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Warhaus: Interview with Maarten Devoldere

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The man behind Warhaus, Maarten Devoldere, sat down with us just before his upcoming concerts in Greece. He talked about his muse, his influences, new bands that he likes and also about Greek people that he met during his European Tours. Enjoy!

What made you work outside Balthazar? Have Balthazar ended or do you have plans for the future?

There was never the intention to stop with Balthazar, it's the band we all love and made us who we are. But after working and playing concerts with each other for more than 10 years, it was time to do things on our own for a short while. This can only benefit Balthazar in the future.

Did you actually spend five months on a tug boat from which you got your name, Warhaus? Tell us about that experience.
Yes, a friend of mine, who is the owner of the boat and also my travel companion to Kyrgyzstan, suggested the idea to me. The boat was docked just outside of Ghent , away from all the noise and turmoil. It have me the chance to work on those songs in the most pure way.

When in Balthazar, you co-wrote with Jinte Deprez. Now, under the name Warhaus you are the sole songwriter. How do you deal with that “loneliness” in the writing process? Which one do you prefer, writing alone or collaborating?
For the most part we have always been writing alone. Even for the Balthazar records we work separately and after we've made a few songs, we join hands and listen to each other's songs. That's what makes Balthazar so interesting to listen.

'Spending five months on a tug boat gave me the chance to work on my songs in the most pure way'

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What’s your view on the rock scene of Belgium? How do you see that evolving?
You definitely feel that the scene is evolving. Bands use to be with a guitar player, drummer and such. Now it evolved into the most broadest spectrum of musicians. Hip Hop is getting huge in Belgium, which is really cool.

Are you familiar with the Greek English-speaking music scene? If yes, which artists have you heard that have made an impression on you?
For this one, I need to be completely honest and admit that I don't know a single Greek artist. Shame on me.

Which new international artists do you listen to?
I listen to Ratmosphere, Alex Cameron and Connan Mockasin.

You have been described as “the ‘child’ of Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen“. Which artists have acted as a reference for you?
I take my influences more in events than in people. Just like Nick Cave , Leanord Cohen and many more do as well. I think it's very important to make songs about real events and experiences.

'I take my influences more in events than in people'

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The female vocals on Warhaus are by Sylvie Kreusch, ex-singer of Soldier’s Heart. How did this collaboration came up? Is the song “Kreush” inspired by her or dedicated to her?
Sylvie is my muse, and yes, the song is was made for her. She will always be a part of my life. How large that part is, I will never know.

How do you see your musical and songwriting style evolving? Do you have plans for a third Warhaus album?
Right now I have enough songs to make 4 more Warhaus albums, but first things first. Balthazar has been in the closet for way too long, so it's time to go on the road them after this upcoming Warhaus tour.

The first Warhaus album was entitled “We Fucked A Flame Into Being”, a direct quote from the famous novel “Lady Chatterley's Lover” by D.H. Lawrence. What part does literature and other forms of art have in your creating/song-writing process?
Lyrics, poems and literature are woven into each other. Talking in riddles can often explain more than anything else. “We fucked a flame into being” resembled this perfectly.

'Riddles like 'We Fucked A Flame Into Being' can often explain more than anything else'

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Will this be the first time you visit Greece? What can we expect to experience at your concerts here in Athens and Thessaloniki?

Yes, it's my first time ever in Greece. I heard great things and during our previous tours in Europe we've met Greek people. They always have so much temperament which I love. I hope that we'll play in the dirtiest , sweatiest club of the city where I can watch everybody close in the eyes.

Thank you Maarten!
Thank you!

Warhaus will play in Athens on April 20 in Gagarin 205 and in Thessaloniki on April 21 in WE

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