Qs & As
In Qs & As (Questions & Answers, that is) Kazz answers all your questions.
Just write us a mail and you will find your answer here (and ofcourse you will have your personal mail).
Q: This Frank’s Tango stuff is great. After listening to TOO FAR AWAY PLACES I am very curious to hear the other early solo stuff. Are you going to do something with that too?
A: In the course of time I will add more solo archive material here. It takes some time. The pre-1988 recordings are all analogue recordings, I have them on reel-to-reel tapes (and some on cassettes only), so they first have to get digitized, dusted off, cleaned etc. There have been various mails about the Lord OF Rings Project I did in the mid-80s. The first two parts have been digitized. The original tape of part 3 has not been traced yet. The next offering will be my third CD firstname.lastname@example.org. Which might be on here by November 2011.
Q: Want to thank you for the free downloads. Interesting stuff but very different to what I heard on your B.LOOSE album. And, from what I read, very different to what you did in your band career. Isn’t it hard to have two careers at the same time?
A: Not at all. But let me tell you first that, until 1998, my solo activities were low profile. I did record a lot, but performances were pretty rare. In those days the band always came first. Having no band at the time means I have plenty of time working on a new electronic album, but in the same time I am writing new songs for the B.LOOSE follow-up. No problem. There’s no hurry. No one is pushing.
Q: Can you give any hints about the material you played with your first band CONCRETE?
A: For almost all musicians involved it was a first step. So we started from scratch, playing cover songs. Songs we all knew. I remember Honky Tonk Women (Stones), Sunshine Of Your Love (Cream), Paranoid (Black Sabbath), Voyager (Gamma), Doctor Doctor (UFO), Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple), Radar Love (Golden Earring), Phantom Of The Opera (Iron Maiden), Dallas 1PM (Saxon), stuff from Accept. Oh yeah, also a song from Dutch group Frankenstein. It took some time before we started writing our own stuff. But by the time I left the band most covers were gone. I lost contact with the guys. If anyone could help me out on this, that would be nice. But I did meet bassplayer Arjan Jansen recently.
Q: Hi Kazz, I read in your discography about your ‘group career’. Any chances to have some of the music available for download?
A: Yes, that might happen though not on short term. I’d like to do it, but it has to be done in a proper way. So the analogue recordings have to be transferred to digital format and, where possible, some remastering has to be done. Ofcourse I am stil in close contact with André and Robert, when it comes down to Eternal Flame. I have no, or almost no, contacts with members of other groups I played with. I am positive about having it available for download. Especially as the music from all groups has not been available for a long time. I only know of some very bad copy of Eternal Flame’s Stalingrad demo circulating on the net.
Q: It’s been four years since you released your last album with electronic music. Will you continue releasing more electronic music?
A: The answer can be short: Yes, I will, but I can tell you more. It’s been four years since TRANSFORMATION. In these four years I was not only fully occupied with the B.LOOSE project, I was also considering my future as a composer of electronic music. I have done so much since 1982. What challenges are left? TRANSFORMATION was a exhausting, emotional project. At the moment I am working on a new album, which has the working title MUSIC FOR CLOUDSPEAKERS. All I can say now is: it will be quite an ambient album with no sequencers or percussion. And there is another project, which is a long term thing. Even before TRANSFORMATION I had ideas for a kind of multimedia project, with electronics, female voices and arty activities on stage. For the time being, I am just working on frames. Do not expect this to happen before 2013. This will take a lot of work to prepare.
Q: The title song from your new album appeals to me a lot. Being an old Deep Purple fan, the riff of the song reminded me a lot of the past. Where did it come from?
A: Let me tell you first that B.Loose, the song, originally was meant to be a troughout shuffle song, a bit like Purple’s Strange Kind Of Woman. It all started with that riff indeed, but played slower. At some point I found out the riff might sounded stronger when played in another rhythm, which worked out fine. I can agree it has resemblances of good old Purple riffs. Some people came up with the Woman From Tokyo riff, or even Smoke On The Water. I think I had the intro of Might Just Take Your Life in mind. In my original idea of the song the guitar solo was going to be in the shuffle rhythm. But I changed when it became clear that the song was going to be recorded with André and Robert, I had clear visions of how André might play a solo on these chords in a slow tempo. And he made a perfect solo on this track, haha, like he always does. I never have to tell him how to play. The same goes for Robert, who made the rhythm changes working very well.
