Incendiary speak to AC Berkheimer

Things can get quite tense in the rehearsal space creating the things we want..



Dagmar from AC Berkeheimer, one of Holland’s most brooding, interesting bands caught up with Incendiary at Eurosonic. Here’s what she had to say…

IN: You seem such a determined band, both from your stage demeanour and the tone of your records. Are you on a mission, or are you just being moody?

D: We’re a bit of both probably. Things can get quite tense in the rehearsal space creating the things we want. Releasing them into the world is always a struggle, and that can make us somewhat moody at times (or is it nerves?), but in the end all we really want is to convince the rest off the world of our songs, and in that we are very determined.

IN: I suspect you have obsessive fans. True?

D: Yes, obsessive they can be, stealing the tiniest of mementos (beer coasters, personal notes, etc.) from under our noses, stalking us for new material, but isn’t that what any band would want?

IN: The record draws on a big, swirling sound at times but also has a very Gothicke-folksy element. I kept thinking of bands like Amon Duul 2 or Fairport Convention (once the noise abated). What do you draw on?

D: We draw on anything, many things, sounds, everyday life and bands like my bloody valentine and the Smiths, but also PJ Harvey, Sonic Youth, or  the Beatles and Francois Hardy, the Stone Roses,  even Bob Dylan and Neil Young.
The bands you mention though, are at least two we have never thought of before, always nice to hear a new approach to our music. Gothicke-folksy?, I don’t think we’ve ever thought of our music in that direction, if that is a direction.

IN: You like textures and patterns to inform the melodies & harmonies in your music, in that respect you are not like many other Dutch bands. Why is this?

D: I wouldn’t really know if that’s the case, we make music the way we’re used to, every song you hear is created through a process we go through together, we than cut the result up in pieces and mix ‘em again so as to get the sound/ feel/ harmonies we feel right for the songs. Sometimes it’s a process of weeks, sometimes a couple of hours. Mostly our roughest ideas are the best or at least come out best. If that’s something un-Dutch, we’re not aware of it. Maybe because we listen to more British/European based bands than American or maybe because of the combination of two blond boys and two brown haired girls or maybe its something different all together, you figure it out.

IN: What other things do you draw on for inspiration? I suspect you're bookish (with a bit of psychosis thrown in).

D: With four completely different personalities making up the band, the inspiration for our music comes from books, tango dancing, pixel pranks, other bands, films, great food and local bars. And the fact that we have a medical doctor in our midst keeps us from going mental….

IN: You're on a good label, you're hip, and you’ve made a great LP. So now what? How do you see your music moving on from here?

D: Well, after having asked ourselves that question several times, and making plans for a new record and all, we’ve decided to turn the wheel and do it different this time around. We are still planning to bring out new material somewhere this year, but the exact form will be different from what we’ve done before, the music of course will be even better and the kick we’ll get out of it even greater.

After such a good start its difficult coming up with a follow up, the expectations are high, the pressure was even higher and not so much from others as from ourselves so instead of going through the same routine as last time, why not do it completely different? So keep your eyes and ears open this year!

IN: How did you meet up? Was it difficult finding the only other My Bloody Valentine fans in the Netherlands?

D: As it was Valentijn and Gwendolien started out dating for a few months (yonks ago), but soon found out that making music together was more their thing, Remco and Valentijn were already in another band making completely different music with a group of friends from university. And than there was me; I knew Remco and Valentijn through my boyfriend and Valentijn knew I used to play bass, so he asked me to come and play with them, but I wanted to sing. Oh but yeah, we also need a singer…somehow I still ended up playing the bass.

And as for My Bloody Valentine, it was more music as a whole that played a big part in forming the band.

IN: Give our readers a nice recipe to cook.

D: Right, with one strict vegetarian in our band (except for the occasional McDonalds hamburger, but is that really considered meat?) we’ve decided to come up with something meatless that matches our music…its dark and bittersweet with a twist.

Real chocolate mousse

200 gr. real dark chocolate
3 medium sizes eggs, separated
2 oz golden caster sugar
3 fl. oz water
Juice of 1 orange (filtered)
(Optional)1 tablespoon Brandy

serve with a little whipped cream
Break chocolate into small pieces and put in a small bowl with the water. Melt au-bain-marie and pour in the orange juice, mix together until smooth. (app. 6 min.)

Whisk egg whites until glossy and you can form peaks.

Stir yolks and sugar into the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and add a little of the egg white, stir again. Fold in the chocolate mixture with the rest of egg whites, and keep folding and cutting (what ever you do, don’t whisk!) until you can see no more white bits and the mixture has a fluffy, silky look to it.
Pour the mixture into a large bowl or several small ones, cover with cling film and keep in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Pics: Courtesy of the band