Marcel Coenen Interview (2006)

This interview has been published in 2006 on YUXEXES Magazine, Vine on Guitar Section.

Hi Marcel, we are here in the my "Vine on the Guitar" section of Yuxexes Magazine, I hope you are very well now. How’s your life going these days?

Hello J I am very good, busy as usual, thanks a lot for inviting me to do an interview, I am honoured J

You have released your second solo CD called “Colour Journey”. Are you excited about it?

Yes, very much ! I started writing this album in the beginning of 2005, and I noticed I had a lot of different idea’s not only for instrumental music, so I contacted some musicians and I am glad the product turned out to become this good. I am very happy with the end result.

This time you didnt record a full instrumental album. Instead, has vocals. What was you aim about it? You say at the press releases “I tried to make an album which showed my song writing skills more then my guitar playing skills.” People already know how good song you can write from Sun Caged and Lemur Voice before?

I just noticed when I was writing music I wrote more into a song writing mode then to do a lot of shredding, so I started to write for vocal lines as well. I also like female vocals so I asked two female vocalists to work with me, as well as some vocalists who I worked with throughout my career and also some I have not worked with yet but gave me a total new experience. My aim was to write just great songs which I can listen myself without getting bored, I also like writing in different music styles, which I had not shown yet with Sun Caged or Lemur Voice, so I did that at Colour Journey, songs like That Moment, The Skill Factor  and Traumatized To The Bone, even Waiting and Still Bleeding are not in the vein of all my bands, so it was good to show also these music styles on Colour Journey.

I find this C.J. truely and totally reflection of Marcel Coenen and his inspirations. Am i right?

Totally ! J

How was your girlfriends reaction for “la bella mira”? This is very cool track, in my opinion. I hope she is aware how lucky she is ;)

Thanks for the nice comment J Oh she loves the song and ofcourse she feels very flattered. She is not the only lucky one though ;)

The last bitter thing for Sun Caged was quit of  your great bassist Rob Van Der Loo. How did this process to be lived? Why they quit the band? But for all, somehow, you could re-united the band as a whole with new members. And now, we can hear two new songs. Did they join the song writing process?

Sun Caged started out as a project band, before we released the album Sun Caged already had quite a few band member changes. Drummer Dennis Leeflang left the band at the end of 2003, we were not happy anymore with him in the band, and vise versa, so it was better to choose a different path for him. We got Roel Van Helden quite soon after that and he is still in the band. Keyboard player Joost Van Den Broek got a job with After Forever where he could play at a professional level (means: getting money) so it was obvious he left the band. Also singer Andre Vuurboom left the band, he just wanted to do something else and create his own music, which became Sphere Of Souls, which is also great stuff in my opinion. For keyboards we got Rene Kroon which is a very virtuosic keyboardplayer with great sounds, he also has great writing skills. We searched for a singer for a long time, then we finally got Paul Adrian Villarreal who moved from San Diego, USA to Germany, Bitburg (which is close to The Netherlands) to become our singer. His voice is more like Tommy Shaw/Daniel Gildenlow/ Kansas and that gives Sun Caged a different sound, which I like very much myself. The sound got more diverse and more melodic, while we still have very heavy passages. With Rob we noticed that he was changing totally, his way of thinking and the music he liked changed very much, so it was obvious as well that he was going to leave us. We found the very talented Roel Vink to replace him, he is a young bassplayer (only 19 years old) but he is very good. Sun Caged is going strong again and we are currently recording our second album which will be released somewhere in the beginning of next year.

Who will be the producer of new S.C. album? May Arjen be again? His jobs are always amazing.

We will do it ourselves this time. The first album sounded really good but the sound sounded different from how Sun Caged should sound. We are all very productive in studio work  so we are going to do the total production ourselves.

I believe that producers like  Andy Sneap or Steven Wilson would be very great choices for S.C. and even your solo stuff. Did you think to work with some producers like Vai or Sneap for “Colour Journey” ?

Nope, I wanted to do Colour Journey also myself, I was in contact with some producers but it did not work out, call me a control freak maybe ;)
For Sun Caged we would love to work with a good producer though, but who knows, maybe for the third album we will J

You were preparing for a instructioanl DvD? What is the situation?

The instructional DVD is filmed by Vision Quest from Taipei in Taiwan. I visited Taiwan in March 2006 and recorded the whole thing there. It is in full production now, the DVD will feature guitar lessons, which will include picking techniques, legato playing, arpeggio’s, melody construction and a lot of licks, also five songs will be shown played live and I will add tablature for all songs and lessons, so for the people who always email me for tablature for songs like Moyra they can buy the instructional DVD cause it will be on there J

You are known in Turkiye since Lemur Voice days.  :) Moreover, this increased with debut of  Sun Caged. Did you know if you are known in Turkiye, too?

