Exclusive Interview with Mees Dierdorp
Early in his life, Mees Dierdorp wondered how sound could influence the human body. While scratching with his grandmother’s record player, he communicated with the birds on the roof. Even hearing melodies in the woods between the trees, something had to be made, that much was clear. Mees is currently working on a variety of projects. Tricky Trio is his LIVE band, which merges acoustic and electronic energy in a lively new sound. As a solo artist, Mees mostly plays live sets that range from deep to light, from heavy to clear, from lingering to cheerful, always with a wink to soft or hardened life-experiences. Experimenting with poetry and a variety of genres you may be stunned at times, your feet, head and hips will know what to do though. We had a chat with the born talent about his inspirations, Tricky Trio and ladies wrestling with their hair in autumn winds.
You live in Amsterdam. What do you think are the best and worst things about living here?
Well, the good thing is: there is always A LOT going on and a lot of busy people present everywhere. The bad thing is there is ALWAYS a lot going on and a lot of people everywhere.
You have your own studio here as well. How much time do you spend in there? Do you have to stay disciplined and make sure you go in every day or is it purely a labour of love?
I’m in my studio almost every day, or rather purely every night. I don’t think creativity is something which must be squeezed out, but love definitely helps to keep me disciplined.
Do you think too many producers are taking shortcuts with their productions these days?
These days it’s fairly simple to create basic electronic beats with all the emerging and astonishing techniques. But bringing soul into a track needs some deep mind/heart-searching in my opinion. There are not many electronic producers who really touched my senses last year, but luckily there will always be jazz!
So how did you find the process of creating an album then? How long did it take? Many ups and downs in between?
The process was really inspiring, working with such talented side artists like Tricky Trio, poet Lucebert, the beautiful singing Eva Serena and punk-legend Oeds Beydals. It took me almost two years to finish all the elements, recording the solo’s, composing the atmosphere’s and such. Of course there are always ups and downs, I think this is a big part of human life and keeps you going if you manage to stay open for learning-techniques and inspiration.
Musically speaking, was it unlike anything you’ve done before?
Musically speaking Wild Window is a reflection of my interpretation of modern music, experimental art, improvisation and emotions throughout a natural life. Creating a whole story with other artists, lining up interests and keeping the individual tastes central. This was definitely new to me; shining light on all different aspects of life, instead of putting one feeling in one track.
So what was the feeling when you finished it then? Excited? Happy? Sad because it was over?Excited for sure, with a positive tension towards the listener of course (will they like it too?), which worked out well with bookings in Berlin and DC10’s Ibiza in the next months. But I’m not sad this is over, I rather look at the future, can’t wait to begin with my next project.
Did you set yourself a deadline so it’d be finished by a certain date?
To be honest, the date was set for last summer. But the mastering and distribution took longer than I expected. Not a bad thing, just a nice learning- point for future planning.
We’ve read that your own label, MEES Records, is very ‘poetry orientated’. What’s the thought behind that one? How does it differ from other labels?
There is a lot of truths in poetry in my opinion, but poetry is left mostly aside these days. Playing with words and sounds without fear and boundaries gives me the opportunity to express my deeper feelings and thoughts. On the dance-floor, people are often open for new vibes and experimental swings in my experience (this should not be underestimated!) I think a lot of labels focus too much on selling huge amounts of records, creating beats ‘everybody knows’ and ‘are safe’ in a kind of anxious point of view. With our label MEES Records we try to offer a platform for artists who are not afraid to stay close to their hearts and think outside the box.
You’re greatly inspired by jazz too. Is this something that shines through on the album?
Ah, yes I’m a big fan of improvisation and jazz. I sometimes like the errors and irregulars a human body can spit out. And when creativity enters this world and is not disturbed by doubt or troubling thoughts. Some pure waving elements could bring relief, solidarity, smiles and energy to share and create a higher life-value for individuals and groups.
You’ve also played at 5 Days Off and Kater Holzig? How was it?
5 Days Off was really great, so many like-minded artists in the city, top-notch musicians and organisers who really make some effort to rock a location in a unique way. My busiest week of the year for sure! Kater Holzig is moving, so my booking was transferred to a later date for the moment. But the DC10 (Ibiza) with Sven Vath is of course a welcome replacement for the moment. Really looking forward to the new (actually old) location of Kater Holzig though!
What does the live set consist of? What do your musical partners from Tricky Trio, Nick Mabjaia and Thomas van Dijk, bring to the table?
My live-set in Tricky Trio will consist a modern groove on the left, experimental acoustic and electronic symbiosis and the right, with the improvisation element in the middle. The guitar-building Mozambican Nick and the keys master-scientist Thomas are working their instrument with knowledge in the back and freedom of spontaneity in the front, which will deliver a natural feel to modern electronic swing. The three of us are Tricky Trio, and we have only just begun with two songs on the album Wild Window, but we are currently finishing and perfecting our live-set for a tour in 2014.
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And what else inspires you, other from music?
The pure elements in life certainly light my fire. But besides love, pain and nature (and modern techniques), I receive inspiration on the most unexpected moments: like when a dragonfly entered my room to guide me in making a melody (crazy, but true story!), beautiful ladies’ needless struggling with their hair in an autumn wind, the moving colors of mountains on a spring-break in Spain, a friend’s dirty look into a grocery bag, I could go on for hours, anything can be inspiring to create if you remain on open vision in my experience.
And are there any global events that you feel strongly about at the moment?
I just returned from a flight to Berlin and Halle (played with Daso, awesome liveset from this man!), and will be flying to Ibiza next week for Circo Loco with Matthias Tanzmann, Jamie Jones, Shonky and Sven Vath. Also currently in contact with London, Switzerland and of course enough to do in my hometown Amsterdam and there will be festivals for me this summer. More updates soon!
You’re going over to Ibiza for New Years Day at DC10. What can we expect from that gig? Will it be a live show or a DJ set?
Circo Loco is always a crazy madhouse with top-quality musicians, I’m very honoured they invited me to play with them. I’ll be doing a special Live-DJ Set, so I’ll spin my own productions (Wild Window and fresher promo’s) in a Dj-set. This is going to be one heaven of a party!
Tours aside, what else should we be looking forward to from Mees Dierdorp?
There are currently a lot of fine communications with friends abroad; a lot of cooperations with vinyl-labels linking Amsterdam with Berlin (Shoeless/Alter Ego), remixes, gigs on big foreign festivals and of course there will be more releases on MEES Records in the first part of 2014. I will not spoil the fun of surprise, but there will be a lot of musical projects coming to light in 2014. The album Wild Window is only a little sneak peak trough the window of my studio. Behind a little glass there is a big world full of fireworks…!
Sven Vath | Jamie Jones | Dan Ghenacia | Shonky | Dyed Soundorom | Cassy | Tania Vulcano | Matthias Tanzmann| Laura Jones | Andrew Grant | Luna City Express | Mees Dierdorp | Sossa | Jose De Divina