Q: Hi Kazz, I remember you from a long time ago, from your DJ days. I remember your guitar destruction act in De Waag, where you smashed an acoustic guitar, accompanied by guitar noises by Ritchie Blackmore. But now, to my question, since you started singing in bands, you quit guitar playing. I was just wondering why?
A: To be honest, my guitar playing was not that very good. I was able to play a few chords and that was all. Good enough to play a couple of Dylan or Neil Young tunes. But when I started playing in a band I realized it wasn’t good enough to perform in a group, especially as these bands played hardrock, which is quite something different. I occasionally play the guitar. Some songs on the B.Loose album were originally done on the acoustic guitar, like Ol’ Piano. But generally I prefer to write on keyboards.
Q: I read you once started as a streetsinger, or protestsinger in the early seventies. Do you consider writing political songs again?
A: Wow, what a question to start with. Well, the answer is: not really. But some issues might occur. Like ‘Where Is Your God’, which comes pretty close to a protest song. On the other side it is also a reflection on my own childhood days. Most of the songs I sung were covers from Bob Dylan or his Dutch counterpart Armand. I remember the first protest song I ever wrote was a song called ‘Pollution’, when I was 13. I gave it to me to a good friend of mine, who sang it on a two-track recording. Sadly the recording got lost. Would be nice to do it properly after 40 years.
Q: Usually artists, releasing a cd go on tour, promoting their product. There hasn’t been much news on Kazz live shows yet. So, how about it?
A: Let me first say that the album B.Loose was meant as a studio project. All musicians involved have their own activities. They are not MY band. I am still a SWB, which means: Singer Without Band. But I am glad that most of the musicians have agreed to do one or two gigs, the first one being at the Zoutpop Festival on May 24. At the moment I am thinking about putting together a live unit. But I can’t say anything about that now.
Q: Before returning as a singer, you have released various solo cds with electronic music. Do you consider continuing releasing electronic music?
A: No doubt about it. At the moment I am preparing a new electronic album, which I hope to release at the end of the year. It will be a very atmospheric album, without any percussive sounds. Working title is ‘Music For Cloudspeakers’. I will never give up recording electronic music. I have done this since 1982. I do have some projects in mind, but let me first finish this one.
Q: On the CD-Iiner notes you write: “I hope you join me on this trip, not knowing where it will lead me to.” Could you tell more?
A: It’s obvious that I don’t know where the future will take me. And I don’t care really. In the past 40 years I have always done what I wanted. That won’t change. B.Loose is not a pure bluesalbum – it’s more than that. There is a lot of blues hidden deep down, which someone might discover after listening more often. Blues is such a mighty fine thing. You can stick to the pure 12 bar blues, which is what a lot of people do and that’s alright. Being a songwriter I see it as a challenge to do a bit more with the blues. I’d like to take the blues to another stage. It’s a great vehicle. Anyone who remembers what Captain Beefheart did with the blues?
I started listening to blues only 8 years ago. I am only at the very beginning. So, for that reason, I have no clue or plan about the future. Let it happen!
Q: I know you from the jamsessions at the NixBBBluesClub in Enschede. I enjoyed, and still enjoy, your contributions a lot and therefore bought B.Loose, expecting a more or less bluesalbum. Instead I got an album that took me through a lot of different musical sceneries, which don’t all seem to have a blues connection. Which leads to the question: where do you get your inspiration from?
A: Oh, another hard one. First, don’t think I’m sitting in my living room listening to blues albums all night long. Over the past 8 years I’ve been listening to quite a lot of blues, but there is so much more great music out there. When I was 15 I had friends wondering how the hell I could listen to Neil Young, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and Klaus Schulze and still say I like them all. That hasn’t changed. I am a music addict I am afraid to admit. That even got worse with the internet, having access to an unlimited amount of music to listen to, or explore. I still have a couple of old favorites, but I also enjoy a lot of new bands. So I get my inspiration from a lot of sources. But songwriting to me is just a state of mind: you get an idea and from there it develops, not knowing where it will end. For the album, the basic idea was putting together a blues album. But as time went by, the original songs were rewritten or rearranged or skipped. In this period of three years that it took, I have skipped over 30 somgss. Most of them just simply 12 bar blues songs. Maybe they will resurface in some shape in the future.