya in the future? I seriously need to buy every fucken thing you released thru Toontrack since it is making my life easier, it sounds fucken insane and I dig the feeling of having you in my room when I compose. That sounded extremely gay, but fear not – I am married. To a woman. I even married her at the historic first UFC event in Sweden some months back. So tell me, you dig the UFC? You dig my woman? She fucken recognized you as the drummer from Scarve you know. Not Soilwork. That has to be feeling special to ya, yes? A girl like that you just have to marry. Talking about me now, that is. You can’t have her. Or… ok, you can. She’s an awful drummer though. But she’s great at armbars. Seriously. So, dig the UFC? Oh, I already went through with that anecdote about her knowing you from Scarve? Trust me, it’s not easy to come up with clever questions all the time.
Great! Now you’re gonna hate me even more for not getting the whole UFC thing. I’m just being honest though. It’s not even like I hate sports. I watched the Olympics like a maniac. I love skateboarding, BMX, cars and bikes. I like the occasional soccer finale and the Superbowl. I even enjoy the American Ninja Warrior thing and the Strongest Man in the World. But not UFC. Go figure. I do absolutely dig your woman though. But my wife is cooler and hotter than any other woman in the universe! No offense to your wife. I’m actually gonna start working on a new Toontrack library soon. It’s gonna complement the previous three Libraries perfectly and make your life even easier, so prepare to love it!
Does it ever happen that people spell your last name wrong? I do it all the time. On purpose of course. And seriously, how is it pronounced?
Haha! How do you come up with these genial questions? Yeah, it happens all the time. You don’t have that problem being called “K”, do you? I should call myself “D”. Makes me think of Mike D, although it could also be Sergeant D. I love hip-hop, by the way. I’m really bummed that MCA died and that the Beastie Boys are no more. Their latest record was really good. Anyway, my wife took my name when we got married and she figured out the best way to explain how to pronounce it in English: “verb”-“urine”. You can’t fuck that up. But I don’t know how to write down the Flemish pronunciation, sorry. You’re just gonna have to wait till I bump into you at some festival and read my lips.
Who’s the best blaster in the biz?
Man, that’s a tough question. There are a ton of incredible blasters out there. As an influence of mine, I gotta say Pete Sandoval. He was my favorite for many, many years. Those old Morbid Angel albums still make me wanna smash everything in sight. And I do enjoy most of their latest one, if you care to know. And I don’t give a fuck if you despise it. Back to influential drummers: I also gotta say Mick Harris because he’s Mick Harris and no one could ever come close to sounding like him. Him and Pete Sandoval are both true originators without whom none of us would be blasting today, so they’re in a category of their own. That being said, I can’t possibly pick the best blaster no matter how much I rack my brain. So I’ll name five guys whose blasting really blows my mind: George Kollias, Tony Laureano, Derek Roddy, Kai Hahto and Frost. I’ve seen each of these dudes blast from up close, some of ‘em countless times (that would be Tony and George) and I think they absolutely rule.
So, naturally: what’s your take on that amazing, amazing, AMAZING Pete Sandoval does Beethoven/Mozart/whatever video that’s on YouTube?
It’s brilliant! I hadn’t actually seen it until you kindly pointed it out to me. You can’t possibly give Pete Sandoval enough credit for everything he brought to extreme drumming. I got two things to say: “Altars of Madness”and “World Downfall”. Many years ago I interviewed him for a magazine during the “Domination” tour. Super nice guy and super passionate about what he does. People criticize him left and right, and a thing or two could be said about his choice of sounds and what some will call his lack of groove. To me though, he has his own groove. You gotta remember he was the guy who invented and perfected a lot of that shit. In ‘88-’89, no one else was setting the kit on fire like Pete was. And their shows back then: pure insanity! I recorded a couple of Morbid Angel shows on Mini-Disc, remember those? I’d bore the shit out of the Scarve guys playing these horribly crappy sounding bootlegs in the car on our way to a gig. I just couldn’t get enough of the sheer energy of Pete’s drumming. His style may not have evolved much over the years but to me, he’ll always be a god.
Ok, I have no more time for this now. Gotta fire up the lawnmover, enjoy the weather in my garden and paint some fences and shit. Thank you so much for being you, Dirk, and for showing drummers and musicians around the world how it’s supposed to be done. We need more guys like you (and me); down-to-earth, loyal, amazing and talented. Good luck with everything you take on in the future. I’ll leave ya now, my friend. Anything you wanna say to aspiring drummers as closure?
Thank you very much for being so kind, brother. And for letting me babble and drool all over your site. Those of you reading this probably already know, but I’ll still say it: Lord K rules. So you better fucken keep supporting The Project Hate and Torture Division and everything else this man puts his hands on! Got it? To aspiring drummers, I’ll say this: never give up. No matter the obstacles, keep working your ass off at being the best you possibly can. I never thought I’d be anywhere near where I am right now, but I sure as hell gave it my all since the very minute I owned a drumkit. After more than decade of working like a madman and sacrificing everything for music, it started to pay off. I’m still working like a madman, but now I get paid for it. So I’m the living proof that it really is possible to do what you love if you just never ever give up!