Every so often, we take a little time on Mondays to pay tribute to the Muthas! That is, reprinting the adorable metal/maternal Q&As that run in the magazine. Today, enjoy Chris Dick's chat with Cecilia Verstraelen, mutha of Soilwork's Dirk Verbeuren. His band's The Ride Majestic will drop August 28 on Nuclear Blast.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Cecilia Verstraelen. I was born in 1947 in Essen, Belgium as my parents’ second-to-last and 14th child. There was always music in our house, mostly classical. In 1970, I became Mrs. Tony Verbeuren. My husband was much more into rock ‘n’ roll music, so Dirk was exposed to all kinds of music during his early years.
At what age did Dirk develop an interest in being a musician?
As a child, Dirk listened to the radio a lot. He studied music in school and took violin lessons. His profound interest came after we moved to France when Dirk was 13. His preference for the drums quickly became obvious, as did his dream of becoming a professional musician.
Dirk is a very talented drummer. At what point did you realize that he was gifted?
From the moment Dirk started to play, I realized that he had a special drumming talent. It looked so natural from the get-go. We saw his motivation and determination grow, and after he obtained his college degree, we agreed to let him enter the Music Academy International in Nancy, France. Our intuition about his talent was soon confirmed by his teachers, and he was accepted as a part-time teacher at the school immediately after obtaining his diploma.
Did his music choice—extreme metal—ever concern you?
No, not really. We believe that artistic creation often needs to go to extremes. I learned at a young age that expression is something personal, something you cannot impose on someone else. So, I trusted and respected his choice. Through Dirk’s passion for extreme metal music, my husband and I got interested in it, and we like it a lot!
Dirk is also a very prolific drummer. Is there a special project of his that appeals to you? I know that extreme metal can be a bit difficult to understand as a musical and aesthetic form.
It takes some time before one can appreciate extreme forms of art. I learned to like Scarve’s music and enjoyed going to their shows. After Dirk joined Soilwork, my husband and I tried to go to their shows as much as possible. We’re amazed by the band’s music and energy. Out of all of his many projects, I enjoyed his collaboration with Devin Townsend on Deconstruction the most.