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Freak Valley Festival 2018 Interview Nr. 1 – Radar Men From The Moon

„Post-apocalyptic music in pre-apocalyptic times“

(pmck) Radar Men From The Moon is a band from Eindhoven formed by Glenn Peeters on the guitar, Bram van Zuijlen on the keyboards, synth and guitar, Tony Lathouwers on the drums and Titus Verkuijlen on the bass. Since their first release „Intergalactic Dada & Space Trombones in 2011, RMFTM hasn’t stopped evolving, even causing some conflicts among the fans. What once used to be Psychedelic Shoegaze now is Industrial Techno. Experimentation is their key and they are not afraid of change. I talked with Tony, Glenn and Bram shortly before their set at this year’s Freak Valley Festival. Read the interview below.

Pearl: Hello Radar Men From The Moon! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview.

RMFTM: Hello!

Pearl: So, let’s start with the obvious… Are you big SciFi fans? „Radar Men From The Moon“ is a black and white movie series from 1952.. And your first album „Intergalactic Dada & Space Trombones“ does have a rather spacey name.

RMFTM: Haha, not really. We actually just had a list of stupid names based on SciFi films and we chose Radar Men From The Moon. We thought this was the funniest. But now we are just RMFTM. We want to gain some distance from our full name.

Pearl: Because things change? Just as your music did, I guess.

RMFTM: Yes, you could put it like that.

Pearl: We will get back to that… Can you tell me a little about your personal relationship with music and how RMFTM was founded?

Tony: Let’s see… Well I was ten when I started playing the drums. I got a drum kit from my parents and just started playing at home. I was encouraged by my dad, who is a musician himself. A pretty great one, actually. He plays guitar in a Rockabilly band. When I was little, I used to go to concerts with his band and used to help the drummer set up his drum kit. That really inspired me… Well, then I first played in a band with Titus when I was 15, 16… We basically played Stoner Rock music. Then the guitar player left, so we asked Glenn to play with us. That went on for a while. When the singer left, the three of us decided to create Radar Men From The Moon.

Pearl: Please tell me more about the old band…

Tony: We were kinda shitty, honesty, We just played really cliche stoner rock.

Pearl: Alright… So Glenn, tell me about your musical background.
Glenn: I come from a different musical background than the other guys. Punk, Noise, Grind Core and stuff. But I wanted to play something different, make a different sound from what I used to listen to. So… I hooked up with these guys. I started playing when I got my first guitar. I was eleven. I grew up with Deep Purple and Black Sabbath.

Pearl: What was your favorite Punk band growing up?

Glenn: Napalm Death was a big influence for me.

Pearl: What about you, Bram?

Bram: I started playing the guitar when I was fifteen. I only did it because I had to, actually. My parents told me that I had to learn an instrument, so I chose the guitar. There was this girl I liked who played guitar. But it didn’t really work out… with the guitar or the girl, haha. But eventually after some guitar classes I liked it and kept doing it… so here I am. I joined RMFTM later, only three years ago. Before that I had never played music like Radar Men From The Moon’s. I come from more of a singer songwriter background and had some new wave projects with the synth…

Tony: We asked around in Eindhoven if somebody played keyboards. Bram answered, and here we are, three years later and still stuck with him, haha.

Pearl: Well, that must be one great thing about Eindhoven… The easy connection-making. People always say the music scene in The Netherlands is like a big family. Other than being like a big family, how is the underground music scene in Eindhoven and The Netherlands? Was it a helpful atmosphere for you as a band in the beginning?

RMFTM: Well, it is called „Eindhoven Rock City“… haha, but we don’t feel really connected to it anymore. Well, there is a scene for underground bands in Eindhoven, but it’s not as big as in other cities like Utrecht and Amsterdam. We always tried to play abroad. We knew that our music would get a better feedback in other countries like UK and Germany… But all in all, Eindhoven is developing in the scene with festivals like Fuzz Club Eindhoven, which is a big psych festival that we in a way initiated before it was the Fuzz Club festival…

Pearl: Nice! Tell me more about it.

RMFTM: We collaborated with the festival venue in the past and had a little festival. We though it would be awesome to bring the bands we liked to play with to Eindhoven. We had already had three editions and then it kinda ended. Now our label does the Fuzz Club Eindhoven, which has the same concept with a bigger line up, more money and more organisation.

