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the story of The Girl Who cried wolf

Live at doel

A band with a special name. A name that doesn’t just expose it’s secret, one that sounds mysterious. Does it have anything to do with wolves? Or a crying woman?
Without over-analysing, or trying to discover the why behind the name of their band, it’s easy to feel it fits in a somewhat dark atmosphere, one created to bring us a message.

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Mysterious

‘The Girl’, as they call themselves in short, is not a group of friends that went on the play music together. They’re musicians that found each other in their passion for music, and because of that became friends. It’s quick to notice too. Five completely different personalities that somehow fit together perfectly. Even though all five of them are pretty down to earth about the possibilities of the band: growing organically, performing, improving and releasing some CD’s. They want to capture a place in the hearts of their fans.

The girl

‘The Girl’, as they call themselves in short, is not a group of friends that went on the play music together. They’re musicians that found each other in their passion for music, and because of that became friends. It’s quick to notice too. Five completely different personalities that somehow fit together perfectly. Even though all five of them are pretty down to earth about the possibilities of the band: growing organically, performing, improving and releasing some CD’s. They want to capture a place in the hearts of their fans.

trip-rock

Even when it comes to communication and their image, The Girl has got it going on. It’s not only the catchy name, but also the lead lady that blows you away and band members filled with passion and determination. To add to that, they’ve got a steady, recognisable sound. One that can be placed between trip-hop, Scandinavian melancholy and indie-rock. When Heleen Destuyver enters the stage you feel the energy in the venue change. She’s a real appearance and completely fits the picture. A picture she has created and designed herself. But to give her all the attention, would be unfair, because the other members of the band each have their own story. 

the band

Samir Boureghda is the guitarist and puts his soul into getting the most out of his instrument. Michael_John Joosen is drummer and also support Heleen with vocals. His playing is onorthodox and apart from drumsticks, he also uses maracas to shake up the cymbals. Sofie Sweygers performs miracles on her cello, while Bram van der Stocken is the, rather quiet, bassist in the corner, although also defining for the drive in the sound.

Heleen
"Every time, every show. I feel the same thing, I die in that song."

husky-voice

With a witty opening on the drums ‘Silver’ starts. Heleen, who’s voice once described as husky, owns up to that description well when joining the drums in the buildup of the song. She shakes her body slightly to the left and right, as if she’s recovering from a night out. The cello, morphed by effect pedals, joins the husky sound as close as possible, making the result sound like one.

The Girl
We know what we are and what we want to become.

sensitive and dramatic

TGWCW has got a thing for monotonous sounds, slowly building it with singing, then the drum with singing, the bass, … It’s sensitive and dramatic (like ‘Your Love is King’ by Sade). ‘Red Ribbon’ is the name of this jewel that moves me every time.

‘Taken’ follows up nicely to the sultry sound of the previous song, but really unfolds in the second part of the song. Heleen unchains herself and throws her head in full surrender to the her neck.

MJ
“A restrained song, paused in the middle. Powerful, yet calm at the same time”

this is me

Heleen drops to her knees in ‘This Is Me’, a song with the same strength as ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin, the same goosebumps. Quite simply top of the class (and in my experience a real ‘stairway to heaven’). In a darker atmosphere now, build by heavy bass-tones and a synthesised cello, we drone in slow-motion to the title song ‘Ruins’. The band members reveal themselves as a pack of starved wolves, filled with the known wolf-vodka, hunting for a prey in the deep woods of the Hardangervidda National Park in Norway.

Allah himself

‘Black Vipers’ is a really rhythmic song, and half the song Heleen occupies the piano. The song explodes and the guitarist lets himself go completely, to his knees, demanding everything from his guitar strings and effect pedals, even idolising them as some sort of God. Sofie lays her cello down on her lap for ‘Shipwrecked’ and the drummer moves to the communal piano. Both instruments enter a two-note mode and Heleen’s voice takes control. A group in silence, modesty, yet with an other side: dark, hard and fierceness.

exercises

Our hourly walk through Doel wasn’t just there to take photo’s. We used the time to ask some questions that came in the form of four exercises. How the tasks are distributed in the band, their examples and inspirations, the future and ideals. Finally: their preferred song of the ‘Ruins’ CD.

Heleen writes the lyrics and those are autobiographical, but extend to theme’s that could interest anyone. It all started when she was fourteen when, like a lot of a teenage girls, she had to find a way to deal with love ache. Which she did in a journal. She took the leap into the band based on an add in ‘Humo’ (a well known magazine in Belgium) and was promptly enlisted in the pack.

