By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks
Dirk Verbeuren, one of my all-time favourite drummers, has been playing with Megadeth as a fill-in drummer on the ongoing “Dystopia” world tour. He has done very well and now Megadeth has offered him a permanent gig as the band’s new drummer. Thus, he will now leave Soilwork to work with Megadeth full time. It is not yet clear who will replace him in Soilwork.
A few months before Dirk Verbeuren joined Megadeth, I interviewed him and Soilwork’s mainman Björn “Speed” Strid here in Tokyo.
Here’s what they had to say then about line-up changes in the band: “It is definitely tough sometimes. Being a touring band, you have to find somebody who fits in, especially personality wise and not just as a musician. It’s tricky but luckily we always seem to rebound,” explained Dirk. Speed continued: “We been lucky enough to have fresh new blood coming into the band that actually brought something to the table. Maybe from the outside it looks like there’s been a lot of line-up changes and maybe people think that ‘Björn must be really hard to work with because he’s the only one who has been there since the very start.’ I don’t know. It might look like a circus and a revolving door. But if you’re in the band…it’s been more natural.” “He’s not at all a difficult person to work with,” insisted Dirk. “I think it’s more just…life, you know?” Yes, now life (in the form of Dave Mustaine and his Megadeth) has turned up on Soilwork’s doorstep.
Dirk Verbeuren, who joined Soilwork in 2004, is one of the best drummers in the extreme metal business. Apart from his Soilwork duties, the Belgian drummer now based in the US has played with acts such as Devin Townsend, Satyricon, Jeff Loomis, Aborted, Naglfar, Bent Sea, Scarve, Powermad, and many more. “When Dirk came in to the band he brought something new with the drums. He’s an extreme drummer but he also has that kind of unique groove to it even when he does blast beats for example. It is a lot more double kicks than compared to when Henry Ranta was in the band before. He definitely brought something new and fresh to the band,” said Speed of Dirk’s contribution to Soilwork’s sound. Now he needs to find Verbeuren’s replacement. Not an easy task. Soilwork has most recently used Bastian Thusgaard (The Arcane Order) as a stand-in drummer while Verbeuren has been playing with Megadeth.