Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Inquisition: 022.All Shall Be Well

1. How did you came up with the name of the band? 

A lot of people ask us where we got our name from. The original saying is from Julian of Norwhich, one of the most well known English mystics of her time (the late middle ages). Not much is known of her life, but her writings have been proven influential. She’s always been revered for her true optimism. This especially shines through in the saying ‘All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.’ (Later T.S. Elliott would use the phrase in one of him poems.) We, however, didn’t get our name directly from Julian of Norwhich. Never actually heard of her, to be honest. A few years ago I read an interview with the american author Tod Wodicka about his debut book, titled (drumroll) ‘All Shall Be Well; And All Shall Be Well; And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well.’ I immediately fell in love with the title and had to buy the book, which didn’t disappoint. The book tells the story of Burt Hecker, a medieval re-enactor searching for his son Tristan. The story is dark, twisted, funny, beautiful. The title’s optimism gets a bitter taste once you’re done reading. I urge everyone to get a copy. 

2. Do you have a standard procedure of creating a song? Do you just jam around or is there a main riff and the track is build up on it? 

Nothing is set in stone. Usually one of us (mostly Jeroen) comes up with a theme that we then work on together with the whole band. Sometimes it goes really fast, other times really slow. For instance, "I'm a Hunter, Not a Thief" that is on our latest release BLAUWGEEL, is a song that we have been working on even before releasing our debut in 2011. Songwriting feels like a working on a puzzle. We're endlessly shuffling the pieces so that they fit in place. 

3. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home? 

When we're writing songs, often we try not to think about it in a musical way, but more as a story. You could say great stories, novels and films are just as much an inspiration as music. 

4. Which is the one album you cannot live without? 

I cannot answer this question for the whole band, but for me (Bas) personally it would have to be 'Brother, Sister, by mewithoutYou. It's one of those records that makes me feel alive when I listen to it. The answer to this question also really depends on what mood I'm in. Lately I've been going back a lot to "Happy Hollow' by Cursive. That record always gives me a lot of joy. 

5. What's the first record you've ever bought? 

Michael Jackson, probably?! 

6. Name a band that you would like to share the stage or tour with? 

Obviously there are loads of bands that we would be honoured to open for. All of us in the band have great admiration for Blonde Redhead and in some way I feel a sort of affinity with them, so I would choose them. 

7. Did the internet and specially the blogs helped to spread your music around the world? Name a place (country) that you were surprised to know your music has reached to? 

For sure. I would say 98% of the people that know us, got to know us through the internet. It still blows our mind that our music is listened to on every continent of the world. Through our music and the internet we've been in contact with people from Mexico to Iran to Japan and back. It's fantastic. 

8. Do you support the idea of bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like spotify? 

We support both. We just want to get our music out there. Torrent it for all we care. 

9. Where do you see yourselves in 5 years? 

Well, after releasing our debut it took us 3,5 years to release another one. I hope we'll be able to get new music out in a faster pace this time. So in 5 years hopefully we'll have had a few more songs and albums out there. 

10. Is the artwork of an album important nowadays in the digital era? 

I would say it's as or even more important than it was before. You only have a small square for your artwork to be seen. So the challenge is to make it memorable. This is something we thought about long and hard. How can we optimize the impact of this little square on Spotify and Bandcamp? What we decided is that we will always use a lot of white space, keep it very clean, always use just 2 colors, and always have the graphic in the same place as the other record covers. This way the covers really become a recognizable series. Apart from that, my day job is working as a graphic designer. So obviously I feel the responsibility to deliver really nice artwork. This is why in January we are releasing a 50 page art book that further explains or visualizes the themes of the songs of BLAUWGEEL. 

11. What is you favorite album cover? 

I always enjoyed the surrealism of the cover of "Frances the Mute" by The Mars Volta.

12. It seems that a lot of people are turning on vinyl again. Why do you think that is and which is your preferable media format? 

We've had quite a few debates if we should release BLAUWGEEL on vinyl. The outcome is that we would love to do it, but that it's too expensive to do it by ourselves. If there's any labels out there interested in releasing our record(s) on vinyl, please holler. When I order physical music these days it's always vinyl, although I don't play it nearly as much as I should. Spotify is just too damn easy. 

13. What's the most vivid story or moment as a band? 

Another hard question. Like I said, we just released BLAUWGEEL and so far the responses by our listeners have been great. Every time someone reaches out to us to tell us how important our music is to them is a memorable moment. But if we have to pick one, I would say it would be a concert we did in 2013 for a festival called Stukafest. The festival is quite unusual: it's held in different cities over the Netherlands and in each city a number of students turn their (small) room into a venue for the night. That night we played 3 half hour shows for about 20 people (which were all the people that could fit in the room) and because the audience was so small and so close to us (literally) the performances were really intimate. It was a great experience and we're happy to report that we have been booked for the festival (in a different city this time) in 2015.

All Shall Be Well recently released their second album "BLAUWGEEL".

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