Meet the World's First Metal School

In Holland, school is too cool for YOU. At least, that's the case for one experimental establishment. In this Fuse News exclusive, we sit down with Ruud Jolie of Dutch metal band Within Temptation to discuss his unique day job.

"When we are not touring, I also teach. The name of the academy is Metal Factory," the guitarist explains. "It is brand new, actually. This is the first year. It is really cool!"

The institution is small, but that makes it easier to instruct—and get one-on-one time with Jolie. "We have 23 students and vocals, bass, guitar and drums. The school is not just about playing music, it's also entrepreneurship: the management side, booking, merchandising... also history and music theory."

It's a fairly new endeavor, but it's one that the metalhead understands. "We just started in September and I think one of the most valuable lessons is to make mistakes. My music theory class is the only class where creativity won't be appreciated because music theory is about facts, scales and chords."

With all that to tackle, what's the first step to becoming a guitar virtuoso? Jolie has an answer for that, too. "I usually start by explaining the major scale. We all know that we have the C, D, E, F," he demonstrates on the piano. "The tritone is also called the devil's tone... a very dissonant sounding thing but it is a great way to be all dark and to be all Satan. It really works and I think Black Sabbath really opened up some doors with that sound. There are a lot of bands that use it like Slayer. Metal, in general, likes to use that evil-sounding interval."

Within Temptation tour a lot, so we asked a few of our favorite metal bands if they'd take a turn at teaching. 

Pantera's Phil Anselmo would jump at the chance. "I would absolutely do it! I grew up and saw the whole shebang grow into what it is today. I could be a professor for a day, for sure. Absolutely."

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