Interview With Theo Holsheimer Of CiLiCe!

CiLiCe are the progressive metal mammoth from the Netherlands who were recently featured on our digital compilation album. The band truly bring on the Djent! and with their 2009 release "Derranged Headtrip" the guys caught the media's ears and left it ringing in mind numbing brutality.

We got the chance to interview the band's awesome guitarist and song writer Theo Holsheimer, to discuss CiLiCe's sound, how the guys got together, the band's future material, slaughterhouses and Italian women, among many other topics. Theo, also talks about their current frontman situation, and how they have a new guy, and that they are happy to work with him, but did not let the cat out of the bag yet on who it is.

Here's how it went:

Spiritcrusher: Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to take this interview. Since CiLiCe is still a pretty new band, why don't you tell us a little bit more about how you guys met and what the circumstances were like at the time.

Theo: It all started about 4 years ago. Me and Remko, the other guitar player in CILICE, were band members from the dutch gothic metal band Orphanage. We had written a lot of cool music which didn't fit in Orphanage, so when the band split up it was time to move on and start something new.

In Daniel de Jongh we found our lead singer, who was active in the club scene with Smogus, a crossover band. Our drummer Philipp Moser came all the way from Germany to study drums at the Conservatorium Amsterdam. After he graduated at the jazz department it was time for him to rock, to show his brutal side hehe...

Spiritcrusher: CiLiCe generalizes itself as "mad math metal" music. Your music is certainly very creative. What are your influences? Do you all listen to similar bands, or incorporate all your different tastes into the band?

Theo: “It’s pretty hard to describe our music so we described it as “mad math metal”... but I hope a lot of people will find out about us in the future and the name CILICE will stand for itself.” We are pretty open minded and listen to all kinds of music. Miles Davis, Ennio Morricone, Strapping Young Lad and the list goes on and on, it's all awesome.

But you can say our main influence is Meshuggah.
We like the rhythmic concept they use but we ain't about copying riffs and song structures. The whole process of writing songs comes very natural to us. It all starts as any other song which is written in the world. It begins with a riff or a good beat and then you start building.

Spiritcrusher: "Deranged Headtrip" was released in 2009 and is considerably successful among critics. What are your plans next? Are you currently working on a second album?

Theo: Yeah, the critics on our album Deranged Headtrip were overwhelming. We didn't have any expectations at all and we are very happy with the fact that people love the album. Our main focus right now is working on the new album, so we are in a writing procces. The new album will sound huge, but different for sure.

Since Daniel left the band for Textures we're gonna work with another vocalist. I can't say that much about it yet, but we are very happy with the new guy we're gonna work with.

Spiritcrusher: "Mental Breakdown" is one of 28 songs on the Metality Compilation album! Have you downloaded and checked out some of the other bands? If so, have you enjoyed any of the other underground bands in particular?

Theo: Sure, it's a good thing the "Metality Compilation" and other compilation initiatives do exist. It's good to discover bands you wouldn't have known otherwise.

Spiritcrusher: How has the metal scene evolved in Holland? We know it has always been active with various metal festivals, such as Pinkpop Festival. Is it a very competitive scene for underground bands there?

Theo: We've got a lot of cool metal/metalcore bands in Holland. There are a lot of venues and festivals, but unfortantly the money is very bad, because the metal/metalcore scene is still considered as underground. It's a competitive scene like everywhere I think, everybody is looking for gigs. Bookers have a lot of choise what bands they would like to play in their venue.

Spiritcrusher: You guys have pretty much toured where most bands of the same experience dream of touring! Which country has been your favorite so far and why?

Theo: That's right, our tour schedules were pretty intense over the past three years. In all countries we toured, about 26 now and still counting, we had great experiences and met wonderful people. Brazil was a fantastic experience. It has a great underground scene, although it's pretty old school and we are not.

But one of my favorite countries to tour is Italy, because of the delicious food, you can't beat their cappuccino's and of course ... the women hehe...

Spiritcrusher: Which band is your dream band to tour with?

Theo: Hard to say, there are so many great bands on this planet. Touring with Pantera would be awesome, but for that we've to get back in time at least 10 years. Touring with Nine inch Nails would be awesome or Meshuggah, they are true pioneers, respect!

Spiritcrusher: Any funny stories while touring you would like to share with us?

Theo: We did this memorable gig at 'The Bringer Death Festival' in Germany. On our way to the gig, we came all the way from Poland, we got a flat tire, so we arrived late. When we finally arrived at the festival we found it surprising that all bands and the organizers were waiting for us.

The organizers didn’t arrange any backline at all and they were relying on us, without? Really strange ‘cause it was quite a big festival in a sports hall with a thousand of people.
Even more surprisingly when the program started we found out this festival was all about grindcore! So we were the only band without pig noises and constant blastbeats.

Playing for a grindcore audience that only wants to hear noises from the slaughterhouse, is quite an experience, haha. Speaking of slaughterhouses, after a gig in Belgrado we stayed in a former slaughterhouse, how metal is that hehe...

As a young and rising band, I thought I'd give you a subjective question: what does music mean to you?

Theo: I can't think of a life without music.

Spiritcrusher: Do you have any other passions in life apart from music?

Theo: Hanging out with friends, traveling.

Spiritcrusher: Any advice to give to young bands and musicians who are trying to make it into the rock and metal music business?

Theo: If you are in a band, respect each other and set goals. Be patience and don’t be passive. Sitting on your ass waiting for people who come up to you is a waste of time, because they simply won’t. Get on the road as soon as possible, record an album, let people know about your band. If you are not in a band and have a strong vision what kind of music you wanna play, write songs and look out for people who have the same vision.

Spiritcrusher: Any final words to Metality readers?

Theo: We love to see ya all out there at our concerts, bang your head, go nutz and party with us, hell yeah!’

If you don't know about CILICE, check out our album Deranged Headtrip, there are a shitload of sites where you can download our album, like CDBaby, iTunes etc. etc. Some samples you can find on Horns up!

Make sure to check out the band's latest video for the song "Mental Breakdown," which was released exclusively for our compilation album "Metality - The Compilation," (available here).

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