Neben Maybe Canada durften wir auf dem Reeperbahn Festival noch eine weitere, wunderbare Band treffen: The Cool Quest. Die fünf Jungs und Mädels aus unserem Nachbarland Holland standen am Tag ihrer Single-Veröffentlichung von „Runnin'“ Rede und Antwort, wir schauten gemeinsam in die Vergangenheit und natürlich auch in die Zukunft.
JOINMUSIC: I thought I start with an icebreaker… Of course I was informing myself about you and I read a lot about Leeuwarden. I used to study in Leeuwarden, so what connects you with this city?
Vincent: Oh, cool. I still study in Leeuwarden at the Academie voor Popcultur.
JM: Ah, okay, that’s probably what I read. And also I saw a video of you playing there a huge festival.
Vadim: Ah, probably the 5th of May, liberation day.
JM: That looked so cool.
Vadim: It was a really cool crowd, yeah.
JM: Ok, time to get to know you a bit better. Who is responsible for what in the band? Music wise and in addition to it? Who is the entertainment coordinator, the navigator, etc.?
Vincent: So, Vadim, he’s the guitar player.
Vadim: And also I drive the bus. I’m the logistic operator. We write most of our music together and then I’m in charge of the guitar.
Vincent: I’m just the vocalist.
Vincent: The frontman on stage.
Vadim: The entertainer.
Vincent: And Ilse is our bass guitar player. And she does Instagram and so on.
Ilse: I’m the social media manager.
Vincent: Sander is our keyboard player. Responsible for the synthesizers. And he also makes our beats. Together with Thies. He is not here at the moment.
Vadim: He’s also in charge of the final production then.
JM: Oh cool, so you have your producer in the band?
Vincent: Well, we’re all a little bit the producer, but he’s responsible for the main and total production.
JM: And how did you all get to know each other?
Vincent: We know each other for five, no, six years now. Actually Sander and Ilse already knew each other from high school. They were travelling through Africa for music.
Sander: It was a project where we were travelling through different countries in Africa. We made music and then mixed it all together and made one big show out of it. And after this we decided we want to continue.
JM: So this is how it developed.
Vincent: Yeah, one day they were jamming and they didn’t have a vocalist, but I was there. And then we started jamming together. And are jamming ever since. But Vadim wasn’t there from the beginning.
Vadim: No, I’ve known them for a long time but I only joined them around two years ago. Every now and then we already did some gigs and some sessions together. We hang out a lot, so it was really natural transition.
Vincent: Yeah, we knew Vadim for five or six years already.
JM: How did your style of music develop? It’s pretty special, is it maybe a mixture of all the styles you like?
Vincent: That’s exactly how it developed, yes. I think we started like a jazzy kind of band with rap lyrics on it. And then it developed over time. We just made what we wanted to make.
Vadim: It’s not really a specific genre. It’s not that we want to limit ourselves to only one genre. We all have kind of similar interests in music and we try to make something what we all like and what we can all feel.
Vincent: There are different influences we make use of.
Vadim: Anderson .Paak, Kendrick Lamar, these are artists we try to reach, use them as an orientation.
JM: What you just said, I thought about it… like your newer songs, they are different to the album. And I think many artists don’t want to be put into one direction so that people think it has to sound like this, because they’re making this kind of music.
Vincent: Right, you can’t say what you’re making tomorrow. Or in the next year. We just make what we feel like.
Vadim: Probably the main difference to the first album is that there probably really was that live feeling to it. Now we all developed and incorporated this electronic style. From the studio. And because everybody is kind of making beats themselves and on the computer, this is a really nice thing. We’re experimenting a lot.
Vincent: Everybody is at one point working on the snippets somebody else made and then it starts to sound like us, like our sound.
JM: So this is also how you develop your songs? Somebody is coming up with an idea and you start from there?
Vadim: Yes. Also we always make different versions and things change a lot. We’re always looking for a thing that feels right to everyone of us. Something that fits into the overall band sound. We also made some things in the last year where we think that doesn’t fit our band sound anymore. But eventually we really found our spin and just started working from that.
JM: And your lyrics? How do they develop?
Vincent: It always starts with a beat and I just fill it in with whatever fits. At one point there will be a concept and you work it out. I just start with some jabber, just some gibberish. But there is already a melody to it. It’s not always like that but that’s how I often do it.
JM: You just said „first album“ – is there second album in the pipeline?
Vadim: Yeah, I think we can say that. Probably in early spring next year there’s going to be a new album. Today we released a new single, so all in all there are a lot of new things coming. We recorded a lot of new tracks.
