Belgian guitar pop outfit Das Pop spent October and November of 2008 on tour in the UK, hoping to bring their established European reputation with them. We caught up with front man Bent Van Looy before the band’s show supporting Alphabeat. ‘I met Niek (bass) and Reinhard (guitar) at school, then Matt (drums) moved to London from New Zealand a few years ago and we met him though a mutual friend. He came to Ghent to play with us for one day, and afterwards we were all completely happy. That was a little over a year ago.’
It has to be said, the band have had quite a head start. Bent, Niek and Reinhard happen to be childhood friends of Soulwax, who produced Das Pop’s latest self-titled album due for release this year. ‘They have known us for twelve years or something. It was great combining hanging out with friends and making an album that you love’.
Connections with electro artists do not stop there. Bent explains how he moved to Paris two and a half years ago, where he became friends with everyone at Ed Banger Records, long before the dizzy heights of the label’s latest “A Cross the Universe” worldwide tour headlined by Justice. ‘The music scene in Paris is pretty small so it was incredible to see the beginning of all that. It’s nice to see how Justice will prevail. Literally!’
But Bent’s influences do not lie exclusively in electronic music. ‘As a teenager I was a huge Alan Parsons Project fan, which you couldn’t say to anybody back then as it was a very, very bad thing! We listened to a lot of Fleetwood Mac when we were making this album. We were influenced by those just as much as we are by Justin Timberlake or someone like that. You can’t help but be influenced by everything that you hear because we all have ears.’
We were curious to hear of any other bands from back home. ‘Have you guys ever heard of Goose? You should check them out, it’s really rocking music, but without guitars. They are the best guitar players in the world, but they have chosen not to use them, which is kind of perverse, but it works nonetheless.’
Bent reflects on 2008’s tour with enthusiasm for the future. ‘We have played to such a huge amount of people on this tour, and people are really looking forward to seeing us again in February. The fan base is expanding rapidly.’ Das Pop begin their first headline tour around the UK on 12th February, playing the Bodega on the 21st.
James Ballard & Joe Hendry