TBP: Hi, Bos, Lanting, Douche and Khani. How are you feeling today?
Steven Bos: Miserable because winter is coming. I’m laying on the floor in my house, looking at the plaster ornaments and an x-shaped fluorescent lamp.
Susan Lanting: I’m feeling Lanting all over.
Douche: Geurtelevisie. That’s Dutch for a TV that provides the viewer with smell. Um, eh I mean the smeller. Not the viewer. Duuuh.
Sina Khani: Well. I am going through a horrible breakup at the moment. I wake up crying, I smoke two to three packs of cigarettes everyday, drink beer instead of coffee. I leave the house and scream at random people in my pj’s. Then I sit in the subway with my earphones on, crying again, listening to my own songs. “Jackin’ On A Shrek”, “Hot Dog Bling”, “VFL BOCHUM – Die Vielleicht Schönste Hymne Der Welt”, “Another Lame In The Wall” and “Happiest or Worst Birthday Song Ever”, of course. Thinking: How could she leave me? We were dating for a short time. But I love her more than anyone. Baby! If you read this, please give me a call. Or at least pick up when I call. I love you so much!
TBP: Okay. Who are your biggest musical and artistic influences?
Steven Bos: Falco, Wagner, The National Anthem of Italy, Picasso, Kirac.
Susan Lanting: The Phantom of the Opera and The Phantom of the Opera.
Douche: Mohsen Namjoo.
Sina Khani: Sina Khani.
TBP: Haha. How did you actually meet? How did the whole BLDK project start?
Steven Bos: We met at an after party at Ariel Pink’s house.
Susan Lanting: I came across an ad in a newspaper looking for ‘streetwise’ boys to audition for an art pop band. I actually missed the first round of auditions because I was visiting my grandmother in Wijk en Aalburg, but something told me to ring the managers behind the ad to ask if they were still looking. They were.
After finding out they were down to 12 boys, I went to the London audition. The guys who’d made the final round were split into two groups of four. Each group sang Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” and performed a dance we’d learned for the audition.
Before I left, one of the guys came over and told me I’d made it. I was elated! A month later, I picked up Bos from the train station I remember thinking, ‘Oh, my God! I’m picking up this guy I don’t know at all in my car,’ which would soon become the band’s wheels that I’d go on to crash, often with them in it. And so, just like that, we were a band: Bos, Douche, Khani and myself. Roommates, too.
Douche: No, stop bullshitting the interviewer, Lanting! He’s a nice dude. It wasn’t in London. It was in Hoek van Holland. And there weren’t 12 boys. But 11. One of them was trans.
Sina Khani: It was a rainy day. My girlfriend Danielle had just left me. She was cheating on me with my old teacher from art school. Pretty painful. I remember the rain dripping on my Persian nose. Thinking, how could she leave me? How can anyone leave a Sina Khani. I am a Sina Khani, you know?
TBP: Yes, I know. Relax. So what’s the strangest thing that’s happened during recording or filming sessions?
Steven Bos: I remember something about a 12 year old steak, a skull, a briefcase filled with junk, a VHS camera and Khani taking the tram after shooting Vitamine Kale.
Susan Lanting: I’ve never been at a recording or filming session, they’ve never invited me. I think that’s pretty strange.
Douche: Stop lying, Lanting! You are always there. I’m a hoarder by the way. Wait, what was the question? Oh. The strangest thing was when I lost my keys in the sound studio but then later found it in my jacket.
Sina Khani: I once lost my phone in the sound studio. Was fucked up.
TBP: Great. So that is settled. Your song “Football Is life” has some influences of Brazilian Folk music and German Carnival parties. Why did you choose for that specific blend?
Steven Bos: If you would actually listen to the song you would realize that it has nothing to do with Brazilian folk and German Carnival parties. It’s more Caracas Beats and Austrian Falco inspired romantic Euro House.
Susan Lanting: Why not?!!!