Actually, no, not really J It is good to hear though that our music is liked there very much, so I want to thank all the Turkish fans for the support.

You did very cool albums “insights” and “divided” with Lemur Voice. What do you see when you look those days with Lemur Voice?

It was a great time, I still listen those album so now and then and still like the stuff on there. By the way: Did you know that Barend Tromp, ex Lemur Voice bassplayer, will be playing some songs on the new Sun Caged album ? ;)

You can still find time for Stormrider and Time Machine. Well, but what if in future? Do you have any thoughts to record something with them?

These bands are just cover bands, we play for fun. We have recorded some demo’s with these bands but we only use it for promotional reasons. It are covers so they never will be released.

Does Dutch traditional music has any place in your music or guitar playing?

Haha, you dont want to know what Dutch traditional music sounds like, haha well some music I like though, and I have played on quite a few albums from typical Dutch musicians, but all very cheesy music, not really my kind, but it is fun to play that music sometimes.

How famous are you in Holland?

I really don’t have a clue. I guess I am quite well known among guitarists and progressive metal fans, but for the rest I would not know.

Now guitar stuff :) What was the driving force to start and play guitar?

I was eleven years old when I started playing, I got my first guitar from my mom, and I took lessons when I played for about a year. It happened when I watched television and saw people playing guitar, I immediately fell in love with the sound and wanted to do the same thing.

Did  you feel any disappointments about guitar and guitar playing?

No not really. Guitar playing is a very passionate instrument for me, so it will be hard to get disappointments from playing that instrument.

You were endorsed by ibanez for a long time. But last year you start to endorsed by Bo-El guitars. How does this endorsement deals happen with ibanez and Bo-El? Can you give us some information about this Coenen special Bo-El’s?

The Ibanez endorsement was an endorsement through the dutch importers of Ibanez, Serlui BV. They gave me a deal which included discounts on an Ibanez guitar and I got paid for doing clinics for them.

The deal I got with Huub Boel is totally different. I met Huub when I was playing a clinic for Ibanez at a music fair, he was standing with his stand right against where I was playing. He came to hear me play and he started talking to me afterwards, I should try his guitars, so I did. I noticed right away that the tone in the BO-EL instruments is really awesome, so I asked him about it, and he explained me his way or working. He did not make a guitar yet which had features like 24 frets and a floyd kind of tremolo. When I asked him if he made those as well he told me that he was interested in making them, so in two weeks I got a letter from him asking me if i wanted to work with him on a new model guitar, which would get my initials, that became the MC series.

The MC series all have a carved 2 piece hard ash body with no binding. Slim set-in hardrock maple neck with “all access”  neck-body joint, Rosewood fret board with beautiful MOP/abalone “tree of life” inlay (MC7) or double shark fin inlay (MC6) and jumbo
frets (24 frets). The Pickups are two Bo-EL HB-SD humbucking pickups. The electronic circuit is specially designed to satisfy my wishes and features a 5-way pickup selector, a push-pull phase switch on the tone pot and a mini on-off switch. The MC series are available in natural, brown burst, black and Fuchsia red colors, and soon we will have more models, also with a fixed bridge and dot inlay, and more different colours. Look at for more information about the guitars.

How many guitars do you have? Do you have any symphaty or antipathy for any models or brands?

I have a lot of sympathy for BO-EL guitars, they make the best instrument ever, period ! The guitars are all high quality and very well made, everyone should try one and get one as well. I currently have two MC7 and two MC6 models and I will get more in the near future.

What are your hobbies? What does Marcel do in his spare times?

I like going to concerts and see bands, I also like to work behind my computer on different things, I also have a part time job in the IT business. And I also teach guitar. Music is mainly my hobby, so most of my spare time goes into that.

Which CDs we can find in your CD player right now? What kind of music do you listen mostly?

Currently I am into bands like Porcupine Tree, Meshuggah, Whitesnake, Alice In Chains, but also into more popular music like Madonna or Keane. My interests go really wide, from classical to jazz, from rock to metal, from instrumental to zappa, so a lot of different kinds of music.

In which point do you plan to be after 10 years?

After ten years I hope to tour the world with Sun Caged and have a big solo career ;)

What are the questions that you hate to be asked? May these be “Tell me about your band” or  classic “what are you doing these days” :)

I don’t hate questions, people who are reading this do want to know about me, and even if I have to say things quite a couple of times in interviews, mostly it is for different magazines in different countries, so I don’t mind at all.

Thats all right for this time Marcel! I like to hear your last words to end this interview up!

Thanks again for this interview, I hope we will be able to come and play in your country sometime, that would be awesome.  Visit my website for more information:

Cheers !


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