Forgot to mention it yesterday (although I got a couple of mails pointing me to it): Tom was in De Wereld Draait Door yesterday. He talked about the Bob Dylan-dvd Don't Look Back. You can watch it here.
You can buy the dvd Bob Dylan - Don't Look Back (1965 Tour Deluxe Edition) on Amazon.
A couple of months ago I linked to an interview with Tom in Hungarian. Tim Mussche was kind enough to ask his friend Takács István Gábor to translate it.
"I can say that this is the best line-up" - dEUS - Interview with Tom Barman
I fell in love with dEUS when with many others I first heard them on the 1997 Sziget Festival. Through the years - just like an exciting lover - they sometimes span me up, sometimes soothe me but always held me on their palms; they have disappeared and returned renewed. Their new album Pocket Revolution came out a year ago, and the Belgian fivesome shows that with the lead of Tom Barman they still can balance between pop and wierd artrock. We have been talking to Tom, also active as a movie artist, before their second show at Sziget.
- Your fourth album came out with a new line-up. How do the fans react (accept) the new dEUS?
Tom Barman - We have had very good feedabck so far. We've left a pretty hard time behind, there were big moves in our band - members left, then came back, then stepped off again. We have completely stopped in 1999, and reactivated ourselves again in 2004. It was really an art to put together and set everything afloat. To cut it short: finally we have found some very cool guys whom we knew each other earlier. Mauro (Pawlowski - guitar, vocals, -the editor) from the Evil Superstars and Alan (Gevaert, bass, vocal) who was around the world with Chris Whitley - joined us.
- What is it like to work with them? Do you have good relationship?
TB: We have been playing together with the violinist and pianist Klaas, and with Mauro we got together when we did one of my musical projects Magnus. I can say that this is the best line-up, even compared to the band that was at the beginning of the 90s. If you see the concert you will agree. We have finished the album this time last year, and we have been touring since. We have been to 25 countries since September.
- You couldnt imagine life any other way right?
TB: Good question. I really could not live without this (smiling). And this is my simple answer.- At this recent tour, which show was the most memorable?TB: We gave many concerts so its hard to answer, but maybe it was the most exciting to play in Iceland. This was our first time in Rejkjavik, and it really captured us. We have played for full house and people were going mad! I can say we have had only good shows so far because we feel that this team is really good. We play old and new songs too, though I should not say that the songs from Pocket Revolution are new, because they are one year old. We soon start to write the new material, maybe already in August.
- Do you write songs easily?
TB: Not really, I do not write too much. I am not the kind who quickly puts together 14 songs, then chooses 5 at the end. I am more like writing only 5 but using all. I work a lot but not only with songs. My latest film, Any way the wind blows was shown in 2003.
- Does it have anything to do with the same last line of the Queen song, Bohemian Rhapsody?
TB: Its just accidental. This movie is like a 24 walk in the city. Little fragments from people's lives.
- Do you shoot commercials? Ive heard a car company has asked you once...
TB: That has happened a long time ago and did not end well. They had no use of it.
- It was not popular taste enough?
- Do you have to pay attention to being popular enough when doing your records?
TB: We always experiment, we are open minded. This is more typical of Belgians than English. We come from a small country where we like to mix flavours and styles. Theres not such a heavy burden of tradition on us than on the British. We like to combine free jazz with pop, hard rock with ballads, and so we do.
- I have read somewhere, that you are almost like traveling ambassadors of Belgian culture. Being Belgian: is it an advantage or disadvantage in the musical world?
TB: The hardship is that we have to work very hard for being known. We are not from such an exotic country as Hungary or Finland. These names mean much more to people, move their fantasy easier. Ours is a small country, the world does not know much of us. I am glad though that we have just won two gold medals at the European Championships. But it is also an advantage to be Flemish, because, as I have said, we think freely, and we can easier deepen and flow into things.
- Do you sing on your native language?
TB: Yes. With a Dutch pianist, Guy van Neuten, who played with me on my solo nights. I like to return to my roots time to time, therefore I play others songs too: Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake and Captain Beefheart. We were playing some 35 nights that were very good. We have issued a double CD with the live recordings. If I have some time I like to spend it like this: singing and playing for the audience's, and my own pleasure. Now my solo projects stopped because I am fully concentrating on dEUS, we should do the new album, theres the tour so I dont have much time for else at the moment.
- And Magnus, your electronic project with the famous remix-producer, CJ Bolland?
TB: It was so much fun working together, there was no pressure on us. I've been doing a lot of DJ sets, and I plan to continue this. We plan to make a new Magnus album too.
- Its hard to imagine you behind the desk, because you are such a R&R guy.
TB: Thanx (playing sad)... but I am really good at it!
- I did not mean to bug you: its more like a nice surprise, I like electronic music.
TB: When Im puting on the records I keep dancing and singing. I look like an idiot, not a typical DJ with a poker face.
- You have been to a lot of festivals. Who was the best to be together with on a stage?
TB: The Gueens of the Stone Age. They have become my favorite band during the last few years. They are unbelievable! Its very sexy as they play rock music. And Tool. I am a great fan of them.
- And you play before Radiohead today...
TB: Of course this is a great honour. I have not seen them for 10 years, finally I will.
- After this tour, shall we expect another live DVD?
TB: We are working on it, collecting the materials. We would like to do something special, something more than a conventional live record. I am thinking about the concept.
- Do you direct your clips?
TB: Not any longer. I ask someone else because its too much work to direct and play at the same time. Singing while everybody looks cool but I look tired is not good. I want to look good in the clip.
- Are you interested in contemporary art? Can you follow it sometimes?
TB: Yes I buy books regularly and get to museums too sometimes.
- Will you have time for it in Budapest?
TB: We have been walking the city for 3 hours yesterday. We liked very much what we saw.
- How long can you stay? On Monday, your friend Brian Molko plays with Placebo at Sziget...
TB: Unfortunately we leave on Sunday, but if you do an interview with him, give him my greetings!