Antillectual comes from Holland and
they do really nice music. Willem who plays guitar and sings have taken his
time to be interview by me. This happened in February of 2007.
-Antillectual is around since 2001. The last few years we released some
demo’s and 1 full-length CD called Silencing Civilization. We’ve toured
Europe several times and have been to the US in the summer of 2004. We’ve
never been to Sweden unfortunately …
Please tell me a little about every member, age, family, work, interests and
something bad about every one?
-We’re a three piece consisting of Yvo who plays bass and does the screaming
parts of our vocals. He’s 24, father and still studying. He also runs the
typewriter distro we always bring on shows. He gets hyperactive when he’s
had (too much) coffee. Or fresh air.
Riekus is our drummer, 23 years old, works at the school he’s also studying
at. He’s in almost every band there is in Holland. He has very awkward
habits when asleep.
My name is Willem, I play guitar and I sing the more melodic stuff. I’m 25
and garbage man, which is a really respected profession here in Holland. I
also play in a band called Brat Pack. Another bad habit is being a
A little side note: I hope you’re not trying to break us up through pointing
out each other’s bad habits.
My review of your record is like this ANTILLECTUAL-SILENCING
CIVILIZATION(CD-ANGRY YOUTH AYR002) Bands from Netherlands often have very
high class and often sounds angry. This group haven´t the same sound as many
other bands from the same country….they often plays SxE-similar hardcore but
Antillectual plays a much more melodic form of hardcore or how to say it and
explain them. The singer have the little bit angry voice(or maybe more the
backgroundsinger) as tougher bands have but that´s maybe the nearest the
band comes sxE hardcore. I really like the ten songs and that will you also
do if you like groups who likes to plays really fast but anyway keep the
melodies and which have a little bit of emocore in their music too…. All is
a group I think about sometimes. (SEVEN) 15/1-07
What about it?
-Thank you very much. I guess we can live with it. Even though I have to
emphasize that there’s more than only straight edge bands coming from the
Netherlands. Those guys give us a bad reputation even though there’s more
where we come from. But thanks, I appreciate what you’re saying about us.
Is there any other bands you´re being compared with?
-Well, I don’t like comparing ourselves to other bands, cause we don’t want
to imitate other bands and we don’t think we come close to bands we’re being
compared with. But, people sometimes compare us to Propagandhi, Rise Against
and Strike Anywhere. I guess that’s a good thing though. We really love
those bands ourselves.
Do you care about reviews?
-Yes, personally I do. Not too much though. We’re not writing songs in order
to receive positive reviews or have a lot of people to buy our CD. But on
the other hand it’s always nice to hear good things about the stuff you’re
doing. And yes, I hate it when we get a negative review. But it doesn’t
change the most fundamental way I feel about making music.
Which is the most peculiar review you ever have got?
-It must have been the one from Finland. Damn a strange language those guys
have. Also, we met Darren, a guy in Basingstoke (UK.) who does reviews for a
fabulous zine called “Last hours”, who told us he mixed up writing a review
for us. He wrote down the review for our CD when listening to a CD by
another band. And it was a negative review, for sure. Fortunately he
corrected it in the next issue of Last Hours with the real (and positive)
How would you describe your music in
-Energetic, melodic, sincere.
How is it to live in your homecountry? And why does dutch people talks so
-Euhm, well that’s a difficult one. I’ve lived in the Netherlands all my
life and it’s hard to compare it to other countries. But still I can
honestly say that I’m very lucky being born here. The Netherlands is a
prosperous country and life is relatively easy over here when compared to
several other areas in the world. On the other hand the recent political
climate over here is not to good. The past years we’ve had a rather
rightwing government that fucked a lot of people over. They’ve stimulated
economical growth over the backs of the people who needed the money more. So
even in a prosperous country as the Netherlands there’s a lot to do. I think
our English is so good because from the age of ten we get English classes in
school. Also we have a lot of American and English tv-shows that are being
subtitled in stead of postsynchronized like they do it in Germany and
France. At that, nobody outside of Holland speaks dutch, so we’re forced to
speak other languages.
What about the government?
-Yeah, what about it?
As I told before, the dutch government hasn’t contributed to a better
country or, being involved in the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, a better
world. Maybe the next government will be somewhat better. But in the end
it’s up to the people themselves. Even though I think governments should
play a role in reducing the power of multinational companies. It’s very hard
to influence them when you’re a single citizen.
