Questions and STUFF.
You know what I like? Jazz. But you know what I like as well? Hip-Hop. Oh and did I mention that funky electronica puts me in a dancing frenzy? What I would love though is an artist that is able to stimulate all these urges simultaneously. Impossible you say? Quite the contrary dear reader, my old chap. Let me tell you a story about the eclectic musical entity that is STUFF..
This up and coming band from Ghent-Antwerp amazed friends and foes alike ever since they played their first note together in their favourite bar’s basement. Marked by critics as one of the top bands to watch in 2015 that’s exactly what I plan on doing but I did more than just watch them. I paid them a visit at alternative culture house Het Bos, where they were having a rehearsal.
Q & A & stuff
TIA: I’ll spare you the question of defining your genre seeing as I only have this much space to write. Instead I’ll ask you this: if your music was a hypothetical baby, who would be its hypothetical parents?
Andrew Claes (saxophone): Well, that baby definitely resulted out of an orgy. That much we can say for sure, taking place at a concert of Eyes Wide Shut with Aka Moon as the opener. Amongst the masked guests who are attending this highly exclusive event we have: Marc Moulin, Aphex Twin, Thelonious Monk … And definitely some more people.
Joris Caluwaerts (keys): With all these guys we could use some pretty ladies, so at least there’s a mom.
Mixmonster Menno (turntables): Like Betty Davis, who was married to Miles Davis but had a relationship with Jimi Hendrix at the same time. Let us say that is the mother of our musical offspring.
TIA: You guys are having quite the media attention lately with your new album and all. Several of those journalists have already linked STUFF. with names like Hudson Mohawke, BADBADNOTGOOD, ALT-J, Beastie Boys, etc. Which artist would you like to have a collaboration with the most?
Andrew Claes: Busta Rhymes (laughs)! No but Beastie Boys probably would be fun. Well would have been fun, it might be a bit difficult now obviously, but yeah, if we can go back to their prime time that would definitely be a show worth watching.
Mixmonster Menno: Well there’s a myriad of artists that fall under this answer as well actually. It could just as well be Mozart (laughs) but that might be a bit too far back in time probably.
TIA: How about the band name? Not knowing is giving me sleepless nights, especially the punctuation mark. People probably ask this question all the time but what is the story behind it? Is there even a story at all?
Andrew Claes: Well yeah sure, partly at least. Actually Stuff was a band in the mid 70’s that brought a sort of funk/soul sound, amazing musicians by the way. So you could think that there’s a relation there but in fact they have nothing to do with our name. We didn’t even know of them until after we had established our own STUFF.. What really gave us the inspiration for the name was actually an album by Miles Davis called Miles in the Sky and the first track on it is called ‘Stuff’.
It was in fact the very first recording where Herbie Hancock, the pianist of the album, played Rhodes (electric piano invented by Harold Rhodes). It’s a fantastic recording and it is called Stuff, so yeah, that’s how the band name came to be. And we added the punctuation mark at the end to differentiate ourselves from the earlier mentioned band who shares our name. We thought about altering the name, so we would be easier to find on the internet. But in the end we opted to stay with the name, hoping that the internet would eventually catch up with us.
TIA: So a couple of you are from Antwerp or studied here at least if I’m right. If you could play anywhere you want in the city, not necessarily a concert hall, where would it be?
Joris Caluwaerts: Probably on top of the MAS, at night obviously. I’ve played there before but I’d do it again right away. Mixmonster Menno: I would absolutely love to perform at the Zoo of Antwerp, amidst the monkeys. I’ve heard the tickets to the zoo are insanely expensive though, except when you’re from Antwerp probably (laughs). But yes both the MAS as the zoo would be amazing locations to play at.
TIA: Lastly, April 10th you are performing at the beautiful venue DE ROMA here in Antwerp. What will be your goal at the end of the night, what would make you extremely satisfied when the lights turn back on?
Joris Caluwaerts: Personally I don’t want the lights to turn back on and during the concert I want to see the audience going wild.
Andrew Claes: I would say the same, leave those lights in their light depraved function and keep the party going. Seeing people dance uncontrollably and interacting with you while you’re playing is always a big compliment.
Lander Gyselinck (drums): Aphex Twin, now they would be an ecstatic sight to behold when the lights do turn back on. Standing at the frontlines of the crowd, all sweaty, with a smile bigger than life itself and with a ‘STUFF.’ T-shirt.
Andrew Claes: Yeah most definitely, if I saw that I would have to pinch myself to see if it is really happening.
STUFF. @ DE ROMA
Mark the 10th of April on your calendar and come see these down-to-earth guys create some absolutely unearthly vibes!
Text by Kevin Lau
Pics by Het Bos, Kevin Lau and Alexander Popelier