7 Questions with Sonja Schuringa of Dictated

0000000000000000000000dictated - 7 Questions with Sonja Schuringa of Dictated

by Ryan Meehan

Once upon a time, Yessica and Sonja stumbled upon Michiel vd Plicht and Henri Sattler during a heavy drinking session. While Henri was hustling to sell the girls one of his custom made SK Guitars, they managed to talk business in creating the new Dictated album.  On the same night, vocalist York became interested in the project, and after another night in the Irish pub, he was there to stay.  With a full lineup completed, the five of them took over rehearsal rooms and Henri drove the other four members to write the best material possible. Ten new songs were born with the help of an abundance of sweat, beer and coffee.  In September 2013, Dictated entered Studio Soundlodge to record the new album. In the meantime, photo shoots took place in which friends and family of Dictated found themselves mutilated in the artwork. A solid sense of humor, a tenuous grip on sanity, determination, and willpower led to Dictated’s second effort: “The Deceived.”  Last time around, fans saw them live on tour in Europe with Origin in 2012. Dictated is ready to hit the road again, and guitarist Sonja Schuringa is our guest today in 7 questions.  

RM:  According to your bio, Dictated pretty much came together in one night…Are you a firm believer in fate; or do you think that meeting was just a chance occurrence that happened to spawn a great band?

SS: If you read back on it, it must have been faith! I guess we’ve been waiting for a break, good positive energy and I think we found it that night. It’s hard to find proper musicians who believe in the same goal and I think we’ve managed that. Coincidentally we also have our first release show at that same venue. I’m sure it’s called good planning instead of faith, haha.

RM: Which Dutch city does the band call home; and what is one thing that you want American music fans to know about heavy metal that’s currently coming out of The Netherlands?

SS: The band originated in Kampen, smack down in the middle of The Netherlands. Here is where I met Yessica, the other guitarist. I was 21 when I first picked up the guitar and managed to ask Yessica to play a tune with me. I’m not sure how well The Netherlands are represented in comparison with other European countries, but I’m guessing the country does well! We have our neighbours Germany who does a pretty good job on representing metal as well.  But great bands have immersed and we hope, one day, to be amongst the big names.

RM:  Who are some of the artists that influenced you to pick up a guitar and start playing this type of music?  Which album did you hear growing up that really sparked your interest to write and create music of your own?

SS: I remember being 12 and being handed a desk tape of a black metal band called Dissection. I think from that moment on it all changed for me. I never heard something that evil. Going through different faces, I ended up listening to bands like Dying Fetus, Origin, Carcass, Skinless Psycroptic and other amazing death metal bands. I’ve always been influenced by old school death metal and you can still hear it back in our music. We are no high technical, shredding, breakdown death metal band. We prefer the brutal, straight forward death metal.

RM:  Do you and Jessica trade lead and rhythm duties when it comes to the guitar tracks?  Have there ever been times where you two have recorded overdubs simultaneously in the studio because the takes would flow better than if done separately?

SS: I’m more of the down-picking power chords kinda guitarist, where Yessica has more patience and feeling to play leads and solo’s. We do believe we complement each other play. The overdubs/harmonies we play come very natural to us. When I or Yessica create a new riff/piece, we always hear a harmony, the typical Dictated one. Sometimes we wonder if we don’t use too many, haha. To us it finishes the song and makes it all come together. A few have been created when recording the guitars when recordings, true, but we also left out a few. It might have been a bit too much, hehe.

RM:  What’s the biggest difference between the music on “The Deceived” and the material that was on your last record?  How would you say that you have grown as a musician since the first album’s completion?

SS: I can’t even describe to you how bit the difference is between this album and the last one we did, but I will try anyway! With The Deceived, we were well organized, thought through and meticulous. With the help of Henri, we’ve managed to create songs more understandable. Besides the writing process, we did grow as musicians. Our play has increased, the understanding of how to write/create songs has improved and we can’t wait to record the next album. But let us first enjoy this one!

RM:  Were there any friends or family members that were either against the idea of having their likenesses destroyed for the sake of art or not informed of what the final product of the photoshoot would look like?  Are you pleased with the way that particular shoot ended up?

SS: Very good question! When I took the pictures, we got different reactions from those involved and bystanders. One of the pictures was taken on a Saturday afternoon, smack down in the middle of a busy shopping street. There were a few who didn’t appreciate it or fully understand. Other saw it as pure entertainment. I guess the models (our friends) never realized fully their picture would be of such importance to us, especially Eli, who’s not only on the front cover, but also on our merchandise, banners and picture. We manage to thank them in our own special way through the album artwork! I’m very pleased with the outcome of the photoshoots/artwork. We’ve managed to express the lyrics and songs ever more by creating our artwork ourselves instead of hiring an artist. When you don’t fully grasp what the lyrics are about, the pictures will back up the subject.

RM:  Which song on “The Deceived” do you expect will be the most fun to play live and why?

SS: Uuuugh, honestly, there are too many, haha. I like them all! But probably “Stonebreakers Rising”. It’s a very heavy song with all the right death metal influences in them. But “The Basher” has very good potential as well. I guess we will find out when we will play them live this weekend. We have two release shows coming up so we can see how the audience/fans react to it.

RM:  What’s up next for Dictated in the remainder of 2014 and beyond?  Anything big in the works that we should know about?

SS: Touring, festivals, abroad shows! We are currently working out a video which we can entertain our audience with. We are going to try something new, some out-of-the-box thinking material. Obviously writing new songs, but mainly spreading The Deceived and enjoying as much as we can!

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