Welcome to rockandroll.gr. In 2017 you started your music career as Supersonics. How did the band started and whom its members are?
The band started in 2017, as new band. But with members from various roots / rock & roll music bands. Jeroen van Delden (lead guitar), John Rietberg (drums), John Hofmans (double bass, who left the band in 2019 and was replaced with Joery Rutten. And then myself, Pascal Snijders (lead vocals and lead guitar).
What are your most important influences, not only musically but also conserning the lyrics, since we know that its of a great importance to you.
The reason that I wanted to start this band with these guys, is because of the broad interest we have in musical styles. Obviously rock & roll and rockabilly, but I’m mainly a (traditional) country music fan. From George Jones, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Buck Owens, Faron Young. all kinds of 50’s – 70’s country. But I’ve also been a big Elvis fan all my life (all era’s), so that’s very important as well. Besides all this, I’m a really huge Beatles fan, so that has a lot of influence as well. Lyricwise I’m a Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen fan, so their lyrics are influential I think. Lots of Americana music is of great influence, like Kris Kristofferson (one of the greatest songwriters) Willie Nelson and Roger Miller, also contemporary bands like Turnpike Troubadours, Corb Lund, Whiskey Myers, Brent Cobb, Blackberry Smoke.
As a guitarist I’m mainly influenced by Grady Martin, Hank Garland, but especially the country guitar pioneers like Jimmy Bryant, Don Rich (Buck Owens’ guitarplayer), Waylon Jennings, James Burton, Roy Nichols (Merle Haggard’s guitarplayer). For Jeroen, I know he’s influenced by Chet Atkins, Scotty Moore, Merle Travis and Hank Garland as well. So, as you can see, it’s a very eclectic mix of influences.
On your website there is the famous phrase of Sam Phillips “If you’re not doing something different, you’re not doing anything”. What alternative do you think you have achieved through the two albums you have released so far?
Precisely that, trying to do something differrent by combining all the different styles and influences that I mentioned, to one sound or style. Most musicians or bands in the rockabilly scene are trying to desperately on to one and the same pattern or style for writing their songs and playing their music. And also cover the same songs over and over again for years. After 20 years of playing this kind of traditional rockabilly and hillbilly, I guess I got bored and wanted to explore what’s possible within the sound and feel of roots related music. That’s why lyrics always were important to me (it’s the message you try to get across), and another kind of building the songs. Different chord progressions, other kinds of melodies.. using different beats and things like key changes and less obvious chords (without trying to be too technical about it) but still keep it roots music and rock & roll essentially.
Your third album will be released in 2022, what should we expect?
To say more of the same, that wouldn’t do it justice. It’s the same kind of recipe, but more evolved I guess.. Songs still vary in styles from rock & roll to blues and country, but as a songwriter I’m constantly trying to reinvent myself and do better. And not only personally but also asva band. It’s going to be a very diverse album, maybe even more so. With some great western themed songs, some cool bluesy tunes, some things in between, lot’s of rock & roll but with the occasional twist or deviation. Expect the unexpected.
What is the impact of the classic Rock ‘n‘ Roll in the Netherlands?
If you mean classic Rock ‘n Roll like Elvis for example, it’s obviously very big. But we’ve also had our own genre, the so called Indo-Rock with bands like The Tielman Brothers, very wild straight up rock & roll, but a sub-genre on itself.
Have you planned any concerts for the near future?
Yes, we have some concerts planned at bars, small festivals, bar crawls and some things on France and Spain in the summer (Screamin’ Festival on June 8th). And more to come fortunately.
How would you persuade someone of younger age, with different music backgrounds to try listen to Rock ‘n’ Roll?
I think I would try to explain where it all came from, how music evolved. That we wouldn’t have the music as it is today, without Hank Williams, without Elvis or Buddy Holly, without the Beatles in the 60’s, who took care of the natural evolution of popular music from traditional rock & roll to more sophisticated pop and rock music. Music will always evolve. I’m definitely not single-minded when it comes to music. Great music can be found everywhere, during every decade and within every genre or style. Try to be objective too, don’t knock what you don’t understand (to quote Sun recording artist Dane Stinit). Broaden your horizon 😉
We hope to see you soon in Greece
Thank you, we very much like to come if there’s an opportunity for concerts!
Thank you very much for the interview
You’re welcome! 🙏