Ariën van Weesenbeek
* May 17, 1980
The Netherlands
Ariën van Weesenbeek was only three years old when he already bashed furniture with spoons and forks. Fortunately, he dicovered his dad’s drumset on time. It was obvious that this young man just had to play drums (not in the least place for other peoples safety!). He took up drum classes at age seven to learn the basic drum skills. Meanwhile, a lot of synchro-tape-drumming was done at home. Inspired by a Cream & Eric Clapton record, Ariën van Weesenbeek intensified his practise under guidance of his drum teacher. Van Weesenbeek:
"At the same time, I joined a local marching band and would play with them for eight yuears. Besides a lot of fun, this appeared to be very helpful for discipline, too. When I was 15, I made some friends at school, and was introduced to rock and metal music (Anthrax, Slayer). As a group we began making heavy music. Then, British grindcore/deathmetal formation Napalm Death crossed my path, and I was blown away when listening their intense, fast, cyclone-like metal, gazing with open mounth at the record store. A new love was born."
Van Weesenbeek's improvised band, named Pandaemonium, grew and developed into a six-man effort playing Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel inspired metal. Double bass pedals were purchased, and so began a long period of intense training. School efforts went below zero; being a fulltime musician was his only ambition. Pandaemonium's first demo, "Misanthropic", was chosen as "demo of the month" in 1998 by Holland's largest metal magazine Aardschok.

After winning a local band contest, Pandaemonium played with acts like Crustacean, Oceans of Sadness and Amorphis. Their sophomore demo, "Beyond the Powers of Death" saw the light of day in January 1999. The MCD was recorded in RS29 under guidance of Oscar Holleman, known from his work for Orphanage, Gorefest and Ayreon - among others. A third effort, the MCD "Suffering is Essential", followed before the band broke up.

Around the same time Ariën van Weesenbeek also joined another band, hardcore/metalband Downslide, and played quite some live-gigs and made his first studio recordings ("Demo '96" and "Losing Ground") with his two bands.

Downslide split up at the time he started studying at the Rotterdam Conservatory. Van Weesenbeek started to mix metal with rock, funk, jazz and latin to enrich his drumming and composing style. Together with some fellow students, he started a rockband called Conspiracy. It appeared to be a fun and helpful experience to play different music other than metal. He recorded one demo with them, and played some live-gigs, even once as support-act of Racoon. With Pandaemonium’s third release, the drummer auditioned for the drummer’s seat in Dutch deathmetal band God Dethroned. After having played with the guys and being hired for the job, he played multiple festivals and tours across Europe and even US festivals.

His first introduction in God Dethroned context was the 2003 album "Into The Lungs of Hell" (initial title: "The Universal Slavedriver"), on which he clearly shows excellent musicianship. Time for a short trip down historylane...

After drummer Roel Sanders departed from God Dethroned, session drummer Tony Laureano (Nile, Angel Corpse, etc) entered and recorded the album "Ravenous". As Laureano was needed again with Nile, The Crown drummer Janne Saarenpää joined God Dethroned on their promotion tour for the album as a temporary replacement. In 2001 God Dethroned found a new drummer:
"Dutchman Ariën van Weesenbeek, a third year conservatory drummer with the speed, power and precision to match "Ravenous" session drummer Tony Laureano."
Soon after the recordings of "Ravenous" frontman Henri Sattler reveils in an interview with Ad Noctum:
"We've just found an awesome drummer a couple of weeks ago by the name of Ariën van Weesenbeek. Ultrafast, hard hitting, very tight and definitely able to compete with aforementioned drummers [Tony Laureano and Janne Saarenpää]."
And Sattler is totally right! Only very few people are capable of replacing giant drummers like Tony Laureano and Janne Saarenpää. One of them is Ariën van Weesenbeek. To drummerszone.com Van Weesenbeek modestly comments:
"Well, the recordings [of "Into The Lungs of Hell"] were not very different from recording a demo: I had nailed all tracks down within six hours. I've been told this is pretty fast. Actually everybody in the studio was amazed. The only thing I did was to make sure all drums had new heads and to play as neat as I could."
Clearly The Netherlands have breed a new top drummer. Reviews of "Into The Lungs of Hell" were all acclaimed. Ariën van Weesenbeek:
"As a project for my education, I made a personal promo-cd: containing three self-written songs, one Pandaemonium song, and one Conspiracy song. It contains my musical experiences till this recording, and are summarized in the 5 songs. I was also asked to record a demo of the band Edgecrusher from Belgium. Isaac Delahaye, one of the guitarplayers, was also studying at the Conservatory, and asked me for the recordings. I recorded 6 songs for the demo called "Impressions of Mankind"."
After recording the MCD Ariën departed again and Edgecrusher added Michael Maes to their line-up as his replacement.

Pandaemonium came to an end after seven years, as Ariën van Weesenbeek got busier with God Dethroned. In 2002 Ariën succesfully gratuated from the Conservatory of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Being a total metalhead Ariën was a bit of an outcast at the Conservatory, because most people there appreciate jazz for example more than extreme metal.

He started working as a part-time drumteacher at Parnassos in Utrecht, Holland. It was in the same time, that he was a guest-teacher at the Rotterdam Conservatory:
"I had 5 students who I was ‘training’ each one to play one song of God Dethroned, and to perform the songs live together with fellow students who played the rest of the instruments, and even with a female grunter!! It was a great thing to do, and everybody gave their best!"
Ariën van Weesenbeek went on playing gigs with God Dethroned, and around summer 2003 he went into another new musical adventure: gothic metal with the band Imperia. Together with them he recorded their debut album as a session drummer, and also did two live gigs with them. In July 2004 Imperia's debut album "The Ancient Dance of Qetesh" was released. However, soon after the recording session Ariën decided to fully focus on God Dethroned and left again to be followed up by drummer Steve Wolz (Bethlehem).

God Dethroned took it a bit easier for half a year, due to line-up changes and in this time Arië was jamming with other musicians who he formed a band with called Down Till Dawn, a heavy, power, thrash metal band:
"After playing together for a year and a half, and later on with Isaac Delahaye in the band, we recorded their first promo-cd, to find out where the band musically was standing."
The drummer also got a phonecall from the guitar player/singer of the band Pace Grace, a rockband with sixties-blues covers, and was asked to play live gigs whenever he was available. And so he did quite a lot of gigs with this band.

It was 2004, around the time that Down Till Dawn's promo was finished, when God Dethroned was back on track. It was time to record a new album. Frontman Henri and Ariën started working on new songs at Henri’s house and in the rehearsal room, and when the songs were nearly finished, Henke Zinger and.... Isaac Delahaye(!) joined the band.

God Dethroned recorded ‘The Lair of the White Worm’. The band got very good reviews, and went on the road again: festivals, a tour with Grave and a headliner tour. Van Weesenbeek:
"So.... pffffff... and what’s happening now?? Well, it’s been busy with gigs the last couple of months of God Dethroned, Pace Grace and Down Till Dawn. I was also asked to participate in a project called ‘Delain’ of Martijn Westerholt (ex- Within Temptation), and I recorded the drums for 11 songs at Spacelab Studios in Germany."
And Ariën van Weesenbeek is still teaching drums on a part-time basis, and has are more gigs coming up......

2008 saw Ariën depart God Dethroned to focus on Epica. He was followed-up by Roel Sanders, who rejoined his old band.
comments (sign in and write yours)
Ariën van Weesenbeek's brands
Ariën van Weesenbeek's references (20)
releases (23)