Vincent: At least 14 or 15.
JM: Good to hear. And how does it feel putting out a new single today?
Vincent: We’re really excited.
Vadim: Well, we heard the song so many times now… And I for example didn’t even know when it’s going to be released. And then our manager told me and I was like: „Oh, we’re releasing it next week, cool!“ But luckily the media already picked it up before. So the truth is, it’s coming out today, but for us it feels like it’s out for quite a while already. Yeah, it feels good.
JM: And you’re pretty successful in the Netherlands, you’ve won some prices, you’ve been to TV shows…
Vincent: Yes, well, really successful… We’re doing well.
Vadim: Yeah, there’s always something going on, so that’s good.
JM: Do you have any wishes for the next album? Something you’d love to reach?
Vadim: Going abroad a little more. Now we’re in Germany and are starting here. We hope we can build a fan base here.
Vincent: We got a German promoter now. She wants to do some festivals with us next year. We really hope the best for next year.
JM: Playing live is a good point, I think you’re really a live band. That’s really your thing.
Vadim: Yes, we like playing live, sure.
JM: But how do you do it when you go to the studio then? That must be different to being on stage. How does it work putting your lively music on a record?
Vincent: It is very different, yes.
Vadim: Yes, it was a big thing to us to find a way to do that. In the beginning everybody was in the studio but eventually everybody was doing their individual part and when somebody else is needed he comes into the process. And adds things.
Vincent: Not like you go into the studio and just record it and put it on a CD. It’s not like that, it’s a lot about production.
JM: But do you ever go into the studio and play together and record? Or is that too easy to say?
Ilse: We have done that.
Vincent: Yes, but not really for the new album. The last album „Funkin‘ Badass“, it was like that. It was more about this live thing. But the new album now it’s different.
JM: Yeah, I think you can hear it. The new songs I feel are a bit more electronic all in all.
Vadim: Oh yes, they are. But we still try to keep it organic. We really don’t want to make an album that is completely electronic. Too much production that doesn’t sound like us. The cool thing is, we were so busy with the production that playing live again is a pretty big challenge. To get the sound right. We put a lot of time into it, we have a good sound guy. It’s going well, yes.
JM: Do you meet up for rehearsals then?
Vincent: A lot.
Ilse: Like the last three weeks. Four days a week.
Vincent: For twelve hours.
Vadim: And it’s never finished.
JM: You already had your gigs here on Reeperbahn Festival and they went pretty well, right?
Vincent: Yes, they went well.
Vadim: But everything is still evolving. Also because we have to play the set differently every time. Today we have to play it in a small set up, really intimately.
JM: So you have different versions of every song.
JM: And how do you like the German audience?
Vadim: Oh, they’re nice.
Vincent: There was a great party going on.
Vadim: People were jumping, they were really involved, that was nice.
JM: I think that’s the nice thing about this festival. Although there are so many business people, there are still so many people that are here just for the music and the festival.
Vincent: I like it here in general. Reeperbahn, St. Pauli, parties everywhere.
JM: So have you been here before?
Vincent: Yes, I’ve been here with Ilse. Not for Reeperbahn Festival, just sightseeing and stuff.
JM: Let’s talk a bit more about your new single, „Runnin'“. What is it about?
Vincent: It’s the perspective from a person who tries best in society but doesn’t really get accepted. Maybe you can relate it… or the inspiration comes from…
Vincent: Yes. In Holland the boarders are closed now and the song is a little bit about that. But I want the people to be open-minded, it’s just an idea.
Vadim: They should interpret it for themselves.
JM: Ah okay. That’s a cool thing. There is something behind the song but you still want the people to make their own thing out of it.
Vincent: I’m not saying the word „refugees“ or „integration problem“ or anything like that.
Ilse: It’s really more the feeling.
Vincent: It’s more abstract, it’s about „Runnin'“.
JM: And the song before that one, „Coastline“, how did you come up with the video idea here?
Vincent: Actually, the video makers they came up with the concept and the unicorn.
Vadim: It’s about being superficial. So often people stay superficial and they don“t look into the deep. It“s about a guy who wants to be something else than he is but he doesn’t dare to and then he wants to be a unicorn. It should show people that they really need to go into the deep.
JM: Really cool. Will there also be a video for „Runnin'“?
Ilse: Either for „Runnin'“ or the next single.
Vincent: We actually want to do a live video clip. But we don’t know yet.
JM: Okay, I will let myself be surprised then. Guys, thank you very much for the interview.
All: Thank you.
Foto: Xanne Wijkamp