Early life

Me in 1991

Ruud is a big Star Wars fan, a cat lover and he loves to read. Growing up, he first initiated himself to music by playing the keyboards, but his passion for music developed in favor of the guitar soon after he watched a video of an Iron Maiden concert. Thus, after he was done with high school, Ruud attended the conservatory for his college education majoring in jazz guitar. He graduated in 1999.

Work prior to Within Temptation

Me with 'Prohibited Wish' 1993

Ruud started out by playing with several local bands. He joined "Brotherhood Foundation", a nu-metal band whom he stayed with for a period of two years. When Brotherhood Foundation was playing at the 1998 "Dynamo" festival in the Czech Republic, Ruud met Within Temptation who were also playing there. Back then, Michiel Papenhove was still Within Temptation's guitarist, and there were no initial plans for Ruud to join the symphonic metal band yet. In an interview with Starfacts, Ruud stated that his most embarrassing gig experience was when he still had long hair and it was caught in the microphone while head banging. He thought it was doubly embarrassing because the girl he loved was in front row. They never got together.

Me with 'Brotherhood Foundation' 1997

After Brotherhood Foundation, Ruud joined an alternative rock band "Vals Licht" (False Light) in 2001. This band was known for its combination of heavy music with Dutch lyrics, something that had never been done before. They released several singles on the Dutch market, of which "Het Licht" reached the top ten charts. A month after joining "Vals Licht", Ruud got a phone call from Within Temptation asking him to join their band seeing as to guitarist Michiel Papenhove was quitting. Ruud turned them down because he had just committed himself to "Vals Licht" and thought it was not proper to "jump from tree to tree" so quickly. A couple of months later, the late drummer of "Vals Licht" Johann De Groot was diagnosed with lung cancer. In that same week, Robert Westerholt, the founder and guitarist of Within Temptation, unaware of Johann's condition called Ruud again with the same request. Ruud turned down Within Temptation once again due to the uneasy circumstances "Vals Licht" was going through, but in counterpart offered to become Within Temptation's substitute guitarist until they found themselves a permanent member.

'Vals Licht' in 2000

Within Temptation

In the summer of 2001, Within Temptation had a gig in Mexico City. Ruud, as a substitute, traveled along to perform at the concert. This trip really brought Ruud closer to the members of Within Temptation, and made him realize that he wanted to become a permanent member of the band. Unfortunately, Within Temptation had already hired a 'permanent' guitarist. However, when they returned back home, luckily for Ruud, that didn't work out, and so he received a third and final phone call from Robert asking him to indefinitely join the band, a request to which Ruud finally agreed. He's a part of Within Temptation since december of that same year.

Within Temptation 2007

He scored several top 10 hits in throughout Europe with this band. He's done many tours as well; Europe, Japan, United States and the Middle East. He watched festival audiences from pretty much every main stage from every festival.
The last 4 albums and live DVD's have sold more than 3 million copies worldwide.
There fore they earned Gold and Platinum awards in a couple of countries (Benelux,
Germany, Finland, Russia, Portugal and Spain).

Solo Work

In September 2007, Ruud announced his plans for a solo project, entitled "For All We Know". In a post on his Myspace blog, Ruud said "I decided to call it that because I think that name raises all the questions that don't have immediate answers in an instant. And what is more interesting than searching for answers? Everybody is looking for certain answers I guess. Even subconsciously. Therefore it's multi-interpretable. The only questionable thing about the name that might raise some eyebrows instead of questions is when you pronounce the abbreviation of it; FAWK. Ah well, that's just a minor detail... Musically it's going to be heavy in the basics. Very guitar oriented of course. It won't be a shred-fest but guitaristically (if that's even a word) interesting. Some keywords that come to mind right now are; Heavy, Hysterical, Melodic, Atmospherically, Ambient, Groovy, Mellow... Check out my influences in the general info section. Then you see what kind of music I listen to. I guess it's inevitable that some of the 'ingredients' of those bands and artist end up in my own musical stew. And no, it's not going to be something like Within Temptation. What would the use be of doing a side project when it's something like my main band?"

He found some great musicians to play on this record like Kristoffer Gildenlöw (Dial, ex-Pain of Salvation), Wudstik (Ayreon), Léo Margarit (Pain of Salvation, Zubrowska), Damian Wilson (Threshold, Headspace, DWB), Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain of Salvation), Ruud Houweling (Cloudmachine) and John Wesley (Porcupine Tree).

After a couple of years of working on it (between all the other stuff he's doing) he released the album monday april 25th 2011 and has sold in over 30 countries already...

Check out the official website (www.forallweknow.net), twitter, myspace and facebook page for more information.

Me promoting Mayones guitars 2007

In october and november 2009 he toured with DWB (Damian Wilson Band) consisting of Damian Wilson, Kristoffer Gildenlöw, Dirk Bruinenberg and Chris Mars. The Live DVD 'Cheers Lads; 20 years of avoiding a job' will be released this spring

In december 2010 he released the first Maiden uniteD album which he co-produced. This album consists of totally re-arranged acoustic versions of Iron Maiden's Piece of Mind album from 1983. Check out the live section for tourdates...

April 2011 will also see the release of League of Lights, a project by Farrah and Richard West (Threshold).
He recorded all the guitartracks in his own studio. It was a great project for him because he listened a lot to Threshold in his early twenties and the drums on this album are played no other than Mark Zonder of Fates Warning.


For the last 12 years he's been teaching guitar at Factorium Tilburg...

Career points

Received 19 gold and platinum records from around the world

Won 6 TMF Awards

Within Temptation supported bands like: Paradise Lost, Rammstein, Metallica and Iron Maiden

Played on the main stage at Pinkpop, Rock Werchter (B), Parkpop, Lowlands, Download (UK), Desert Rock (UAE), Rock Am Ring (D), Rock Im Park (D), Pukkelpop (B), Loudpark (Jp), Graspop Metal Meeting (B) and Ozzfest

Won the 'Music Export Prize' (best-selling Dutch artist abroad) 4 times in a row

Won 'De Zilveren Harp' (Silver Harp) 2002

Won 'De Gouden Harp' (Golden Harp) 2009

Won a 'Golden God' award (Kerrang UK for the 'Angels' video)

Won the 'Popprijs 2005' (most influential band for the Dutch music industry)

Won 2 'World Music Awards'

Won an MTV Award

Headlined famous venues like 'Le Zenith' in Paris, 'Sportpaleis' in Antwerp, 'The Brixton Academy' and 'Astoria' in London, 'House of Blues' in Cleveland & Chicago, 'Carré' in Amsterdam and ''Ahoy' in Rotterdam

Won 3 '3FM' Awards

Played at 'The Key Club' on the famous Sunset Strip in Hollywood

Won 2 'Edison Awards' for Best DVD (Mother Earth Tour) and 'Best Band'

Did 4 'Bevrijdingspop' festivals on one day as the 'Helicopter Band' (2003) (From gig to gig with a helicopter)