Interview with René Kroon - Sun Caged, October 2011


Can you please introduce the band to our readers?

We are a progressive metal band with a lot of symphonic rock influences. Every band member has a different musical background and we let that shine through in our songs.

I saw you play at 'het Bolwerk' in Sneek with Fates Warning, how was touring with these founders of progressive metal? You must be fans of them too I guess?

It was an awesome tour!!! We fitted really well as opener for them because of the open minded view of the audience. When I was young (well, I’m only 33 at this moment, haha!), I listened to their music. When you’re a kid, you see them as an amazing BIG band (not a jazz big band, lol!), so it’s really funny to stand on stage with them now seeing them as normal people where you can drink a beer with. It’s pretty weird how different you think when you’re a kid compared to how you think as a “grown up” now!

Four years between 2 albums is a long time, why did it take so long before this third release?

Paul got kids and needed some time for that, so he got behind. While recording the album there was still a lot of writing and adjusting to do about the vocal lines. So Paul had to write a lot of vocal lines and because we didn’t play a lot of the songs for a while I had to re-learn a lot of pieces again and while recording I thought a lot of things could be better, so I re-wrote a lot of keyboard pieces. Then we do everything ourselves beside our day jobs. So the whole production process takes more time then when you go to a studio and let them do everything. The advantage is that we get a product how we like it. In a studio (especially with a limited budget) you often don’t get what you want. 

Who is responsible for the song-writing, just one or two, or the whole band?

Everybody! Most of the songs where written through jamming.

The songs are more metal, but also softer at times. The heavy parts heavier, the soft parts softer, was it meant to be that way?

We don’t really think about that. It just happens. Once we said “let’s make a more easy going short song” and the we wrote the Epos from 24 minutes, haha! So thinking too much just doesn’t work for us!


The music is complex, but the songs are still songs with a head and a tail, no virtuosic ‘look how good we are’ songs, what’s the secret behind that?

We all like good music and good songs more than just freaky music. To freak out once in a while is awesome (in my opinion), but we never forget the song itself. So, the secret? I don’t know. We always just write songs and go with the flow!

Many influences can be found back in Sun Caged music, who are the main ones?

I think just everything. We don’t try to sound as another band. Marcel listens to a lot of “older” Metal, Paul is a big fan of Stevie Wonder, Roel van Helden is a Marillion fan, I started playing seriously on the keyboards after listening to TOTO, but had an ultra heavy death metal period in my life too, so you name it...

How are the first reactions from the press on the record?

Mostly great!

What do you want to express with the artwork?

Actually it tells a lot about us personally and our music. We are crazy, having fun most of the time but can be really serious too. Humour is pretty important for us, so that explains the band/individual pictures. All prog pictures look tough, we just wanted to do something funny & different. Actually it was an idea from Bas Hoebink (bass player from my other band – The Barstool Philosophers) who made the artwork. He came up with some ideas and we liked this one really well!

Are you going to promote the album with a club tour?

I have no problem doing that, but it’s difficult to get a lot of gigs when you have to do everything yourself. We need a good booker that is really interested in us. Any volunteers???

Anything else you want to share with our readers?

Have fun, make music you really like and don’t listen too much to other people who think they know everything better! At least that’s what I do!  Cheers!

Sun Caged - The Lotus Effect

Label: Lion Music




Paul Adrian Villarreal - Vocals
Marcel Koenen - Guitars
Daniel Kohn - Bass
Roel van Helden - Drums
Rene Kroon - Keyboards

The Lotus Effect (2011)
Artemisia (2007)
Sun Caged (2003)


Interviewed by Reinier de Vries