Cape Town, South Africa: Afrikaans death metal band Beeldenstorm are sporting a new guitarist, and he is none other than George van der Riet, formerly of Strident. We had a few words with George about this new direction and his return to the stage after three years absence, and also chatted briefly with Stephen Jones who has departed from the band on the weekend.
Whilst not a founding member, Stephen is known as a proficient musician and initially joined the band at the urging of his brother, drummer Michael Jones (R.I.P) to play bass, and later changed to guitar.
“After the loss of my brother, things have not been the same and I have changed musically. I have moved on to a different genre with a new band, A Swift Redemption, to give tribute to my brother, who always encouraged me to play my own music. This does not mean that I will not be involved with the metal community or in the metal scene anymore.” ~ Stephen Brink Jones
Stephen describes his four years with Beeldenstorm as having lived up to his expectations since the first gig in 2011, and enjoying a solidly consistent support base.
“It was a lot fun and I learned a lot from my fellow band members, especially Waldi. To my band mates I just want to say thank for a rocking four years. It’s been a ball. To my Beeldenstorm fans, thank you for all the support. You all have a special place in my heart and also you guys will see me again. I’m not going M.I.A. And to the incoming member, BUCK UP!” ~ Stephen Brink Jones
As for that incoming member, George describes how he started to play guitar in the early 2000’s purely with intent to join the group of friends who wanted to start Strident.
“That’s what really made my love for music, and heavy music, grow. Much to our surprise, people loved listening to it almost as much as we loved making it.” ~ George van der Riet (rhythm guitar, Beeldenstorm)
Since separating from Strident after five years in the band, including having supported Ensiferum in 2010, George has expanded his horizons by dabbling in an electronic/metal crossover and a post rock project.
“Then I got a call from Waldi who asked me if I would be keen to play for Beeldenstorm. Being a fan of them and having wanted to play some heavier music for a long time I said yes right away.” ~ George van der Riet
We also wanted to hear from George about what he felt about the band’s approach to heavy metal, given that he would now be a part of that and would need to lend creative resource to the vision moving forward:
“Firstly, Beeldenstorm is doing what only a handful of local bands have done, Afrikaans metal with a distinct South African flavour. Afrikaans as a language just lends itself to heavy music, and being Afrikaans myself, I’ve always wanted to inject some of my own culture into heavy music. Europeans do it, why don’t we? And of course, the fact that their songs are great, they’re really fun to play – it’s not just a bunch of blast-beats and wankery. Beeldenstorm has been through some hardships, which adds to the music yes, but the guys don’t take themselves too seriously – they do take the music seriously, which to me is what metal is about. You can’t always just be grim and frostbitten and angry at your parents. Music is meant to entertain. And it’s been way too long since I’ve been able to do that on stage with friends.” ~ George van der Riet
George concludes by telling us he looks forward to showing people a good time and keeping Afrikaans metal alive and “skopping gat”, and wishes out-going member Stephen all the best for his future musical endeavours.
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