Live pictures of Merel Bechtold performing with Delain at Hedon, Zwolle

Monster Energy welcomes Merel Bechtold!

Oct 192017

Merel Bechtold is a guitarist for Delain, Mayan and Purest Of Pain. At only 25 years of age, she’s been all over the world multiple times and has experienced more of life than most people could in a lifetime. Other than albums and stages, Merel plays her guitar on Youtube as well; her videos, in which she performs playthroughs and guitar covers, are seen by many people from all over the world.

We sat down on a terrace near her home town and talked metal, tours and festivals.

"I found a track by in flames and that was it"

How did you first get in touch with metal?

Through different ways! The very first time was when a friend on elementary school played me some Rammstein, I guess. I really liked that! And of course that period of Korn and Slipknot, which my sister taught me. But when I was twelve years old, I started skateboarding and developed a new group of friends, all skaters.
One of them had a compilation cd from 2004 which had a lot of cool music on it. I found a track by In Flames [The Quiet Place] and that was it. I started looking further into the music and found more and more great stuff.

"I just thought to myself: I want a band!"

So you weren’t alone when it comes to metal!

Well I kind of grew into it. I always loved music, I used to get mesmerized by melody. Be it classical, electronic or rock, I loved it all!
When I came into that skate-scene, I found all sorts of music like Muse, which I loved a lot. Still do, actually. Then at some point I fell into this group of metal guys and started finding more and more metal and going to concerts. At these concerts I made some concert friends, so obviously, I started visiting more concerts. At a certain point, I just thought to myself: “I want a band!”
Music and metal, however, is something I’ve always pursued for myself. At some point you just find stuff that really triggers you to find more. You won’t exactly find it in ‘regular life’, so if you don’t look for it, you’ll never really find it!

What was your first band and when was that?

Purest Of Pain, we’ve started the band in 2010 when I was 18. It’s still alive, I’m still in it and our album is finally almost finished! With that band, I started playing a lot and we got better and better, we even got nominated for best live act once. There we were, standing between Steen [a Dutch rapper] and Marieke de Jager [a Dutch singer songwriter]. It was pretty cool! 3 Voor 12 [a radio station] also picked us up and we started playing a bunch of support shows, for Suicide Silence to name something.
We actually never really fit in anywhere, stylewise, because we fell somewhere between metalcore and Swedish metal. At some point I got inherited in the bigger bands and we started touring a lot, next to having a study this eventually led to a lot of delay within Purest Of Pain and that’s why we still haven’t finished the album.

"I actually listen to all sorts of music"

Do you only listen to metal nowadays?

No, it is eventually the coolest music in my opinion. But I actually listen to all sorts of music; hiphop, electronic, rock music. I don’t really care as long it’s strong and good. With metal even, there’s maybe a few percent of the music that I actually like a lot. Much of it’s just worthless to me. But the bands that I do really like are everything to me: bands like Architects and Bring Me The Horizon.

"As long as i'm in a band, with a guitar in my hands, i'm thrilled"

If you could play in one band in the world, which band would that be?

I’d be struggling to think of only one band. As long as I’m in a band, with a guitar in my hands, I’m thrilled. Be that with P!nk or a good metal band, I don’t really care. Of course, my heart will be with metal and that being said, Rammstein, Architects or Bring Me The Horizon would be sick. But to say that there’s this one band: I can’t. It’s the spirit within a band that matters as well, in the end!

"Graspop really kicked ass!"

Is there a venue or festival that you’re aching to play at one day?

I already have! Graspop was very cool. I’d love to play there again one day but later on the day; we played there as the second band of the line-up, on the mainstage and that was incredible, of course. Last year, me and my bands played many of the festivals that I’d always dreamt of: Graspop, Wacken, Hellfest, Download. I’d play all of them again at any given moment!
The coolest shows I’ve played were the metal cruise, Bospop with The Gental Storm was great too. And Graspop really kicked ass!

"When I'm On Tour, i feel at home wherever I am"

What do you love- and hate about touring?

When I’m on tour, I just feel at home wherever I am. I’ve never really been able to maintain jobs, one day I walked out of a job during the first hour of the first day. It’s just not me to feel secluded like that. On tour, I feel that freedom! Different locations, different countries. I sleep very well on the bus, get to see a lot and just feel like myself!
Touring can, on the contrary, be tough: you’re traveling all the time, play a show, travel some more. Sometimes, trouble occurs with hotels or venues and sometimes the food you get is well and truly shit. That can be frustrating.

Is music the only thing you do in life right now?

At the moment, yes. I need a hobby. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!