|RIF RAF MAGAZINE 01/1996 [dutch version]|
FACTORY IS A COOL CLUB WITH A COOL VISION|
by Oliver Willems (translated by me)
Before Heavenhotel became the
residence for an imaginary firm with a.o. Rudy Trouvé (ex-dEUS
guitarist) as an artistic heavyweight, it was already a stimulating
environment as a brothel. Creative ideas were created, developed and
finalised. Painting, writing books, video’s and especially making a
lot of music was what occupied the inhabitants. After a lot of coming
and going of friends and ideas, the band Kiss My Jazz crawled out of the
Heavenhotel basement. The everything’s-possible-and-nothing-has-to
mentality made sure 'Doc's Place, Friday Evening' became a fairly
self-conceited record. To enlighten things a bit again: a summary of all
members and other bands they’re in. Mark Meyers and Rudy Trouvé (both
ex-dEUS), Stef Kamil Carlens (Moondog Jr., dEUS), Elko Blijweert (Bad
Influence), Craig Ward (dEUS, Cynthia Appleby), Jacki Billet (Sellfish,
Guy Kennis), Mauro Pawlowski (Evil Superstars, Mitsoobishy Jacson),
Heyme Langbroek (Lionell Horrowitz), Aarich Jespers (Moondog Jr. and
Stepehn Duncan) and Dirk De Hooghe.
Rudy: "Island wasn’t interested and we would’ve chosen a small label anyway."
RifRaf: Why Knitting Factory?
Rudy: "It’s quite a cool club with a cool vision. They release some very good music, sometimes a bit too intellectual though. They’re not afraid of adventures, anything’s possible, from traditional jazz to very heavy punk."
RifRaf: It’s an American label, does that mean the album will automatically be released in the States?
Elko: "Not necessarily. They work via a department in Amsterdam and then they do the distribution in Europe."
Rudy: "Bernardo Fernandez helped out a bit, but we did most of it ourselves."
RifRaf: The biography mentions nine band members for Kiss My Jazz...
Rudy: "Ten, Dirk De Hooghe wasn’t on the cd but he has become a steady member in the meantime."
Elko: "Originally there were five steady members; drum, bass, vocals and sax. Although we prefer to play with a band of minimum six people on stage."
Jacki: "Now there really is a steady ‘core’ of Kiss My Jazz. In the beginning, the line-up was always fairly loose. That way, things didn’t always work out the way we wanted it to, so we decided to form a steady core, and when someone from that core can’t make it, we don’t play. But there still are several members who play along when they’re not playing with their other bands.”
RifRaf: Isn’t it always a huge task just to get everyone together in the same room for a repetition or a gig?
Rudy: “So far, that has only happened twice. Once with the recordings and once with our gig in Cartoons Café.”
RifRaf: Who writes the songs?
Rudy: “Our songs are compiled of ideas by all band members. When someone comes up with a song, the whole band still writes arrangements for it. Only a few tracks which Aarich recorded at home were put on the album without any adjustments.”
RifRaf: How would you describe the sound of Kiss My Jazz?
Rudy: “In general, it’s rather chaotic…
From fairly audible soft jazzy-esque stuff to lots of noise, popsongs, little rock-elements but always pretty chaotic.”
RifRaf: By who is Kiss My Jazz influenced?
Rudy: “Well, there are a lot of band members, so I suppose everyone has his own influences. To me, the No Wave from New York has been quite important. That’s not New Wave but a mixture of jazz, punk and funk… Other than that, Pavement, and I’m a heavy fan of Chet Baker too.”
RifRaf: Zappa perhaps?
Rudy: “Whenever people hear strange crossings and mixtures of a few genres, they tend to hear Zappa in it. Maybe it’s because we’re influenced by people who were influenced by Zappa. I like Zappa, but I never had any intentions to do something in the same region.”
Elko: “Mauro aside, I don’t think we’ve got a real Zappa-fan in the band.”
RifRaf: How important is improvisation?
Rudy: “Very important. Improvisation makes the whole thing breathe, and it’s fun to do, it makes you feel good.”
RifRaf: The possession in which Mark sings during the gigs, makes it seem like it’s his way to blow off steam. If he wouldn’t do that in Kiss My Jazz, I’d say he’s ready for some therapy.
Rudy: “I don’t know if it’s a therapy for him, but Mark does need the band. He used to be in several other bands, but now he’s only in a duo-band with the Cathedral of Antwerp; he’s also a street busker.”
