Incendiary interview Hospital Bombers
Ah, Hospital Bombers, a truly great act. Incendiary has been fortunate to see this lot in action a number of times, playing their brilliant Nuggets-Pebbles styled folk pop to bemused Goths in a park, grumpy old men in less than salubrious areas of Den Haag, and to ultra hip thin people in Amsterdam. We always seem to miss each other, sadly. In many ways they’re the perfect, classic teenage pop band. Biting the bullet we decided to send Jan Scheck some questions…
IN: You have a very marked style, both in the way you play live and the way you sound on record. You seem very confident on stage. What is it that drives this attitude? What inspires you?
J: We got lucky, our inabilities to play guitar, bass or drums go quite nicely together. Likewise, the fact that we only know one chord makes for simple, catchy songwriting. Add some classical educated violin playing, a lovely singing voice, another one, and you can fool some people, some of the time. Even yourselves, which goes a long way in explaining our confidence on stage, I guess. Folkies With Attitude! Trying to make up for each other's mistakes is really inspiring', as is the sound of an acoustic guitar at ear-splitting level.
IN: Your drummer is something else. He plays in a very individual way. Any reason?
J: Again, our drummer just never got to learn to play the drums properly. Being right-handed, playing left-handed, on a right-handed kit explains a lot of his 'style'. That, and the fact that he tends to get all emotional playing the drums (especially when he forgets his medication).
He draws cartoons too, right-handed mind; incomprehensible mini comic strips about a pig and a beer drinking Slayer fan with an upside down face. You see, it all adds up.
IN: There's a lot (to these old ears) of Camper Van Beethoven in your music. Maybe it's the voice and the folky sound. Can you comment? If not Camper Van, who would you say are influences?
J: We never took any skinheads bowling, so we don't know what you're talking about. We do Get Lonely, sometimes, but we believe that One Kiss Can Lead To Another.
IN: You wear your hearts on your sleeves: your songs are very direct emotionally. Tell us what inspires you to write songs in the way you do.
J: Ah, yes, glad you asked. We forget our meds a lot. Seriously though, we think of our songs as jokes, mostly, which is why we try to be as direct as possible, so you don't miss out on the punch-line. The punch-line being that love is impossible and death is close at hand. Haha.
IN: How do you see the state of Dutch underground music at present? Personally I think it's pretty exciting in terms of talented bands at the moment, but quiet in terms of people realising there are all these great bands on their doorsteps. Is that fair comment?
J: Fair comment. What if we overthrow the government? Also, dancing should be prohibited, and radio playlists should consist only of Leonard Cohen, Jay-Z and Joni Mitchel circa Blue.
IN: You seem to like touring a lot. You've been in the States, Germany... do you see yourselves as the classic touring band?
J: Actually, we're almost done touring. We'll be playing in the States the end of this month, and after that we'll lock ourselves into a log cabin to write new songs, and really, really get to know each other. And then get cabin fever. We like to think of ourselves as a classic cabin feverish band; we really like that Bon Iver record. But we'll probably come out with a lot of wordy Nuggets rip-offs again.
Pics: Courtesy of the band