A Talk With
PETER VAN TOREN (Drums) & MONICA JANSSEN (Vocals)
Questionnaire by Nathan McLeod
Hailing from Dordrecht, Netherlands, good day Monica & Peter from X-Tinxion! Welcome to Metal To Infinity - Belgium & glad to have you both on board for this interview:
Monica: Thanks Nathan!
Peter: Hi Nathan, the honour is ours.
Q: Please introduce yourselves & your roles in X-Tinxion:
Monica: I am Monica (Demonica) Janssen. I'm X-Tinxion's vocalist. I've been with X-Tinxion since 2006
Peter: I am Peter van Toren, I play drums I am also the founder of the band
Q: X-Tinxion recently parted ways with bass player Haico Van Oosten & replaced by Kornee Kleefman. How is this transition working out?
Monica: Kornee is a temporary replacement. He has been cool enough to help us out, until we find a new bass player. Kornee has his hands full on his own band called Krossbreed (a Belgium band). Nevertheless we are really pleased with his skills and he's a cool dude as well.
Peter: Kornee is a great bassplayer, he is working hard to get all our songs in his system. With Haico leaving we needed someone that could do shows with us. Kornee is a fast learner and an excellent musician. We have also asked him to record the basstracks for our upcoming album. However, we are still looking for someone with the dedication and passion to become the new bassplayer in X-Tinxion.
Q: And if I'm not mistaken, Haico's departure was shortly after the release of your Severed From Heaven EP, & did do one show with X-Tinxion in support of Severed From Heaven?
Monica: Severed From Heaven is sort of a maxi-single to prelude the upcoming album (From The Ashes Of Eden) Haico did our release party on the 21st of March, of which a live DVD will be made. (The live clip of The Divine was recorded that evening.) But we also did a farewell show with Haico. We parted as friends. It felt good on both sides to be able to say goodbye on stage. Haico rocked the show!
Q: As a Co-Editor at Metal To Infinity going on 2 months now, the 1st review I did was your Severed From Heaven EP: http://metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_UVWXYZ/xtinxion_severedfromheaven.html ... Care to comment regarding this review?
Monica: I was completely blown away by the review! You really gave us great credits! So thanks again ;-)
Peter: We were really pleased with your review....I recall you said that the only downside to our Maxi-single was that it was too short. So I can't wait for you to hear our full-length, ''From the Ashes of Eden'' There are so many cool songs waiting to be heard.
Q: Aside from Severed From Heaven, your Act The Injured CD was reviewed at Metal To Infinity a few years ago: http://www.metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_2014/Xtinxion_Acttheinjuredinnocent.html ... (both of which received strong reviews), are you able to give the viewers at Metal To Infinity an idea when your full-length X-Tinxion CD will be released?
Monica: We first planned to release it September this year, but we have had some delays. Partly due to the change in line-up. If all goes well, it will definately make it before 2015 is over...but it still depends on a lot of factors.
Peter: We are still busy recording the last bits. It's hard to give an exact release-date, because we are also not sure which path we'll take regarding its release. It might be an independant, but we are also thinking about trying to get it released under a label.
Q: And as a Co-Editor at Metal To Infinity, your Severed From Heaven EP was the 1st to review, the 1st DVD review I did was that of Agnostic Front's - Live At CBGB, 1st interview I did was with Gary Meskil of PRO-PAIN, & the 1st video I commented on was KAOS' - Internal Bleeding. I think you both get a hint & idea of some of the musical genres I like. What are or whom are some of your personal favourites?
Monica: My musical taste is very diverse. I like metal of all sorts. Some of my favourites are Iron Maiden, Testament, Revocation, Opeth, Dream Theatre, Machine Head. And other kinds of rock and metal like Alter Bridge and Malrun. But I also listen to ''new'' thrash bands, such as Gama Bomb, Crisix, Violator and so on. . I love to discover new bands. I think YouTube is a blessing, in that regard. The fact that it searches for bands in the same style as what you have just listened to, made me find out about bands I would have never heard of otherwise.
Peter: Bay Area thrash, like Forbidden, Testament, Exodus...but I also like Iron Maiden, Masterplan, or bands like Revocation. I don't like just one style.
