Text: René Rosierse
Photos: René Oonk
Almost two months ago the debut album of The Anaesthetics, ‘1080’, was released. Named after the Roland JV-1080 synthesizer that was used in many new wave classics in the eighties. A movement that the band has listened to many times and also gained a lot of inspiration from. They appropriately call their music Modern New Wave.
Last week they were able to show the result of their debut live to an audience at Paard in The Hague. We spoke to singer Sam Duijf and drummer Stijn Vullings afterwards and asked about their experiences, the creation of the album and the future of the band.
First of all, compliments for a great show the audience enjoyed to the fullest. Both Sam and Stijn are very satisfied with how the show went and Stijn says: “During the last few songs I really had this feeling of ‘that’s how it should be’. I had never had that feeling before, but I already knew there was more to it. This was really nice.”
The album has been out for almost two months now. How have the reactions been and how are you feeling about it yourself?
Sam: “We spent a year and a half working on these songs before we could finally let the public hear them and at one point we were like ‘out with the thing, we want to move on’. We first released two singles (‘TV Celebrity’ and ‘One by one’) and they were well received. The album also received good reviews. But we also got the comment that the album might sound a bit too neat. We do understand this comment. While recording, we did what we could and made the best of it. The record had the right feeling for us and we went for it. Live, all this does not come across as neat and sometimes a bit rawer.”
What do you prefer, the refined work as on the record or the rawer sound as we heard live?
Stijn: “Live you have to offer something extra to the audience. That’s what people come for, otherwise they can set up the record at home. This also gives the whole live just a little more energy.”
Sam: “With recording we have the opportunity to refine the songs layer by layer. Live you have to be able to play this in a translatable way. We have now also brought an extra keyboard player, which makes us sound even fuller. We have learned that the difference should not be too great. We are very happy with how the work sounds live now.”
The Anaesthetics have been around for ten years now and a year and a half ago the time had come to seriously start working on an album. One hundred songs were needed for this and ten of them eventually made it to the record. What will happen to the remaining ninety pieces?
Sam: “These are in the ‘refrigerator’, our joint Google drive. We are now making new things again, but that does not mean that we will no longer use this.”
Stijn puts it even better: “The hundred songs were, as it were, one big block of ice from which we made a sculpture of what our album should become. The leftovers are the remaining ninety songs.”
The album is here, what’s next?
Sam: “We already have enough new ideas and are working on new songs. We are slowly thinking about a follow-up album or maybe an EP first. In any case, we don’t want the gap between this album and the sequel to become too big. In any case, we will also take all the knowledge we have gained with us.”
Stijn: “With the new work we want to aim more towards pop. We certainly won’t rule out the rest. We want to work towards a song that could be played more easily on the radio, but without having to make too many concessions.”
Besides Sam and Stijn, The Anaesthetics consist of bassist Des Spreeuwenberg and guitarist Koen Huijs. Are you always on the same page, and how do you write your songs?
Sam: “Everyone brings in their ideas. We are all enough baggage to write songs. If an idea is good, then we develop it further with the four of us. It’s a very creative process where the final product belongs to the four of us. We always ask ourselves is this cool and if so is this also poppy?”
What should be decisive for you, cool or poppy?
Both in unison: “Great”
That writing and developing new material with the four of us, will this continue to work for you now? Guitarist Koen Huijs is in Japan for a year and then ‘just’ returns to the band.
Sam: “Yes, no problem. We still all work together via the joint Google drive. Koen brought his instruments to Japan and we regularly have Zoom meetings.”
What is still planned for The Anaesthetics in terms of performances?
Sam: “We have a number of shows planned for the beginning of 2023, but no tour yet. In any case, that gives us a little more space and freedom to start working on new material.”
We will now patiently wait for the next opportunity to see the men live at work. We thank Sam and Stijn for their time and wish them a successful future. We enjoyed a very strong performance and are sure that with the passion of the band we will certainly hear more from The Anaesthetics soon.