WildSpiritz IMS Interview - WE WERE DELIGHTED TO SPEAK TO Aeilko FROM HARDLAND
What do you do when you grew up in a time with music that had a big impact on you and you realize that that type of music is barely played on the radio anymore?
Hardland are a good time rock band who keep the tradition of quality bands from The Netherlands alive. Off the back of latest album ‘In Control’ we fired a few questions their way to find out what was what.
HARDLAND (Answered by Aeilko – Leadvocals / Lead guitar) (Instruction for answering the interview: Please write your responses directly after/under the question.)
On Wildspiritz/IMS we scored your album a 9 out of ten. Around the world, you are getting great airplay and reviews. How do you feel about that?
First of all, thank you very much for that great score! It is absolutely mind-blowing to receive all these high scores and praise on our musical effort. We recorded the music that WE love and to find out that so many people love it as much as we do is a huge compliment. It doesn’t get any better than that, now does it?!
On your social media you say that you are very influenced by music from the 70’s but particularly the 80’s. What is it about the 80’s that you love?
Productions in the 80’s became more sophisticated, a little over the top, larger than life sometimes…add the musical changes, such as the typical wave-style recordings. On the rock-side it became flashier…” hair-rock” stadium rock. I was in my twenties and got to see a lot of live performances in that era. It sticks to you, more so than other era’s who obviously have great music as well.
I am and 80’s chap and grew up in the Netherlands. What is it do you think that makes The Netherlands such a great nation for rock?
Hey, how cool is that…you growing up in the Netherlands! ???? I don’t know what makes our country so great for rock. I DO know that a lot of artists have their first break in The Netherlands and after that go worldwide. Perhaps we are (more) open to new music? And of course, as small as we are as a nation, we delivered some really great acts to the world…talking of bands like Golden Earring, Shocking Blue in the ’60s, Focus, Picture, Highway Chile, Vengeance, Vandenberg later on and nowadays bands as Delain, God Dethroned, Within Temptation…and even adding a Dutch flavour to Finish metal act Nightwish!!
You list many bands as influences and my formative years were spent living in Voorschoten. Picture is one of my all-time favourite bands but also Highway Chile and Vandenberg amongst many others. How come none of those guys made the list?
Ha-ha, I know, weird huh? Probably because we project ourselves more towards music and bands from overseas. It’s clear that these Dutch bands that you mention are great and perhaps Vandenberg does have some sort of influence on us, simply because I love that melodic soloing from Adrian…he tells a story and doesn’t just shred. Same as we do. So, there you go…without mentioning it there IS also some influence in Hardland from Vandenberg! Lol.
I was looking at your touring schedule and currently, you are mostly playing on home soil and venturing over to Germany. Are there any plans to play further afield and what do the prospects look like for playing in the UK?
Right now, we play mainly on home soil. Last year we played a Festival in Germany (Rock am Bahnwerk) and this year we’ll be headlining B188 Rock Stop Open Air in Germany (near Wolfsburg). We tried to get on the playlist of so many other Festivals as well, but maybe it’s been bad timing on our part, but most Festivals that we checked were already booked. We are always open to more gigs indoor and outdoor. And absolutely love to come to the UK or anywhere else in Europe or outside of it. We already sent out lots of info-mails and phone-calls to the UK as well, but so far without any luck …but make no mistake…they can’t stop us!! Lol.
Will you be doing any festivals at all?
Yes, like I mentioned…Last year we were invited to Rock am Bahnwerk in Gelsenkirchen Germany and this year we’ll be headlining B188 Rock Stop Open Air (near Wolfsburg Germany). And hopefully, we will be able to get some more dates.
How do you feel that you stand out in relation to your peers?
I believe we have our own position, a strong position as well, between or perhaps next to our peers. Simply because not many bands do musically what we do. Most of them are more conservative in their songwriting, they stick to what they know and do very well. We get bored easily and therefor try to extend our musical boundaries every time a little more. One reviewer even called us “musical daredevils”. I take that as a big compliment!
Do you play music full time or work as well?
Music is (still) part-time to us…we need a job on the side to keep some money coming in to make a living for ourselves and our families. But music is obviously a very important part of our lives!
