The Cotton Soeterboek Band

Interview date

Avril 2009




Interview Alan Cotton

Hello Alan, thanks for answering a few questions from the French webzine First of all, tell us a bit about the band members, where they come from and how they decided to form that band?

Vocalist Robert Soeterboek is from Rotterdam, bassist Wim den Boer is from Krimpen, drummer Wilfried Broekman comes from Utrecht and I am guitarist Alan Cotton, originally from Alabama but currently living in Colorado. \n I had decided to put a new band together and somebody had recommended Robert to me. I gave Robert a call and we hit it off immediately. Soon after that he jumped on a plane and we started writing together. Everything just fell into place after that. Very natural.

To tell you the truth, the name of the band was totally unknown to most of us. Wasn't this a dangerous bet?

Not really. We knew some people would recognize Robert's name from his work with Ayreon and here in the States, my name from Alex Gregory's band and session work. So we didn't worry about it to much.

It turned out that it was a "coup de coeur" on our site, as I gave the album a 17/20. Was this reaction what you experienced worldwide?

The response has been really amazing everywhere. From here in the US to England and all across Europe. I must say the people in France have been so supportive of the band and we have made so many great friends there like you. \n We just had the idea to make a rock and roll record. We weren't trying to follow any trends or what's fashionable at the time. Just play the music we love and hopefully people would pick up on that. Probably the most fulfilling part of this album is hearing people say how the music has touched them in some way. If you can bring some happiness to a person's life, even if it's for only 32 minutes, well, that's success to me.

The only negative thing I came up with was the length of the CD I did make a stupid joke that you guys still lived in a vinyl era. (lol)

Ha-ha, I didn't see that but that's great. All our favorite albums only had 8-9 songs on them. The first Bad Company album had only 8 songs on it and I think Zeppelin's In Through The Out Door had 7 songs on it. We promise the next album will have more songs on it.

Speaking about the vinyl world, what are your main influences? You personally? And the other guys?

Well, all the great guitar players, from Jimmy Page, Duane Allman, Eric Clapton, Tommy Bolin, Robin Trower, Rory Gallagher... they were all major influences on my playing growing up. As far as the band goes, of course we all love Deep Purple, Skynyrd, Bad Company... all the classic bands.

Your guitar sound is great, always very precise, not doing to much, always present. You also have a south-ish sound don't you?

Thank you so much for the kind words. I always try and play what the song calls for, not the other way around. When you do a lot of studio work like I have, you're called upon to play many different styles but this music is what I feel most at home with. I grew up in the South, so that's my background. Southern music has always had a large European influence to it as well.

I really enjoyed Robert's voice. He sounds a lot like one of my favorite singer, David Coverdale. Do you think he'd appreciate the comparison?

The thing about Robert is that's his natural voice. He's such a fantastic, soulful singer. He's not trying to imitate or copy somebody else so I don't think he minds the comparisons. The band often gets compared to Deep Purple meets Lynyrd Skynyrd. Some of the greats. We are flattered and always take it as a compliment.

The keyboard sound is also unbelievable. Is it a real Hammond organ Joost is using?

Good ears. Yeah, Joost is using a real Hammond on the album. He's such a great player. Hopefully he's going to be on the next album and hit the road with us as well. It's just going to depend on our schedule.

The album contains a good lot of excellent songs, who did the song writing?

I usually come up with the music, and Robert writes all the melodies and lyrics.

Do you think the State of Colorado will adopt your song as an anthem? It deserves it, really, why write about a place like Colorado?

That would be great and definitely an honor. I'm currently living in Colorado so it is my adopted state. I had come up with the idea for the music and had just played it for Robert, and then we took a break sitting out in my front yard looking at Pikes Peak Mountain when Robert said "I have it". It literally came together that quickly.

I also enjoyed a lot "Little Sister" and "Pretty Maureen", makes you really feel like you want to meet her (lol)

I really like all the songs on the album so it's hard for me to pick a favorite. That's also why I'm proud of the album, no two songs sound exactly alike. Each song sounds different but together they fit perfectly.

My preferred song with "Colorado" is for sure "The Game". That's a real hit. Did you get any airplay in the US with this? Who wrote that one?

"Set Me Free" was the single here in the States so it got the most airplay followed by "Colorado". I wish we had also released "The Game" as a single because so many people like it. I wrote the music and Robert wrote the lyrics and melodies. It's another song that just came together quickly. Robert and I tend to write very fast together.

What's the plan for you guys now?

Well, right now I'm in the studio working on ideas for the next album. Robert will be back over here next month to finish the writing and shortly after that we should be in the studio tracking. We are trying for a late 2009 or early 2010 release date.

Any plan for a tour? Outside the US?

Because of the delays in getting the first album out, we decided to wait and do a full tour behind the second album. We will have to wait and see who we head out on the road with but have already received offers for some festival shows here and across Europe. Robert and I have talked about it and we are going to try and play at least a few dates in France.

Thanks again for your time, hope to see you live one day, keep rocking.

Thank you and thanks to your readers for taking the time to read this interview. It's webzines like Auxportesdumetal that's helping keep music alive. To any of your readers who haven't checked the band out yet, please stop by our myspace page or website. We would love to hear from you and as always, please support the webzines that support the music you enjoy. Hope to see you all on the road soon.