Groupe:

DeWolff

Date:

28 Avril 2021

Interviewer:

Didier

Interview Pablo

Hello, thanks for taking the time for this interview for AuxPortesDuMetal.com, we will publish this interview in French and in English. Can you first present the band to our readers?

My brother Luka van de Poel, me & Robin Piso started DeWolff back in 2008 when we were just 13, 16 & 17 years old. We make classic rock music with influences ranging from 60’s soul music to psychedelic rock, Americana and everything in between. We’ve released nine albums so far and the last four we recorded ourselves in our own fully analog studio in the heart of Utrecht, the most beautiful city in The Netherlands.

How did you pick that band name?

We were deeply fascinated by the movie Pulp Fiction when we started out and one of the characters is called Mr Wolf. We combined that name with the way these old cars were called : names like DeLuxe or DeVille…

What would be your biggest music influences?

Little Feat, Led Zeppelin, The Band, Leon Russell, Deep Purple, Otis Redding, Townes Van Zandt, the Black Crowes and the Black Keys are some names that come to mind and they kind of reflect the many different influences we have.

You guys operate in a trio, do you consider this the optimal line-up for your style of music?

Yes! A triangle is the strongest geometric shape because every point is connected to the other. So on stage we’re all directly connected to each other : Robin is connected to Luka in rhythm because he plays bass and Luka drums, I’m connected to Robin because we play melodic instruments and Luka and I are connected because we both sing and of course because we’re brothers :-)

Knowing that you and Luka are brothers, isn't it tricky for Robin to have a voice in the band?

Not at all. We’ve known each other for such a long time that it feels like we’re three brothers.

I discovered your music with the Live & Outta Sight II and I was blown away. Do you think that DeWolff is mostly a live band? And is it better discovered live?

I think so ! Although I think our studio albums have gotten more & more prolific as well, especially from the moment we started recording them ourselves. Though when we play live there’s a lot more energy and improvisation involved and a lot of people like that. I think on the records we’re more song-oriented whereas live everything is high energy rock ’n roll oriented with lots of solos and heavy riffs. I like that we have these two sides.

I was laughing when I discovered the Tascam Tapes and the fact that you recorded it for a cost of fifty bucks. Did you make the million dollars with it as the sticker said ? :-)

Haha, not at all. The sticker says “it sounds like a million bucks” by the way, so it’s not like we actually thought we would make a million dollars from it. But it was more or less a joke, because of course it doesn’t sound like one million dollars. It sounds like one hundred thousand dollars though ;-)

Anyway today, you are releasing Wolffpack and I suspect that it required more than fifty dollars to make right?

No, it was fifty dollars cheaper than Tascam Tapes because it was recorded at our own studio, haha! We did all the engineering, producing & mixing ourselves. Cheapskates!

How did you work for making the music for this new album?

The album came together in two different ways : in the early Covid lockdown, I was constantly writing new songs, and some of those ended up on the album, arranged by all three of us. Songs like Do Me, Sweet Loretta, Roll Up the Rise. The other half is more classic DeWolff where we got together in the studio with the three of us and started jamming: Treasure City Moon Child, Lady J. Yes You Do was a crazy song because we “wrote” it in a Zoom meeting. Hope Train started out as an acoustic song not unlike the intro, but when we played it with the band it ended up 180 degrees differently.

I loved it, and gave it a weekly favourite, I think you found a sound that is absolutely amazing and almost impossible to describe. I used Groovy Psychedelic Rock. How do define yourself?

Organic Rock. Haha. Or Human Rock. Or maybe just Classic Rock. You know how Led Zeppelin wasn’t really influenced by other rock bands because they more or less invented rock music. I mean, there were other rock bands around but that was SO new. They were influenced by blues, old rock ’n roll, soul and folk music and made something new and electrifying out of it. I love that.

This disco tone in your music is incredible. How did you introduce this? Was this deliberate?

Well, we love ABBA to be honest. But also stuff like Rod Stewart’s Da Ya Think I’m Sexy and some other guilty pleasures from the late 70s. It’s basically funk that evolved (or devolved haha) into some kind of mutation that was purely meant for dancing and having a good time. But at the base, it’s still groovy music made by people and some of it is actually really good!

Wolffpak came out one year after The Tascam Tapes, was this planed or due to COVID?

