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 Old interview ( Sahara Dust times)

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Number of posts : 123
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PostSubject: Old interview ( Sahara Dust times)   Sat May 31, 2008 3:16 am

Just found this old interview with Mark , when the band was called Sahara Dust and Helena was the singer, so I think may interest someone on here Razz

Sahara Dust

Interview with Mark Jansen

By Forostar

Mark Jansen has been very busy lately writing news songs and forming his new band, Sahara Dust. We asked Mark how things are at the moment and this is what he told us.

- How did you get in touch with Helena Iren Michaelsen (ex-Trail of Tears)? How did you manage to get her to sing for your new band Sahara Dust?

Mark: She became immediately very enthusiastic when I asked her to join the band and afterwards, she also did a lot of rehearsals. Unfortunately, it seemed that despite the fact that we put together some succesful songs, the collaboration was not without problems. Now she has returned to Norway to be with her son. We are still busy with finding a new female singer and we have already had a few candidates on auditions.

- Helena has left the band and also took someone else from the band with her. What exactly happened?

Mark: Together we agreed not to wash one's dirty linen in public. The only thing I can say about it, is that the drummer fell in love with her, and one of the things we don't want to have in the band is couples. Personally I have bad experiences with these kind of things.

- Do you already have a new female singer in mind?

Mark: A few, but it is very difficult. Every singer has her own qualities, so right now it's still uncertain.

- Are there still other auditions for new bandmembers at the moment?

Mark: We have done some auditions for the drummer, and we've found a really good one!

- What is for you the most important quality of the musicians you want to work with?: 1. They should be known in the business. 2. They have talent. 3. They have the right attitude and motivation.

Mark: The fact that a musician is well known doesn't matter to me. Talent is very important and maybe no. 3 is even a bit more important.

- Who writes the music of Sahara Dust?

Mark: I come up with most ideas, but all other bandmembers also help with writing.

- Do you like to work on songs alone and then present them to the band when they are almost finished (like e.g. Steve Harris of Iron Maiden and Jon Schaffer of Iced Earth), or do you prefer to work with the others in the rehearsal room and then the songs come by themselves (like e.g. Bruce Dickinson)?

Mark: I think up a lot of music on my own, this way of working feels most comfortable for me. In the rehearsal room we fit pieces of music together and everyone gives his opinion. I think that songs will be better if others also give their point of view and suggest alterations.

- How many Sahara Dust songs are there at the moment?

Mark: 8 songs are finished, though most without vocal melodies, but those we add on the last moment, mostly. And for the rest, we have many ideas for other songs.

- Are all the songs written after the AF-period, or have there been any older ideas that turn out to be useful now?

Mark: I already had some songs for the new AF-record, but now I will use them for SD. Furthermore, I have written a lot of new material and other band members have also contributed.

- In After Forever you wrote a lot of lyrics mainly on religious and political subjects. Are you also planning to use these kind of topics for Sahara Dust lyrics?

Mark: Definitely! I will just continue from where I started with After Forever.

- You are always very spontanuous on stage and often you have contact with the audience - after, but also during the gig. Is direct contact with the audience important for you? Do you expect the same from you fellow bandmembers?

Mark: I expect the same from my new bandmembers. In Sahara Dust there is no place for egos. We are all heading for the same goal, nobody is more important or less important than the other and that also counts for the audience. We are one with the audience and we also want to show that.

- The news about you being out of After Forever was a complete shock. These kind of things don't happen often to one of the founders of a band. Still there were some people before you. Kai Hansen e.g. could not use all his musical ideas in Helloween anymore and decided to surrect his own band (Gamma Ray). Another example is Morten Veland of Tristania, who was basically sacked from the band. This had more to do with money and control. What is your view on your own situation, a few months ago with After Forever?

Mark: As I earlier hinted: the beginning of the relation within After Forever (female singer and guitar player ed.) was for me the beginning of the end. The contacts within the band were becoming colder and colder, I became more and more isolated, though I was the one who put most effort into the band before we got more known. For the rest, I think my story has a lot in common with the one of Morten Veland. I was also basically fired from the band.

- Are you still in touch with the After Forever members?

Mark: No, I only talked once with André, Bas (the new guitarplayer) and Lando, but the rest I never need to see again.

- How do you look back at the whole period with After Forever? What are you best memories (personal highlights)?

Mark: Despite it all, I have had a great time with After Forever. The best moments were without a doubt:

1. Mexico City: 3000 crazy Mexicans at our gig

2. Lowlands

3. Gig with Arjen "Ayreon" Lucassen: a dream come true!

4. Eurorock 2000

- Do you have the impression you have to start all over again or do you see the current situation as a step forward?

Mark: I see it as a step backwards to be able to make many steps forward. Musically, I can now fully express myselft. On the personal level everything is going much better, Transmission Records puts faith in us, and the same vice versa. We have to get again on the scene and our task is to grow as much as possible. It'll be exciting times Smile

- You are also a part of a project, with among others Ivar de Graaf (ex-Within Temptation). Would you tell us something about it?

Mark: The project is called Les Faidits and is started by the guitarist of Sengir and the keyboardplayer of Morning. I will limit myself to only some screams/ grunts and I'm not gonna be involved with the music. I'm looking forward to it a lot.

- Any plans to release any material with this band?

Mark: That's up to them Smile

- When will you perform live with Sahara Dust? Can we also expect some AF-tracks during Sahara Dust concerts?

Mark: We hope to play our first gigs in November, among others at 013 (in Tilburg, ed.), but don't peg us down to it. It's an ambition of ours. Smile We will definitely play some AF-songs, but which ones - it has to remain a surprise. Smile I was never hiding which AF-songs are my favorites, so the hard core fans should have no problems with guessing the titles. ;-)

- Do you have still a message to the fans?

Mark: I want to thank everyone for the wonderful time with AF and also thanks for your massive support for SD. Excellent!!!

- Thanks for the interview and good luck with Sahara Dust!

Mark: Also thanks to you Smile))

22 July 2002.

Photo of Sahara Dust by Natascha, courtesy of http://www.studiomystica.nl Thanks!

N.B. On the photo we see still the old Sahara Dust line-up, with Iwan Hendrix and Helena Iren Michaelsen.
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