Rene van Voors
May 2nd 1951
IN THE BAND YOU ARE:
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT AFTER SUNSET:
Some quiet girl at school turns out to be nuts about rock. She opens up, we find two guys who play bass and guitar and we form a band. We’re shit, but don’t know it. We’re broke, but it doesn’t stop us.
We played everything, everywhere, cover versions, blues, it was all over the place. We were in England, but didn’t speak very good English, so people thought there was something wrong with us. It never occured to them we were foreign. Maybe if the band had been called Het Grouewerhengers people might have understood us better.
WHAT INSTRUMENT DO YOU PLAY:
My kit in the seventies was all Ludwig stuff, whatever Ginger Baker played was enough for me! Nowadays I use a kit built for me by a company in the Netherlands. But still use Zildjian cymbals.
DO YOU PLAY ANY OTHER INSTRUMENTS:
I play guitar. I have a Fender, but the girls won’t let me into a studio or on stage with a guitar. Especially as it’s a Fender and they’re all Gibson groupies.
WHAT IS YOUR STRONG POINT:
Ultimate patience. You can’t be the only guy in a band with three attention seekers like they all are and not be patient.
WHAT IS YOUR WEAK POINT:
Feyenoord. I wish I supported Ajax, but you have to go with what you’ve got and we don’t have many glory days at de Kuip.
TELL US ABOUT THE OTHER MEMBERS OF TOTEN HERZEN:
We’re a very mixed bunch and I wonder how we all manage to get along. Susan devotes all her attention to making the band successful, creatively, musically. She lives and breathes it and I don’t think the rest of us appreciate that sometimes. Dee is the typical lead singer, very outgoing, very self-confident, very theatrical. And a fucking good guitarist, if you listen to what she’s doing when she’s not singing. Elaine is the second half of the sound of Toten Herzen. I lot of people talk about the moments when she and Susan combine and create that big guitar sound. She’s on the same wavelength as Susan musically. We are the sum of the parts, but individually the girls have a lot to be proud of, I think.
They’ll make my supper now for saying that.
TELL US SOMETHING THAT WILL SURPRISE US:
I’m not really a vampire.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TOTEN HERZEN FANS:
Our glorious fans. We’d be a very normal forgettable rock band without them. I think they’re like a lot of fans of rock bands; they don’t follow fashions, loyal to the end. You get the impression they really would fight for you if it came to that. I don’t think fans in other genres can say that, apart from one or two teen idles, but then they grow up and fuck off to the next fad.
WHERE DO YOU SEE TOTEN HERZEN IN TEN YEARS TIME:
My god. Er . . . probably Toten Herzen will be the trading name of Susan Bekker Corporate Music Enterprises and we’ll all be on a retainer.
WHICH OTHER MUSICAL ARTISTS DO YOU ADMIRE:
Ginger Baker was my first influence, John Bonham, Ian Paice. Alan White. But some older jazz and blues drummers caught my attention as years went by. Philly Joe Jones and Gene Krupa come to mind.
WHICH BANDS DO YOU LISTEN TO:
I stopped listening to Cream a few years ago. When you know every drum beat by memory you know it’s time to move on. I’m listening to old Dutch trance at the moment, but don’t tell the others.
WILL TOTEN HERZEN MOVE AWAY FROM A PURELY ROCK SOUND:
Over Susan’s dead body, and it’s too late for that, so I doubt it.
RECOMMEND ONE NON-ROCK SONG:
Via Con Me. Paolo Conte relaxes me when the harpies have been winding me up.
IF YOUR HOUSE CAUGHT FIRE WHAT WOULD YOU RESCUE:
My bed. I had insomnia for about twelve years. I couldn’t get used to sleeping during the day, but I got a bed about ten years ago that was perfect and I’m dead to the world on it now. I can do anything the night after a good day’s sleep.
What, music? Country and western?
Netherlands. But I like Switzerland too? Ukraine is interesting.
IF YOU WEREN’T A ROCK DRUMMER WHAT WOULD YOU BE:
Maybe a journalist, then I could write the truth about the band instead of all the lurid lies that have been written over the years.
WHAT DO YOU SAY TO PEOPLE WHO ACCUSE YOU OF NOT BEING THE ORIGINAL TOTEN HERZEN:
Prove it. Find the original members and stand them next to us.
WHY DID YOU AGREE TO A COMEBACK:
It seemed like a good idea at the time.