|.||with Rene Haak and Ronald Brautigam from Dutch Progressive Rock Band PLACKBAND|
Motta, Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Motta - Your band was formed in the mid-seventies, and as far as I know
Ronald: In a certain way of speaking, yes it did. And after all it was the reason that we chanced our music-style. We spoke with some people from a record company and wanted so badly a record deal that we decided to chance our music and at the end took another singer from the other Dutch symphonic rock band called Taurus. It was a frustrating time for us and even more for our lead singer Kees Bik. We do not like to remember this time!Plackband was always taken as one of the best surprises from Dutch musical scene where
success should be just a question of time. What do you take today as being the main
impediment for the success of your band?
Ronald: Now we are so much older and we are making music for fun! So no pressure, no stress. Just making music we like to play, with or without a record deal. For now I say we keep playing till we die…..You were taken by quite a few people in Europe as being the next Genesis, some of them
even got to say you should have reached the top if you were an English or American
band. Do you feel alike in this matter?
Ronald: I don’t know. I still have a great respect for Bands like Genesis or Yes and do not see myself on the same musical level. But on the other hand it is the public that compare and if they say so, maybe they are right then. It’s surely a compliment!Although Plackband has stopped its activities in the beginning of the 80’s, the band’s
name was often echoing in the musical scene, even without having that occasion
perpetuated its music through an album. Do you personally think you were owing an
album to your audience?
Ronald: Yes, looking back I do think so. That is the reason that we are working on a studio album with a compilation of the old songs. After 20 years finally a real studio album that sounds like the old days!The Plackband’s music was always characterized by strong lyrics, varying from cynical
to romantic and even sarcastic at times. Do you intend to keep this characteristic on
this current phase of the band?
Ronald: Absolutely! Kees Bik (who wrote/write all the lyrics) has not chanced at all. Maybe a bit wiser but still the same vision on life.Your band is now returning with a Cd titled ‘’The Lost Tape’’. It really sounds like an
interesting fact whereas you have just found an old tape in the attic, which results now
on a Cd. By the way, do you believe this work should have already seen the light if you
had found it previously?
Rene: No I don’t think so. They were found at the right time. You see, all the members of the band were doing other things, like the November project from Ronald and Michel. In fact Plackband was a closed chapter for all of us. There was another reason for not thinking of a reunion: the music was not written on paper at that time and the songs were so complicated that we did not even dare to think of playing this music again! But as you know by now we succeeded and we are playing the songs even better this time.I heard your band return was strongly motivated after the discovery of the old tape,
beyond of course a massive popular demand and also a personal desire of the band’s
members. Do you feel today more optimistic than in the past to go on playing this sort
Ronald: It sounds funny, but yeah: we now feel that we play a kind of music that is really unique. We are not listening to people anymore who says it’s old fashioned or something like that. We believe in our music and we know that there are people that loves it. So it gives you a feel of freedom, knowing that we can play anything we want. And if there are 100 or 5000 people listening to a concert, we enjoy playing!As far as I have been noticed Plackband is doing afresh a lot of gigs in Netherlands, such
as you did in former times. By the way, are you able to describe your old fans’ reception?
Rene: It’s very motivated for the members of the band that so many fans returned after so much time. Some of them have gray hair and a big belly but they take their kids with them and say to them “ look, this is what your father and mother likes”. We also notice that young people like our music. They say that our music is a revelation in this time of computer music and commercial easy songs.According to you, you have plans to accomplish an extensive tour across the Europe
this year and also coming to play in Brazil opportunely is a will. What are the requisites
to bring your band here?
Ronald: The fact that we all have a family and have a job to do, it is not easy to plan things like this. The only way to do so is planning concerts in a short period. Coming to Brazil is like a dream come true, but wisely we have to think how we can manage an operation like this. We do not want to make a fortune (ha,ha) but we also do not wish to spend a lot of money to do so. So when for example, tickets and hotels are paid we are willing to talk about a tour in Brazil.I have been told you are lately working hard upon a new album, where you have even
entered the studio to record it. By the way, have you given already this album any title?
What may I know about it beforehand?
Ronald: We are working hard on this new studio album. We are thinking of first recording a mini-CD with a new song and 2 old songs. This will be ready in the end of the year. The album will be released in the first half of the next year, as I told you before, there are no hurries! We do not have a tittle for both albums. Kees Bik had an idea for the album: “They don’t make them like this anymore….”Just to close this interview, would you like to impart any message for the progressive
rock fans in Brazil and in the world, who will probably have the opportunity to read
Ronald: I would say, believe in the music you really like and don’t listen to people who say things like old fashioned music or things like that. Progressive Rock (or Symphonic Rock as we say) will stay forever. We hope that we can give you the pleasure of listening to this music with our next coming albums and hope to see you on a live concert of Plackband.
Bik - Lead vocal and keyboards
Haak - Management
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