Ariën van Weesenbeek
Epica / MaYan
Born in 1980 in Waalwijk, The Netherlands, Ariën already seemed ready for a full-time musical career on the drums. Or, at least his enthusiasm for bashing on grandma’s plates with spoons, knives and forks with full volume were an early sign for what would await the young drummerboy later on… After getting a baby-drumkit from his parents around his 3rd year, he started projecting his energy on that thing. At the age of 7 he started taking serious drumming lessons, which he would take for 11 more years… In the meantime at the age of 10, he would join the local marching band and stayed there for the next 6 years to play in parades with a marching snare drum, and to develop his technical skills, reading drum transcripts, and dynamic control.
After listening to his parents’ records, to which he would play along on his dad’s drumkit, he really got motivated to practice in a more disciplined way to get more control of the basics and techniques on the drums. After some first performances at the local music school, including tape play-alongs and drumsolos, he found a buddy in high school who played guitar, and at the same time, he discovered rock music, and the metal-genre in particular. Together with his high school friend he started his first band, which would become Pandaemonium later on. Ariën also joined another band called Downslide, whom he made his first demo studio tape in 1996. He did the first real live gigs with them, which was soon to be followed by demo’s and live gigs from Pandaemonium.
After graduating from high school he went to the Rotterdam conservatory and got his Bachelor’s degree in music at 2002. He joined the well known death metal band God Dethroned, and he made his first full length CD recordings with them, as well as touring throughout Europe and the USA. Ariën also started teaching drums, which he has been doing since... In the time being in God Dethroned, he also did some session studio/live-work for Imperia, Delain, HDK and Aborted. Also, a big change in his musical career was when Ariën was asked to record Epica’s third full-length album ‘The Divine Conspiracy’.
Also, his first drum clinics would happen in 2007… First he’d stay a while with Epica as session drummer for the upcoming live gigs and tours, though at the end of 2007 he was asked to join Epica as a permanent full band member and touring the USA, Canada, Europe, Russia, and many more countries to come. He parted ways with God Dethroned in 2008, whom he made 3 albums with. In 2009/2010, Epica’s Mark Jansen wanted to form a more extreme band for the musical ideas that he couldn’t use in Epica, and formed Mayan. Ariën joined that project as well, and provided the group with heavy duty-drums, on record, and live on stage throughout Europe and South America.
Ever since Epica emerged on the scene, the band has been caught in a whirlwind of studio recordings, interviews, screaming fans, worldwide live performances and the rock 'n roll lifestyle. The Dutch female fronted symphonic metal band Epica was founded in 2002. Mark Jansen had left After Forever to pursue his own dreams. Within a few months Epica had the material to record the stunning debut album 'The Phantom Agony'. The album was released worldwide in 2003 and was followed by a lengthy tour… While touring continued throughout the year, Epica recorded and released their second full length album 'Consign To Oblivion' in 2005. The album made it to #12 in the Dutch charts and remained in the Top 100 for 7 weeks. This release also features a guest appearance by former Kamelot frontman Roy Khan. After four years of hard work, the band took the time to reflect on the impressive career that took the world by storm… After hundreds of shows in dozens of countries all over the world (including the US, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, most European countries, Israel, Tunisia…) this band had become a well oiled metal machine that is unstoppable. In 2007 we saw the release of Epica’s third full length album 'The Divine Conspiracy'. “More” is the best word to define this album. More choirs, guitars, grunts, speed and songs… And thanks to the highly talented skills of Ariën Epica was able to make faster and more complex songs. As with all of their releases, the music on this album was brought to a higher level.
With Epica Ariën made in 2009 a double live CD-recording, together with an orchestra and choir which would become ‘The Classical Conspiracy’; a compilation of movie soundtracks, classical pieces, and original Epica-material, performed all together with the orchestra and choir – all put in a full metal jacket! Ariën is currently about to release another Epica album ‘Requiem for the Indifferent’, and hit the stages again!! The journey continues… make sure you are a part of this and don’t miss it!