By Rick Slagter, Groningen Correspondent
Groningen, a city in the North of the Netherlands, is a famous garage rock city—non-stop since the 1960’s. At the moment there is a large diversity of garage bands with all kinds of influences: rock, noise, punk, 1950’s rock & roll, 1960’s rock and more. One of these bands is Boogie Chillers, a trio, which released its first full length album Down from the Tree on November 5th.
Rock At Night had the pleasure of speaking with two guitarists from the band, Fiona and Teade.
How it began
The start of Boogie Chillers was at least remarkable. The guitarists/vocalists Fiona and Teade are a couple, and that is where it all began.
Fiona: “Well, in 2009 I was trying to learn to play the guitar at home a bit and Teade showed me some riffs and licks. Teade really liked the way I played, so we soon started playing guitar together. I thought he was joking when he said that he wanted to start a new band, but I realised he was serious when he asked drummer Koos to join us. So in 2010 the three of us formed the band Boogie Chillers.“
During the bands existence Fiona and Teade had two children and the drummer Koos also has become a dad. After having a family, the band hardly stopped or paused, but maintained a low profile.
Fiona: “We do indeed have families, but this doesn’t really influence the band or the music. The songs in Down from the Tree weren’t written while taking care of our children, as we’re always 100 percent dedicated to our music when composing.
The band did a tour through The Netherlands last week, luckily we have very nice family members and friends who help us. And our country is very small, so we can always drive home after a gig.”
In de band biography Boogie Chillers is the missing link between QOTSA and the Gories. The band’s name “Boogie Chillers” is related to the song “Boogie Chillin’” by John Lee Hooker and also one of the songs on a Gories album.
Rock At Night: You were in May this year the support act of the Gories at Vera Groningen.
Fiona: “It was an honour to support the Gories at Vera, as we have been long-time fans. Immediately after our show Dan Kroha from the Gories came backstage to say that he really liked it. So that was great. We would love to support them again any time!”
The magic number
Rock At Night: Boogie Chillers is a trio with drums and two guitars. What is the reason the band chose this?
Teade: “Indeed, no bass. We did consider it, but we wanted two guitars and we really wanted to be a trio. Three is the magic number, and the band dynamics would change completely with another member. We don’t miss a bass in our music, and it also works for many other garage bands, like the Gories, the Blues Explosion, the Oblivians, White Stripes, Black Keys, to name a few. We do try to get a full sound with some bottom end by using bass amplifiers. But we certainly wouldn’t rule out that one of us will pick up a bass guitar for a new song.”
Rock At Night: Boogie Chillers’ songs and arrangements are thought-out and balanced, sometimes noisy, sometimes subdued. How is the band composing the songs?
Teade: “We don’t consider ourselves as garage rock purists. We like many different styles and sounds, so we just play what we like, which pretty much can be anything. I’m the one who comes up with licks and riffs and some sort of arrangement, and then the songs get their final shape in the rehearsal room with the three of us. Drummer Koos is very good at tweaking songs and getting the structure right.
Down from the Tree sounds very energetic and live. On stage, Boogie Chillers sounds very similar to the album.
Fiona: “We had several recording sessions in Oldenburg (Germany) and Groningen, and all the songs were recorded with the drums and guitars playing together. Vocals, percussion and some sonic extras were added later. So this is where our ‘live’ sound comes from probably. And that’s what we consider ‘garage’. It’s all about the feeling of playing together. “
Down from the Tree
The album is released on vinyl, but also digitally available on iTunes, Spotify and on Bandcamp.
Fiona: “At the moment the vinyl album is only available in record stores in the Netherlands. We would love to have some form of distribution in Europe and the US, but for now if people want to buy the album they can send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to order a copy.”
Boogie Chillers is: Fiona Jane, guitar/vocals; Teade Jagersma, guitar/vocals; Koos Borg, drums.
Live @ Vera Groningen
LISTEN on SOUNDCLOUD
Check also Boogie Chillers or Spotify and iTunes.
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Photographer (concerts, documentary), musician (rock, blues), writer (fiction), straight edger (sober in any sense), dwells underground (alt scene).
Living in the North of The Netherlands, the independent creative area of the country (hotspots are Groningen and Leeuwarden).