Do you think that music and politics goes hand in hand?
-I sure think so. I’m not saying every band or artist should be political.
There’s so much music that’s not political and really beautiful, and there’s
more than enough political music that sucks. But I think music, lyrics and
musical activism can be a great way to reach a big audience for a political
message. And why not? If you think you have something to say that’s worth
being heard, go for it. Besides: it’s necessary, we’re still not living in a
perfect world, so there’s a job to do. I like the idea of a world that is
more faire, more equal, more peaceful, and I like music, why not combine
Best political band?
-Propagandhi. Best band. Period. I love the way they combine energy, melody
and a political message.
Is there any good bands in your home country now?
-Definitely! A lot actually. Everyone should check out Smash the Statues, a
band from our label. They have plans to go to Sweden and play some shows
with The Indecision Alarm I believe. Also the Tenement Kids is a really
talented band from our country. They’re pretty new, but have the potential
to get bigger. And then there’s a lot of bands that are already quite big
but are really active: Bambix, Undeclinable, de Heideroosjes, etc.
What do you know about Sweden?
-You’re all blond.
No, seriously, this morning I read in the newspaper that you have the most
hospitable policy concerning asylum seekers, a good thing and an example for
all European countries in my opinion. And just like Holland there recently
was a political murder on a respected politician, Anna Lindh. For the rest I
know there’s little sunshine and a lot of beautiful nature in your country.
Have you heard any good swedish bands?
-One of my favorite bands is from Sweden: Adhesive. I’m addicted to their
album “From left to right”. I grew up with the Swedish sound of skate punk.
So I really enjoy Swedish bands such as the Satanic Surfers, No Fun At All,
Millencolin, Pridebowl, Venerea and the like. I think Burning Heart has done
a lot for the European punk scene. I like the new ex-Adhesive band The
Indecision Alarm a lot as well.
Riekus (drums): whatever happened to One Chord Wonder? They were on this
compilation with Satanic Surfers among others, and I never heard of them
ever since. Besides Refused and the aforementioned bands they were my
favourite from Sweden
What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?
-I think punk is a word, indeed. But it’s more than just a musical genre. I
think it’s a way of approaching things. It’s a critical attitude towards the
state of things. Why is something the way it is, and why don’t we improve
it? In the punkrock scene that attitude is combined with a musical medium.
Please rank your five favourite records, five favourite concerts and five
most important things in life?
-Damn, a difficult one again. I’ll see how far I’ll get.
1. Adhesive – From Left to right
2. Propagandhi – Today’s empires, tomorrow’s ashes
3. Strike Anywhere – Change is a sound
4. Rise Against – Revolutions per minute
5. Osker – Idle will kill
1. Propagandhi – Melkweg, Amsterdam (2001 or 2002)
2. Ten Foot Pole – Doornroosje, Nijmegen (somewhere in the late nineties)
3. Hot Water Music – PukkelPop, Belgium (2003 or something)
4. Alkaline Trio – Lowlands (2005)
5. Strike Anywhere – Winston Kingdom, Amsterdam (2003?)
1. People you’re comfortable with around you (not necessarily friends)
3. Antillectual (a combination of the first two I guess)
4. Having a goal in life and growing towards the achievement of that
5. Tasty food!
First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
-First: Offspring – Ignition
Last: No Use For A Name – (some single from New Red Archives, old and live
Most expensive: I don’t buy expensive records, I’m not a collector or
anything. I like to buy records directly from the band or from DIY distros
and I’m afraid I download a lot. That says enough, right?
Most embarrassing record in your collection?
-Michael Jackson – Bad (but it’s a tape, so that’s not too bad then, isn’t
Is My space a good place to get your music?
-Ouch, you got a couple of hours? I could write a book about it.
No, it’s not the best place to get your music. It’s run by a subdivision of
Fox, which is one of the most horrible news corporations in America. Each
song you put on myspace is from then on property of Fox. I think that really
sucks. It’s a capitalistic enterprise that makes a lot of money over the
backs of all the bands that expose their music over there. But on the other
hand it’s a great means to get your (anti capitalistic) message across. Our
band has had a lot of help through the people we met on myspace. Not being
on myspace holds you back as a young and starting band, I think. It’s easy
for big bands that don’t need communities like these to boycott myspace,
they can do without it. When you’re pressing a record you’re also making use
of a capitalistic enterprise. Even when you’re pumping gas to get to your
weekly band practice you’re dependent of a multinational with a questionable
policy. It’s an issue without ideal solution.
