What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Discovered music when I was about 14. Started with figuring out songs on piano, guitar and drums. As soon as I picked up a bass guitar that belonged to a friend of his dad, I just knew: this was my instrument! From that moment on music was all I could ever think about… That and things like girls and getting high of course.
I lived in a boarding school back then, pretty depressing. Music was my time out, an endless adventure, new discoveries every day…
Much later in life, I found happiness and I am now lucky to have a beautiful family of my own, but if it wasn’t for the music in that period… I don’t know, maybe I wouldn’t even be here today!
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like to spend time with my family. Got three beautiful daughters, the oldest being a 21-year-old woman already, with a life of her own, the middle one 10, and the youngest 1. So every ten years there’s a daughter! My wife and I together with the youngest two live in a small, but comfortable house here in the Netherlands.
There’s laughter and good times apart from the hard work to make ends meet. Nothing rock&roll about that but I had my share of that and I prefer this any day of the week!
I sometimes teach music in primary or secondary education, next to band activities and recording. Seeing what music can accomplish in groups of (young) people is endlessly inspiring to me. It connects people and can even create a safe environment in rough neighborhoods.
How long has your band been around?
Well, this band is actually not even a band yet! But the project started in early 2020 with the writing of
the first material. After recording with some truly amazing musicians I started producing together with Michiel Eilbracht @nutsvillenoiselab The Hague. It is now Feb 12 and less than one week before the release of CHOREOMANIC!
I have had some great responses from reviewers, mainly in the prog scene. On the other hand, some radio DJs have been honest about not having a clue what to think of this haha! To a lot of metalheads this music may come as a surprise I guess, especially if they are into the music of bands I played in (Creepmime, Dew-Scented, IChaos) or Pestilence, in which I play today.
It has very little to do with Death or Thrash metal…
Still, it’s just what I wanted to play, write and record. Next step is getting this thing on stage.. Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I have been into metal from the start but also early prog rock, Zappa, King Crimson and Mr. Bungle as well as Parliament and Brian Setzer Orchestra! But I believe all that music has one thing in common: a certain energy and/or tension….
The influence on my music is something unconscious I believe. I wasn’t thinking about anything in terms of style or direction when working on this. I did know that sound-wise, I wanted to create a certain heaviness without any guitars.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
A “Choreomanic” person would be someone suffering from Choreomania, the official name of the “disease” associated with the mysterious dancing plagues of the middle ages. I came across this topic somewhere in 2019 and was instantly fascinated. I started reading studies on the subject as this fascination kept growing.
Of the many theories on what caused these “frenzies”, the one about people being contained by Church and inquisition, fear, superstition, and of course the black plague, causing infectious, collective psychosis, makes the most sense to me!
So when pandemic struck and people in the free countries of the world were suddenly forced to give up most of that freedom… this concept got a new dimension! One that is about the present and the future instead of the safe dismal past!
For me, the word CHOREOMANIC stands for the freedom that comes with insanity and the joy of letting go of everyday reality…
Something like that.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Ah so many great ones… Some tours I will remember as long as I live (without dementia…). With Dew Scented we toured as main support for bands like Testament, Death Angel and Prong. Such great times! Because of the awesome bands we supported, the great venues but most of all because of the great vibe we had in that band!
Wacken 2013 was memorable. Also Summer Breeze… Many great memories indeed! And best of all: the guys from Dew-Scented are all good friends today!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Two Venues I really like are “The Underworld” in London and “Backstage” in München, Germany… and “Turock” in Essen, Germany is great! Three already… just so many great places I hope to play again… I never played in “Tivoli” in the Netherlands… that would be cool!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I’d like an evening with Mr. Bungle, The Melvins, Voivod and Choreomanic….. and an insane party at the end!!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
To someone just playing in a band: Congratulations! You chose a great way to clear your head and have a good time! I hope you’ll remember this psyched feeling no matter what you do later in life. The joy of creating and playing music is one of the greatest in the world! I hope you keep this in mind no matter what….
To my younger self: don’t worry, it is going to be alright.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
If I could go back I would not give myself any advice honestly. All things happened for a reason I believe. The depressions, alcohol & drug abuse, the destructive mindsets and failed relationships… all part of the road that got me where I am today.
And today I’m just ok with myself. 16 years ago I quit all the bullshit at once. I enjoy music as always, the writing, recording and playing but also teaching.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
From this album, I guess the title song Choreomanic. It was the very first track that came out and that I recorded “untouched”, so where this thing started with… I discovered the sound without guitars, with roaring keys and horns. I knew at that point that I’d found the direction and vibe of CHOREOMANIC.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
At this point no favorites because we have not performed live yet… But I can’t wait to play “Walk with urgency” for instance…
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
It often starts with a rhythmical pattern, sometimes for drums, often as a slapped bass part. Then I choose tonality/chords depending on what vibe I want to get and then the structure often presents itself! So a track might have some kind of song structure, verse, chorus etc., or nothing like that at all… It can be 4 minutes or 1 minute 50…. It’s all possible!
Finally, I decide if I want some sort of melody or theme somewhere and if so, I try to hear that inside my head and translate it to midi-keys, creating the three voices of a horn section. Maybe this sounds really interesting, but trust me: I’m just fooling around!
That being said, I do know exactly what kind of energy and vibe I’m looking for and if a track doesn’t feel right, even after some minor changes, it’s out.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I think the message of not caring too much about the many things that surround music as a product… It’s only music and it is there to be enjoyed by both the artist and the potential audience. There are no rules. Freedom is key when it comes to creating anything and it can bring great relief in hard times.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Those will come eventually, no doubt haha! But we’re all grown-ups and we all had our share of bullshit.
Disagreements are very important in a band! You can use them to get better results, live or in the studio….
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
CHOREOMANIC should be on stage so I’m currently working on that. There’s a lot of new material already, even before the release of the debut! Releasing an album yourself is a shitload of work but I’m learning as I go.
I’d like to know what people think of this, so please drop whatever you want on one of the platforms, preferably Bandcamp!
Rehearsal vid with bass/drums/percussion coming up and some really cool remixes by great artists! Thnx for reading, chrz!!
Digital Pre-Save - https://emubands.ffm.to/choreomanic
Time To Let It Out - Music video / Bass Playthrough -
Off With The Figurehead - Music Video / Bass Playthrough -