We’re honored to have Exivious as our Artist of the Week! It’s been about four years since the release of the damn near flawless Exivious self-titled debut. What was originally a Cynic / Textures side project has experienced a few line up changes in that time but has still emerged strong. Now they’re on the loose again with their sophomore full-length “Liminal”! And if you haven’t got to listen yet, it is PHENOMENAL!
We had the chance to interview the lead guitarist Tymon Kruidenier (ex-Cynic). Read up below and jam the tracks!
TK = Tymon Kruidenier
MT = Mike Thall
MT – How did the band get started up?
TK – As a lot of bands get started I guess. I was a young metal head with an electric guitar and wanted to start my own band. But that was all the way back in 1997, when I just started playing actually. It wasn’t until 2005 that the modern day Exivious was born. At that point, I knew pretty well where I wanted to go with Exivious, I spent years trying to figure out what it was that I wanted to do. So when I finally found the right musicians to work with in 2005, we took some years to gel and pinpoint the exact direction we wanted to go in. And that’s where it really started.
MT – How did you come up with the name Exivious?
TK – It’s a little embarrassing to explain, but my excuse is that I came up with it when I was 17 years old. Exivious doesn’t mean anything, it just popped into my head during an English lesson at school. We debated changing the name, back when we released our first album. But we figured we already build up a bit of a name in the underground scene, so we decided to stick with it. An added bonus though, is that it’s very easy to look us up on the internet. Literally all hits on a Google search for Exivious are related to the band haha.
MT – You guys have a new album dropping THIS WEEK! Can you tell us about it?
TK – Yes, finally! I held the CD in my hands for the first time 3 days ago. It’s an awesome feeling to finish such a long process. We pretty much spent the last 2 to 3 years putting this thing together. But yeah, what can I tell you about it? It’s a more balanced album, it’s heavier, it’s softer, it’s more dynamic, it’s more epic and even though I hate the word, it’s a lot more mature than our debut. We are quite happy with it ourselves!
MT – Any songs in particular we should be watching out for?
TK – Each song on Liminal really has its own identity and story to tell. I’m excited about all of them for different reasons. Triguna, composed by Michel, is the most abstract song on the album with a very intense ending. One’s Glow is a very energetic and rhythmic song with an awesome drum solo by Yuma. Immanent is a very groovy song with some really big and epic parts in it. I hope there’s something for everyone on Liminal!
MT – What was it like transitioning from your debut to the new album?
TK – Very natural and easy actually. The first album took a long time because we were still searching for an identity. With Liminal, we already knew very well what we liked about our sound, what we didn’t like so much, what new influences we wanted to add to our sound, etc. So it really was a matter of sitting down and letting the ideas flow. There were the occasional struggles of course, but that comes with the territory of being a perfectionist.
MT – You’re among the select bands to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. How does it feel to have that kind of support?
TK – Amazing! We might not have millions of followers, being in this niche type of music, but the followers we do have are really dedicated and loyal. And we’re very grateful for that! We worked our asses off to try and create something special with Liminal. It’s very exciting to send it out to our backers next week, I really hope they’ll like it!
MT – Who or what inspires your music?
TK – Who or what doesn’t? We love to get inspired by abstract things like emotions, dreams, situations, nature or just life in general. It’s quite challenging to try and capture these concepts in instrumental music, but very rewarding. Other than that, we inspire each other in the band. And then there’s all the great music out there to get inspired by.
MT – What was it like transitioning from Cynic to Exivious?
TK – Freedom! To do exactly what I want to do, music wise and business wise. And to do all of this with 3 great and likeminded friends who happen to be great musicians. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for my time with Cynic. I gained tons of experience and had so much fun. But having said that; I’m a bad follower. I always have a clear idea on how to do things and on how to improve things. That wasn’t my place in Cynic. With Exivious we’re all on the same page, we share similar goals, similar tastes in music and we’re just great friends. I’m very happy with where Exivious is at right now.
MT – Rumor has it Exivious may be going full-time. Any light you can shed on this?
TK – We’ll always have our side projects, because that’s just fun to do. And me and Yuma are both working as producers and engineers as well, work that we love to do. But Exivious has priority over everything else at this point, so we’re hoping to treat Exivious pretty much as a full-time commitment.
MT – Have you toured much?
TK – Not yet! After we released our debut, Robin and I were touring all the time with Cynic, so we didn’t have the chance to gig with Exivious. When we quit Cynic, we did 1 European tour with Exivious, supporting Obscura and Gorod and then got to work for Liminal. So now that Liminal is done and almost out, we’re hoping to finally do some proper touring with this band!
MT – Any favorite shows?
TK – I loved playing at Brutal Assault in 2011, an open air festival in Czech Republic. Such a great atmosphere! And there were some awesome shows on our last tour as well. I remember the show in London (Underworld), the show in Haarlem (Patronaat) and the one in Prague (Black Pes) as some of my favorites. I usually prefer smaller, more intimate venues, for the type of music we play.
MT – What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you at a show or on the road?
TK – Traveling all the way to India with Robin, for a gig with Cynic at a festival, only to find out Paul & Sean couldn’t make it due to visa problems. We got put up in this ridiculously big villa that was part of a resort with a swimming pool and an awesome buffet (3 times a day). So we then agreed on playing some kind of ambient set, just Robin and me. We prepared some interesting ambient versions of Cynic and Exivious songs, only to find out the entire festival got cancelled the next day! So all we did was eat ridiculous amounts of food, 3 times a day, and then fly back home hahaha.
MT – If you could tour with any bands in the world, who would you take the stage with?
TK – I’d love to tour with bands like Devin Townsend Project or Opeth. It would be awesome to share our music with a bigger crowd. But it would also be fun to see what would happen if we would support a post-rock band like God Is An Astronaut. Touring is fun anyways and what’s most important to me, is that the guys in the bands you’re touring with are cool. So as long as that’s in order, it’s all good!
MT – What do you guys do for fun?
TK – Play the guitar, compose new songs, play gigs… but I’m guessing that’s pretty obvious. Other than that, I love to tinker with computers and other geeky things. I love to think, to travel, to read interesting articles and to watch good movies. I also love spending time with friends and my parents and siblings. Nothing out of the ordinary really. And the other dudes are just as boring as I am.
MT – Favorite alcoholic beverage?
TK – Belgian special beers. Dubbel, tripel, quadrupel… they’re all awesome!
MT – Is there anything you want to say to the fans out there?
TK – Thanks for taking the time to read this and I’m hoping you’ll dig our new album! And if you’re one of the people who supported us by backing our crowd-funding campaign: thank you once again!