„…they must have been as drunk as I was.“
Harmen Ridderbos. Anführer der Band Town of Saints. Bekannt ist mir dieser Mann erst seit Januar: Zusammen mit Ian Fisher spielte er 2 Konzerte in Hamburg. Herr Ridderbos als Support. Als ich ihn zum ersten Mal auf der Bühne sah, dachte ich mir: „Oh, was wird das jetzt werden? Hoffentlich ist der gut!“ Als er wie ein wildgewordener in die Saiten griff, war ich sofort Feuer und Flamme! Wenn man irgendwo nachgucken würde, was es mit diesem „Hummeln im Arsch haben“ auf sich hat: Darunter würde es wahrscheinlich direkt ein Video von Harmen Ridderbos geben. Da bin ich mir ziemlich sicher! Energiegeladene Show. Charmebolzen. Pausenclown. Und dabei immer: Straight from the heart.
Vielen lieben Dank an Harmen für das Beantworten einiger Fragen! Und wenn die ersten Tourdaten rauskommen, werden wir euch sofort darüber in Kenntnis setzen. Denn: Das darf man sich nicht entgehen lassen!
Some words about…
I met Ian at the Melodica Berlin festival. It was a crazy weekend and we picked up the idea to do a tour together. Almost a year later, we finally did. During this tour, I think, we became quite good friends. Ian is a very talented songwriter and singer as well. He is cynical, but in a very funny and even uplifting way. At least he’s got it down spot on in his songs.
Teake, the singer of Mr. Richard has been one of my best friends for a long time. He’s been playing music with me for years in a few different bands. Last year he picked up the idea of starting a band with his sister and two other friends.
Mr. Richard plays beautiful, melancholic music that sounds introvert, but is actually quite outgoing. Both Teake and Geertje (his sister) write songs, and both in their own style. A lot of their songs really grab me, lyricwise and musicwise.
They are still growing a lot and I hope within a year they will be ready to record a CD, because I think it will really blow people’s minds.
I met Stefan in Hamburg, also at a Melodica festival. We got along quite well from the beginning and we met and helped each out here and there since. He’s a brilliant songwriter with a sharp and amazing voice. A real musician who’s working hard and I think is getting more and more recognition for his work. Definitely a songwriter you will have to see and play.
the last tour in Germany
Last January I was touring with Ian in Germany. We had a lovely time for many reasons. The Germans are a very attentive and interested crowd. They will let you know during the show that they appreciate it by being completely silent during the songs and applauding loud afterwards and after the show they’ll come up to you and tell you what they think. I think so far Germany has been the nicest country to play in all things concerned.
Also, we had great hosts in every city. Good couches/beds, nice food and plenty to drink, haha. There’s many places we had such a warm welcome and fantastic gigs as well. So, we’ll definitely come back soon.
Actually we’re planning a tour through Germany right now. We’re planning to come back for the whole of September. Also together with Ian, and maybe more friends.
the first show you ever played
I don’t know… It’s ages ago, but it must have been at my high school band (if you don’t count the little piano concerto’s I did when I was 10). I think we had the same energy as my current band, only no experience. I remember that we rocked hard, and people actually quite enjoyed it. I was drummer in that band, by the way, haha… Always wanted to be a drummer. Well, maybe later.
your biggest mistake on stage
Drinking shit loads of beer before a gig. On stage, you think you’re doing a fantastic job. And then you hear some recordings… I don’t think I’ve every sung so out of tune, especially on the unplanned pianopunk cover of „All I Want for Christmas is You“. The band wasn’t happy, to say the least. But the crowd didn’t mind, they must have been as drunk as I was. I think we almost broke the piano that night.
the biggest compliment for your music
That it’s real and from the heart. I know I write pop songs, and of course I think about marketing and all things you’re supposed to think about as an artist nowadays, but the main thing is, the music is always the most important thing.
As soon as I’m on stage, the rest is not important any more. It’s the music that counts and all the things it does for everyone. I think that music is something incredible and special and that is the reason why I do it. So if someone comes up to me and says that he or she loves the way that it comes straight from the heart and that is real and energetic, that that’s the biggest compliment I can get. Luckily, that happens to me a lot!
things, you can´t live without
Last time I was on a solo tour, and had to be without my girl Heta (normally violinist in Town of Saints) for a long time. She’s from Finland, so we were quite a lot apart in that time. It’s quite hard to be without the one you love for a longer period of time and I’m happy now she’s come to live with me in the Netherlands.
My friends are also an important part of my life. I notice that, when I’m on tour for a couple of weeks, I really miss just hanging around, drinking beers with my friends. Nothing to worry about, just have some beers and talk about ridiculous stuff together.
Of course I can’t live without music for too long either. Things are really starting to itch whenever I haven’t played music for more than a few days.
I think I’m quite ambitious and always ready to play. As soon as I’m on stage, no matter what, I’m there and ready to give everything.
I can’t go without sleep too long though and then I get really annoyed with everyone around me. I can be quite hard to work with in that way.
being on tour
Touring is one of the best things to do in life. You meet great people, play music every night and see loads of different things. It’s also hard and tiring sometimes to not be able to come home, relax and see your friends. But as long as I’m able to do both touring and coming home I’m going to keep on doing that for as long as possible.
Thanks for the interest and hopefully see you soon, when we come back to Germany. In the meantime, we will post some new videos on our youtube channel and also we are working on releasing some new tracks. You’ll hear from us soon.
TOWN OF SAINTS: Klick. YOUTUBE: Klick. IAN FISHER: Klick. MR. RICHARD: Klick. HONIG: Klick.