After studying classical guitar, I thought it would be a cool idea to transpose Beethoven’s violin concerto to electric guitar. The piece was called Opus 61 and so was the band. However it was clear from the start, it was just to much for people to comprehend and was only performed a couple of times. To create a wider appeal I decided to go for a more straight forward rock approach and when the Japanese band Loudness came along, it came clear to me what i wanted: a four piece band with technical skilled aggressive metal but still maintaining a high entertainment level and at the end of 1982 “Sword” was born. With Sword we recorded the single Excalibur which became a cult classic.
People always ask me why i have my guitar hanging way up on my chest under my chin. The answer is simple when you learn classical technique you’ll learn to have your thumb behind the neck not over it. The thumb behind the neck will give you the greatest reach and range of movement in your fingers. With the guitar on your chest it allows the hand to be relaxed, perfectly balanced, and able to reach as far as possible. you’ll also be less likely to injure your hand in the long run, as well as play more accurately and faster.
With changing the band name to Jewel, things really started to fall into place and at one time we had more gigs than any other Dutch metal act. In an ultimate effort to show what we were capable off, we recorded the full length album “Revolution In Heaven”. I’m still proud of it, those songs stood the test of time, and even when i listen to it now, it doesn’t sound dated. However at the time, record companies didn’t found us record deal worthy. Disillusioned I pulled the plug and called it a day.
When Arwin called me in 2014 and asked me if i was interested to pick up where we left off 24 years ago, I had to think twice, but when Henkie “Rammstein” Mulder agreed to join the party, i could not resist. Of course without singer Rick Ambrose it wouldn’t be the real Jewel, it’s just as they say: sometimes the whole is more than the sum of its parts.