THE KEY INTERVIEW WITH RENE OF ANCIENT SETTLERS BY WES J


Founded in 2020, “Ancient Settlers” it´s a metal band composed by six settlers musicians, inspired by the recent tragedies that affect the way that humans live.

Antony = Vocals

Rex = Guitars

Herman = Drums

Rene = Keyboards & Synths

Emmy = Guitars

Miguel = Bass

Crew:

  1. I just have to ask why keyboards?

–  It started actually when I was like, 4/5 years old? My grandfather had a piano at home and he was very bad at it, then I think I showed some little interest (yes, I was 5), then piano was in the day-to-day routine, you know? Then, when I least expected it, Jens Johansson…I was like 10 when a friend of mine back home showed me Stratovarius, and it really blew my head off! I remember asking what would nowadays be absurd, things like “how this thing does sounds like a guitar??” Then I got into Melodeath (the bread and butter; Bodom, Skyfire, this can get long…)

Nowadays, it’s really visible of what a good keyboard line can do to metal.

2. When you started playing keys was it your intent to join a metal / rock band?

– No, not really, it was a happy accident, I was stuck in piano as a child, going to the conservatory and the academy and well, It was like that for some years, then as I told earlier, my head was blown with Jens Johansson’s leadsounds, but first I didn’t consider to doing rock/metal music, the pivotal point was when I got into music college; there I said to myself “there’s way too much classical pianists out there, I gotta have a different approach in music, plus I love rock/metal, so let’s try this perspective”

3. Who are your influences?

-This is actually a very tricky question for me personally, but I’ll try to make it simple (that’s what she said)

As you might know, a keys/synth player needs a lot of synths/sounds/patches/ to be able to express, print what it’s intended in a song, there might be huge anthemic sounds, or minimalistic sounds in the back of the mix, or soaring leads to go head to head with guitars, now that I kinda explained, let’s go;

 *Big, pompous, epic orchestration; my biggest reference would be Hans Zimmer, he’s genius at it

 *Fine-tuned little/minimal sounds; Hans Zimmer as well, I mean, Interstellar?

 *Fast/Percussion sounds; got to give it to Rudess this time.

 *Shred; Jens Johansson, yes.

 *Electric/EDM/DanceDanceRevolution/Party; Armin Van Buuren, Above&Beyond, Deadmau5, etc.

Then there’s day to day inspiration; enter Bach, Beethoven, Bach again, Tchaikovsky, Glenn Gould (he’s Bach from Canada), Jon Lord, Rick Wakeman, and there’s a ton, really, a ton.

4. Do you know who Jon Lord is without using Google?

– Hammond amplified through a guitar amp? I mean, the father of Hammond Shredding, wherever he is, I know he’s watching over us good/honest keyboardists.

5. What do you do visually to enhance your presence?

– I guess it would be the typical stuff on a metal scene, you know? I mean, I tilt my keyboard forwards, you know? So the keys are facing the crowd, Jens/Janne style, there you go.

I also tend to throw water bottles to the crowd; it can get messy down there.

6. Why do you think keyboard players in metal get so little recognition?

– Well, as you might know, most metal acts, metalheads, metal in general, are you know like, tough and all of that, and piano/keys/synths are often associated with virtuosity and grace and this “finesse”, but it’s really underrated, we can be badass too, just that we’re too lazy to move around the stage or sweat buckets (drummers here)

7. Did you start on a piano? And what age did you start

– Yes, I’m classically trained, I started when I was 5, so it would be some solid…20-something years of piano (as of 2021)

8. it’s one thing to serenade with a guitar, do you have a serenade story you’d like to share?

– Can you imagine to go around with a piano, a heavy, huge, ensemble of wood and metal (that’s what she said) just to conquer the heart of another person? It’s logistically hard *laughs*

9.In line with the last question keyboards are often looked at as romantic are you romantic when you play or are there visions of the Phantom of The Opera ( the scary 30’s one) in your head?

– It all depends, if a passage on a songs demands delicacy, well, let’s get romantic (but wait, romantic in like, soap opera romantic? No, more like musically romantic, you know, the later era of classical music, like Chopin…)

If there’s parts that demands high intensity, let’s get freaky! Would be illogical to be shredding the heck out of the keys with a romantic mindset, feels odd, trust me, been there *laughs*

10. Convince me keyboards are cool because you’re facing a large audience who begs to differ. Change our minds

-This is the kind of things that you have to see to get into the dark side (we have more than cookies)

We can change moods, uplift, tear down, create an inspiring landscape, or a gloomy and depressing atmosphere; as the famous Toni Kakko said once “I can change one note and make you cry”

Plus, it’s not like we cannot sound as mean and badass as guitar players, we can shred too

Yes, we’re not “inherently” metal, but we can do it too! In fact, and you got to give this one to us keyboards; when a keyboardist is shredding, people tends to be more surprised, than when you see a guitar player doing so, why? Because it’s expected from a guitar player, but not from the keyboardist… plus we sound better EQ’ed, and we don’t need to “crank it up to eleven”, we’re already at 12 *wink* And no, it’s not the same to use playbacks or synth tracks, no way in hell *laughs

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