Sofie:
Like Rachel’s, I complement and find the right moment.

the quality of every note

Samir tells us there isn’t any guideline for the creation of the songs. They discovered as a band where the sound could lead them. “We work on songs and along the way we discover what works for the band” he elaborates. Samir can also be titled as producer, just because he wants to uphold the intrinsic quality of every note of sound in the music.

Michael-John is always looking for special and creative arrangements on the drums. And Bram is always looking for harmony with the cello (or with Sofie?), because they don’t wish to fight one another, but they want to add and strengthen. There’s a lot of band practises with only the drummer and bassist, or with the cellist and bassist, and many other setups. As long as every detail is brought to it’s essence.

Sofie:
I have this little book where Heleen writes down the setlist for each show.

Portishead

Portishead seems to be the central point of comparison, something all band members agree on. If we take the most popular songs by them, such as ‘Glory Box’ and ‘Roads’, it becomes clear that the techniques of singer Beth Gibbons act as a source of inspiration for Heleen. When I look at the complete musical picture of Portishead, I almost think TGWCW could be an incarnation of Portishead.

Even so, Heleen emphasises that there’s not just one band serving as their inspiration. There’s a lot of influences that melt, slowly and through introspection, into their songs. It’s an unconscious process where every member adds their own mark. It’s part of the reason why you can’t really label The Girl with just one genre. They call it Trip-rock, but I’d say that’s to limited of a sound.

Sofie

Sofie tells us about her influences and inspiration by naming Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, ‘truly’ a nice comparison. Take their song ‘Rather Lovely Thing’ as an example, where the cello defines the atmosphere, combined with a simple piano and supported by a bass that nurtures the whole.

Gearslut Samir

The band’s gearslut, Samir, tells us with pride about his basket filled with pedals. He calls it, without question, an addiction. You never know if there’s that special sound in a pedal, one to be used for that special song they’ve been working on. His eyes, filled with a wolf’s fire, radiate when he speaks about this, accompanied with nods of agreement by the other band members. He compares it to a palet of colors: “I look for that one shade of red”, much like a designer who takes to bed his K7-RAL colorchart.

Ambition

Michael-John names Balthazar and Intergalactic Lovers, when we address the topic of the future and ambitions. They both have worked a lot on their path, delivered excellent music and created a recognisable sound. Those two have chosen from the start to walk that path together. “The same organic growth is what we want. It’s no use trying to get a fully-booked summer of festivals, to then quit afterward.” Sofie looks at it from a different point of view: “I don’t want to put any thought into that sort of thing. I want to create first, and never lose that. I don’t want to allow the frustration of succes in the future to play any part. We put in a lot of time and energy. The baseline is we’ll have to work hard, we ned to find our way in our own pace.”

Michael-John:
No hi-hats, but I fix that with a shaker and a marimba. They add something to the music.

Ruins

When asked to choose a favourite song on the ‘Ruins’ CD:

Samir picks ‘Truly’, because it holds a somewhat David Lynchian, cinematographic atmosphere, much like Twin Peaks. A remnant of his time in Texas with his parents, where he used to travel south and visit abandoned villages. “I think about places visually when I play and make music.” 24.

Heleen picks ‘This Is Me’, without hesitation: “emotional puke I lay down on stage, for the entire song. Every time, every show, I feel the same thing. I die in that song, and I feel what it means to me.” Lyrics. 25.

Sofie doesn’t shame when she describes the song ‘Silver’ in one word: “Sex”, by which she undresses herself, figuratively. The somewhat introverted character behind the cello turns out to be an emotional vessel with a preference for ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ (a well known middle-eastern tale), for arabic sensual sounds and for drifting away. 28.

Michael-John picks ‘Shipwrecked’, simply because he doesn’t play any drums in it (big smile). He joins Heleen in singing, and plays the piano to these wonderful lines:

Samir:
I’ve developed a really eclectic taste in music.

Doel

Credits

The Girl Who Cried Wolf

Band Socials

thegirlwhocriedwolf.com
facebook.com/thegirlwhocriedwolfmusic
twitter.com/tgwcw

thegirlwhocriedwolf@bisbookings.com

Members

Heleen Destuyver: Vocals/Keys
Samir Boureghda: Guitar/Keys
Michael-John Joosen: Drums/Vocals/Keys Sofie Sweygers: Cello/Keys
Willem Meeus: Bass/Keys

CHUM would like to thank

Where to now captain?

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