No, that wasn’t planned at all! If Covid wouldn’t have happened Wolffpack wouldn’t have been written at all! The plan for 2020 was basically non-stop touring and there wouldn’t have been any time to record an album this year. Now that the touring was off we had the time to write new songs and to do a lot of other unexpected -but really cool- things, like playing with the Metropole Orkest or doing a 9-show live stream where we played all our albums integrally.

I guess that there was no touring for The Tascam Tapes, that must have been extremely frustrating for a band like DeWolff?

At first definitely! I was bummed out for a good week. But there’s absolutely no use in sobbing and complaining about it for too long. I mean, what we love doing most is making music so… if we can’t go on tour we can still make music, albeit not in front of an audience, but we can write stuff in our studio as much as we want and we have the freedom to release it and people like listening to it… but I have to say: the highest goal is connecting (to) people through music and the ultimate way to do that is live. So now that we made the new album we’re really ready to go out and play in front of people and connect with them in the deep way only music can do.

I watched the replay of the concert for the release party. That was a fantastic performance, but how difficult is it to play with no audience to react in from of you?

We had our sound technician play applause from a tape in between songs haha. That helped with the awkwardness! But seriously… We really miss playing live! I think for that particular show it was OK because all the songs were new and we were already very nervous to just play them in front of the cameras: with an audience it would have even been more nerve wrecking. But now that we’ve done that I almost feel like there’s no use in playing another live stream like that anymore because… we already did that and now we wanna play it for people!

There were lots of guest on that performance, and that was great, but it’s not always the case when you tour. How do you do it all in a trio? For example I’m thinking about the more funky pieces where there is a strong bass line, and you have no bass player.

It can be very hard for Robin to play all these bass lines but he’s extremely talented and he just nails it. For the rest… we take a lot of freedom in our live playing and we create a lot of sound pressure. That makes up for the lack of guest musicians ;-)

We can also see from that performance that the band is extremely tight. Pablo and Luka are like siblings. And Robin feels like another brother too. Do you think that this contributes to the sound of DeWolff?

Of course. You have to be tight in order to play loose. Some musicians just play extremely tight, I think we are very tight -or maybe “locked in” is a better word- because we have played together for so many years. It’s a kind of chemistry that’s really nice.

We are now in 2021, and it’s not much better in terms of live music. How difficult has it become for bands, and for yourselves to promote your music without being on tour? Do you think COVID will change for ever the way bands interact with their fans?

I think not. I HOPE not. Or well… maybe, if we play a big show like an album release, it’s not a big step anymore to film it so people from all over the world can watch as well. That’s a cool thing. But this live stream thing, it can never replace the energy of a live concert. To answer the first part of your question: extremely hard. Not for us per se, we’re doing pretty fine, but for smaller bands it’s so hard now. Because when you play a live stream tonight, you’re competing with EVERYTHING that’s on the internet. Normally if you’re playing a small venue, people will go there anyway, not even because they want to see THAT band in particular, but just because they wanna go out and have a good time. They might stumble upon a band because it’s the only band that’s playing in their town tonight. But right now, with the live stream, you’re basically competing with the whole internet and there’s so much to do on the internet, all the time. Netflix, Facebook, Pornhub, cat videos on Youtube… brrr!

For example I saw you did a streaming marathon, playing one entire album per night, over nine nights. How did this work in term of attendance? Is it easier to break even with a streaming performance as opposed to a live one?

Well, I think we sold something like 500 tickets for all nine shows. That’s pretty neat! But it was only €5 per show so… Let’s just say that we were VERY fortunate that Tivoli Vredenburg paid for everything, because if you need to hire all the cameramen and women, all the technicians necessary for a live stream like that, rent a room and also pay the guest musicians a little bit… you’re not gonna break even!

Whats next for DeWolff in the coming months? Year?

We’re playing some so called “test events’ in the Netherlands right now which is really cool. It’s 250 people, seated. Seated shows are of course not the same as “normal” shows but it’s so nice to play in front of real people again! I hope we can do some festivals again in the summer and if not… I don’t know man. Read some books or something?

Thanks a lot for taking the time, Ill leave you the last words for our readers…

Thank you for this interview! I hope people will listen to our new record and if they dig it they should definitely come to our show when we get back on the road again. If they don’t dig it they should still come to our shows because you’re probably gonna have the night of your life anyway ;-)

 

 

 

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