DeWolff are back and returning to your stereo this winter, but this time they strip down and go COMPACT! No drum kit, no Hammond and no guitar amps, as they present to you, the Tascam Tapes. Written, performed and recorded on the road for less than 50 euros, but sounding like a million bucks! Adjust your ears, as its coming 10th January 2020 via Mascot Records.
On the road, there was 10,000 miles of inspiration, a billion particles floating around in the air, just waiting to be turned into songs. It’s like it was almost too much to take in. So, they narrowed the possibilities down to four channels…
Pablo van de Poel, why is this so? Why would you do such a thing?
Pablo: “Well, partly because it seemed fun and it was about time to do something completely different and partly out of necessity. It was recorded in tiny crammed little spaces like the back of our touring van or in some tiny backstage somewhere, so we had to use portable stuff like a drum sampler and pocket synthesizer to make it work.”
For their 7th ‘studio’ album, their studio was essentially packed into a suitcase. ‘Tascam Tapes’ was recorded on a Tascam Porta Two, a four track cassette recorder from the 1980’s. The only equipment they used was a sampler with some rare soul and funk sampled drum beats loaded in by Luka, a battery powered synthesizer and a guitar, all plugged directly into the recorder.
Pablo explains, “On the very first day of the tour the Tascam broke down. Actually it broke down all the time, but our sound tech De Das was able to fix it every time using whatever material was at hand (duct tape, rubber bands, toothpicks etc). We even bought a second Tascam in Spain, but its condition was even worse so we just used it for parts and stuck to our original one that I bought 10 years ago for 50 bucks.”
Pablo van de Poel (guitar, vocals), Luka van de Poel (drums) and Robin Piso (Keys) spent 4 months on the road, hurtling across mainland Europe via food poisoning, altercations with the cops and sold out shows, as they careered through France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and The Netherlands to bring you this gnarly 12 slices of deliciousness.
The riff for ‘Blood Meridian I’ was written on the first day of the French tour, but the recorder had broken down. “One of the belts had broken and eventually we replaced it with an elastic rubber band. Just so you know: that’s an acoustic guitar rippin’ through your speakers! The verse was written in the van somewhere in Germany. The lyrics are inspired by a Cormac McCarthy book of the same name, about a group of low life outlaws on a vicious killing spree hunting down Native Americans. Not even ghosts will survive to tell the tales of this band.” ‘Blood Meridian II’ is written through the eyes of the outlaw.
‘It Ain’t Easy’ was recorded in the back of the sprinter whilst travelling through Germany and hits up 21stcentury problems whilst ‘Awesomeness of Love’ was the first song they recorded on the tour, backstage of Krakatoa in Mérignac, “the vocals were done on a total adrenaline trip just seconds after our show in Ubu, Rennes.”
‘Made It To 27’, in all its 4-track glory was recorded live right by the roadside in a beautiful part of France, near Carcassonne. “Robin was recovering from food poisoning that made us cancel a show before and he was really not in the mood for recording. This song is about the super healthy tour-life and the self- destructive need to ever work harder, write better, run faster, play harder, do more and do it all the time,”adds the singer/guitarist.
‘Northpole Blues’ is a compilation of a number of jams they did in the very first hour they tested the Tascam, ‘Am I losing My Mind?’ originally started as a heavy Zeppelin-esque blues but turned into a heart-breaking ballad and ‘Life In A Fish Tank’ was recorded backstage of the Zeche Karl in Essen, German with their friend Arthur Akkermans, singer from the Grand East on Harmonica.
So, there you have it. No ordinary album, but then this is no ordinary band. Free-spirited and freewheeling, those teenagers that formed a band from The Netherlands deep south have blazed a trail across Europe, released 6 previous studio albums (5 of which hit the Dutch Top 20), have played shows with the likes of The Black Keys, Blues Pills, Wolf People, Wolfmother and Deep Purple. They’ve picked up fans in Seasick Steve, who once woke up backstage at a festival to hear them play, thinking he heard the Allman Brothers playing from 1972 and Roger Glover has openly declared his love for the band AND, to top that off they picked up a Dutch Edison Award (The Netherlands version of The Mercury Music Prize) in February 2019 for ‘Best Rock Band.’
Recorded in hotels, motels, a backstage or two and by the side of the road. This is DeWolff like you’ve never heard them before!