Hello Ryanne, how are you?
Fine, thanks. Just woke up… You wanted to know a bit more about Dool and the debut album?
Indeed, I have been a fascinated follower of your label Prophecy Productions since ages and you are going to play at Prophecy Fest! So that’s a fine start for a pretty new band and this interview…
Yes, indeed. In a cave. We are thinking about doing something special for that gig. We have been there last year as visitors. I haven’t seen that much bands though. It was more of a party happening, but Germ was a nice moment – I am a huge fan of Austere - and of course we have seen Alcest. Vemod was very impressive as well. It is a marvelous location and we are happy with Prophecy Productions. They have many interesting bands on their roster.
How did you join Dool and how did you get to know the other musicians in the band?
Micha, Reinier and me used to play together in my earlier outfit Elle Bandita. At a certain point, I was done with that and needed a break. It was a kind of solo project of me, During the time of my break, Micha became the drummer of The Devil’s Blood. When that band was over, I had already written some new songs. Micha came back as drummer and he brought Job van der Zande, also former The Devil’s Blood, with him as bassist. We asked Nick Polak, who used to play in Gold as extra guitarist and he was glad to join us. With Reinier joining again we had three guitarists and we were ready to enter the rehearsal room again, but it made no sense anymore to call us Elle Bandita. I was going to have another approach of music and the others also developed due to new experiences. That’s why it became pretty odd to go on as Elle Bandita. We decided to start from scratch, because it really worked between all of us. We decided to take another name and go into another direction. That’s how Dool came into being.
Where did those new influences come from in your case?
I had few years behind me without making music in an active way, as musician, but of course I listened to music during that time as a music fan. I changed as well, I started to think differently about some things in life and my musical taste changed as well. I have a completely different approach of life and the others brought a completely different energy to the table as well. Maybe it is due to experience, knowledge, evolution, development, whatever… in a positive way.
Do you write all the lyrics or is it divided?
I write all the lyrics.
Fine, then you can explain the very weird title of the debut single ‘Oweynagat’ to start with…
I am a fervent reader of folklore and fairytales and myths. I have them mainly as books in my rooms. Someday I discovered a folklore culture about a cave in Ireland. A lot of stories circle around about that cave. They tell that on the 31st of October, so-called Samhain, the cave works as a kind of gate to the underworld and all kinds of ghosts and entities get out of the cave into our world. It fascinated me. There are a lot of stories about that cave. I liked that story and have tried to transfer this into the music… with the violin in the end and the guitar solos are the screams of the entities and ghosts coming out. We will surely play that song at Prophecy Fest. The song about the cave in the cave hehe…
The first single was an instant success and you could play at Roadburn 2016 even before that. How did you experience being at Roadburn?
Well, we were there as beginners in between all those bands who have proper albums and fans, so we really did not know what to expect. For us it was already a huge honour to be able to play there. But it turned out in a marvelous success: the venue was packed and people were waiting to get in, incredible… On top of that we did a great show. Everything was magic that day! The atmosphere was sublime. It must have helped us to get our name going round like wildfire. People were talking about us after Roadburn and that resulted in more attention when we finally release our music.
It is amazing that you start your debut album right away with a song of ten minutes length. Please tell us a bit more about ‘Vantablack’…
‘Vantablack’ is a kind of material which absorbs all the light and colours, making it blacker as black…
A kind of black hole for colours?
Correct. That’s actually a good story. This was the first song when we, as a band, had a first click of magic ever. I had written the song at home and then we have looped it endlessly. After hours of rehearsals we just looked at each other and said: “This is it!” It was only natural that this song would start the album.
Aren’t you a fan of Patti Smith?
Sure. I have many albums of her in my collection. I also liked the grunge era and of course metal.
So, if I see that right, after the single you had the choice to take another label or did you sign for more albums with Prophecy?
No, we have received many options from small and bigger labels, but we have chosen for Prophecy Productions because they seem very genuine to me. They have a wide range of styles and genres at their roster, going from atmospheric music to folklore to black metal to pop-rock. I think it is a label that dares to dream and goes for atmosphere and that suits Dool perfectly. They are not so big, but not small either and we did not want a major label right from the very start. That just does not feel right. And the contact with Prophecy went very honest and genuine, they are lovely people. I think we really made the right choice.
When talking about the artwork, we see that white horse as eye-catcher. Confronting…
The horse is something special indeed. When looking at it, you might wonder: is it dead or alive? That’s exactly what we wanted to express: it floats between two worlds. The contrast between black and white, it stands for murdered innocence or something like that. And that’s what we really wanted to express with the record and the cover.
And what is ‘The Alpha’ about?
Well, ‘The Alpha’ is quite a personal track. I think the lyrics speak for itself.
Okay, let’s dig deeper into the title of the album then. ‘Here Now, There Then’… that’s also tenable for more than one interpretation. Can we detect a kind of escapism?
That’s possible. Quite funny you say that, because our purpose was to find a title everyone can interpret in his or her own way. ‘Here Now, There Then’: we just liked it and everyone in the band gave another interpretation of it. It has more than one meaning for me: mainly it deals with ambition and dreams, the things I want, focus… and other people, like you, come up with escapism… that is also possible or with travelling or taking drugs. You can even project it on death: what is here now and there then? Yes, it gives a wide range of possible interpretations and that’s fine. You came up with escapism, lately I talked to a guy and he said: “well, there’s a horse on the cover and the title: does it mean that things were better in the past? Is it a kind of going back to medieval times? Or to Victorian times?” That’s also amazing and you know, there is not one truth as well as there is not one genre on the album. Okay, it is rock music, quite general.
As you mentioned travelling… do you like travelling? I do not mean going from A to B, but exploring countries by travelling?
I love travelling, but there’s not always time for it.
What was the best and most interesting destination you ever visited until now?
I think Nepal. That’s magnificent. Magical nature. I’ve been to quite some places, but Nepal is really breathtaking, with wild rivers, beautiful mountain passes, lovely people too.
Of course you all had experience with recording records before, but did you experience different things in recordings when making this record of Dool with producer Pieter Kloos (The Devil’s Blood, Motorpsycho – Vera)?
Well, I cannot speak for the other members of course, but when speaking for myself, the answer is yes! My former project was a solo project and most of the time I just recorded in parts. Now we tried to record as much as possible live. Bass and drums and guitars were recorded live at the same time. Then you can catch that energy and we really managed to do that. Pieter Kloos is really a master in that. He knows how to maintain a kind of raucousness, a kind of live vibe, while inserting a lot of layers without sounding – so-called – produced. On this record he has done that once again in a wonderful manner. Organic, that’s the word and he is a very nice guy to work with. For Job and Micha it was just a logical thing to record with Pieter again (The Devil’s Blood worked with him – Vera) and I just went with that.
Are there plans to make other video clips in addition to ‘Oweynagat’?
We will see. At the moment we are busy with the live shows. That will be the focus. We have many shows in the Netherlands, but we also come to Belgium. Well, concerning videos, when a creative outburst happens, it will not be without result. Then we will make another video clip, we have a lot of ideas. We will look forward to every show at the moment and after that we will see what’s next. See you at Prophecy Fest!