MARTIN VAN DRUNEN (Hail of Bullets) – All it needs is a bit of discipline
Martin Van Drunen begynte sin karriere som vokalist i det legendariske nederlandske bandet Pestilence og var med på de 2 første skivene deres. Var deretter med noen år i Asphyx og senere som livevokalist i Bolt Thrower. Fikk så en sykdom som gjorde at han mistet håret, men etter 4 år virket det som sykdommen var kurert og han ble igjen å høres som death metal vokalist. Startet sitt eget band Death by Dawn i 2001 og ble med i Hail of Bullets 5 år senere. Året etter tok han igjen over vokalistrollen i Asphyx og er for tiden vokalist i de 2 sistnevnte bandene. Eternal Terror har forsøkt å få fatt i Martin i noen år, men han har vist seg som en vanskelig person å få i tale via e-mail. Heldigvis har Metal Blade dyktige folk i Tyskland som til slutt overtalte den gamle hollenderen og her kan du lese Martin Van Drunens bidrag til The Deepthroat Series.
When did you start doing extreme vocals (What year and at what age)?
It was around 1987. I was 20 there.
What made you start to do extreme vocals?
It was getting in a band that needed an extreme vocalist. I wanted to play in a brutal metal band and found that in Pestilence and started doing my thing.
Can you describe the technique or the techniques you are using?
Not really, it's just there. Not too much forcings…..pushing from out of the belly…it's a natural thing.
Has your technique changed during your career?
Yeah, on the Consuming album I found the throat that I have now, that developed itself better on the US tour until what I now still have.
Have you ever hurt yourself by using a "wrong technique"?
Yup. The technique I used in the Malleus period gave me a headache every show, haha, I forced with my head and I was fucking hating it…..
Is there something you do on a regular basis to keep your voice in shape? Any routines?
Regular exercising and practising; make sure it stays in shape. All it needs is a bit of discipline.
Do you think it can be dangerous to do extreme vocals?
No. I've been doing this now for about 20 years and never had problems with it. I guess opera singers have more trouble than i have (usually they get fat haha).
What is most important for you – to make cool sounds and interesting rhythms, or to have a clear diction/pronunciation?
Both; I can't be bothered with singers that don't have rhythm or are understandable in the way they can't sing full lines. That shit I throw in the thrashcan immediately. If you can't do it or have it, then fuck off and don't bore the shit out of people. Too much crap on the market already.
Do you think that extreme vocals can be made into a science, like "this is how it works for everyone, to make this sound you have to do this etc"? Or is it more intuitive and individual how to do it?
No, some want to do that and think they can train people, but you can't. No voice teacher can teach you how to do this. You have to find if you have that capability and of course rhythm and talent; without that you're lost. I could never train other people the way I sing; too much intuition indeed.
Do you have any advice to people who wants to start doing extreme vocals?
Practice a lot and be sure to sound original and not like all these frogsingers no-one needs. That's not even a challenge. Kids can do that as well.
Mention three extreme vocalists whose style you admire, and explain your choice. What specifically do you like about the styles of those three? Also mention three vocalists (not necessarily extreme vocalists) which you have been influence by, and explain in which way you have been influenced by each of them.
Lemmy – for being the first not to really sing with a loud band. He just more or less talks and it sounds already rough.
Cronos – for starting it all really with Venom. Great changes, screams, grunts, jokes even….just killer.
Tom Araya – for his incredible speed of pronouncing.
These three influenced me too, when it comes to this style of music; not only because of their own identical style but also for being personalities that possess a certain kind of humour, and tons of charisma.
Who do you want to challenge in this series? (Who should be the next extreme vocalist to answer these questions?) Give a brief explanation for your choice.
You have Jon Tardy already? Or else try if John DePlachett is willing to do things like this. Try the three mentioned above maybe too…or Jeff Becerra…..ah and totally forgotten Tschoessi from old Swiss Messiah. Why these? Well, coz they were/are the best and all with their own unique extreem style.