Here we go again with yet another interview with Holland`s first international reknown rock`n`roll band.
Going Dutch with Earring
By Pete Makowski
Just once in a while a band like Golden Earring unexpectedly comes along and gives the whole British music scene a hefty kick up the arse, and it comes as no surprise that Earring have finally established themselves in this country after only a few tours and one hit single, “Radar Love”.
I spoke to George Kooymans who, along with bassist Rinus Gerritson, has been in the band for around eight or nine years. “I was at school when the band began,” George recalled, “I was cutting records and touring in between classes.”
The band went through quite a few changes and finally came to their present line-up in 1967. “We were the first band in Holland to do harmonies and things like all the other bands were playing Shadow type instrumentals.”
If you ask George how many albums the band have, he`ll immediately answer, “two in this country.” They recorded quite a few in Holland but nothing they`re extremely proud of. This is not due to the songs, just the time they`re given to record.
“We never had more than five days to record an album. This is one reason why we wanted to be successful outside of Holland, because we did not make enough money to spend more time on recording.”
They joined Track about a year ago and you`ll probably know that the band have toured the country quite a few times and before they brought out “Moontan” Track released “Hearing Earring” a compilation of old material.
“That was a collection of about three albums, I didn`t like it very much. The idea of bringing out old material doesn`t appeal to me. But because we were touring, they had to bring out something.”
The fast and steady progress of the band became obvious about a year ago and soon their name became commonplace in the papers, but what many people weren`t aware of was that the band had all their money invested in the tour and their whole future depended on the success of it.
“We spent all our money on things like our quadrophonic system and paying roadies,” said Rinus, “but we just had to get out of Holland because we knew it would affect our music in the end. Our music improved a helluva lot when we went to the States and that, about six years ago, was also something we got together ourselves,” said George.
I asked Rinus how it felt starting from scratch again in Britain. “It was terrible you know, we played gigs like school dances and things like that. We`ve done all that in Holland years ago but we knew the only way to get anywhere was by doing these concerts.”
When “Moontan” was released the band were still playing the seedier places, did they feel they`d ever come up to their present level? “Well we noticed that the reaction was getting pretty good,” answered George, “and we were beginning to communicate well with our audiences.”
Then the eventful release of “Radar Love” did they know this would be their big break? “No, our company asked us to choose a single off the album and we thought that it would be the best track.”
The next single will be more commercial, specially aimed for that type of market. “Don`t the band feel this a dangerous step as their music is far from commercial? “Yeh, we don`t want to be put into classification, but I think it`s worth while bringing out a single once in a while.
“We know that we can`t depend on a permanent success just because we`ve had one hit single. That`s why I`m glad `Radar Love` didn`t get to number one, we`ve got something to work up to.
“We`re more concerned about the album,” interrupted Barry Hay, “we`re gonna work damn hard to make a good album because that`s the audience we`re after.”
Good policy. I noticed when I went to their concerts the audiences were split into different sections. The kids who came to hear “Radar Love” and didn`t enjoy the rest of the set. The kids who came to hear the single and were completely knocked out and the already hardcore Earring fans. We`ll only find out after the tour who were the majority and I`ll put my money on Earring. I heard their new single and it follows closely the formula of the first single. A definite hit. “It takes a few hearings to get into it,” said George, “you can never really tell whether it`ll go or not.”
The band will continue to record their new album after they complete a Spanish tour, they`ll probably record a “Top Of The Pops”.
Although things seem to be rolling smoothly now, it has definitely not been an easy ride. It takes a lot of determination to stick together for so long without result, I asked George if they ever felt like splitting up in those hard days. “We did before we came to England, `cause I didn`t see any prospects and it was getting very boring and I felt like doing something else. But now there are so many things happening it`s become interesting again.”
I asked him what kind of ideas they had for the next album, “Well we`ve got a working title and we`re all writing around that concept. We all write things separately and then get it together. But right now we haven`t laid anything down except the single. We really want to cover a wide range of music because we don`t want to be labelled… I don`t like that.
The band have recently toured around Europe with the Who, did they find themselves confronted with difficult competition? “No I didn`t think it was difficult, it was quite easy, I enjoyed myself.” Will they be touring with them again? “No, I don`t think so, because er… I don`t want to say we`re the same kind of band, but we really take a lot of the people and get them exhausted and then the Who come out and they do the same sort of thing. I don`t think we`re the right type of band to tour with the Who.”
The band will soon be appearing at the Rainbow (March 24) and I asked Mr. Kooyman if he was worried at all. “No not really, we`ve played gigs bigger than that, but we do worry a bit before gigs anyway. I worried when we started the tour but it`s going well.”
The band played the same venue supporting Lou Reed, what did they think of it then? “Well you get certain kinds of people seeing certain acts and it wasn`t our audience that night. A lot of people were just coming in when we went on and a lot of people were in the bar… I didn`t like that.”
Not to worry, I think it`ll be better this time round. Don`t you agree?
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Marsha Hunt, Dave Dee, Robert Wyatt, Procol Harum, Thin Lizzy, Kilburn & The High Roads, Cat Stevens, Zzebra, Johnny Winter, Elkie Brooks, Alvin Lee, Hudson-Ford, Canton Trig.
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