Veröffentlicht am 7.08.2020 | von Julia Szymik


FENG SUAVE – 1 Band, 2x Daniel, endlos guter Sound

Foto-© Woody Bos

Eine Band, zwei Mal Daniel, endlos guter Sound – das ist die holländische Band Feng Suave. Ich habe mit ihnen über ihre aktuelle EP Warping Youth und die dazugehörige Entwicklung gesprochen, über Kreativität in Lockdown-Zeiten und darüber, warum sie in Schweden mal 45 Minuten inklusive Hundestaffel von einem Dutzend Polizist*innen gefilzt wurden. Daniel und Daniël sitzen jeweils zu Hause vor ihren Bildschirmen – Corona is not over yet. Dafür fühlt sich das Gespräch trotzdem fast an, als säße man gemeinsam am Küchentisch. Daniels Katze wird mehrfach Simba-like durchs Bild gehoben – Ich habe heimelige Gefühle.

Daniel und Daniël also – wenn sich da nicht mal zwei gefunden haben. Antworten der jeweiligen Person zuzuordnen ist aber ein bisschen tricky. Ich war kurz davor, sie nach Optik aufzuteilen – aber sie tragen auch die gleiche Frisur. Andere Option? Einer von beiden trägt den für Musiker besten Zweitnamen der Welt – Elvis. Ich habe mich dann aber doch dazu entschieden, sie nur durch die verschiedenen „E“s in ihren Namen zu unterscheiden – Sorry for the confusion! Um weiterer Konfusion vorzubeugen, haben wir ganz am Anfang angefangen:

Do you remember your first contact with music?
Daniël: I remember just watching Fantasia. The animated Disney film, with Mickey Mouse and other different characters. It’s got classical music – Stravinsky. Ich was like four when I heard that. That was the first music I heard.
Daniel: Well, that’s cooler than what I have. The first thing I really remember is the soundtrack to Toy Story – Randy Newman. I still like that soundtrack though. I also like the dutch version!

Did this contact affect you in your decision to make music?
Both: Not really.
Daniël: For me, listening to the score of a film is not actively listening to music. That’s just the sound, that the movie makes. When I first actively listened to music, Rockbands in primary school, that’s when I realized: That’s cool. And maybe something I could do.
Daniel, laughing: Well what are some of the cool Rockbands you listened to?
Daniël, laughing: Di-rect. And the Chili Peppers really early on. Hey! Chili Peppers are
international standard! We can’t just all be cool Radiohead-Emo-Kids from day one.

Daniel: That was the story I was telling the other day, that my first experience with consciously listening to music was when I was working and I downloaded OK Computer by Radiohead and Paranoid Android came by – that’s really the first time that I really liked a type of music that felt a little different from all that I’ve heard previously. So after that, I wanted to play guitar. That’s where it kind of began.

While Daniel is leaving the room to take delivery of the test pressings of the EP, Daniël is telling a fairy tale about dutch art. Well: Welcome to story time with Feng Suave! (Why is there no rich music-history in Holland?)
Daniël: I like to tell this fairy tale: The main reason why I think there is not a lot of bands coming out of the Netherlands is that all the houses are really close to each other. Nobody really has a garage. So nobody really has a drum set. Just because how the cities and towns in holland are set up. It makes it difficult for people to start a band, because the neighbors are always complaining. That’s why there are so many electronic music producers out there in Holland, because you can just put on some headphones and you’re fine. That makes Holland a band desert! It has been for a long time. The only place where bands get to rehearse is on the conservatory building. It’s none of the „Oh hey, let’s start a band and rock out the garage!“-kind of culture here. No garage-culture. It just doesn’t exist.


YouTube video


Let’s switch from fairy tales to feelings. Your music and especially your new EP Warping Youth is really reflecting, honest and full of emotions. Does this scare you sometimes? Are you afraid that showing the process your music reflects to everyone out there who is listening to your music?
Daniël: Not for me.
Daniel: Not for me, too. I don’t mind. And I would say there is no song I regret. We were talking about this today: There is only one song that we wrote that didn’t make it onto an album. All the other songs is just all the songs we ever wrote. I don’t regret releasing them.

What happened to the one that didn’t make it?
Daniël: It’s on Soundcloud. We have some private-half-baked demos on Soundcloud – this one’s
in there. It’s a full song, we actually finished it. It’s half-baked in every way. But it’s got something!

