1. How did you came up with the name of the band?
In Dutch, BARST has several meanings. It means 'fuck you, I'll do what I want to do'. It also means 'crack', bursting through something. I finally burst through the dark, that was really how it felt when doing my solo thing. No more boundaries. Just hitting it hard, as hard as possible, and bursting through.
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?
Gosh, that’s so hard to explain. Sometimes I start off with a riff, playing it over and over like a mantra. I then come in a sort of hypnosis. I also work with loopers all the time. Creating layer over layer. Then I search some electronics sounds to make it sound thicker. But sometimes I start off with a rhythm, another time I will start with synths and arpeggiators. I think it is a very organic way of working.
3. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home?
I try to as eclectic as possible, soak in as much as I can. But you can say that Sonic Youth formed me as a guitar player. Stepping away from the classic guitar player path. Nowadays I don’t listen to Sonic youth as often as back in the days. I love their early work, till Daydream Nation. There or some really good songs and albums after that, but they didn’t touch me as hard as the earlier work. I also love the album ‘Hold’ by James Welburn. Last couple of weeks that album was on my turntable several times. It is the perfect album. It inspired me a lot when, working on ‘The Western Lands’. Next to that I am really into 65daysofstatic, And So I Watch You From Afar, GY!BE, Mogwai, it is an endless list.
4. How difficult was to cooperate with so many guests on your latest album?
In fact, it was not really that hard. Again, the process was very organic. On the other hand I had these guests in the back of my head the entire creative process. When I had a kind of skeleton for a piece, I asked them to listen, to do their thing and so they did. After that I worked and reworked it until it was perfect for me. But it was not hard at all. It was pure inspiration and fun.
5. Which is the one album you can't live without?
That’s an impossible question. Let’s say that today it will be ‘Sister’ by Sonic Youth, but I need the freedom to choose another one tomorrow. Life without music is unthinkable, so narrowing it down to just one, is just not possible.
6. What's the first record you've ever bought?
I think I bought two that day, I must have been 10, 11 years old. ‘4us’ by the Dutch band Doe Maar and Iron Maiden’s ‘Number Of The Beast’.
7. Name a band that you would like to share the stage or tour with?
Again, these limitations! Only one? I think first of all, it must be cool and fun be to hang around with the people, because being on tour is hard work and little sleep. So, when it becomes edgy, you need to be around good people. I would love to tour with Sal-Ocin from Empusae. I think that maybe the guys from Mogwai are rather chill people, that should be fun. Let’s rather make it a festival with Do Make Say Think, Amenra, Mogwai, Empusae, And So I watch You From Afar, Monnik, Eleanora, ESLLY, and so much more (smiley).
8. 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?
Yes, for sure. But the backing of a great label like Consouling Sounds is primordial. Without people like them with ideas, vision and connections, internet will not get you far I think. It’s those people who make sure your music gets around. And after that, off course, internet spreads their word. It’s really fulfilling to see that my music id being bought from Japan to south America, Canada, Russia. It’s amazing when you think about it.
9. Do you support the idea of Bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like Spotify?
Well, I just want my music to be heard really, I don’t care through what channel.
10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years. What's the next step for BARST?
I really can’t say, I don’t want to jinx it, and I really haven’t got a clue. I hope I will be making records and that I will be performing a lot.
11. Is the artwork of an album important nowadays in the digital era?
For sure, it is face of the album and we all remember faces. It also brings the element of recognition. When thinking of an album, I hear the music in my head and I see the cover before my eyes. In one way or another, the cover will also connect with the music. I’m so happy with the work Niels Verwijk did on ‘The Western Lands’, capturing the music, the concept, the everything. When you think about ‘The Western Lands’, I’m sure you see the cover before your eyes immediately.
12. What is your favourite album cover?
Damn, this really is the inquisition! Honestly, for the moment it is the cover of ‘The Western Lands’, it is just so perfect. Niels did such an amazing job there. But that’s just a very personal and emotional choice, I guess you can forgive me that.
13. 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?
Oh, I am a vinyl kind off guy you know. I just love the concept. I love the physical item, I love to hold it in my hands. Open it. Put it on the turntable. Sit down, listen. Looking at the artwork while listening. Vinyl makes the listening experience kind off sacral.
14. What's the most vivid story or moment as an artist?
In the meantime I really played quite a lot of concerts, but I remember vividly one of the first solo concerts, when Mike and Nele from my label ‘Consouling Sounds’ were there and after the concert they came to me and told me they wanted me on their label. As an artist, to get that kind of recognition is everything. Another moment could be to see Mathieu Vandekerckhove, Amenra’s guitar player, in the audience while I was playing a show. Seeing him nodding his head with approval, yeah, those are good moments.