Pearl: Well, then I hope the scene there only grows. Tell me, what does RMFTM mean to you musically?

RMFTM: We don’t have a clear message, I guess. We like to experiment a lot. We are very keen to see how incredibly much the idea of RMFTM can expand. For example, last week we had a gig with eight musicians on stage. Two drummers, a sax player… a girl on vocals.

Pearl: Vocals in RMFTM? That really is a new experience, all of your six albuns being instrumental!

RMFTM: Haha, yes it was. It was awesome and the chemistry was great. We didn’t know exactly what to expect from it, but it worked.

Pearl: Awesome. So, you have six studio albums. All concept albums?

RMFTM: Loosely, yes. The concept character happended organically, though. At the beginning we wanted to release as many albums we could as fast as we could.

Pearl: Let’s talk about the „Subversive Series“. After „Subversive I“ you released a single called „Decadence“, which is a total milestone in the story of your music direction…

RMFTM: Yes, it is. The „Subversive Series“ was all about telling the story of this band, of this group of people and what was changing in the time.

Pearl: And will the saga continue after „Subversive III“?

RMFTM: The „Subversive Series“ are done, and we are still evolving. Well, we experienced a lot of new things when recording these albums. We worked with a lot of different musicians, we collaborated here and there. We definetly learned new methods of creating music, which again inspired us to doing even more new stuff. So we don’t have a specific patch(path?) we want to follow right now. We want to try and keep it interesting for ourselves as well. We don’t want to be a band which sounds the same for ages and releases the same kind of records for ages.

Pearl: So, please let’s talk about your new methods of creating music. „Subversive II“ and „Subversive III“ are a whole lot different than everything you guys had done before…

RMFTM: Actually for us it is all the same, it is still RMFTM. We got bored of just playing our known intruments and wanted to try completely new stuff, with instruments we didn’t know how to work with, like drum machines, samplers, synths, etc.

Pearl: What did you specifically use to record the last two albums?

RMFTM: We have a lot of different stuff in the studio. It is like a big crazy music lab. We just tried a lot of different things for more than a half a year and then we decided to record it. Before that we actually borrowed a lot of equipment from somebody else. Like just to try out and see what we would like to play with. Eventually we bought our own stuff and the creating happened quite organically. We don’t have a strict creative process. The songs start existing differently, each one of them has it’s own story. It can come out of a riff or drum beat we like, but it also can develope from random „what if“ ideas we have about what a song should sound like.

Pearl: Let’s talk about your trippy songs names. Is there room for interpretation when reading some of the names? Or were they just chosen randomly?

RMFTM: There is totally room for interpretation. Sometimes they are references to historical and philosophical stuff. Specially with this last album. It was all about spelende mens, which is dutch for „playing human“. The album was a reference to the book Homo Ludens by Jason Huizinga, who is a dutch historian and cultural theorist. The book is about the importance of the play element in the society.

Pearl: Interesting. Could we talk about your plans for the future?

RMFTM: Well, we would like to do something completely new again. We have this term called „Acid Metal“. We are not sure what it exactly means yet, we still have to invent it. We already have the term… we now only have to find out what it sounds like. We have a feeling it will be heavy. And probably kinda slow. Or fast… we don’t know, haha.

Pearl: So meanwhile we will have to imagine what „Acid Metal“ means for ourselves… What do you do when you are not RMFTM?

Glenn: I am an artist and graphic designer.

Tony: I work. I just have a normal, boring day job. I am a driver.

Brahm: I am a music student.

Glenn: He actually knows stuff about music. We don’t! Hahaha

Pearl: Would you like to make RMFTM a full time job?

RMFTM: Not with this type of music, no. We wouldn’t be able to live from the band. We would love to… but it is impossible and we all know that. It is an utopic dream, to just hang around in the studio producing music everyday all day long and to play lots of gigs and stuff.

Pearl: Time for one last question: if your gig was a time machine, when and where would you land after playing?

RMFTM: Well that is a tough one… We would go back to the future in year 3080 we’d guess. Or maybe the eighties. We really like the eighties.

Pearl: We all do. Thanks for the talk and have fun experimenting on stage at this year’s Freak Valley Festival!

RMFTM: Thank you!

(Pearl McKurdy, FVF Day 1, 2018)

Filed under: Articles in English, Interviews, ,

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