Archive for the ‘ Journalism ’ Category

Slagwerkkrant featuring my interview with Pauw

Even though I don’t contribute to as many issues of the Slagwerkkrant than I do to Gitarist – which would be technically impossible anyway, given that Gitarist is released twice as much per year – I am always happy to interview for them. Especially when the conversations are as nice as the one I had with Rens Ottink from the Dutch psychedelic band Pauw. He’s a very friendly guy and it was fun to talk about his vintage drumkits and some of the recording tricks he used for the band’s debut album ‘Macrocosm Microcosm’. What tricks? I guess you’ll just have to buy the Slagwerkkrant; it’s in stores now.

And if you’re enthusiastic about drumming; what are you waiting for? There’s loads of product tests, as well as interviews with the likes of Dream Theater’s Mike Mangini and Madonna’s drummer Brian Frasier Moore, while Mark Guiliana talks about his contributions to David Bowie’s last record ‘Blackstar’. I despise Bowie’s music – no, I’m not among the hordes of people who suddenly like him now that he passed away – but even I found it an interesting read. Oh and before I forget: the Noorderslag feature has two photos that I took and includes my reviews on the showcases of Typhoon, Jett Rebel and the aforementioned Pauw.


My first cover story in seven years!

Earlier this week, the new issue of Gitarist appeared in stores and it is one that I’m extremely proud of, because it features my first cover story in almost seven years. It features the interview I had with Pablo van de Poel about DeWolff’s amazing new album ‘Roux-Ga-Roux’ – listen to it now if you haven’t yet – and I’m glad the editorial office gave me four pages to fill, because we had quite a lot of interesting subjects to cover. Also, I spoke with De Staat guitarist Vedran Mirčetić about ‘O’, which was album of the week here two weeks ago, and with BloYaTop guitarist Mark Vergoossen.

There’s quite a lot of interviews in this month’s issue anyway, which I always see as a good thing. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any gear reviews included of course. Also, I contributed quite a few reviews to the issue. One in particular I’d like to point out and that is the debut album by the Leif de Leeuw Band. It’s called ‘Leelah’ and although the band has a Blues basis, it’s a fantastic blend of Rock, Blues, Soul and Roots influences in a couple of amazingly written and executed songs.

If you haven’t got it already, please share the honor with me and go out and read it.

25 years of Gitarist and Walter Trout!

Looking for something to do during these dark, ridiculously warm December days? Maybe you should get the 25th anniversary issue of Gitarist! I’ve been working with the Gitarist crew only for the last seven, but the editors were kind enough to include me in their anniversary special. For every year of Gitarist’s existence, Michiel Roelse analyzes one remarkable guitar related product and I’ve done the same with three guitar albums per year. It was quite some work, but a lot of fun to do and I even discovered a thing or two along the way.

Furthermore, there’s a few reviews from my hand and two interviews. One of them is with Theo van Niel Jr., whose father used to own the Rocky Road record store in downtown The Hague, where I occasionally bought some music. Junior is an amazing lead guitarist and he has shown so on Mojo Man’s very cool self-titled debut album. Also, I spoke to Blues hero Walter Trout for the second time in a year and a half. Last time, he was recovering from hepatitis C; his life was barely saved by a liver transplant and he was so positive about the whole thing that he blew my mind. Now that he’s back performing, his positivity even went through the roof. These two interviews with him have left a lasting impression on me and so has his surprisingly good new record ‘Battle Scars’.

And if that’s not enough for you, there’s loads of interesting product tests and interviews with James Bay and Briqueville to lighten these dark days. In stores now!


More interesting things in Gitarist, part 2

When I referred to more interesting things coming up in Gitarist, one of the things I referred was the interview with Vicente Amigo in last month’s issue. This month’s issue – available in stores tomorrow – has something even more exciting. A childhood dream came true when I had the chance to interview Adrian Smith about Iron Maiden’s brand new ‘The Book Of Souls’ album. It was a very interesting conversation and the result can be read in Gitarist now. Another joy to do was the interview with JB Meijers and the lovely Ilse DeLange about Eurovision success The Common Linnets’ new album. And if that wasn’t enough, another interview of mine – with Black-Bone frontman Steef van den Boogaard, another nice guy – rounds out my contribution.

Not completely of course, because a lot of the reviews included are mine as well. But my work is not all there is. We published an exclusive interview with former Pink Floyd man David Gilmour, focusing on his gear and his brand new record ‘Rattle That Lock’, and there’s a host of gear reviews and background stories that is bound to please anyone interested in guitars. And don’t you just love the sober nature of the cover? I know I do!

All of that and more in stores tomorrow!


My interview with Vicente Amigo available online

For those of you who were curious about my interview with Flamenco legend Vicente Amigo, but didn’t get around to buying Gitarist, the interview is available online in an edited version through the World Music Platform Mixed. To be exact, the interview can be viewed right here.

My apologies for all you international Flamenco aficionados: the interview is in Dutch. Also, the article in Gitarist contains an additional in-depth view on his guitar, built by Mexican luthier Francisco Navarro. If that’s the sort of thing you’re looking for, you’ll really have to learn Dutch and get the magazine instead. However, this article still reflects the pleasant and informative interview I had with Amigo quite well.

