Most people know Colin H. van Eeckhout as the frontman of Belgium’s post-metal powerhouse Amenra and as a leading figure in the Church Of Ra community. Last year Colin revealed his most vulnerable state to the world when he released his first solo full-length album, Rasa, through Consouling Sounds. Rasa is a beautiful, emotional album as it’s just him, his voice and his hurdy gurdy. Last month Consouling Sounds released Colin’s live album, 10910, which was recorded in one take in an old tram, amidst the busy Saturday city life of Ghent. 10910 shows how Colin successfully translates his recorded solo work into a live setting, and as with Rasa the listener gets taken on a very captivating and beautiful journey.
We asked Colin what three records influenced him as a musician. (Photo credit by Geert Braeckers)
Tool – Undertow
I remember I was on a summer festival in Belgium around 1994 with Kristof J. Mondy (who was the first bass player of Amenra) and I was kinda oblivious to all that was playing. He told me to check out this band called Tool that was on tour with the Rollins Band. So we went up front, and then they started off by throwing bread and fruit in the audience. It caught my attention and as soon as I saw and heard James Maynard Keenan sing his lyrics with an honesty unmatched, you felt there was a necessity to it. There is a fierce nature of his presence and it drew me in. The vulnerable yet fierceness made him human yet godly at once.
Despite the not so heavy music, it has a force to it that was otherworldly.
The Gutter Twins – Saturnalia
I have always loved Greg Dulli’s Afghan Wigs as well as Mark Lanegan’s vocals on pretty much everything he ever did, so I was really stoked to see them come together in The Gutter Twins. It was just one of those albums that got released at the right time in my life.
I saw them play acoustic a couple of times and it was okay, but then I got the opportunity to see them with a full band, when we played together somewhere on some festival. I decided to go into the crowd to really take it in as it was intended to. My attention span isn’t quite the same as it was when I was 16 years old, so I figured I’d be there for a couple of songs, get bored and head backstage again. But it didn’t meet up to my expectations, as it might have been one of the best shows I had witnessed in the last decade. I was hundreds of metres away from the stage, surrounded by people chatting away, being as annoying as humanity can be. But they still sounded amazing, despite me knowing the sound at festivals is mostly dreadful.
They demanded respect, they gave me goosebumps and they put up on an amazing show. In darkness’ vulnerability, life’s ugliest and most beautiful stories translated into music. Fascinating.
Neurosis – Through Silver In Blood
Neurosis stand firm as one of my biggest influences heavy music wise, They proved me how music could be used to reach its full-blown capacity. It was a means to cleanse, it drove you to travel within and look your worst fears dead in the eye, and challenge them to a fist fight. It’s brutally instinctive, core music. I saw them for the first time in 1999 in Brussels somewhere, and they persuaded me that they were the most powerful band alive. They forced the audience on their knees, and surrender. That was amazing.
Through Silver In Blood is one of the most ferocious things I have ever heard, it makes you invincible. You can take on the world listening to that album.