Douche: Yeah why not, Steven? Are you the douche or me? Because you sound like one! Boom. In your face.
Sina Khani: I think it’s totally German Carnival versus Brazilian Schlager. I wrote a joke a few years ago. I think it fits: a German guy walks into a bar. He has a date with a pretty Brazilian woman. The lady says: “Hey, listen. Can we please not talk about the 7:1?” The German guy: “OK. What else shall we talk about?” The Brazilian lady: “How about sex?” The German guy: “Ok, sure. We. Fucked. You. Really. Hard. Seven. To. One!” Haha. Horrible joke. Yet, it makes me cry. Just like ‘Shrek’. My solo song, not the film.
TBP: That makes total sense. We really tried to understand the song “Je m’en fous” but we can’t make anything out of it. It’s just confusing. Can you help us out please?
Steven Bos: It’s a protest song about a struggling dishwasher in the banlieues who is trying to better his life, make a Benz out of that Datsun and along his path of getting paid and pay check to pay check lifestyle he wants to better himself and become part of the upper class but then he realizes at some point that actually he’s trying to join a level which he will never achieve and then he finds the irony in the quest of becoming that and then he says je m’en fous I dont give a shit I’m just gonna live my life and not worry about that.
Susan Lanting: For me that song is really about the heat conveyed in my veins, warm up the heart and drag it on this boat of which you are the captain. Where oblivion melts and where love breaks loose.
Douche: Calcutors. You know these machines that you hold upside down and they say BOOBS.
Sina Khani: Bullshit. We were fascinated by Kazim Akbiga and his youtube hit IS MIR EGAL. We wanted to cover it, but the concept drifted. My rap part is about Christopher Columbus and how he discovered America. Classy! Well, we never got to cover that song. And now Kazim is dead. I dedicated my last song to him. Rest in pace, Bruder.
TBP: How do you create songs and videos? What’s the normal process? Does it start with a concept, a melody or lyrics?
Steven Bos: It starts with a whatsapp group chat with a lot of back and forth messaging about dates, time schedule,s concepts, money for flixbus, and then after probably one or two month we agree on all the subjects. The budget is always the same: 50 Euros per person and that has to pay for the studio, lighting, props, camera, camera crew, the mastering, color grading, titles, extras, catering, drinks, transportation, always 200 including everything. Then there is a lot of discussion about outfits. Sina always just wants to be Sina Khani, he doesn’t want to wear any make up or costumes, Bos and Lanting always want to wear as much make up as they can, and then in the end Douche always looks the best.
Susan Lanting: Our process starts with me creating the melody, lyrics and concept for the video. When I propose this piece to the guys they usually get really inspired and come up with ideas for outfits, styling and make up. For Sina that means most of the time that he will wear the outfit he is wearing that day.
Douche: I usually arrive too late at the meetings, so all decisions have already been taken.
Sina Khani: Yes for me it starts with a look in the mirror. And the timelessly eternal question: what do you see when you look at yourself? The answer is easy. I see Sina Khani. It’s not funny, because it’s true. Sorry.
TBP: You have paid a tribute to David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” before the new season came out? What do you think of the new season?
Steven Bos: Its a tribute to David Lynch but it’s actually more a tribute to the sound man Bob. I think sound man Bob is one of the mascots of BLDK. A lot of our work is about Bob, because Bob was a sound guy working on Twin Peaks. Obviously we are all completely mesmerised by the intro song and Brie & butter sandwiches.
The new season I think he lost it, he has become David Lynch the caricature of David Lynch.
Susan Lanting: The new “Twin Peaks” season came out on May 21, 2017, Moon on Fire (our tribute) was released on Dec 20, 2014, so yeah before the new season came out.
Haven’t seen it.
Douche: The new season is okay. I give it 2 stars.
