Zondag 6 oktober Bluesdag in Nieuw-Vennep met o.a. de finale van de Dutch Blues Challenge. Komende weken stellen we de finalisten aan je voor. Vandaag Frick n Man
, een recent opgericht en op Hound Dog Taylor en Seasick Steve geinspireerd bluesduo, bestaande uit gitarist/zanger John Frick en Michel de Man op de drums. Aan de hand van 10 vragen geven zij (in het Engels, de moedertaal van John) antwoord waarom ze meedoen aan de Challenge.
Wanneer zijn jullie in deze formatie begonnen en hoe is dat zo gekomen? Over the years, we have played together informally as a two-man act but decided recently, after seeing a few amazing blues duo shows, like Cedric Burnside and Seasick Steve, to take it a step further and to launch ourselves as a duo act alongside our other bands, The John Frick Band, The Codray Brothers and Hollands Blauw. Officially, Frick n Man started towards the end of 2018.
Waarom doen jullie mee aan de Challenge? We took part in the DBC last year as part of Hollands Blauw. It was a great experience and we thoroughly enjoyed being part of it, so we really wanted to enter again. We thought it would be fun to enter the solo/duo category rather than going for the bands category. It would also present us with a fresh new challenge as it is a completely different way of performing when you’re a duo as opposed to playing as a full band.
Wat verwacht je van de Challenge? Our experience from last year’s DBC showed us that it is a fantastic way to put your band, and blues music in general, on the map. A good performance is rewarded with recognition within the local blues scene. It also leads to more and better bookings and is an ideal way for a band to move from being an amateur pub act to a fully-fledged professional act that gets to travel and play on big stages. The success The Dynamite Blues Band has enjoyed since winning last’s DBC is a good example of this. We believe we have what it takes to win, but we know that winning alone is not good enough to get us to Memphis. We need to score points. Our set needs to really thrill the judges and the audience and that is what we will try to do.
Gewoon een paar sterke nummers op de Challenge uit jullie repertoire of een speciale showcase om de jury te overtuigen? Firstly, we listened to what the judges said last year and have based our approach to compiling our set on their feedback and comments. Secondly, we want our set to follow a story line; we will therefore construct in a way that combines great songs with dynamics, texture and structure. We don’t just want to play a set, we want to put on a show.
Hoe plaatsen jullie jezelf in de blues scene qua stijl en ambitie? Frick n Man is an act that wants to be taken seriously. Ideally, I want us to be a professional band that tours and plays internationally. We’re therefore serious about what we do and we believe that, for us, as they say, the sky is the limit. Being a two-man blues act with a refreshing approach that has an original sound, we are in a good position to make a big impact. In addition, we have energy, dynamics and a sizeable repertoire which includes a lot of original songs. We’re a blues duo inspired by artists such as Cedric Burnside, Hound Dog Taylor and Seasick Steve whose sound revolves mostly around guitar and drums. For this reason, our aim is to deliver raw blues and blues-inspired music through our guitar and drums combination.
Is er iets wat het publiek van jullie zou moeten weten of dat tot op heden onbekend of onderbelicht is gebleven? Michel is a massive Elvis fan so, if we do get to go to Memphis, he will be the happiest man around. He is also a big fan of iconic jazz drummers like Buddy Rich. I (John Frick) am originally from South Africa. I moved to The Netherlands in 1993. Before that, I was part of a big blues revival movement in South Africa where I was a founding member of The Blues Broers, which is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary this year. I was also a co-founder of The Smokehouse Blues Club in Cape Town, which really put blues music on the map in the late 80s and triggered a blues aftershock that is still felt in South Africa today. Being a South African, I feel some of the rhythms and sounds of Africa have rubbed off in my approach and sound. It is not immediately noticeable but can be heard back in some of our songs which also have a Bo Diddley jungle beat feel.
Mochten jullie winnen, wat verwachten jullie van het effect? Again, if I look at what The Dynamite Blues Band has achieved, I am inspired and I would like us to have a similar approach. A win, combined with hard work and dedication, will put us on the map and, once we’re there, we want to stay there. We are hoping that a win will open up a whole new world for us in which we can operate as a professional blues act so that we can stand alongside the acts that have really inspired us, such as Cedric Burnside, Seasick Steve, Hound Dog Taylor, White Stripes, The Black Keys and My Baby, to mention a few.
Eigen werk is voor velen een ultieme droom en vaak een moeizaam proces, hoe gaat dat bij jullie? I have been a song writer since I first picked up the guitar. Even now, a few decades down the line, new ideas are still popping up all the time and I feel I’m getting better and better all the time. I have written songs for a number of John Frick Band and Codray Brothers albums. Writing is an integral part of my make up as a musician. It is likely that we will play original material only in our DBC set. I hope that ultimately we will be recognised more for our original songs than for the covers we play. To do that, the quality of our own songs has to be excellent.
Welk nummer welke jullie spelen geeft het beste de ontwikkelingen van de band weer? I recently posted a video clip of us playing Red Hot Lover on YouTube.
This version has a nice story to it: my very first performance with a band on stage was around 1988 when I was invited to play one of my earliest songs, Red Hot Lover, as a guest with some seasoned musicians in a student theatre at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. The song was inspired by the 1987 movie 'Hail. Hail. Rock ‘n’ Roll' and had a distinct Chuck Berry feel combined with my tongue-in-cheek lyrics. In later years, the song evolved and acquired a Bo Diddley jungle beat feel. This latest version of the song, jammed by Frick N Man, is inspired by a collaboration a few years ago with Senegalese percussionist and singer, Serigne CM Gueye. Today, even after 30 years, I’m still tweaking the song and it is still growing, developing and taking on a new persona every so often. Our band, Frick n Man, is also evolving. Every time we rehearse or play, new magic happens and we’re loving the process. I think we’ve come a long way from the days we played it safe by doing covers of songs like Checking Up On My Baby. King Of The Blues is one of my newest songs. It also shows our growth in terms of song writing: Youtube.
Wat zijn we vergeten te vragen? I can’t think of anything but would be happy to answer any other questions.