While all music is made by computers nowadays, Holland’s deep south band DeWolff emerges with an old recording promoting eclectic music in a groovy mind-altering experience.

From left to right:  Pablo van de Poel, Robin Piso and Luka van de Poel ​​  

One of the wildest live bands in their league, the group, which released Grand Southern Electric in 2014 produced by Grammy award-winning producer Mark Neill, held a night jamming session for the first time with Indonesian rock bands Khayalan and The Master Project at Erasmus Huis. NOW! Jakarta recently sat down with them to know more about how they have grown up in a band.

The group was founded in 2007 with brothers Pablo van de Poel on guitar and vocals, Luka van de Poel on drums and vocals and Robin Piso on Hammond organ and vocals decided to form a band. Growing up listening to diverse music cultures and oldies tunes, they introduced their music style that connects the legacy of blues with acid rock.

Tell us how you came out with the band’s name, DeWolff.

Luka: When we started jamming together 12 years ago. We just came out with this name we heard in the movie “Pulp Fiction” (1994). We thought it was cool! And it’s stuck forever with us.

Your style of music is unique. Tell us more about the mix between acid music and rock blues.

Pablo: Back in the day we loved to hear 60’s and 70’s [music] especially by psychedelic English band such as Pink Floyd. We are pretty influenced by the oldies, but we make something different out of it. We don’t copy their sound, rather it has become our big inspiration. Since then it has become the core of what we do. We also listen to other bands like modern psychedelic, Southern rock, 70’s American bands and other stuff. But psychedelic is still our thing!

Robin: After a lot of work we decided to put a label on it. But actually for us it’s kind of hard to put one label on it, so if people ask, ‘is it psychedelic?’ We’d say, ‘Yeah psychedelic Southern blues rock’. Then they started to ask us these deep questions about it. We’re actually just playing naturally. It’s not like, ‘No, we can’t release this song ‘cause it’s not psychedelic or not bluesy, you know!’ So we just do whatever we want, and wherever we go the psychedelic is there!

What inspires you?

Pablo: We have different experiences actually. Back when we started it was only when we jammed together in the studio. That was when our first song came out. Later, we happened to write music on the roads. For example, in the latest records most of the songs were written on the roads, as we drove around in a van on a tour. I had a guitar, Robin had a synthesiser and Luke had a drum sampler. So, seated at the back we started out just jamming together, and wrote down some lyrics, chorus, riffs, etc.

Luka: We really enjoy discovering all kinds of music. We had grown as instrumentalists and songwriters, so we tried to make music in our own way. The big inspiration came in when we started listening to Leon Russell, Little Feat and Allman Brother, where the Southern Rock met Psychedelic Rock, and we thought, ‘Alright! This is awesome!’ because the lyrics and the riff just came in balance with unique quality, and everything was perfect.

“Thrust” is your latest album with powerful sound effects and the soul of blues rock music. What was the process like?

Pablo: It began after we came back from a really long tour in 2016. We didn’t have time yet to write new stuff, so when the tour finished we went to the studio to make new album. When the song kind of got there in structure, we recorded as a demo and worked on the others. We then listened to them all over again and changed a little bit. Finally, when we had enough tracks, we began really recording the album in our own studio in Holland where everything is completely analog. It’s all just tape recorders full of crazy grooves and cool acid sound effects. That’s how we made it.

Robin: It was a totally different process for Thrust. We were on a tour; we went from one city to another. We just pressed that ‘record’ button from the little cassette recorder and began jamming along! Pablo eventually had some ideas to sort things out in different ways.

Luka: We all felt like a little bit afraid in the beginning, “Can we still get inspired to write something new? Can we make it in the end?” And from day one the music was recorded we knew that we made it! It was such a relief, and we’re proud to say, “This is unique. This is epic!”

Dutch Band DeWolff held a night jamming session for the first time with Indonesian rock bands Khayalan and The Master Project at Erasmus Huis in March. Photo courtesy of Erasmus Huis/NOW!JAKARTA

Why Thrust?

Robin: It’s one that rocketed us actually. Our music has kind of feeling like ‘thrusting’ and the funny thing is that it also means something sexual as if it was giving you the feeling of ‘getting there’ if you really understand it. Moreover, it means ‘freedom’, which is also a nice thing.

How did you manage the rehearsal with the Indonesian rock bands?

Pablo: We just met on the stage and introduced ourselves. Then, we began to sound check and jammed together. Damar (from Khayalan) came out to play the songs from Led Zeppelin, followed by the others with unique techniques actually. It’s felt special when they played the Indonesian Angklung instrument! “This is actually cool, so let’s play together.”

What are your hopes for the future?

Robin: World domination! Just kidding. It would be really nice if everyone in the world has the chance to listen to our music.

Luka: I love it when people come to us after the show to express their enthusiasm and excitement towards our music, “I have never heard of you guys, but I really love it!” and I hope we could deliver that feeling to everyone in the world. There are more people out there who haven’t heard our music yet, but I am sure they will like it once they listen to it. So, I think we just get to keep on touring; see if we could reach much people as possible, because I believe music is all about reaching people.

Asyariefah R.A.

Asyariefah R.A.

Born into a nature-loving family, Asyariefah enjoys the outdoors. Now! Jakarta provides her favourite collection of narratives with a sense of helping establish her identity. Some of her key areas of expertise include human interest, arts & culture, travel and features.