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Here is the interview with Sander Gommans, and Jimmy Kresic talking about the new project Kiske/Somerville.

The album was released on September 24th via Frontiers Records (in the U.S. on October 12). The digital single “Silence” was released on August 20th.

kiskesomervillecinterviewFanclub: How was the first contact with Mat when they told you about the project? Why did you accept to join in this project?

Sander Gommans: Actually, it was Amanda who introduced me to the project. She proposed to Mat writing some songs with me, Mat knew me from After Forever, we had a nice chat at Progpower USA. Mat is a great guy, active in a lot of different genres in the music scene, I respect him a lot.

Of course I wanted to participate on the project, since writing music for other artists is my main occupation when it comes to music. I am not interested in setting up a live band at this point, so this was a prefect opportunity for me!

Amanda and I have been working together for years, and as a old school metalhead I was of course familiar with Helloween and Michael Kiske, so i was excited!
Jimmy Kresic: Uhmmm, it was not so dificult to accept to join in project like this 🙂 you know, first of all Mat is friend of my and I love to jam/play/records with him.

Also to play and compose for such a voice’s like Michael Kiske and Amanda Somerville is for me a honour.

K_A_klein_1343_album_galleryFanclub: Did Mat tell you the kind of music you had to write or did you have complete freedom?

Sander Gommans: No, we had complete freedom. Obviously, I listened to some other material, after that we created the songs. I think they are overall a bit more metal than the rest of the songs, but definately suitable for the voices of Amanda and Michael.

We sent a demo of our first song to, when he mentioned he liked it we started writing the other songs.


Fanclub: Did you compose just thinkin’ in what you want to make or did you focus in make a song which fits for both singers?

Sander Gommans: No, we definitely composed the songs for both singers. That’s the cool thing about working with a singer songwriter like Amanda, she’s the one making sure the vocal process works out fine, so I can focuss on the instrumental parts of the song.


Fanclub: What are your favorite songs of the ones you composed and what are your favorites from other composers?

Sander Gommans: I have to say I was amazed with the variety of the whole album, and i don’t think any song is better than the rest. I guess that is the biggest compliment you can give to an album, this album explores many different genres, each song is a part of that. As I already mentioned, the songs we wrote are more metal oriented and maybe somewhat more progressive.

Among the ones we wrote, “Set Afire” is definately my favorite.

Jimmy Kresic: I can not took a favorite songs a front of others, you know, this is a new project I like them all :):) sorry



Fanclub: The song “A Thousand Suns” is one of the favourites of Kiske and Amanda, what can you tell us about that one?

Sander Gommans: I wrote part of the music for this song when Amanda was working somewhere else, and sent her the demo when I had the basics done.

She really liked it and came up with great vocal melodies. Together, we finished the song, made it a bit shorter. I think this is a typical metal power ballad, but with a very poppy feel in it. I like these combinations, as a guitarplayer these songs are always a challenge to write since the main focus should be on the vocals without forgetting about interesting guitarlines.


Fanclub: One of the most impressive songs of the album is “Devil In Her Heart”. It seems like an opera-like MEAT LOAF song. Was that song difficult to make the background orchestration to make shine the vocal-duo?

Jimmy Kresic:Devil In Her Heart” is kind of song that I like a lot to compose and arrange :):) It was not easy to arrange all this Orchestra instruments but it was BIG FUN.

I spend a one week or compose and another week to arrange ha,ha,ha but on the end it works!


Fanclub: What’s your opinion of Kiske and Amanda’s performance on the album?

Sander Gommans: I think this is a great new approach of rock/metal music. In After Forever, I experimented with growls and female voice, there are a lot of bands with only male vocals or only female vox, but you rarely hear melodic female and male vocals combined.

Their voices mix very well, and you can hear that they’re both putting a lot of feeling in it. It takes talented vocalists to make good duets, and it’s clear that these two are the perfect singers for a project like this!

Jimmy Kresic: Great, and straight to the point :):)



Fanclub: The negative thing of doing this kind of project is if they’re not a band to play the stuff live, a lot of great songs with time, will disappear. Do you think you will play any of these songs in the future with Amanda in HDK?

Sander Gommans: HDK is also a project, not a live band. August the 13th this year we played a gig in Detroit, and we played songs from Kiske/Somerville and HDK for the first time ever! 🙂


Fanclub: What are your plans for the future?

Sander Gommans: I just finished songs and guitar stuff for Primal Fear singer Ralf Scheepers (a solo project with lots of cool guests) and in September I’ll start writing and arranging songs for a dutch band (name will be mentioned soon in a press statement). After that, I’ll work on some own stuff again!

Good luck with the fanclub, greetings to Michael!

Jimmy Kresic: At the moment I have some productions to finish, Voodoo Circle, Bobby Kimbal (TOTO) new CD and some others. In January I will support LIVE on Concert Ian Gillan (Deep Purple), Lou Gramm (Foreigner), Den McCafferty (Nazareth) and more, so is what I’ll do 🙂

Interview by © Michael Kiske Official Fanclub.