Is there a topic you would never write music about?
Daniel: I would never write about Corona-virus. Or something that’s so happening right now – I Don’t know. I wouldn’t wanna be political in that sense. I don’t mind giving people an insight into what I think about things, I definitely don’t mind – but writing about 5G?
Daniël: 5G could be funny. Actually. I have to disagree with that one! (laughs) but I know what you mean. You don’t wanna be observing the times as they unfold. I personally think that you can actually write about anything. If you put in in a funny or tragic or an unexpected context. I really feel that way. I would probably also steer clear of things that are too contemporary – like Instagram or mentioning Rick and Morty. Or Angela Merkel. (laughs) Oh well, that could actually be funny, too.

Foto-© Max D'orsogna

Foto-© Max D’orsogna

So you would never write about Corona-virus, but how does the situation right now affect you as musicians?
Daniel: Well, I think it just really shows me how uncreative I can get. There is no way out. At this point there is, but a while ago everything was closed, people were staying at home. Normally, when I have a shitty day writing a song I go out an d get a coffee to meet up with Daniel, do other stuff. But back then this wasn’t really possible, so I don’t think that’s been good for my creative progress.
Daniël: No. It’s nicer to not be in lockdown. I like being able to do stuff. I miss the movies. Me and Dan, we don’t really go out. So it’s not that I’m longing to be on the dance floor again. I’m not like that.

Gladly you wrote about other things. Your new EP got released a month ago – Can you describe what changed in the process of writing and producing in comparison to the previous EP?
Daniel: I think we got more skilled writing Songs. We have more options, we know more chords. (laughs) No – we just got more critical. When we met each other I feel like the reason that our taste in music was overlapping was because of the way the music we listened to sounded like. And now we can both sit down and appreciate a well written song. More than we used to. We can listen to Simon and Garfunkel. Oh man!
Daniël (grins): Great major seven!
Daniel: It’s not that we know music that well, but I think the whole reason the first EP worked was because it was charming that we didn’t really know what we werde doing. It’s kind of simple music, not really well recorded. But I think that’s the part that people like about it. But in this EP we try to excel on both those points and do the best we can. Do harmonies for example! We never used harmonies. And lyrically as well. We both like the lyrics from the new EP. In the old lyrics, there used to be some good chunks in there. I feel the topics now are more original and it’s more written in the style that we talk to each other. In that way, it also feels a lot more personal.


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Do you have a favorite track on the EP?
Daniël: I think it’s Toking, Dozing. I like it because it’s all over the place. It’s a big transition going from the verse to the chorus and you really slide into it unexpectedly. It’s my favorite. Not too long – It’s a good pop song! We did our best on every track, but this is my current favorite.

We all miss live music at the moment – So tell us a cliché-gossip-tour-story for the end please!
Daniel: We had to play in Denmark at some point. And in Copenhagen you have Christiania, which is a kind of safe space for people who want to smoke weed. A place where the police closes one eye and just allows it. So it was pretty okay to smoke in Denmark – but I just recently quitted smoking and right after our show in Denmark we had to go to Sweden. Somebody warned us: Don’t take any of this stuff to Sweden because they’ll get you. Our Drummer was very hooked at that moment – he was pretty into his hash. So we had to confront him with the situation. We said to him: We have to throw all the stuff away and drive to Sweden – but he just didn’t want to throw it away. So we came up with the solution that I was gonna stay clean but the rest of us, they were all gonna smoke everything we had. Just before crossing the border. Then we arrived at the Swedish border and I was the only one sober and the guy from the border patrol knocked on our window, because we had this big van. They were checking us out and asked: „What are you guys gonna do?“ At 2 am! So I said that we make music. He was like: „Cool! What kind of music do you make?“ And I think that’s a difficult question, so I didn’t answer right away. Daniël would sit right next to me, high as shit and he leaned in and said: „Psychedelic soul man!“ (laughs.) Then we had to drive over, they searched the whole car for 45 minutes, everyone except me had to get naked – they brought in dogs, they were barking all the time because everyone smelled really badly.
Daniël: This was half an hour after we were smoking the biggest joints ever. (shaking his head, laughing)
Daniel: They were searching the car für 45 minutes and they couldn’t find anything – So in the end they were like: „Alright, you won.“
Daniël: Full police search: Strip down, police dogs, bend over, cough, twelve officers – we just came into this garage, had to get out of the car and then they said: „Empty all your pockets.“ That was so fucked up. But it was fun!

Wenn das kein würdiges Bild zum Ende ist. Die Band, Hände am Van, bellende Hunde und blinkende Polizeilichter überall um sie herum – spektakulär. Auf eine andere Art spektakulär ist die Colors-Session zum Track People Wither, die zuletzt erschienen ist – für alle, die das Polizei-Bild für ein Ende hier für doch ein wenig zu reißerisch halten. Danke Feng Suave!

YouTube video

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