Die Punkrock-Band aus den Niederlanden legt viel Wert auf Eigenständigkeit, macht (fast) alles selbst, und hat damit beachtlichen Erfolg. So ist es wenig verwunderlich. dass die Sänger von Strike Anywhere und Boysetsfire gerne am neuen Album mitgearbeitet haben. Warum das dennoch nicht einfach war? Lest selbst.
Wir haben mit Willem von Antillectual ein interessantes Interview in der Sendung vom 21. Juli führen können. Das Interview mit Übersetzung könnt ihr auch hier im Podcast anhören.
We’ve got Willem from Antillectual here again. Hello, hi!
Hi, how are you?
I’m doing good. I have the impression, that your sound is even faster right now.
Yeah, I think we speed it up a little bit. When we started writing the record we had the intention to write better songs and I think he eventually they ended up being a little faster as well, even though there’s still some slower songs on the album as well and a bit more poppier and a bit more accessible but I think in average the album is a bit faster than the last one.
You’re new album will be out soon. So what can we expect?
For this new album we really focused on the pre-production of it, so we put a lot of time and effort and energy into the song writing and we’ve been deleting parts and rewriting stuff over and over again and also have some friends help us with that as well so I think the song writing got better than on previous albums and we worked in another studio. So I think the production overall has become better and louder you could say or more in your face as well. We’re really happy the way it turned out and it’s always hard to describe it in words, but I think it’s a big step up from our previous album and yeah we‘re really happy with the result. It’s a bit faster, but on the other hand I think it’s more accessible as well. Maybe poppy in a good way, in a fast way.
You’ve also got guest singers on your new record, Thomas from Strike Anywhere and Nathan from Boysetsfire. So, how did you get to those guys?
On the previous album we have a Chris from Propaghandi do guest vocals and we always like to have other people contribute to our albums. So when we started working on this new album we thought [like] “who should we ask, who are people we would really love to include on the album”. And I think Thomas from Strike Anywhere and Nathan from Boysetsfire were two people on the top of our list that we wanted to ask. We knew both of them because we played shows with their bands before. We tried to contact them but then all of a sudden they came on tour to Europe together because [the album] Boysetsfire was coming out and they had Great Collapse, Thomas’s new band, as the support act and they were playing Amsterdam and we were recording our album in Amsterdam at the time. So we asked them to her to come to the studio and do some lines. That worked out for Thomas but unfortunately Nathan had some vocal issues and he could not do any Studio work that day. So we were just emailed back and forth and we managed to get his vocals recorded by Chad, the guitar player of Boysetsfire, who have like a home studio and eventually did the lines at home and send it over to us and implemented it into the rest of the session of the album. So that was a very fun but an interesting organization to get that all arranged.
We are now curious about listening to hear the song with Strike Anywhere. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
It’s actually the second song on the album is called “Europe this is your final countdown”. The lyrics are about the European Union that is unable to cope with the situation and to be like a real strong union helping European people in financial terms of the Euro crisis but also the refugee crisis with borders that are, you know, being pulled up again even though the European Union should be one Union without Borders. It’s one of the faster songs on the album and the part that Thomas is very melodic and I’m really happy about the way it turned out, even though… When we started doing his recordings, he woke up early, it was the second day of tour, he didn’t get any sleep. So those were very harsh conditions to do recordings but I think his voice on the recording… We‘re extremely happy to have him on it and the way it sounds is terrific, I think. We’re really happy about that.
(Antillectual – Europe, this is your final countdown)
Willem, do you have a song wish? Maybe a song, that influenced you?
Yes, it’s a song by a band called After The Fall and I think it’s the album I played most last year. The album is called Dedication and actually the song itself is called Dedication as well. After The Fall is a band from the US and they’re great people, great musicians and a great band. We played with them in Europe and in the US and I was really happily pleasantly surprised when they released this album last year so yeah: Definitely give that a spin.
(After The Fall – Dedication)
DIY is very important for you now you’ve chosen a bigger label in my opinion, it’s Redfield Records. So how much artistic freedom do still got on the „big“ label?
(laughs) Yeah, we sold out…
…No. Actually we recorded the album even before we decided to work together with Redfield Records. So the artistic freedom is hundred percent guaranteed […]. But I think working with a bigger label like Redfield Records, it just helps us as a band to get our music out to more people and I think in that we just have the same goal and ideas and it’s just nice to have a hard-working dedicated label that has really good ideas about promotion and helping a band get their music out. So we’re really happy to get in touch with them and to have them release our album in Europe.
But why do you still decide to be DIY? Because I think it’s even harder to get the music out, instead of having maybe a major label or a management, for example.
Yeah, well, it just feels right to do things on our own terms. I think, we know how we want our things to be done and we know how to do things ourselves as well. It’s not that we are completely unable to release music or to record music if there’s no management or no big label behind us. We know what we want and we know how to get it done, so that’s why we pick our partners very careful and it’s why we don’t get anything out of our hands. Maybe a big label can do all those things for us, but I’m not really sure if they can do it the way we think it should be done and even if they can do a better job, ‘cause I think that we know best how we want to sound and how we want to reach the people that like our music. So I think, if we can just decide how we want to do it ourselves and with the partners that we want to do it with, it works out the best for our band for music and for the people that like our music.
