Skip The Rush - All Is Fit For YouSkip The Rush released their debut album 2 weeks ago, Jaap was able to tell us something about the the latest news, touring and ambitions of their band.
1. One week after the release of your debut album, tell me what happened.
It’s been a good week. We’ve been reviewing our show, and looking forward to going to the Czech republic next week. A few important things are happening at the same time. An album, a video, a band bus, lots of new shows and a lot of press attention. It’s a good position to be in, but we all realize we must take advantage of this moment to keep everything moving. If we stop growing now, in every way, pretty soon we will be nowhere.
2. The release party was pure magic in the eyes of many people, what was it like for you guys?
Well, that’s a nice comment to make. It felt good. I could probably explain that best by comparing the show to our show in Melkweg in 2003, little more than a year ago. This was better in every way. I have no problem playing for my own and eight other bands’ parents, grandparents, nephews and schoolfriends, really. But this was our night. And by that I mean that the night belonged to Skip the Rush, our friends and fans. I also totally dig the fact that we can play a show that lasts over an hour now. A year ago we played mostly thirty minute shows, and the Big prize show was twenty minutes. The length allows us to show more of ourselves. That means a dry side and a sweaty side, a loud and introvert side, a thought through and a totally chaotic side.
3. Any special moments to that night?
My most special moment was to start playing Elephant Song as a first encore and seeing a girl holding up a stuffed elephant. I don’t know why, but it just made me feel grateful. I mean I had been, but this sort of triggered the feeling into taking control. It probably had to do with our big man, Mike Stewart handing over the first CD to us a minute before. It all came together and I guess that had to do with, ehm, love. Sounds silly maybe but in the end we’re only playing to make our music some friends.
4. About your album, there are 6 old and 6 new songs on the album. What is the reason to put all six songs on the album and none of the demo?
For us that was a clear decision. The six old and the six new songs were both recorded with the same people, and with an in between period of about half a year. We wouldn’t have put songs on there that we recorded two years before. It’s another time, another feeling. We have been thinking about waiting to write six more songs and put the best twelve of that lot on the cd. Idea behind that would be, for instance, to keep us from getting reviews like the Oor review, that’s disappointed about us not having recorded twelve new songs. But we figured we wanted there to be the least possible time between recording and releasing the record. We want our stuff out there. It doesn’t do any good staying in watching television all day. We figured our songs should go out, flower and multiply and make us proud.
5. In the booklet there is a line ‘but is this even English’ at the song Cacophony. It is present in your live performance, but why not in the actual song?
Actually I sometimes sing it and sometimes leave it out. I guess it’s one of the hundreds of little decisions that are being made, more or less consciously, while making a record. It’s a surplus sentence, it’s not needed to get across what the song is about. In a live show I say it most of the times, and that’s because it’s a question that fits the occasion of a live show. I guess it keeps me and maybe a listener or two from taking the song for granted. English lyrics have a tendency to sound ok, whether they make sense or not. So watch it you know. You might just be listening to me singing about taking you to some candy shop. Or whatever.
6. You are going to Germany and the Czech republic, what are you expecting and what is the process over there (concerning your album)?
We have not released the album outside of the Benelux. In the Czech republic we have arranged a meeting with some people that might release us there. Also we’re planning to try and go to England and Germany after summer.
We’ve heard some pretty wild stories from other bands touring in Eastern Europe. Prague rock shows are supposed to be a big sweaty mess. So we look forward to it lots. I also should mention here our totally cool band van. It’s huge, it’s bad, it’s not responsible. But it’s ours and it’s got a really neat red stripe on it. We bought it partly with money earned by the first CD-sales.
7. About the old days, Skip The Rush is formed out of bands like ConQbine, Downforce and Spinach. All these bands ended up in Skip The Rush. What is the story?
I must say you did your homework, still you forgot my old friends of Wit is Out. We were doing pretty good and were in the same sort of scene as Conqbine. That’s how I got to know these fools. Downforce was Bow and Frank’s old band, Spinach had Thijs as a bass player, they all played in Conqbine, and even Derrick did for a few months. Than the singer went out and I got in. It really was as easy as that. They figured I was a good singer, I figured they were a band that could really grow. The band changed in ways that made it illogic to keep the name Conqbine. It was because I was a lot different from their old singer Rai, but I think it also had to do with the guys themselves developing. Oh well. There’s no real reason for trying to find someone to blame for it all. We’re in this band now, nobody can save us.
