Written By Alana Mazurke
DeWolff are your classic dirty rock band hailing from Netherlands and the three piece are currently in Australia for their first national tour in light of their launch of debut album DEWOLFF IV. I’ve been fortunate enough to ask the band to elaborate on both the tour and latest release. I’ll also be reporting back on their first show in Melbourne this Thursday the 21st at The Workers Club. After owning the title of “must see live band” by Rolling Stone and listening to DEWOLFF IV, to say i’m excited would be an understatement.
Goset Music recently released the full catalogue of your previous albums Strange Fruits & Undiscovered Plants (2009) and Orchards/Lupine (2011) to Australia on the same day as DEWOLFF IV’s release in early March. After listening to all three albums, Australia had been missing out until now. Why the delay in sending your music our way?
To give the Australian people a taste of our studio albums, without letting them feel our live music, would have been like watching porn as a virgin. We waited with the releases until we could physically come to Australia and bring our music to the people, live and loud.
You’ve only recently landed in Australia to embark on your upcoming national tour. What are your initial thoughts on the country? What do you expect when travelling overseas to perform, particularly of Australia?
Do you know of much Australian music? Do you have any favourite Australian bands or artists?
Our Initial thoughts were: hot weather, weird accents and a whole lotta Kangaroos. First two are true, but in the wild we’ve only seen a fox and some wicked singing birds so far…
In another country, you never know how you’re shows will turn out; because for a great show, you need a great audience. But then again, we knew that a lot of awesome music comes from Australian soil when you think of Tame Impala, Wolfmother or AC/DC. So we guessed that the Aussies would also love our music. And now, after some acoustic sessions and two full shows, I think we guessed right, judging from the audience’s great response.
What’s the meaning, if any, behind the name DeWolff?
DeWolff is actually a non-existing word in Dutch or any other language. It’s just a powerful combination of letters.
DEWOLFF IV is a brilliantly entertaining, hard-hitting album and exactly what you’d expect of an album with a blues rock genre. Not to over generalise, but nowadays in Australian music there is a prevailing use of samplers and romplers moving the classic rock genre further behind. Have you noticed any similarities in Netherlands and or Europe as a whole?
Yes indeed. In Holland we experience the same ‘problem’. The average music on the radio varies from over produced pop choruses to hip hop or drum and bass. There seems to be very little space left for soulful classic dirty rock. But then again, people love to see our music at live festivals because it’s not made by computers, but by real people laying real music.
You’ve been labelled as a ‘must see live band’ by renowned Rolling Stone magazine. Does this basis add any extra pressure when performing live, or do you feel the band revels in it? What’s the greatest live performance for DeWolff as of yet?
Acknowledgement for the music we make and shows we do is always a thing much welcome. But it would be wrong if our performance on stage depends on it. We always give our full 1000% whether reviews praise us or shit on us.
We’ve done a lot of really cool gigs so far. We played some unforgettable shows at festivals with huge crowds of people (Lowlands and Pinkpop in the Netherlands, Sziget in Hungary and Arezzo Wave Love in Italy), but we also love the small dirty venues where we can smell the crowd’s sweat and vice versa. The biggest performance we’ve played was the one at the Lowlands Festival. We played main stage in front of more than 30,000 people.
How did the band originally get together? You’re first album was made at a very young age. How long had you been playing music before you decided to record?
Pablo and Luka are brothers, so they met pretty much as soon as Luka entered this world. They started Jamming in the hallway of their parents’ house at a pretty young age. They had known Robin, who played bass guitar and piano, for a long time as well and one day in 2007 they invited him over for a jam in their new rehearsal basement. This was actually the first time Robin played the Hammond organ and it was love at first sight. After 10 jams we played our first show and after some months we recorded our first EP. Ron Engelen of REMusic spotted our music and released the EP in 2008. So we had only been playing together for a year when it all started.
What are the plans for DeWolff after this tour? Can we expect a DEWOLFF V even though there was no one, two and three? Which now begs the question, why the name DEWOLFF IV?
After this tour we’ll do a club tour in Europe and after that we’ll start recording new material at our very own studio. In early 2014 we can hopefully release this material on an album that will not be called DeWolff V. The reason we called the latest album DeWolff IV is because we released two albums and one EP prior to DeWolff IV. This caused some confusion, because people didn’t know if we had released two or three full-length albums. By calling this one “IV” we simply let everyone know we consider the EP a full-worthy album as well.
Netherlands has one of the most enviable music scenes when compared to Australia and well, most countries actually. There have been recent calls for funding cuts to the arts department by your government – affecting more so smaller music and music cultural organisations. What are your thoughts on these proposals as a band hailing from Netherlands?
On one hand all of this is very bad ofcourse, it’s no fun to hear that our government doesn’t consider what we’re doing as something important. On the other hand we don’t worry too much about it because whether artists receive financial support or not, true passionate musicians will never stop playing music.
Australian government funding to musicians and organisations alike when compared to the Netherlands are greatly differential. Has DeWolff received government funding and if so how has that helped you as a band and getting your name out there?
As a band we do not receive government funding directly. But the government does still fund some music venues and radio stations, so in a way you could say that the government funding has helped us playing around the country. But it definitely didn’t play a main role in getting our name out there.