Of Bird and Cage—Who is Ruud Jolie?

17 Jun 2021

Of Bird and Cage is a never-before-seen blend of a metal concept album and a dark, story-driven game featuring famous artists from (ex) Guns N’ Roses, Epica, Within Temptation, and many others. Ruud Jolie is among them.

Although Ruud Jolie is currently the lead guitarist of Within Temptation, he went down a relatively bumpy road to join them. The jazz guitar major started his musical career in local bands. He met Within Temptation while playing for Brotherhood Foundation, a nu-metal band, in the Czech Republic. Two years later, Ruud Jolie joined Vals Licht, a successful alternative rock band. That was when Within Temptation contacted him for the first time and asked him to join them as their guitarist Michiel Papenhove was quitting. Ruud turned them down.Ruud didn’t want to “jump from tree to tree” so quickly and abandon his bandmates.

A few months later, Within Temptation called Ruud again, and again he refused, unwilling to leave his band that was going through a rough patch at the time. He did agree to be Within Temptation’s substitute guitarist though, and travelled with the band to Mexico City in 2001. They grew close during the trip and Jolie realized he wanted to be a permanent member of the band. As luck would have it, Within Temptation had already hired a permanent guitarist, filling in the vacancy. Yet, by the time Jolie returned home, his luck turned—the deal with the new guitarist hadn’t worked out. Ruud received his third invitation from Within Temptation to join the band indefinitely and this time he agreed. It seems that the third time really is a charm.

Ruud’s discography is filled with not only Within Temptation albums, but also with albums he produced himself. His solo project, For All We Know, was released in 2011, followed by Take Me Home in 2017, and he is currently working on his third album, according to an interview with Peter Orullian. 

Despite his attachment to Within Temptation, Ruud Jolie has also performed with other bands, including an acoustic tribute to Iron Maiden, Maiden UniteD. In addition, he’s dabbled in off-stage music by composing the soundtrack of the Dutch horror film Woensdag. See his full discography here.

When not performing, Ruud Jolie works as a teacher at the world’s first heavy metal academy, Metal Factory, with another Dutch musician–Rob van der Loo. “The great thing about Metal Factory is its flexibility. If I have a busy period, I teach a little less”, he shared in an interview with the school. “I like the culture of Metal Factory very much. It’s a subculture and very specialized. At Metal Factory people can do what they think is cool and I also leave students free to do what they like, but I raise them too.”

So how did Ruud Jolie join the Of Bird and Cage project? “I got an email from Arnold,”  he shared in an interview with Peter Orullian. “He was telling me that he was composing music for a video game and [asked] if I wanted to join.” Ruud was interested and excited. “The reason why I decided to join is that I love playing video games,” he added in a promotional interview. “And from what I already understood back then is that it’s a unique kind of thing, heavy music and, as it turns out, a live band, and stuff like that to accompany the story-telling. That’s what really appealed to me.”

For Ruud there is no difference between recording for a video game and recording an album.“What I like about this music is that once you start to listen to it more, you know, more often, in more detail, you hear different little melodies and different schemes, and different structural things, and things that appear in different songs. It’s like in musicals or in film scores,” Ruud Jolie added. “I think it’s a story with a lot of emotional levels and also the music complements it really well.”

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