QUESTIONMARK are from the IJmond area. The band is formed by drummer Ronald ‘Stein’ Steeman, who collaborated in October 1988 with guitarist Rob ‘Metal mouth’ Steeman (ex-HAMMERHAWK) and bassplayer Harm Noort (ex-DEFENDER). Very soon, it was obvious that Ronald wanted to move into another musical direction and he joined EGGHEAD. In April 1989, the band finally finds a suitable replacement in Mark de Ruyter (ex-JACKAL, ex-SAD IRON). But the search for a singer continues, while playing a solid speed/thrash metal kind of sound. As time passes by and the band has a good repertoire, they decide not to look any further and bassplayer Harm Noort gets the job.
The name of the band relates to the fact, that they couldn’t come up with a proper name and so it remained some kind of a questionmark for them which one to choose. Besides, this one is at least original and it has got nothing to do with the in the metal scene often used catchwords, like aggression, death or doom. Most importantly, the name also rouses the interest of the public. Their lyrics focus on two different topics. The more relevant daily subjects, like “Better Weather” and “It’s Too Late” (environment) or psychological subjects, like “Happiness Ain’t Easy” and “Self-Acceptance”. For this type of music, the lyrics are not that common.
In June 1990, guitarist Rob Steeman announces, that he wants to stop playing guitar. Right before his departure, the whole band repertoire is being laid down by an eight track recorder in their rehearsal room. This would be helpful, when searching for a new guitarist and it also would be used for a new demo tape. The production as well as the mix was done by the band members. Melvyn Christiaan is being recruited as the successor of Rob Steeman. Early 1991, the six track cassette “Useless?” sees the light and the band plays a number of gigs in the low lands. Clearly, the need for a second guitarist occurs and the band finds Richard Post (ex-EGGHEAD) to fill up this gap. A couple of months later Melvyn is being replaced by Olaf ‘Overdose’ Demmers (also ex-EGGHEAD). With these changes, the band has found a very steady and motivated line-up again. They play as many gigs as possible to become a well-known name in the scene. Bassplayer Harm has even compiled a very special ‘3-Way Metal Package’ with DEMENTIA (The Hague) and BRAINLESS (Zeeland) for all the clubs in Holland and Belgium....
At the end of 1992, guitarist Olaf Demmers leaves the band after musical differences (it was either him or Richard Post!) and Melvyn Christiaan (who already played with the band in 1991!!) is hired as his temporarily replacement. However, in April 1993, guitarist Richard Post decides to leave the band after all. Melvyn returns as a steady guitarist and the band continues their quest for a new second guitarist. In 1994, the band releases their long awaited independent promo video “First Video Effort” with five video clips and a live registration, worthy of sixty-five minutes of heavy thrash metal. Unfortunately, this is also the end of QUESTIONMARK.
(text conducted by Toine van Poorten)
Harm Noort- bass/vocals (ex-GODDESS OF DESIRE, ex-GUTWRENCH, Ex-DEFENDER)
Rob Steeman - guitar
Melvyn Christiaan – guitar/vocals
Richard Post – guitar (ex-EGGHEAD)
Olaf Demmers - guitar (ex-EGGHEAD)
Mark de Ruiter – drums
*Useless (Demo 1990)