When you are part of the music scene for the best part of 15 years, it is sometimes hard to stay ahead of the curve and keep things fresh.
One way to go about this is to take a break, take time to write new material or even releasing solo material.
This is the cross roads which face Amenra front man Colin H Van Eeckhout, who said he wanted to take himself out of his comfort zone when he released his first solo record ‘RASA’.
Eeckhout took sometime out of his busy schedule to talk to
about the daunting task of flying solo, the dark martial which inspired the record and what is next for Amenra.
After the post-metal band recently announce their first ever live acoustic album, Eeckhout insists that the band still comes first, but is excited about his new venture.
He said: ‘Right now we are writing for ‘MASS VI’ and that offers me some playtime of my own in between rehearsals.
‘RA will always be my priority but one cannot deny that the solo project takes up a lot of my time lately. More than I imagined it would.
‘We have all been writing music individually for the sake of Amenra or any other band we played in during our lifetime.
‘Sometimes something doesn’t need extra instrumentation or people in it to tell the story straight you know.
‘Timing was right for me to bring out the record, up until now I never had a long enough ‘break’ to make my own record.’
For a band which is synonymous with dark heavy music, it was no surprise that the material produced by Eeckhout followed this trend.
However, the multi-instrumental artist said he wanted to go back to basics and produce an organic product which was influenced by the struggle of a loved one.
He wanted to produced a classic drone sound with ‘RASA’.
‘I wanted to take it away from electronics and guitars as much as possible,’ added Eeckhout.
‘I can’t really describe why I felt attracted to it, maybe its limited nature comforted me.
‘The record was born from the illness of a close relative.
‘A brain haemorrhage caused him to, step down off his throne. He was very lucky to not fully be reduced to a plant. Nevertheless, his life needed to be redefined.
‘From patriarch to being dependent. I saw it happening from close by, and it made me once again realize the strength of nature, and the ever present darkness.’
Having been performing live music for the best part of 15 years, Eeckhout said that it is the relationships he has built with friends and family is what keeps him going.
And it is this support which spurred him into diving head first into a solo venture, but the Amenra vocalist admits he has a love, hate relationship with being the only focus.
He added: ‘I hate it. and I love it at the same time. I think its base is wanting to prove myself to myself or something.
‘Pulling me out of my comfort zone, I think. It is the best learning school. Jump in the deep end and paddle.
‘You look for a new challenge in everything, in anything. Meet interesting artists and musicians along the way, and you each just continue your personal journey side to side for awhile.
‘Maybe we feed of each other and move on. Like parasites. Or maybe we feed each other like family.’
Eeckhout recently finished up his first solo tour with Scott Kelly from Neurosis, and he shows not signs of taking things easy as he is always working, even in his down time.
And artist said that in 2016 he and Amenra are going to have a big presence.
When asked what the rest of the year has is store he said: ‘A lot of writing, everywhere, on everything.
‘I recorded some new work in an old abandoned tram a month ago. I think that will see the light of day or the darkness of night after summer.
‘We’ve got some releases planned with Amenra. A split 10″ with some friends of us, and an inspiring painter.’
Amenra will be appearing at Roadburn festival in Holland on April 14 until April 17.
You can buy ‘RASA’ now from Consouling Sounds: HERE