Praised into heaven by so many media or do I say praised to the ‘Moon'? But the moon is closer than heaven, isn’t it? They’ve already reached that moon on their journey to the top. Will the next stop for Ides Moon be Mars and the guys or Venus and the gals?
Klaas is a rising star with the female public on the one side, but also recognised by the male public as humoristic and a real chum. But due to the early hour at which we started the talks, Klaas needed some time to acclimate.
The location for this story was Urania, an observatory with a strong team and many members. People who found their passion in watching stars and planets. With beautiful photos as decor, we had at times in-depth conversations with the band-members. To blow off steam, the atmosphere changed regularly towards more humour, typically Ides Moon conversations.
Ides Moon has developed a special music style, a combination of danceable, exotic rhythms with striking guitar-riffs in contrast to the delicate lines of Klaas, the frontman of the band. The sophisticated arrangements bring these three elements smoothly together. It’s state of the art soundscaping,
thanks to Klaas' talent. He’s the songwriter preparing every new song for the phase of ‘demo’. Laurens, Vincent and Roel, they add their typical styles. One could state that Klaas can function on its own, but no, they really need each other to create that typical Ides Moon sound.
It’s common use in Belgium that musicians play in different bands. In most cases there is one central person and in this case it’s Klaas. He's the manager of the band, the PR-man and he’s the booker.
Online communication has an advantage, namely everyone can see if a band is performing well. During the festival ‘Pukkelpop’, Klaas kept his ma’m up to date by sending her selfies. Why? “Because selfies are so stupid”, Klaas says. “So stupid, they cross a line.” An attentive follower deducts that this is good humour. There’s a few bands that do this, but most of them find this a risk, afraid of losing their status.
When does a project become a band? “It’s a question of growing together.”, declared Klaas. “And we grew together when we realised that nobody could be replaced. When we were recording the first EP, we weren’t quite there yet. We’ve noticed, when recording the news songs, that the specific Ides Moon-sound was there right away.”
Ides moon is a band who favourites try-outs, experimenting with new things. Like the song they performed for ‘Fans of Flanders’, with strings (the orchestra kind). "What kind of strings?”, we asked them. And the conversations pivoted towards G-strings. I suggest we leave the details out of our story.
“We know that our next step will determine the future of the band. Every song will be turned inside out and only the best ones will be selected."
“No one is expecting new CD’s, unless from bands like Radiohead. That’s why we’ll take our time for the first full CD."
"We also decided not to enrol in new contests. We don’t mean that we stand above contests, but there is a moment when you leave that part of the band-journey behind."
CHUM puts forward that the first airplay a band gets on the radio is not that significant as people may think. Can one build an audience with being played two or three times a day?
Klaas: “Please, don’t underestimate the effect of this. When we were played on StuBru some months ago, our fanbase doubled.” Everyone agreed in this discussion on one thing: “Major radiostations don’t want to play upcoming or alternative bands. In Belgium, the possibilities are so limited that you have to build your fanbase through the path of city radiostations like Urgent in Ghent."
CHUM: “Which path is to be taken by Ides Moon?"
Klaas: “I’m convinced that every band has to find it’s own path. But due to the polarisation of the channels, there’s a risk not to be accepted in one or another scene."
Ides Moon: “There are some good examples in Belgium, like the band ‘Balthazar'. It’s alternative music, but also acceptable in a commercial way. We, as Ides Moon, have to decide which path to travel before we dive into the studio for recording the CD."
Vincent and Roel aren’t great communicators, but taking them apart was the right way to question them.
“As the bass player, my added value is to tighten up the sound, giving it the right vibe. My playing style is very driven and I want the sound to bang."
“On the one hand, I love bands especially for their energy, like by The Guru Guru and Brutus. But on the other hand, energy can also be created as a subtle basis, like with Ides Moon."
“Technically, I think I can stand my ground. Yet I’d like to evolve in the art of blending a song. To find the right structure, the right arrangements, that is my goal for the coming years."
“I love Ides Moon because of the dreamy songs enhanced with nice grooves. Maybe I can do things with loops to lift up my part."
One could say that Roel is the stranger in their midst, because he sometimes plays the guitar really eccentric. It clashes with the airy tunes of Klaas.
“I see it as my task to bring in the firm, strong accents. The way I play the guitar finds its origin in a real wide range of influences: from jazz tot death metal."
“Since Ides Moon grew more and more towards a real band, I noticed that we all had our specific inputs. And my input was oriented towards adding little details, things that Klaas didn’t add himself in the rough demo.”
“In the near future I’d like to experiment with new rhythms and with the filters of the FM4 of Line6. Using things like an ‘ebow’ is not what I want. I'd rather use a brick (literally a brick) to create an new, interesting tone."
“It all started at the school where Klaas and myself had the opportunity to jam in the studio. I found that the dreamy songs of him should have something supplementary. In a strange way, Klaas agreed that my drum style created that extra something he was looking for."
“My big ride cymbal, that’s my anchor point. Without that, I feel kind of lost."
“As I said before, I still prepare the demos without them. The only reason is that we don’t have the time to come together two or three times a week. Nonetheless I need their input to create the specific Ides Moon atmosphere."
“For all of us, making music is our profession. But before we can live off it, we have to earn money with part-time jobs. I teach MO, which means musical education. It’s a course I really enjoy giving.”
“Concerning the lyrics, every song is different, I only want to translate my opinions into stories. Every situation can be the start for a new song. However, there is one common theme: to be acknowledged for who you are or what you do."
Klaas Tomme - Guitar, Keys, Vocals
Roel De Bruyne - Guitar, Vocals
Vincent Lembregts - Bass
Laurens Billiet - Drums