Enjoy and please feel free to drop a line!


More interesting things in Guitarist, part 1

Didn’t I tell you that more interesting things were shaping up for future issues of Gitarist? And this issue doesn’t even feature all of it! Still, there’s a lot of interesting stuff here. I had the chance to interview Vicente Amigo, the first Flamenco artist I ever listened to and we combined that with two other articles to create a Flamenco special. Very interesting even if you’re not primarily interested in the genre. My further contributions include an interview with Belgian Blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player Guy Verlinde – formerly known as Lightnin’ Guy – and I had the chance to sit down with Nijmegen’s amazing Black Bottle Riot to talk about the pleasant surprise that is their new album ‘III: Indigo Blues’. And there’s a variety of reviews, of course!

With David Gilmour’s new album coming up, we’re featuring a masterclass to help you play and sound like the legendary Pink Floyd guitarist. The feature on reverb pedals does sort of complement the Gilmour article as well. As the cover already betrays, we have a lengthy special on the fiftieth anniversary of the legendary Marshall stack. The history of this Rock icon is widely covered in this month’s issue and we have even plugged into a JTM45 Mk II from 1964. Interviews with Derek Trucks and The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins and loads of gear and album reviews round out the issue, so if you’re a guitar enthusiast like me, you shouldn’t pass on this one.

On a personal note: I love this cover. The stack looks just about as road worn as you want it to look and that is one hell of a beautiful Les Paul. This cover will decorate your book stores starting today.


Jon Voyage!

After watching Jon Stewart’s last appearance as the host of ‘The Daily Show’, I felt the need to share a few thoughts to add to the long list of shared thoughts that plague the Internet already. That seems a little excessive, but Jon Stewart’s show was such an important part of the Kevy Metal household, that it truly is the end of an era to me. And as much as his crew – both on- and offscreen – deserves all the credit they can get, it was Stewart’s charming, witty and sometimes shamelessly nerdy personality that made him a welcome addition to our living room for years. Sometimes it even felt like he was right there with us. An impressive feat that isn’t given to every show host.

My parents and I started watching every episode of ‘The Daily Show’ as soon as we had a TV channel that aired the program. I can’t exactly pinpoint the date we started watching, but judging from the many compilations that were featured in the show in these last few weeks, it must have been about six years ago. Stewart was a breath of fresh air for us. Not only was his delivery in terms of humor fantastic, he also had a surprisingly universal approach when compared to the America-centered worldview of most American anchors. His sincere interest in all things Middle East hardly has any competition worldwide.

What is more important, however, is the function that ‘The Daily Show’ has had as a springboard for young, talented comedians. Despite joining the show prior, Stephen Colbert is commonly seen as a protégé of Stewart, with Colbert even mentioning him as the reason he started moving into political satire. ‘The Daily Show’ was also responsible for getting John Oliver to the United States and therefore granting him the stage that later enabled him to start ‘Last Week Tonight’ about a decade later – a show that might equal, possibly even surpass the quality of ‘The Daily Show’ these days.

For me, it was the show that introduced me to a number of fantastic comedians. Sometimes these were younger talents that got their chance to shine to a sizeable audience through the program (the brilliant Wyatt Cenac, the downright crazy Kristen Schaal) and sometimes, I was introduced to a comedy veteran for whom ‘The Daily Show’ just happened to be the medium that introduced me to their work; most prominently Lewis Black, who remains one of my favorite comedians to this day. I’m not sure how much emphasis there is on comedic acting among cast and crew, but people like Jason Jones and Aasif Mandvi have grown to full-blown comedy actors throughout the history of the show.

Let’s not forget the interviews. Some of the best interviews were the ones that had nothing to do with whatever the guest was promoting – Ricky Gervais’ monologue about raccoons having sex with panda’s springs to mind. Occasionally, a genuinely interesting interview popped up. It was through ‘The Daily Show’ that I was introduced to Ramita Navai’s amazing book ‘City Of Lies’. It actually went so far that my mother begged the show to stop promoting interesting books; it was quite an assault on our bank accounts at some point. Stewart’s political interest made people like Barack Obama show a bit of their true selves and sometimes set to “unmask” people in a different way, like his on-screen frustration opposite journalist Judith Miller about her role in the Iraq war by publishing faulty information.

Now that this icon has quit the show, all we can hope for that his replacement Trevor Noah will get an honest chance to prove himself. To be honest, I wasn’t particularly impressed by his few appearances on the show, but it was his performance on BBC’s ‘Live At The Apollo’ about his experiences as a child of a mixed race parents in South Africa that convinced me that he is able to at least put on a good and credible satire show. And as long as he’s got the current team of correspondents – Hasan Minhaj, the silly genius of Jordan Klepper and the perfect combination of beauty, brains and humor that is Jessica Williams – we can be sure that the legacy of the show will be safe.

Of course things won’t be the same again. The second most important man in our living room – second only after my father – won’t appear quite as often anymore. Jon Voyage!