~ Interview with Daniel (Vox), Jaco (Bass), Jeroen (Guitar), Guus (Guitar) & Niek (Drums) ~
These five crazy Dutchmen have recently recorded the album ´Weltschmerz ´89´, full of punk, rock and heavy metal. No question, we had to do an interview with these guys. And they all just turned 30 – or not…?
How do you endure your personal Weltschmerz these days?
Jaco: Posting selfies, eating hamburgers and playing video games. Plus a healthy dose of irony.
What are you worried about in the world?
Daniel: World War 3, climate crisis, incompetence, traffic jams, hangovers, deadlines, inequality, big pharma, wifi connection, health insurance, job insecurity, spotify plays, instagram likes, rising nationalism, decaf, austerity, Ajax, publications, Angela Merkel retirement, running out of cheese, not being at home when your parcel arrives, the future.
How do you manage to suppress these worries and fears?
Daniel: By going out and playing rock’n’roll. Music is a powerful tool to stop worrying.
Jaco: It’s not about suppressing, it’s about expressing! Turning your frustrations and angst into creative tools to make awesome music. Although loads of sex and booze to forget your problems tends to help perfectly, too. Depends on the day of the week, I guess.
Did everyone actually turn 30 in 2019, or do you also have older or younger members?
Our drummer Niek is 54 already.
How did get over your birthdays, was the 30th birthday also a bit painful?
Jeroen: Turning thirty was a great experience for me. I went to the Apenheul with my family. This is an animal park with only monkeys. Then I went home.
In some parts of Germany, there is a tradition that those, who are not yet married at 30, must sweep the stairs of the town hall. Who of you had to sweep the stairs?
Jeroen: All of us. We love sweeping! We also like eating sour candies in the band bus. And talking about guitar string gauges!
Which were the most exciting days or years in your own musical life so far?
Guus: Playing ´Bohemian Rhapsody´ on a piano in a full church when I was 13 years old. When my parents were still proud of me.
Which years in the entire music history did you find the most exciting?
Niek: The 70’s were very exciting in my opinion. I just love the fact that genres like heavy metal, hardrock and glamrock were considered pop music at that time. We definitely had the most fun during the 90’s, singing along to the Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls and Destiny’s Child.
Which band was the most formative for you?
Jaco: As you’ll see, we all have widely different answers to that! For me I think it was Peter Pan Speedrock, a Dutch heavy speedrock power trio. At the tender age of 15 I witnessed the way bassist Bartman molested his Rickenbacker. I was sold. I like it when bands rape their instruments, I guess. I remember seeing a video of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion live on French television where he started fucking his Theremin. That’s where I began to understand the true meaning of rock ‘n’ roll!
Guus: For me, I grew up with bands like Pink Floyd and Deep Purple. My dad always listened to these bands at home or when we were driving. It was Dream Theater’s John Petrucci who inspired me to pick up the guitar. Practicing scales and techniques from his videos, or even go to the hairdresser with a picture of John Petrucci, wanting the same haircut! Jep, I was a fanboy. So, my musical background is more in symphonic and progressive rock.
Are TURBONEGRO real heroes for you?
Jeroen: The first song I ever heard from them is ´Ride With Us´. The absurdly dark vibe fascinated me and drew me in. As I grew up, I started to understand the humor and satire behind it. Turbo definitely had an extremely formative influence on all of us during high school, especially in terms of how we don’t take anything seriously. However, I don’t think that calling them „heroes“ is what they would want. I think they would want us to call them „fathers“.
Which styles or genres were important for your own sound, as apparently there are many?
Niek: We indeed incorporate a lot of genres in our music. The main focus lies on hard rock / rock ‘n’ roll / punk, but we love to add a tight metalcore breakdown, some progressive riffing or a mathcore bridge to our songs. In general, we just love to show our appreciation for other genres we like or listen to.
Jeroen: We love the rhythm and groove of modern (djent) and metalcore bands, but we prefer the sound of straight up rock ‘n’ roll/punk bands. We also grew up listening to progressive stuff like Dream Theater, so we try to surprise our listeners by instrumental detours in the bridges. Besides musically, we are influenced by the style of live-shows from other genres. The biggest example here is the Dillinger Escape Plan. No matter what you think of their music, their live shows are unmatched in terms of energy and on- and off-stage fury.
Is there an active band that you adore, and that you’d like to tour with?
Daniel: We probably all want to play with Iron Maiden. But, there are a lot of really cool rock’n’roll bands that we would love to play some shows with, such as Hellacopters, Kvelertak, Gluecifer, Danko Jones, and of course Turbonegro.
Guus: Must be Iron Maiden. If you would think about big, bigger, biggest, high energy music, twin leads, guitar solos deluxe, only one band pops up: Maiden! But like Daniel said, many more bands are on our list.
And then the tour van will be loaded with lots of boxes of Schultenbräu? Does this sort taste so good, it seems to be your favorite drink?
Guus: You know the story behind Guns ‘N Roses’ Nightrain? Most people think it’s about a night train, but it’s actually about a low price alcohol drink they used to drink when they were young and poor. Kind of the same when we were in highschool. But seriously, it’s a pretty decent beer!
What else do you drink besides beer?
Jaco: Sweat, Blood and Buttermilk. And Cucumbers. Guus refuses to drink anything that has less than 6.66 percent alcohol, so we generally also drink strong liquors. And we can’t wait for some good German schnapps! Berlinerluft, or Essacherluft! Did I already mention buttermilk? I never refuse a good Jack-&-Buttermilk.
Daniel: Coffee, coffee, coffee…
Jeroen: I like Fristi with Jack.
Where can we see you live this year?
Jaco: Come see us in Berlin (Badehaus, March 6) or Hamburg (Hafenklang, March 8). We just started to work together with the agents of Black Harbour Entertainment, so we’ll be invading more of your beautiful country very soon! Prepare for destruction!