Is it still true, that you send the CDs out by your own?
Yeah, that’s something we do ourselves. Of course, there’s companies that can do it for you, but I think that with the friendships, with the people that bought our stuff over the years, we build that for several years now and I think it’s something very valuable and it’s not something that we want to… you know… outsource to a company that can do it for us. If it’s something that we can, well, still do ourselves, it takes a lot of time and effort and energy, but it’s still worth it and we can [do] good prices for shipping and all that. So I think it’s something we can do on our own and on our own terms as well. So as long as we can do it that way, I think we will do it DIY.
We’re playing another song. What about “Obsessive Cosmetic Disorder”? Because I think, it’s a different sounding song.
Yeah, you could say that. I think it has a very different feel. When we wrote it, it felt more like an old-school Punk song or something like that Adolescents or more 80s style punk. I’m not sure if people recognize that after, you know, we really wrote it and finalized it and recorded it, but it does have a different feel to it. But I think on each of our albums there’s always one or two songs that sound slightly different and a bit more… I think experimental is a big word… but at least our distance from the other songs so… Yeah, it’s a bit different, but I hope people like it.
(Antillectual – Obsessive Cosmetic Disorder)
Back to your recording oft the new album. What has changed between the old record and new one? Except for being [in] a new studio.
I don’t want to get too technical, but I think a lot has changed in the way we work. Usually, I write the music and lyrics for the songs and then I present it to the rest of the band, then we rehearse it with the three of us, then we go to the studio and record it and then the recordings turn into the album. And for this album we worked a bit differently, I still wrote most of the songs, the music and the lyrics and then we rehearsed it, but then we went to see friends and people that we trust, have good ears and people that work in studios. We just sent them our demos and we actually went to those studios and to play the songs and we asked them “what do you think are the good bits in this song and what do you think are the bad bits?”. And then depending on their feedback, we made the song better and sometimes we just thought their feedback didn’t make any sense, we didn’t change things, but we took into account what they said and sometimes we just change some things and improved the song.
I know this sounds to a lot of punk rockers are people that…you know… have their punk ethics very high, it sounds like people wrote on this album, but that’s not really true. I think every note and every letter that was written for this album was written by us, but it was just done with a little help from our friends and I think that really benefited the songwriting and the production of the album. And the different studio… we did a part of it at home, we recorded guitars and bass at home and for the rest we worked in the studio. I really went there for a couple days and we stayed there and that’s always a different atmosphere when recording then when you are just going up and down to the studio, like everyday you travel to and from the studio, and this time we really stayed in the studio for days in a row and that really gets you into the recording process very deep. So that was the difference, but I think it all worked out for the best.
I saw, that also the big bands like NOFX and stuff like that record by sleeping the studio. So I think, that’s cool.
Yeah, I know it was a fun way of doing things this way.
You’re a very hard touring band. So what’s up next?
First we have the release show on July 31st in Arnheim, very close to Germany actually, but in Holland. And then a week after that, we will start playing some festivals, we will start at Brakrock and we will play Punk Rock Holiday a week later and some shows in between as well. And I think in October, we’re going to try to do a European tour and we will go France, Italy, Slovenia and to Germany and Austria as well. And after that we are actually still making plans, but we want to go everywhere where we went before just to go back and present our new music and also go to new places where we’ve never been before and where people don’t know us yet, perhaps. So, we’ve a lot of plans and a lot of options for the coming time.
So we’re looking forward to see you guys soon, but first of all, the record has to be out then…
Maybe some words about the record? I mean, it’s always something special, when you have new music, which will be handed out to the people. I don’t know, how do you feel?
We’re very curious how people will respond to it: If the change in making the album is noticeable by other people as well, how people will interpret the changes if they hear it and if they agree that it was a good change, or maybe we should go back to the way we were before and do the album after this [on] our own terms. But I think, I’m really excited about showing the new album to everybody. If it was up to me, I would send it out to everybody right now, but we have to wait till July 29 before we can really release it and let everybody hear it. But until then we will release like some songs every now and then, so if you keep track of our social media Facebook and stuff, then you will find new songs every week or two and then you can get a new idea of what the album will sound like.
Or you listen to the radio show here (laughs). I think, we will also hand out [another] one song to the people, which is “Change The Standard”. We’re now at the end of the interview. One last sentence to our listeners?
Thank you guys for playing our music […] and presenting it to the people. Thanks a lot for doing that and enjoy „Change the Standard“. Hope to talk to you again, thanks.
Vielen Dank an Willem für das Interview. Das Album ENGAGE! ist im Netz und auch in den Plattenläden zu finden.
Interviewer: Stephan Wiefling (schreibt ihm auf Twitter)
Gefällt euch, was ihr hier lest? Supportet uns gerne auf Facebook, Twitter, schreibt uns eine Mail oder abonniert den Podcast für weitere Interviews und Konzertmitschnitte. Die Radiosendung läuft jeden Donnerstag ab 20 Uhr auf ShoutedFM mth.Alternative.