Eine der schönsten Eigenproduktionen kam zuletzt aus den Niederlanden. DOWNRIVER DEAD MAN GO überzeugen mit einer Tiefe und kristallklaren Melancholie, wie sie ansonsten meist nur Skandinavier zu kreieren wissen. konnte mit den Jungs ein paar Interessante Worte wechseln. Hier unser Interview im Originalwortlaut:

Hi Guys! As you were able to inspire me with your great album, you must tell me first of all, how did it all start with DOWNRIVER DEAD MAN GO?

Gerrit: We started out as a three piece band called CAITLIN, at first we played alternative rock in the line of PLACEBO and later on more louder like THE GODMACHINE.

But as time went on our songs became more melancholic and atmospheric so we decided to split the songs up in two bands, CAITLIN the louder ones and DOWNRIVER DEAD MAN GO would become the side project and home of the slower and laid back songs.

… and who came up with this special bandname?

Gerrit: That was an idea of mine, I wanted to have a band name that would set the tone as soon as you read it, and I think this one does the job perfectly.

If I didn’t know it better, I would locate your band in Scandinavia…

Gerrit: Well, the weather here in Holland does resemble the Scandinavian sometimes and I for one was never a big fan of the summertime. It’s nice to have a couple of weeks of sunshine and hot weather, sure. But I enjoy the autumn and winter period much more and it gives me a lot of inspiration for writing new music.

Would you like to live further north?

Gerrit: I’m fine where I am right now, but I would probably be a happier person if I didn’t live in the Netherlands, and countries like Norway and Sweden always interested me. I’m a big fan of the movies and books made over there too.

Peter: I actually did that in the past, live further north (it still was Netherlands), but then I started missing family and friends and I moved back.

How do compose your songs?

Peter: First we started recording the songs with only drums, bass and guitar as baseline and vocals for references. After that we started recording the extra guitar tracks such as the solo’s. And then we started adding the keys bit by bit until it was good. No more no less. And then finally the vocals are added and the album was complete It took about one year to complete the album from recording till mastering.

Nevertheless, they are compact and always lead to a beautiful climax. Was this always your concern not to get bogged down in confusing structures?

Gerrit: I always feel that you don’t have to write complex arrangements to make beautiful music, some of the best and heartfelt songs are basically very simple. Less is more, because you can create an atmosphere with just a few chords. And these kind of songs are easy to feel and listen to, because for example songs by bands like DREAM TEHATER you have to hear a couple of times to get the message. And that’s great of course but we choose to keep it simple. And I can’t play as fast as John Petrucci … laughs.

Peter: The songs created by Gerrit automatically needed these beautiful climax parts; it was a no brainer to do so. And confusing structures doesn’t fit in the music of DOWNRIVER DEAD MAN GO.

How would you describe your music?

Gerrit: I always like to call it a soundtrack of life, because our songs are about the simple things anyone could experience in his or her life.

And no, we don’t write about the happy things because the reality is that life is hard and isn’t always kind on us.

Peter: More or less like a soundtrack of a movie which is there yet, anyone?

Andy: just-listen-and-enjoy-with-a-glass-of-beer-or-wine-in-the-hand-music

Does it surprise you that even true Doom Metallers enjoy your style?

Gerrit: Not really, I started out in metal and played in doom, thrash and crustcore bands and I still listen to it often. But I think that metal has had its peak back in the eighties and nineties and all these new bands just sound the same. But to answer your question, DOWNRIVER DEAD MAN GO has a lot similarity with doom metal and that lies in the tempo and the overall feeling of the music I think.

Peter: Yes, I can imagine they get confused because there is no head banging part.

How often do you rehearse?

Gerrit: We mostly practice once a week, but if we have a show we sometimes will be there twice a week. But on the other hand, when we a are playing a lot live we don’t practice at all. Once the set is solid by playing live shows there’s no real reason to practice it anymore. But we will be practicing more often soon because I’m writing some new songs.

Can you tell me something about your inspirations, your idols and influences?

Gerrit: I for one listen to all kinds of music, but last few years I’m really into neo classical music like Nils Frahm. But to name a idol of mine? I would have to go with Trent Reznor of NINE INCH NAILS because I’ve been a big fan from the start and this guy just makes both aggressive and beautiful music.

My influences would be THE GODMACHINE and bands like ANATHEMA and 16 HORESEPOWER.


Andy: I grew up with an older brother who loved to play guitar and listen to 70’s and 80’s hardrock-bands like RAINBOW, Michael Schenker, Malmsteen and UFO. A lot of music I still like comes from that period. My hero from that time obviously was Cozy Powell. Later on I discovered the ghost-notes from Jeff Porcaro.

When I think of the beginning of ‚Wake up‘, it wouldn’t surprise me, if you liked movie-soundtracks such as ‚Twin Peaks‘?

Gerrit: I am a big fan of movies and their soundtracks, I enjoy a good and well-made film and some movie scores are just beautiful, for example, one soundtrack that I have listen to a thousand times is ´The Thin Red Line´ by Hans Zimmer. It’s a masterpiece …

Peter: Or a documentary with sad things happening caused by humans.

What are your lyrical subjects?

Gerrit: I like to write about things that I personally have experienced, not all our songs are about that kind of thing but most of them are …

I didn’t have a very pleasant childhood with both parents separating and I lost my father when I was twelve years old so as you can imagine this all that pain and grief has to come out eventually and for me music is a great way to vent all those things.

‚Walking Away‘ is about a lost love, am I right?

Gerrit: Yes, I wrote ´Walking Away´ about three years ago when I and my girlfriend separated, and it was the worst thing I ever done. But we found each other again a year later and we’re now living together again being happier than before.

How often do you play live-shows?

Gerrit: We try to play two or three shows in a month, but it’s not easy to get a gig these days because you’re not the only one looking for one.

But with our new album and the great responses we are getting I’m hoping things will become a bit easier to get live shows. But we would like to broaden our horizon and maybe play some shows outside Holland.

What was your biggest gig so far?

Peter: The album release party.

Gerrit: We haven’t done really big shows, nour album release show was nice with about 90 people, but our music style sometimes works better in small clubs and bars. But we definitely would like to play some bigger venues and festivals.

At the moment your band is definitely a hobby. Is there any chance to earn money in the near future?

Peter: I’m afraid not, we not exactly making mainstream music and it’s not my ambition.

Gerrit: I’m afraid it will always stay a hobby band; most of us have a steady job and family. But I would love to get a bigger name in the scene, because then you can play live more often and make some money to finance future recordings and merchandise.

Do you have a master plan or which goals do you want to you achieve next?

Gerrit: First of all our plan is to get our music out into the world and make sure it gets to everyone who would like to listen to it.

Second we want to play live as much as we can and in the future release a second album. And as I said before we would love to play outside Holland and get our music across the border.

Peter: Get asked for creating soundtracks for more docu’s about sad things .. grin ..

Andy: Playing with a complete orchestra would be cool. By playing as much and many as we can we hope to increase our fan base. One of our next goals is to play in larger support-acts.

Great music, true words, Boys. Thank you.

Thank you!

Pics: Sidekick