8. ‘A Man And His Job’ and ‘Girl’ are two new songs which are songs I had to get used to. But especially ‘Girl’ can give me Goosebumps. You played these songs live too. Don’t you think it is strange to play a song like ‘Girl’ which a expressive live show like you guys have?
It is, but it’s less so now than it was when we first played them. I guess if we never do things that feel weird we are either moving to slow, or not moving at all. That is not a rule that will always apply, but I guess it does now. It doesn’t mean we have to change music styles every week. It does mean that a song is more important than a style. If we write a good song I want to play it live. If a song doesn’t really sound like Skip the Rush, but it does sounds good, I figure that doesn’t necessarily mean the song needs to change. Maybe we need to change or maybe our self image has to change. We’re still playing with that kind of decisions. We haven’t figured it out.
9. ‘No for an answer’ already was a part of your show before the album launch. Why did you choose that song to show the audience your upcoming material?
It was ready, we like playing it. Really we almost never hold back material for long periods of time. At the release party we played a song that was written the week before. We realize how important it is to keep writing. Playing a song live for the first time is in a way still part of the writing process. That’s where you find a lot of the strengths and weaknesses of songs. No for an Answer is a song that really fits our live show well, or at least I think so. It’s kind of neurotic, loud, and I just like the character of it. I feel at home singing it. It’s actually kind of a personal song.
10. I saw your video clip at release party, what will happen with this video.
We are trying all we can to get it on the telly. The Box, MTV, TMF, whatever. It’s a new world for us, and we don’t expect to be on the big channels tomorrow. But on the other hand we’re proud of the video, and we think it’s better than the new fifty cent video.
11. The video is really professional, who came up with this idea and was it fun to do?
The idea to do a video was there for a long time. We had to meet some weird people before we found the crew that shot this one. We were lucky. The guys liked us and wanted to put their energy into the project. They could borrow lots of professional equipment for almost nothing. We owe them big. Then we all worked to get the whole thing going. We found a big squatted hall, a really cool wooden dome-structure, some guys with a multi-screen video project, some great dancers, a make up guy, some good friends of ours helped with catering and all, just about everything you need. It took us a weekend to shoot it. Thijs, Bow and me slept in the hall on Saturday while it was minus three outside (and inside): there was equipment inside for an awful lot of money. On Sunday night we were totally shattered. It was a really cool experience. In the video you see me and Frank fight, you see the band rehearse and play, you see three of the most beautiful girls of Amsterdam, you see what happens when you never do your laundery. It’s Skip the Rush all the way.
12. Frank told me this was the best show ever, on second place the show in Den Bosch at the popronde. Will you ever come back to the south?
We will, I’m sure. We’re playing in Sevenum Limburg on the 30th of April, and we play in Asten-Heusden on the first of June. I sure hope the Plein79 in Den Bosch will have us back soon, because that really was a special night. We’ve probably had our best crowds in NB.
13. Any big festivals this year?
We’re totally trying to convince the guys from Essent awards to give us one. It would send us straight to Lowlands. We do realize that the normal way of getting to big festivals is selling a lot of CDs. That makes sense. Well, we’ll try and do that then. It’s a big dream of me and Bow to play on Sziget festival in Hungary. We totally fell in love with that festival, and it would be a total dream to play there. It breaths a free atmosphere. We might just go there and try to convince those people to let us play somewhere.
14. Anything left to say to the Metalrage readers?
Well. For one thing you guys have been good to us from the start. This kind of thing is really important for us and Dutch rock music in general I guess. So you guys keep it up and anyone reading this: please buy our record and/or check our website www.skiptherush.com for tourdates. Me talking really cool might sound like we’re doing good. Fact is we’re nothing without people reading interviews like these and choosing between ‘it’ll probably be shit’ and ‘It’ll probably be shit but I’ll check just to be sure’.
15. Thanks for your time and good luck in the future, blow them away in Germany and Czech!
Thanks man. Can’t wait.