Biography:

Epic Mind was formed in 2008 after the disintegration of Raoul’s and Nathaniël’s former band, Serendipity. In the early period, Rutger Grotius played rhythm guitar and keys, and drums were played by Patrick Platschorre. In 2009, after Patrick left because of shifted interests, Folkert joined Epic Mind after a mindblowing audition. At the end of the same year, Rutger left the band for similar reasons and Epic Mind continued ternary.In the last season of 2010 Josito Costas Rodriguez temporarily picked up vocals and a few fantastic gigs were played. This experience was a true eye-opener and a meeting was held to discuss the future. Over the years the music had changed from mainstream rockish music to distinguishable progressive metal and, because no suitable members to take up vocals and keyboards had been found until this point, the decision was made to continue as a power trio.

More emphasis was put on instrumental songs and writing for the album Through the Labyrinth was started. This album would feature some songs with vocals, taken care of mostly by Raoul, but the majority of the songs would be instrumental. Through the Labyrinth would never be finished in its original form because, at the end of 2012, Leon picked up vocals in Epic Mind.

When Leon joined Epic Mind, writing for Through the Labyrinth was temporarily put on hold and emphasis was put on integrating Leon’s singing into the band. After months of hard work several gigs were played and Epic Mind even won the selection round of the Metal Battle. In late 2013, writing for Through the Labyrinth was picked up again. In late 2016, Jari Stoppelenburg replaced Nathaniël Sonneveld on bass. During this time the last hand was put to the album.

Through the labyrinth was released in 2017 and the the critics were overwhelmingly positive. “a truly great album to say the least”, “A debut album that a young band can be proud of”, “Band with potential”, and “The album offers a lot of adventure, variety, and excellent guitar parts, and you feel the musician’s joy of playing in the music”, are some of the phrases that were used by the critics to summerize the album. The 8 hard-hitting songs on the album, including a 20-minute epos, successfully delivered the full progressive metal-package. 

 

Leon Vonk

Birth date: 18 February 1989
From: Utrecht, Utrecht
Instrument: Vocals
Musical Influences: Ayreon (Arjen Lucassen), Dream Theater, Savatage, Threshold, Symphony X

At a young age Leon got a guitar as a birthday present. Ever since he has been hooked on creating music. First he took guitar lessons and performed on small gigs with a band. After quitting guitar lessons he applied for a music school in Amsterdam as a guitar player and was accepted. After almost 2 years he experienced that his talent wasn’t playing guitar and decided to quit. After various other experiments in music Leon decided that it was time to move on and got a job. As a hobby Leon kept on recording music, playing guitar but most of all enjoyed singing.

After a friend heard a song of Leon and commented surprised that he liked Leon’s voice. A while after this Leon really wanted to play with a band again and decided to start taking singing lessons so that he could improve his singing and to find a band. Because of the enthusiasm of his singing teacher and friends, Leon started looking for a band after just a few singing lessons. Pretty soon he found Epic Mind searching for a singer and was able to join the band after sending demo’s and doing audition.

 

Raoul Van Oosten

Birth date: 10 December 1986
From: Amsterdam, Noord Holland
Instrument: Guitars, Keyboards
Musical Influences: Dream Theater, Opeth, Queen, Van Halen
Equipment: Mayones guitars, Egnater and ENGL amplifiers and cabinets, FAS Axe-FX Ultra, Dunlop picks, Ernie Ball strings, DiMarzio pickups
Previous/other bands/projects: Serendipity, Heartsong

Raoul picked up the acoustic guitar at the age of eight. After some years he switched to playing electric guitar while remaining to play acoustic. During his teen years he started producing his own songs and shortly after started the classic rock band Serendipity. The music of this band was influenced by bands such as Queen, Deep Purple and Pink Floyd.Raoul started listening more and more to metal and progressive rock and began to incorporate heavy and progressive elements into his music. At a certain point the music was changed drastically and with the coming changes in the band’s composition, it was decided to take a new name.

Since 2014 Raoul also uses keyboards for Epic Mind.

 

Jari Stoppelenburg

Birth date: 9 January 1997
From: Zoetermeer, Zuid Holland
Instrument: Bass
Musical Influences: Dream Theater, Steven Wilson, Plini, Snarky Puppy
Equipment: Ibanez BTB676, Boss ME-20B
Previous/other bands/projects: Out of Reach

At the age of 15, Jari’s father purchased a bass guitar for a cabaret group. The bass was put in Jari’s room when not in use, and Jari instantly fell in love with the instrument. Due to his father’s jazz history and his own Guitar Hero history, Jari soon became interested in complex and heavy music and started taking lessons and directing a great deal of attention to technique and virtuosity. Currently, Jari is preparing for the education at Haarlem’s Conservatory.Jari responded to an advertisement by Raoul for a new side project in Summer 2016. After a couple of sessions, Raoul invited Jari to audition with Epic Mind and, after a stellar performance, Jari joined Epic Mind in late 2016, replacing Nathaniël Sonneveld.

Folkert van Blom

Birth date: 20 June 1990
From: Maarssen, Utrecht
Instrument: Drums, Piano
Musical Influences: Dream Theater, Opeth, Gojira, Meshuggah, Pink Floyd
Equipment: Ludwig CS Custom drumkit, Sabian and Zildjian cymbals, Tama Iron Cobra Twin Pedal

Folkert started playing the drums at the age of 8. This developed into playing several percussive instruments such as timpani and marimba. At the age of 12 he started playing in Vleuten’s Harmony Orchestra and played in many orchestras as a guest performer. At the same time he started playing the piano. The combination of listening to rock and metal and playing in orchestras has led to the love for progressive metal, so in 2009 Folkert decided it was time to look for a progressive metal band and found and joined Epic Mind.In 2010 Folkert started studying Audio Design at The University of the Arts (HKU) in Utrecht and graduated in 2014, specializing in studio technology. Together with 2 fellow students he started his own business (Mass Audio) as an audio engineer, focusing on recording and mixing music in his studio in Utrecht. Most vocal Parts of Through the Labyrinth were recorded and all the mixing was done in this studio.