Q: Speaking of videos, I recently put up at Metal To Infinity your Divine video with George Oosthoek on vocals: http://metaltoinfinity.be/video%20wall-2/xtinxion_thedivine.html ... I must say that's one helluva vocal combination between yourself Monica & George! And secondly when The Divine video was published, I showed a neighbour of mine Cita the video, & she said that it really felt like she was there in the audience when the video was shot. Couldn't agree with her more!
Monica: Thanks very much! When I saw the video recordings for the first time, I said to Peter, it seems as if George and I have been singing together for years, when in fact, it was the first time we did the song togehter. During the Severed From Heaven recording-sessions of the Divine, my vocals had already been recorded, when George did his.
And even then I was surprised with how much alike our brutal voices were. I have always been a fan of George's vocals, so it was a real honour for me to sing together with him..... You have to thank your neihgbour for the compliment!! It is something we as a band, and I as a singer always strife to do: get the audience involved and interact. To hear that it also comes across on video is just great :-)
Q: Now aside from your personal vested interests & time with X-Tinxion spanning over 10yrs now, what are some of each of your personal interests & hobbies?
Monica: Besides playing with X-Tinxion and Downcast Collision, I have started my own ''school'' in extreme vocal skills. This is still in developement. I'm writing a curriculum and have a few students. However, it takes a lot of time, so I am planning on keeping it small for now. But apart from music I love art. I am an art teacher (this also involves teaching music, drama and philosophy at my school), so it is part of my job to keep those skills up to par as well. With my job and both bands, I hardly have time left for anything else, though I wish sometimes I could spend more time keeping my body in shape.
Peter: Music (playing and listening) and watching movies and series are my ways to relax after a days work. I love the fact that music gets you places and allows me to meet new people. I love chatting with all kinds of people. I also love the fact that we have a Belgian guitar player, because he can get me the finest Belgian beers ;-)
Q: As well I know you both are in another band Downcast Collision who recently played at the Metal Over Oostrozebeke Festival - Belgium: https://www.facebook.com/benny.vandemaele?hc_location=ufi ... How did Downcast Collision come about & how was the performance at the Metal Over Oostrozebeke Festival?
Monica: Peter and I wanted to start a band with a different sound from what we did in X-Tinxion. We wanted a band, that I could play bass guitar in, and that would allow Peter to play the drums in a different way than.
We just didn't really have an idea of the musical sound, until we found a guitarist. His taste in metal was modern, he liked bands such as Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Disturbed, that sort of thing. So naturaly the music was headed in that direction. I never meant to also sing in Downcast Collision, but it just happened that way.
Peter: We played at MOO with X-Tinxion a couple of times, so people new us from that band. They were curious to hear what our other band would sound like. The performance was a good experience. It was, for most people in the audience, the first time they ever heard of us. For a new band it is a nice way to get introduced. We got a lot of great response as well.
Q: An interview with you Peter was done at Metal To Infinity almost a year ago: http://www.metaltoinfinity.be/INTERVIEWS_2014/Xtinxion_2014.html ... Anything you may want to add to this since the interview?
Peter: The interview was done about half a year ago...nothing much has changed lol...we have a new website now, www.x-tinxion.com, and the maxi-single, live clip, and some new shirts, a slight change in line-up, but that's it, really.
Q: Now I've done some recent research of X-Tinxion going back almost a decade to winning the Wacken Open Air Battle - Netherlands to fairly recent developments with X-Tinxion, & I do precisely say X-Tinxion's progression musically has increased 10-fold/top-notch!
Monica: Thanks verry much! We are always trying to make our songs sound like something we would want to listen to ourselves and with all of us having a diverse taste in music and all of us contributing to song-writing, the music is constantly evolving now.
Peter: We have always wanted to have the music become more diverse before, but we used to have only one person writing the music. Although he was a magician just coughing up songs, we felt we needed more variation. Also we thought we could contribute something new to the thrash genre. With this line-up, it just comes naturally. We right music as a band together, which is a big plus in my opinion.
Q: Like to say thanks to the both of you for taking the time out in a busy day to do this interview with Metal To Infinity, superb & outstanding work so far with Severed From Heaven, & are there any further comments you'd like to make to the viewers & masses?
Monica: Thanks a bunch for having us. Keep checking, cause the new CD ''From The Ashes Of Eden'' is going to be AWESOME! \m/
Peter: Check us out, buy our stuff, like us on Facebook and COME SEE OUR SHOWS!..............oh and off course...come chat and drink loads of beer with us!