Having recently released their debut EP To Hell To Zion, Dutch ‘supergroup’ Gott‘s founding member Dave van Beek took some time out to answer a handful of quickfire questions, courtesy of yours truly.
Delving a little deeper into the band, and all things Gott related, I got to learn a little more about one of the newest, and most enduring bands out there, including their rough ride luck wise, regarding the EP release, and playing live. With a very positive outlook, and aims towards the future, ladies and gentlemen, here are Gott….
What is the musical background for the members of Gott, and how did you initially come together?
We’ve all been friends for a long time. Members of Gott play in bands such as Soulburn, Severe Torture, The Devil’s Blood, Ggu:ll, Radar Men From The Moon, Legion Of The Damned… Gott started out as a studio project and when the time was right, I started thinking about who I could invite for this band. Farida Lemouchi (vocals) and Twan van Geel (guitar) already were part of the studio project when I recorded the song Axiom VI. I invited Thijs van Laarhoven (guitar), William van der Voort (guitar) and Joep Schmitz (drums) along the way. I wanted to have a group of friends that all have plenty of experience with playing in bands and have the right attitude.
With other active projects, how easy is it to commit to Gott?
Although we are all involved in other bands and projects, it is pretty easy to get everybody in the same room. Mainly because I have a home studio in my backyard where we can play and rehearse whenever we want.
Who do you consider to be your musical influences individually, and as a band?
I guess it is the music that I have been listening to, since I write most of the music. I never had a certain band or style in mind when I started writing though, this is just what came out. People make comparisons, of course, but a lot of times bands are mentioned that I have never listened to. For me, Gott is an accumulation of all the sounds that have crossed my path and touched me. That can be (dark) ‘80s pop, but also the first or second wave of black metal… and everything in between.
Gott is an accumulation of all the sounds that have crossed my path and touched me…
Where do you get your inspirations for your song writing?
A riff can pop up at any time and I usually try to take notes and bring that inspiration to my studio. Being in solitude in my studio usually inspires me a lot too, and I love to jam and see what comes out. If something comes out that I like, I try to build on that.
Do you have an active aim for the band, or has it organically evolved over time?
It organically grew. I started writing music for Gott in 2017, and in 2019 I asked Twan and Farida to join on the Axiom VI song, which I made after one of my best friends passed away. Since then, we got the band together and we focused on recording the EP. After that, the main aim was to play live shows, which we were supposed to start with at Roadburn this year. Unfortunately, we have had some setbacks and we had to prolong that part of Gott, but we are still fully committed to get out and play and 2023 should see us getting on stages all over.
Having to cancel the Roadburn appearance, how did that leave you feeling?
Of course, that was a huge let down. Premiering the band in our hometown at Roadburn would have been the perfect start.
Having to now postpone progress of the band, due to some in-house medical issues, how do you plan on moving forward? Is it a case of working round the problem, or holding off until all parties can be involved fully?
Luckily the postponing of the live part of Gott hasn’t had an impact on the progress of the band. We still rehearse regularly and are working on a full length on which we hope to start in 2023. Of course we would have loved to start playing shows, but we all know this will come and we can’t wait to share Gott with the world.
Are you planning on a full tour once all parties are fit and well, and able to perform live again?
Yes, once we are able to perform live, we want to get out there.
When The Chain came on, I thought of how cool it would be to have Farida sing that song…
Do you prefer playing in a live setting, or being studio based, where you can refine the sounds of the band?
I like both aspects and they are both totally different to me. In the studio I find peace when I’m writing and playing live, I’m on the road with my friends, playing music. They are both perfect outlets.
For all the songs you could choose to cover, why Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’?
That was a coincidence. A couple of days before we were going to record the drum tracks for To Hell To Zion I was sitting in the garden, drinking a beer and listening to Rumours. When The Chain came on, I thought of how cool it would be to have Farida sing that song. So I called Joep to see what he thought about the idea. It was kind of a test and we didn’t know if it would work. In the end everything came together and when Pelle Ähman (guest vocals) and Gottfrid Ähman (piano) joined as well, we knew we created something special.
Underground heroes, or commercial sell outs, which is more important to yourselves as a band?
Well, sell out has a bad connotation, but I don’t think being ‘commercial’ has to be something bad, as long as you can hold on to your own principles and beliefs. We all kind of know how it works and we have a clear path in mind for the future of Gott.
How do you find the musical landscape is in The Netherlands?
I guess it is a healthy one, although I’m not informed that well anymore. But it’s good to see friends pop up all over to play shows and release records.
If you could collaborate with another musician, or band, who would it be, and why?
Wrest or Nick Cave, purely based on their past endeavours.
It feels good to see people getting enthusiastic about Gott…
Will we be seeing a full LP release at any point, are you happier with working on EP’s, without the need to push out a full-length release?
A full-length should be next. I have written enough material and we are working on that right now.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2022?
Working on our full length and later this year a video for The Chain will be released.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, and please use this space for any final words…
Thanks to the numerous people who have showed support. We have released To Hell To Zion on our own, so we can use all the support we can get. It feels good to see people getting enthusiastic about Gott and supporting us, like you. Oh, and if others want to support us: our EP is available at www.gottband.com. Thanks and we hope to see you out there soon!
Interviewed by: Lee Beamish