RifRaf: I recently heard Stef say in an interview with Moondog Jr. that if there wouldn’t be an audience for his music, he’d quit playing. Are sales also important to you?
Rudy: “I’m satisfied with the album the way it is. To me, that has nothing to do with sales at all. It would be convenient for us should it do well, because then we’d immediately have the money to record a second album. That’s our only goal really, and seeing as we work in quite a low-budget way, we should be able to manage that. We certainly won’t sell huge numbers. That would even be a bit frightening, because then people would start to interfere with our music.”
RifRaf: Rudy, you once described being on tour as “being in a submarine with too much people.” Now you’re playing with an average of eight people on far too small stages. Isn’t that the same thing?
Rudy: (determined) “No, absolutely not. We are going to do a three week tour across Europe, and then there’s always a risk to a likewise effect. But it will be the only tour we’ll be doing this year, so we should be able to manage. We’re not planning on doing more than three to four gigs a month… So that definitely won’t be a problem.”
RifRaf: Has dEUS been important to make Belgian pop acceptable?
Rudy: “Yes, but the role of the press can’t be underestimated. In the end, there are several other bands who are successful across the borders, but who barely get any attention of the press in here. Front 242 for instance always plays in sold out venues across the borders. With dEUS, they all refer to them as ‘Our Boys’.”
Elko: “According to some, there suddenly is a ‘typical Belgian style’, which they call ‘Belgpop’
Rudy: “Aargh, that’s a disgusting word. The Dutch suddenly discovered there a couple of good bands in Belgium, and then they suddenly see a whole scene in it.”
RifRaf: Couldn’t it be because there are few interesting things coming from The Netherlands these days?
Rudy: (determined) “Definitely not. In the early eighties there were already a number of good Belgian bands, and there always have been good bands from The Netherlands. I think Urban Dance Squad, Bettie Serveert or The Ex are still doing great things. The Dutch suddenly got a reversed complex about themselves, and think they’ve got nothing good anymore in their own country, and that all the talent is in Belgium. Those are probably the same people who’ll be telling us in the short future: (in a Dutch accent) ‘it’s quite good but a bit typical Belgpop.’”
Elko: “It’s also a shame music is always tied to cultural trends. As in: I’m okay because I like that type of music. Which is rubbish of course.”
Rudy: “People listen to music because it’s supposed to be a part of their personality. And it changes all the time. So it’s impossible now to say you like The Cure without being laughed at, while fifteen years ago you hàd to like The Cure, and in twenty years time, it’ll probably be cool again.”
RifRaf: Jacki, tell us about the combination of mussels with Louis Neefs?
(=Flemish crooner from the sixties and seventies - q)
Jacki: “Well, I like mussels and I also like Louis Neefs. Once I organised a Louis Neefs-party, and I can assure you it was good fun. It’s not because I’m making modern music myself that I think all the rest is rubbish. I think Louis Neefs has a lot of soul in his music.”
RifRaf: No doubt.
|RIF RAF MAGAZINE 01/1996 [english version]|
KNITTING FACTORY IS EEN COOLE
CLUB MET EEN COOLE VISIE|
Voordat het Heavenhotel de
woonplaats werd van een imaginaire firma met o.a. Rudy Trouvé (ex-dEUS
gitarist) als artistiek aandeelhouder, was het als bordeel al een zeer
stimulerende omgeving. Creatieve eieren werden hier gelegd, uitgebroed
en gestalte gegeven. Schilderen, boeken schrijven, video's en vooral
veel muziek maken stond op de dagorde van de bewoners. Na het komen en
gaan van een hoop vrienden en ideeën, kroop er uit de kelders van het
Heavenhotel de groep Kiss My Jazz. De alles-kan-en-niets-moet
mentaliteit heeft ervoor gezorgd dat 'Doc's Place, Friday Evening' een
redelijk eigenwijs plaatje is geworden. Voor alle duidelijkheid een
opsomming van de leden en bands waar ze nog bij spelen: Mark Meyers en
Rudy Trouvé (beiden ex-dEUS), Stef Kamil Carlens (Moondog Jr., dEUS),
Elko Blijweert (Bad Influence), Craig Ward (dEUS, Cynthia Appleby),
Jacki Billet (Sellfish, Guy Kennis), Mauro Pawlowski (Evil Superstars,
Mitsoobishy Jacson), Heyme Langbroek (Lionell Horrowitz), Aarich Jespers
(Moondog Jr. en Stepehn Duncan) en Dirk De Hooghe.