Back in the day, the Rotterdam Ahoy was the stadium to play at. What would be your dream venue to play, who with and why?
Yeah, I’ve seen all the great acts in Ahoy Rotterdam back in the days. Nowadays the big ones come to the Ziggo Dome (KISS) or AFAS Live (Journey/ Dream Theater) in Amsterdam, 013 in Tilburg (Judas Priest / Alice Cooper) and a little smaller De Boerderij in Zoetermeer (Sons of Apollo / Glenn Hughes). We would love to support any melodic rock band that plays De Boerderij Zoetermeer, or Paradiso or the Melkweg in Amsterdam. And if we would get a shot at one of the bigger venues, AFAS Live or 013 would be absolute favourites for us to play!
How long did it take to put ‘In Control’ together and was it all plain sailing?
After recording our debut album, we basically never stopped recording. We knew that one album didn’t cut it to play a full show. We needed more music. So, we continued to record and the recording itself didn’t take much time. Some songs were done really fast. Most time consuming was the multi-layered mixing! Finally, the mastering in Abbey Road by Sean Magee didn’t take that long either. Yeah, it was actually plain sailing…no problems whatsoever during recording. Perhaps we were prepared very well and knew exactly what we wanted and how we wanted it. It can go pretty fast like that. Solid prep-work is the most important part. That’s the time-saver in any recording situation.
If you could all pick just one musical hero who would it be and why?
Ow man, that’s hard…one band? One singer? One guitar player? One producer? Lol. In any of these groups I would personally always pick one that’s multi-talented…let’s say David Bowie as a singer or Glenn Hughes. As a band, I would always pick bands that not only tease my ears but also my eyes…so acts like KISS, Alice Cooper, etc. But to pick just one…hmmm…out of all people I would probably say Jan van der Mey (former guitar player/singer with Vitesse and Powerplay and nowadays playing with The Analogues). I just love his overall quality as a singer/guitarist, a songwriter and performer. All in one person. He got me into music when I was a young lad and beginning to check out bands. Later on, I got to share the stage with him on a few occasions.
What advice would you give to bands who are just starting out?
Don’t worry too much about anything, just practice like crazy and kick major ass!!! Make sure to do just that what you believe in and love the most!! And make sure to enjoy it every step of the way!! Once you stand out of the (musical) crowd, you’ll be picked up anyway…by bookers, venues, or even record companies.
Is there any message you would like to say to your growing number of fans?
Help us get an even bigger buzz going. Tell your friends and family about us, share our videos. Most of all…stay in touch with us…come have fun at our shows or by listening to our music!! Or send us your thoughts on HARDLAND through all the available social media channels. We’d love to hear from you!
As you are always writing, what’s next for HARDLAND?
Exactly, we have already started the writing process for our third album. Or maybe we decide to do a new EP first…We also will be making a few more videos to promote the In Control album. And finish a documentary on the band! Always working on new ideas, musically, on video, or any other way. We also try to record as many shows as possible…as a learning process, but once there are some great recordings, we might even release a live EP or something like that.
What do you see as the future for the band over the next five years?
A lot can happen in five years! Hopefully, we’re able to play all the famous venues that we talked about earlier…or doing major Festivals (Worldwide). But definitely being a great touring (and recording) band! Maybe even the beginning of a household name!?
Any final words?
Make sure to enjoy life to the max and support the bands/artists that you like. Remember…art can set your soul on fire…lift you up and even make you think or wonder. Don’t ever lose that!!
HARDLANDs biggest dream is to create as much interesting and great music as possible and play for as many people as possible. All over the world!! And in the meantime, enjoy every bit of the journey!
For people who would love to check us out or already like our music, please check and subscribe to our social media outlets:
or on Twitter and Instagram: #HARDLANDRocks
If you want to order yourself any of our albums or merch, please visit our webshop: https://www.lo41records.com/shop-hardland/
Looking forward to hearing from y’all.
- Original Release Date: August 10, 2019
- Release Date: August 10, 2019
- Label: Lo41 Records
- Copyright: ℗© 2019 Lo41 Records
- Total Length: 41:52
- Genres: ROCK
- ASIN: B07W6XV534
Words by Ernest Platt