Do you do any covers on stage? Why or why not?
-Sometimes we play a cover as an encore. The 2 we’ve done most are
Propagandhi’s “Stick the flag up your goddamn ass ...” and Face to Face’s
“Ordinary”. Great songs to play.
Is it many interviews? Is it boring?
-No, we don’t do many interviews, so it doesn’t get boring yet. But you’ll
notice, the answers get shorter towards the end.
Which is the question you never get, please ask it and answer it?
-I guess it would be rather cheesy to say “This one” and leave it at that?
I think what I miss in many interviews is musical talk. Questions about how
people make music, how songs are being created. I’m really interested in how
other people make songs and experience that. There’s more than enough talk
about local scenes and the textual content of songs, but it’s the music
that’s not explored enough. I guess it’s harder to talk about music and find
the right words to describe it.
Is it any chance to see you in Sweden soon?
-Hopefully! We love to play, anywhere, anytime. I think any proper band
should try to play as much as possible and all over the world. And our
booking agency, Annie Mae Bookings, told us he got offers for us to play in
Scandinavia so hopefully we come to Sweden any time soon.
Where is the best place to play?
-Any place where there is an open-minded crowd that is interested in what a
band has to offer. Secondary conditions such as nice weather, vegan snacks
after the show and a bit of space on stage are nice but not required. As far
as our band is concerned, we’ve had our best foreign shows in the US,
Austria and France I think.
How is a good gig with you?
-For us it’s been a good gig when either people that didn’t know us before
got to know us and appreciated our show or when people already knew us liked
what they saw live and there was an interaction between the band and the
people. Without interaction there’s no show possible.
The name where does it comes from?(yeah it’s a boring question but it´s
-It’s a word I made up during detention in high school. I guess it’s been
good for something. A lot of people think “Antillectual” means that we’re
opposed to reading or opposed to intellectuals. Well, none of that all. It
represents more or less an “anti-attitude” through intellectual thought. We
try to oppose dogmatic points of view and traditional resistance. Political
activism shouldn’t be based on a scene or a group of friends but rather on
rational objectives and motives based on human consciousness.
What shall we do about all racists?
-I think we should try to make a sharp distinction between them and us, and
tear them apart. I think racist thought is so 1998.
But seriously; in this globalizing world I think racist thought has no
future at all. I think it should be fought when racist opinions are being
expressed. But the contemporary racist parties get a lot of votes of
dissent. People are more afraid of the problems that they’re dealing with
personally than that they hate foreigners or people with a darker skin. And
even if they call themselves racist I think they’re afraid of other people
they don’t really know and fear losing their own identity in stead of truly
hating others races. When people say “the foreigners steal our jobs” they
don’t care about foreigners getting their old jobs, they care about not
having a job themselves. If they had a job themselves they wouldn’t care
about foreigners anymore. But is there a causal connection between the
presence of foreigners and the amount of unemployed people? No, they’re both
depending on a government’s policy.
The best band in punkhistory?
-Again: they influenced me the most: Propagandhi
The most important punksong? And
your best song?
-I think that really depends on the moment.
Ok, I tried, but really, I can’t say, neither one of them ... Let other
people judge our songs.
Futureplans for the band?
-We’ll be recording some demo songs in march to be followed by serious
recordings for our next full-length in August. We hope to release it before
the end of the year, but you know how these things go. We’ll be touring a
lot this summer and next school year hopefully even more, because by then
everyone in the band will be graduated. And of course: we hope to meet in
-I’ll be working with my other band (Brat Pack) on a new record as well and
tour with them when Antillectual has off days.
-Homo sapiens non urinat in ventum.
Something to add?
-Thanks for this interview, for coming up with a lot of questions worth
answering. And thank you (reader!) for reading it, must have been quite some
work. If you’re interested in our band, please check our website
www.antillectual.com , and there’s some website called myspace we can be
found on too ... or email:
Thanks for your attention.