Artist Interview: “Glass” by The Arthurs

Q: What elements contribute to this albums dreamlike sound?

A: Interesting question. Again, I have to admit that “mood” is my inspiration to write songs. When I feel sad, confused, alienated or even angry, that’s when I’m going to write songs. 

The subjects of my songs are never “happy”. It’s not that I’m not a happy person, because I really am, but I just can’t seem to write “happy songs”. There’s always this sort of sadness or melancholy out there, translated into this quiet-loud-quiet-loud-dynamic, like bands like Pixies and Nirvana did, or even these psychedelic and dreamlike kind of atmospheres that you can also hear in our music. Making “sad” music is not a choice or something, it’s just my way of making art. It’s also the guitar parts of lead guitarist Dylano Hahury that have a great influence on the sound, the feel and atmosphere of the songs on “Glass”. He really seems to understand very precisely what kind of riffs, solo’s, strumming parts or just these beautiful, weird sound effects a song is needing. That’s a very important contribution to the music. Just like the bass lines of Martin Memelink and the drumming of Jetske Blonk. “Glass” is a real collective effort. A piece of art created as a result of this artistic freedom of all the members of the band. We complement and feel each other quite perfectly. 

Q: Is there a consistent lyrical style throughout the album?

ROBIN: I don’t think so. The album consists of 10 quite different songs, I think. That’s also one of the strongest things about our music, I guess. The songs are very dynamic.  Every song has its own style, feel or atmosphere, I think. The songs can also completely change within the same song, you know what I mean? From beautiful to raw and aggressive to psychedelic for example. But “Glass” is still an album with 10 quite different songs that go together pretty well, I guess. A very dynamic album.

Q: Out of all 10 tracks, What lyrics or themes stick out to you?

ROBIN: Pretty basic alternative rock themes I guess, like sadness, confusion, alienation, homesickness, fear, love, misunderstanding, regrets, faults, tension and memories.

Q: Talk to us about “Alice At The Wedding”, what is narrative in this track? 

ROBIN: It’s a song about a person I didn’t really treat that well a long, long time ago. It’s something I still regret, but we were pretty young, you know. Years later I surprisingly saw her again at a wedding in Rotterdam. Of course, things had changed. There was ‘no desire for me’ anymore haha. When I think about it now, when you listen to some of the lyrics, there is some sort of regret of how things went back then and even some sort of apologies to this person.

Q: Describe the best show you ever played together. 

ROBIN: I am very critical, especially towards myself, but we’ve been doing some really great shows in the past and recently too. Our Westerpop Festival gig in 2019 in front of thousands of people was really good for example, but I honestly do think that our last two album release shows in DOOR in Dordrecht and Cinetol in Amsterdam this month were one of the best shows we did up to now. The band is really tight and in great shape at the moment. It also says something about our current line-up, I guess. I’m really pleased with these people, the atmosphere is really good, we work hard, but we also laugh a lot. In the end, I think that also affects the quality of your live performances. The feeling that you are part of a ‘real band’, you know what I mean? 

But to be honest, the best is yet to come, I think. In November we’re supporting the legendary English new wave group Fischer-Z in this big concert hall in Zoetermeer, this venue called De Boerderij, and then we have to be on top of our ability. I have a lot of faith and I do believe that we might possibly achieve something in the future. The music deserves it too, I guess and I’m not saying this because It’s my band or my music. I think the music really deserves to be heard by as many people as possible. This band is not just some folks who create some songs together. The songs are just very well structured, real and pure, really from the heart and our sound is quite authentic. I think it is “for real”, quite “intelligent” music, like good art and I think you can hear in our music that we’re very serious about it. I can say a lot about it, but in the end, people should have a listen and find out themselves! So, just listen to our music everyone out there!

Q: Compared to your experience working on your last album; “When I’m Sane”, what was it like working on “Glass”?

ROBIN: The difference is that “Glass” is an album that we made as a complete band, so with the four of us. The first album we made, “When I’m Sane”, was completely recorded by our drummer Jetske Blonk and me together in, I think 2013-2014. We recorded a complete album together and when we finished it, we lost contact. The album was shelved for a couple of years, but after all, I decided to release it in 2017. I contacted Jetske again and we decided to form a band to do some live shows for the “When I’m Sane” release.  

Just like “When I’m Sane”, “Glass” was mostly recorded in my living room and mixed by Paul Fitzpatrick and mastered by Tammo Kersbergen. They are terrific people who really understand their job very well and I’m really happy to work with them.

Interviewed by Zoey Rowntree





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