It’s been a busy Saturday so I’m squeezing this post in at the last minute. Still counts, though!
Most of us are living in the city of Utrecht. Florian (singer) and Max (drummer) are living together in a house close to the historic centre, Marty (bass player) is living on the city outskirts, and Chris (guitar player) is living in Woerden – a city close to Utrecht.
We all grew up in the surroundings of Utrecht and currently have our studio in the attic of a beverage wholesaler located in Harmelen (a village close to the city).
How did you meet?
In the summer of 2014, Max and Marty met at a party. There, they shared each other’s passion for psychedelic rock music. Just a few weeks later they were rehearsing three times a week (back then with a few other musicians) and started writing songs for what would become Between the Jars’ first EP ‘Sirens’. Marty knew Florian as they attended the same high school. Only three months after Marty joined the band, Florian came into contact with Marty and decided to take on the vocals. Chris and Max knew each other from music education at a local music school in Woerden. One year after the release of ‘Sirens’, the former guitar player quit Between the Jars. Chris was added to the formation in 2016.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Between the Jars started playing with each other in the summer of 2014. As mentioned above, Chris was added to the formation in 2016.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
We have our studio in the attic of a beverage wholesaler, located in a village close to Utrecht. The company is a family business owned by Max’s parents. Before we turned the attic into a studio, the room would be filled with vintage jars of whisky and Dutch gin. Our band was literally founded ‘Between the Jars’.
What are your influences?
We started off being influenced by mostly psychedelic rock bands from the seventies – Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc. These influences translated into the sound of our first EP ‘Sirens’. As our band progressed, however, we started to discover a wider variety of influences and more modern influences. Our debut album ‘Oh… What a Time to Be Alive’ as well as our newest single ‘Passing Through’ incorporates influences from Radiohead as well as King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Talking Heads, David Bowie, and Jack White.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Our music is written together, always as a group, and mostly emerges from improvisation. That translates into a unique sound where every player gets the space to express himself and compositions that subtly take the listener through a wide variety of atmospheres. Moreover, with a unique voice, Florian is the perfect singer to provide the atmospheric sounds of Between the Jars with words that speak to the listener’s imagination.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Most of our lyrics focus on societal problems and issues that are relevant to many of us. In our lyrics, we try to bring a nuanced view incorporating multiple perspectives and add a little lightness by sometimes using humorous expressions and a bit of irony.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Energetic. Though our compositions can be quite melancholic and dramatic, we always try to bring our music with a certain groove. With dreamy sounds and shredding guitar riffs, the audience can drift away as well as move their feet as our live show progresses. More and more, we are including interactive elements in our live show. We do not shy away from live improvisation including the audience in our show. For example, by selling some of the people in our audience at a fictitious auction (the video clip of “The Auction” gives you an indication of how that looks like).
After six years together, we played over 120 shows in The Netherlands and toured through France, Germany, and India.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Probably, the wildest thing happened right after a live show. After playing a New Year’s Eve show at Bhayandar, India, Chris accidentally got involved in a marriage proposal. Maybe his ways of communicating got interpreted a bit differently than he expected but for sure it was a heavy clash of cultures. Chris had to decline the proposal as his girlfriend was celebrating New Year’s Eve at home, in Woerden.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Florian uses a vintage Sennheiser MD421 microphone and plays on a custom made Stratocaster, manufactured by Relic Guitars. He uses a Blackfaced 1973 Twin Reverb amp.
Chris plays on different guitars including a Gibson Les Paul custom, PRS John Mayer Silver Sky, and Gibson SG. He uses Victory and Bogner amps.
Marty plays on a Fender Musicmaster and uses an Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 bass amp.
Max plays on a custom made Ludwig Classic Maple drum kit and uses Zildjian K series cymbals.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
On November 5th we released our new single “Passing Through” and we are still busy promoting our newest release.
The idea for this song originated from an interest in how people think about the afterlife. There are many different perceptions of what the afterlife contains. Being fascinated by these various perceptions we noticed a similarity; that whatever perception one believes in, the experience we have now is fleeting and temporary. And this idea is reinforced by the belief that we should make the most of our life, or even every day because this life will not last forever. This song is our attempt on conceptualizing this daily struggle of what we choose to do, how we measure what we value, and how we concern ourselves with what we leave behind.
What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?
Of course, our plans for the direct future are heavily affected by Covid-19. We try to continue our activities by engaging in as many online releases as possible. At this moment, we are writing and recording two new EP’s – each consisting of about four songs. The recordings we take care of in our very own studio – just as we did for our single ‘Passing Through’. If we manage to get some additional funding, both EP’s will be released in the first half of 2021. The EP’s will be connected by an overarching concept: the societal discussions that arise from the corona crisis. With our songs, we will shed light on multiple perspectives in these debates and analyse how the public opinion towards policies aimed at tackling the corona crisis developed over time.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
As a band, we would definitely be thrilled to open for Radiohead. And – to open for us – what collaboration better to choose, than a collaboration with our very own promotion agent Davy Knobel. We would choose his band – Outside Revelation – as our support act.