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Over the years, Ruud has worked with and for a wide range of artists, but most people know him as the guitarist of the internationally successful rock band Within Temptation. He has been touring all over the world with this band for 22 years now. From arenas to the largest festivals in Europe, the three Americas and Japan. 

Connecting through music, in whatever form, is something he has always loved. 

As a 12-year-old I saw the concert registration 'Live After Death' by Iron Maiden on VHS. This was the moment I knew I wanted, no, hád to play electric guitar. I thought it would be fantastic to perform in front of large numbers of people and feel connected.

My parents' condition for buying me a guitar was that I would take lessons. They didn't see me reinventing the wheel myself, but I have always received all the support a child could wish for. I took my hobby very seriously from the start and when it came time to think about what I wanted to do after high school, the Conservatory quickly came to mind. In December 1999 I graduated from the jazz department of the Brabant Conservatory in Tilburg.

Since I was 14, I have been playing in all kinds of different bands, in the most diverse styles, but I am by far best known as the guitarist of the internationally successful band Within Temptation. Since the summer of 2001 I've done, I'm guessing, about 1000 shows with them all over the world. From arenas to stadiums to the largest festivals. This was always my dream from the moment I saw that Iron Maiden concert on TV and I can say that this dream has come true.


Covid-19 has thrown a spanner in the works for many people and it was no different for me. All concerts that were planned, and there were quite a few, were wiped from my agenda in one fell swoop. This created a lot of free time. Time that, in addition to writing a new For All We Know album (my solo project since 2011) and teaching online, I also started to fill in my time with my old hobby of model building. As a child I really enjoyed doing this and I saw more people around me taking up this hobby.


After a while I noticed that I didn't have a stable right hand when painting figures and other details. In fact; at one point I was painting a figure while holding both elbows against my body and supporting my right hand with my left hand. This was the only way I could still my shaking right hand. I decided to visit my doctor. 

She was quite quickly able to tell me that I have an 'essential tremor'. The term 'tremor' actually says it all; vibration. So my right hand shakes when I want to do something. This was not limited to playing the guitar or making models, but also to seemingly simple things such as cutting vegetables, pouring a drink or putting my key in the keyhole of my front door.

This was followed by a long process of finding out exactly what was going on, because some complaints (currently I am not only shaking, but my right hand is also convulsing) do not fit the diagnosis of 'essential tremor'. At the time of this writing, we haven't fully figured it out yet.

I kept these complaints secret for a long time for fear of missing out on work. After all, who calls a guitarist who can no longer perform at his old level? An emotion such as nervousness makes the shaking worse. 

Perhaps you can imagine that panic struck. Playing the guitar is not only my hobby and passion but also my livelihood and identity. This is all intertwined. 

When I finally dared to talk about it with people close to me I noticed a huge relief. I talked it out. During that period there were three people who told me that I should do something with it. This is how the idea was born to investigate the speaking profession. I am used to standing in front of large groups because of my profession as a performing musician and teacher. So I have turned necessity into a virtue and I hope to at least entertain other people with my story. It would be great if people were also inspired by it.


Gold and Platinum

Received approximately 20 gold and platinum albums with Within Temptation over the years

4.4 million albums sold

Within Temptation has sold approximately 4.5 million albums

Shows at famous festivals

Including Hellfest (Fr), Graspop (B), Wacken Open Air (D), Woodstock (Pl) and Download (UK)


Silver and Golden harp, 2 Edisons, 5 times export prize, various TMF Awards, World Music Award, etc.

30+ albums recorded

Including 6 studio, 5 live albums with Within Temptation, 3 solo albums under the name For All We Know and various other artists

Legendary concert halls

Headline shows in concert halls/arenas such as Wembley and the O2 in London, Carré and Ziggodome in Amsterdam, Lotto Arena and Sportpaleis in Antwerp

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