2021 IN MUSIC: Merel Bechtold (Dear Mother, ex-Delain)

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In 2019, guitarist Merel Bechtold left Dutch symphonic metal act DELAIN to pursue her own projects, resulting in forming the modern metal DEAR MOTHER, who released their debut effort, “Bulletproof,” earlier this year. We wanted to know how Merel experienced 2021 and asked her a few questions about it…

What musical goals did you set for 2021? Did you achieve them?

Ah yes, I would say I did! Most of my focus goes towards my new band, DEAR MOTHER, and I like to think that we did extremely well this year! We have accomplished a lot and I think that we can be very proud of ourselves. The main focus for 2021 was to release our first studio album “Bulletproof” in July. Prior to that, we had five single releases; it was a very busy year. Currently, we’re working on new songs, which is another goal that we set for ourselves for this year. We would like to end the year with some fresh demo material.

Were you able to dedicate as much of 2021 to your project/band as you had hoped?

Yes, all of it.

What were some of the highlights you realized in 2021?

Every release was a highlight. Especially when our second single, “Symbiose,” ended up at the top of the massive editorial Spotify playlist Kickass Metal, we couldn’t believe it! We reached one million streams within 3 months and I would like to think that’s a big achievement for an independent new band. It was pretty surreal seeing ARCHITECTS, Rob Zombie, LAMB OF GOD, and then DEAR MOTHER. I don’t know how it happened, but we were all in shock and very grateful at the same time. 

Is there anything you learned during 2021?

Yes, a lot! I learned to live more in the present and to take a day off. Also, I got pretty handy with a circular saw.

Have you (re-)discovered any new music during 2021?

Honestly, I don’t really listen to music, but I discovered lofi beats.

What can we expect from you in 2022?

The first DEAR MOTHER shows! In May 2022, the Bulletproof release shows will take place in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and Ittre (near Brussels) in Belgium. And hopefully, we’ll be releasing some new music in 2022. Also, I’m currently working on courses for Level Up Music Academy. My dear friend and amazing vocalist Marcela Bovio (we both play in MaYaN) and I decided to join forces and start an online music academy. We both have a lot of passion for our instrument and teaching. So if you fancy learning to play metal guitar from zero to hero or become a vocalist or improve your skills, sign up for the waitlist here.

Written by Laureline Tilkin