- InterviewerTim Williams
Introducing ‘Model Depose’……
Roeland van der Velde of Model Depose in conversation with Tim W.
‘Model Depose‘ came together and rose phoenix like from the remains of Metal and Rock bands in 2009. Evolving into a supremely competent electronic based five piece they released their debut ‘Untitled‘ Ep in 2011 followed by the ‘Nightwatch‘ Ep in 2013.
Having gained much attention and radio play in the past twelve months, they release their debut crowd funded album ‘Splitting Light ‘ in a few days on April 10th. From Metal to electronic via playing with a church choir we spoke to Roeland van der Velde about their journey.
Model Depose are: Roeland van der Velde – Vocals, Jobbe Holtes – Guitars, Backing Vocals, David Bos – Bass, Mariët Gast – Synths & Grand Piano, Tim Lechner – Drums & Percussion.
In the beginning……
Roeland: “After the break-up of former bands ‘Swansdown’ and ‘Prey’, Jobbe and Casper decided to start a new concept. Tired of Metal and more interested in New Wave and Electronic sounds they formed a new project in 2009, resulting in forming Model Depose. During the first period (2009) Mariet and later on Roeland were introduced in their roles in the group. Since the first gig in 2010 we asked David to play bass guitar during the shows. Quite naturally we decided he could join Model Depose. We performed live with ‘Nikita’, our drumcomputer, but later on we decided that a live drummer would add more energy and expression to our shows and later on our new music. That’s how Tim entered the band. Sadly Casper decided to leave the band in 2013, just after we released ‘Nightwatch’. At first it made things difficult in the guitar section, later on we found out that we could ‘fill the gap’ and remain a 5-piece band”.
“While we were searching for a fitting name, we’ve called ourselves ‘Marshlands’, ‘Collapsing New People’ until a friend of ours came with an ironing board with a Model Depose stamp on it. It looked like a cool logo. We decided to anglicise the French term and adopted the name. Much later we found out that Depeche Mode did the same thing”.
“We were influenced by The Cure, Sisters Of Mercy and IAMX but later on we became more and more influenced by different bands and different styles”.
“At the startup of the band we just wanted to make wavy songs with synthesizers and a lot of guitars. After a while we decided to start aiming at a new, fresh sound. We’ve always been in rock / metal bands and wanted to do something different, take time to experiment and approaching music from an electronic, more producer kind of perspective, instead of the more traditional creative process we knew from writing music in bands”.
…and song writing now?
Roeland: “Songwriting took many forms, especially in the early days. Jamming with the band on a beat, starting off with a vocal idea, or starting with a pre produced draft for a song. During the years we developed ourselves in producing songs with more details, more layers, and higher contrasts in our songs. Nowadays, Jobbe does most of the production, and some songs are produced by me. Sometimes, lyrics come first, but mostly after there’s a sketch of a song. We jam to these sketches, or just record guide tracks, and then Jobbe mashes up all the parts and comes with a new version of the song. We keep polishing until we’re happy”.
“I write most of the lyrics, and some were drafted by Jobbe or David. The lyrics are always based on experienced events, feelings, thoughts that have had quite an impact on my life or one of our lives. Because we’re friends I can relate to their stories really well and add some of my own emotions to the lyrics and the song, and in this way make it my own”.
You all live in the same town Groningen? How often do you rehearse – is it always hard work or do do have a bit of fun?
Roeland: “We all live in or around Groningen. It’s a student city with about 200.000 residents, but it has few facilities for rehearsing. We play in a dark maze with rehearsal spaces inside a road viaduct. We rehearse weekly, and we have another weekly writing session or extra rehearsal. It’s fun ánd hard work. We raise the bar quite high for the band, and there’s little time for lots of work. And that’s not only for making music. We try to do most of the band-related stuff ourselves. So promotion, artwork, and finances are also on the time schedule during the week”.
“To relax we tend to jam in other music genres and that leads to hilarious sounds. We call that ‘The Stepmother Brunch Club’, a random name, for random improvised music we have lots of fun playing”.
What was the first thing with Model Depose you were really proud of?
Roeland: “In November 2010 we played in a church with a choir. In two months time we cooperated with a conductor to make a Model Depose version of a classical renaissance piece by Palestrina. The choir, in return, adapted our songs resulting in a electrowave / classical hybrid. We performed it in a packed, sold out church in front of 300 people. It gave such a rush doing this; young & elderly people were surprised by the combination of old and modern music and loved it. The song we have based on Palestrina is the album closer “Order Is Chaos”, although there’s no trace left of the classical piece”.
When did you first start to gig and realise you had a receptive audience?
Roeland: “Early in 2010 we started doing a talent contest. It was the first time on stage after being in ‘Swansdown’ and ‘Prey’. It was still a bit uneasy but we had some nice response from the audience. Later that year the church gig gave us such an elated feeling, and that was also the point that we started to take things more serious with the band”.
I always remember that Martin and Andrew of Depeche Mode where doing 9 – 5 (non-artistic jobs) before they took the plunge. What do Model Depose do?
Roeland: “Jobbe is graphic designer and artist. He has his own company in design and another company offering creative workshops for schools and businesses. David was originally an occupational psychologist and is working for a company reducing absenteeism in work. Mariët is a social worker helping disabled children in a specialized daycare centre. Tim is a cameraman and trained in video editing, currently delivering pizza’s. I’m a trained music therapist working in a specialized clinical centre for treating dual diagnosis; addiction and psychiatry, working with youth and adults”.
Splitting Light – Album Artwork
You took the decision to crowd fund your debut album. This seems to have been a great success? – how do you feel about this and were you suprised or overwhelmed?
Roeland: “It was a great success. I can recall the feeling of relief when we made the 100%. Crowdfunding is quite an underestimated thing; it’s an intense, hectic process where you have to work hard winning people for your cause. A lot of time went into networking, talking with our fans, motivating them for our album or other perks that we sold. We eventually made 106% and I had a feeling that we created some buzz with the campaign that will prove handy with the release of our album”.
I gather that the album is due for release in April? Have you an album title yet?
Roeland: “The album will be released on the 10th of April and is called: Splitting Light”
‘Model Depose’ is a name that is fast getting known on the electro scene – what are your immediate plans?
Roeland: “With our imminent live debut during BAS Festival, one of our dreams will surely be fulfilled! Our first show outside of The Netherlands is something we’ve started talking about a long time ago, so making this happen is going to be awesome”.
“It’s hard to establish a name somewhere, and our music doesn’t label very easily. We’re not exactly a synthpop band as people know it, or indietronica or (indie) rock. Our biggest dream is to find an audience that will embrace us, an involved fan base that exceeds labels or genres, that keeps expanding so we can set foot in other countries than our own, but ultimately also gaining popularity in our own little country, where there’s so many bands, in just so little square km’s, and our kind of music is just a niche”.
…and finally, what would you say to your UK audience?
Roeland: “We hope you are as excited as we are for this show and that you will all come to support us on our UK live debut. Last year, when Jobbe and I went to BAS as visitors we felt so welcome. It’s an amazing scene of music lovers, sweet people creating a warm, cosy atmosphere. We thank you for having us and for tipping us to the BAS organisation. Please be aware that it’s quite unique and don’t let egos destroy this scene”.
Tim: “..thank you Roeland and Model Depose – we are looking forward to meeting you again at BAS 2015 in June – this time on stage!”
Model Depose play at the BAS 2015 Electro-Synth event on June 26
Tickets available here: http://www.towngatetheatre.co.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4334
Model Depose on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/modeldepose?fref=ts