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VERA, Netherlands, Groningen (04/Oct/2019) Artist Biography
Picture is one of the first Dutch heavy metal bands. Formed in 1979, they were especially popular in the Netherlands, Germany and Italy for their live performances, and still have a fan base in South America, Mexico and Japan.
Picture supported AC/DC, Ted Nugent and Saxon in the Netherlands. With Saxon, they did a full European tour in 1981. Later on they toured with Rose Tattoo in Germany and headlined tours in Italy and Israel.
Rinus Vreugdenhil and Laurens Bakker originally got together in 1977 and started jamming with various musicians. It wasn't until 1979 that the classic lineup of Rinus, Laurens, Jan Bechtum, and Ronald van Prooijen came together.
Early on in Picture's career they were produced by Cat Music. They worked with manager Henk van Antwerpen and were signed to Warner Bros. Records. However, Picture felt their label were trying to steer them in a pop direction and quit the label to sign with Backdoor Records, a subsidiary of Phonogram Records.
The original line-up recorded their debut album, Picture 1 and their second effort, Heavy Metal Ears in 1980 and 1981 respectively. To begin with, they gigged throughout the Netherlands and nearby Germany and built a following. In the meantime, they started composing their own music. Jan would usually come up with the riffs, then the other members would contribute their parts. After hashing and rehashing the songs, they became the titles that would appear on the first album, Picture I.
As a bunch of young kids, they didn't know much about the realities of recording. When the album came out, none of them liked the sound quality. As they grew in popularity, they returned to the studio to record Heavy Metal Ears and it was much of the same sound quality. It wasn't until they were a little older and wiser that they really got their sound in the studio with Diamond Dreamer. However, by this time, Ronald had left for personal reasons and they found Israeli singer, Shmoulik Avigal. Not only was the recording done much better, but Shmoulik had a different, and some say, more powerful voice. Many consider Diamond Dreamer as the band's best album.
After recording and touring with Shmoluik for the Diamond Dreamer album, he suggested they add a second guitarist to fatten their live sound and Chriz Van Jaarsveld was brought in. Though he was a technically proficient guitarist, he just didn't gel with Jan and things went downhill. Then Shmoulik got in a petty argument with their manager and was fired from the band. About this time, Jan had had enough and quit for personal reasons. To fill in the gaps, a new singer, Pete Lovell was recruited along with a second guitarist, Henry van Manen. They went into the studio to record Eternal Dark. This album was slicker than Diamond Dreamer and the two guitarists significantly altered the heavy sound of Jan Bechtum for a more technical groove that sort of worked, but started the trend for the final albums that veered away from the Picture sound. Around this time, Laurens could not take the rigors of touring or the stress of all their management troubles while supporting a wife and twins, so he called it a day.
From that point on, the only remaining original member was Rinus. He soldiered on for three more albums, Traitor, Marathon, and Every Story Needs Another Picture. Many described them as going into hair metal, with very commercial and anonymous songs. Rinus is particularly disgusted with Every Story Needs Another Picture, as it was an album forced by the record contract, and it is rumored the whole album was recorded by studio musicians with minimal participation from him.
Though Rinus soldiered on long after the other original members had left, he was never able to steer the band back into a successful direction. He finally called it a day, and got a "real" job.
The original members tried a reunion in 1988 and the chemistry was still there. Unfortunately, management reared it's ugly head and unknown to the band, their manager was asking an outrageous amount of money for them to play, so they never got any gigs after their one reunion concert. To have this happen after being burned by management the first go-around was just too much, and once again, they called it a day.
In 2007, the classic lineup reunited for rehearsals. They still had that spark, and planned to cut a CD in 2008 and play some gigs around the Netherlands and Germany. Though Ronald van Prooijen helped out, singer Shmoulik Avigal was asked to participate as well as Pete Lovell, the singer on the Eternal Dark album.
After the smoke cleared in 2008, a permanent lineup was established with Jan Bechtum, Rinus Vreugdenhil, Laurens Bakker, Rob vanEnkhuizen, and Pete Lovell. They are currently playing throughout Europe to very enthusiastic crowds. A limited edition live album was recorded at various venues and was released by the band. Plans are to release another album in 2009 with new songs, two of which have appeared on the limited edition CD.
The album Old Dogs, New Tricks was released on October 1, 2009 on the MarsMountains label. It contains 12 songs of all new material, released 30 years from when the band first formed.
On December 18, 2009, Jan Bechtum announced his departure from the band. He is being replaced by Peter Bourbon.
In early 2010, Rob van Enkhuizen decided to leave Picture. His replacement is Gert Nijboer.
In 2011, Gert Nijboer was replaced by American, Mike Ferguson.
The lineup solidified with the two new guitarists and they began working on their new album which was released in spring of 2012. Warhorse, written by all band members brought Picture back into the limelight. They commenced touring again. Unfortunately, due to logistical problems, Peter Bourbon had to leave, but that spot was soon filled by another Dutch guitarist, Len Ruygrok. After a few months he decided to leave and former member Andre Wullems came back. The band continues to tour and solidify their reputation in the world of heavy rock and metal.
Pete Lovell - vocals,
Andre Wullems - guitars,
Rinus Vreugdenhil - bass guitar,
Laurens Bakker - drums,
Mike Ferguson - guitars,
Rob van Enkhuizen - guitars,
Jan Bechtum - guitars,
Shmoulik Avigal - vocals,
Bert Heerink - vocals,
Ronald van Prooijen - vocals,
Chriz Van Jaarsveld - guitars,
Henry van Manen - guitars,
Harry Bruintjes - guitars,
Peter Bourbon - guitars,
Gert Nijboer - guitars,
Ronald de Grauw - keyboards,
Jacques van Oevelen - drumsWide ThumbClearartFanartBanner User Comments