Sina Khani: Twin Peaks sucks. Totally overrated. I hate David Lynch. Reminds me of one of my ex’s. As a very young child she used to dress up as Laura Palmer when she’s doing that wannabe-uncanny walk over that cable-stayed bridge. I don’t like reminders that flash me back to my ex’s. My love life is a mess. This ladyfriend left me because I destroyed her mothers oil paintings during new year’s eve. I didn’t like the way they were hanging. Not straight enough. What’s the idea behind pictures on your wall, when you can’t even make them hang right? Was a great party though. I made veggie burgers with beet root. Was a funny break up. Very dramatic. She is a stylist. She used to be my stylist for a while. Her name is Sara. Sara Mathiasson. She’s doing something with hair. So visual. So sensual. So pretty. So good! Damn. And what do I do? I make bullshit. I create jokes. Bad ones. Jokes about Siamese twins without dicks. Totally useless. So that relationship was doomed to fail. She didn’t find me funny. She didn’t like my videos. She didn’t like my lifestyle. She didn’t like it when I was high. She didn’t like it when I was down. She even hated this band. She didn’t understand me. Makes me cry, man. Really. But whatever. I actually would love to tell you some more details. But I bet you don’t care, so let me just quote comedian Bill Burr for a second: “Go fuck yourself!” Just kidding. I love your blog, man! The Bacon Post! Right on.
TBP: Thanks for sharing. Your latest track is called “Vitamin Kale” and it’s supposedly you guys doing weird things under weird substance influence while weird Facebook emoticons fly around the screen. What did you intend with that song?
Steven Bos: We went to the veterinarian. It turned out our dog Ozzy had to undergo some surgery. The doctor was injecting him with some liquid ketamine, and we saw Ozzy drifting away on the path of equilibrium, on the path of mystery, hysteria and I asked the doctor: “Doctor is that Ketamine you are in ejecting into my dog?” and I said “I’ve never done that obviously but I’ve heard about it and I saw it in movies.” And he said: “Yes son, there are people crazy enough to do it” and I thought to myself: man, where is this world going to? And I want to experience what my dog is experiencing. So we went to the most dodgy place we know in Amsterdam, De Pijp, and there was a guy in the alley without teeth, no hair, no hands, but large long feet, flip flops, huge toenails with a cigarette between his toes. Once a while he would take a long drag, and look you in the eye with a mysterious look, like a captain on a ship overlooking a battle field, and I would ask the guy: “Hey man do you know where I can score some liquid ketamine man?” and he said “I’ve got all the ingredients, I only need a place to cook.” And I thought wait man this guy is fucked up, lets call Mohamed, and I called Rachied and you know what? In 15 minutes he was there: “Yes sir, No Sir please sir, see you again sir” and yeah I scored some powder formed ketamine and I said to myself Man, wouldn’t it be a great experience, an invasion in the social structure planting an individual high on substance onto the streets of Amsterdam? Normal working hours, after-party style, from after to after, performance to performance.
We started with commercial pop music to get an audience like football is life is very poppy very upbeat everybody is having fun and that’s how we lured our fans into thinking that we are a up beat and high-spirited positive and friendly band but we are actually an underground pop art band who make protest songs and describe the world as we know it.
The song is about ketamine overdose, K-Holes, Kale! About people eating kale salads during the week feeling all healthy and then taking ketamine in the weekend feeling all unhealthy and balancing it out with more kale salads during the week. Its about working eating salad and partying in the weekend
Susan Lanting: It’s the first time we tried to make something really commercial. Before we were this really underground art pop band and now we really wanted to make something upbeat, a happy song that everybody would like, you know. With a positive feel about it and a subject that everybody can relate to.
Douche: Yes, we never fail!
Sina Khani: I wanted to write a song about myself. Sina Khani. But then we did something else. So lame!
TBP: Okay. Last question: What is your next song about? Have you planned anything yet?
Steven Bos: Memphis chairs, Kirac racism, Albert Speer, Ozzy, brace, beige, we are really interested in beige at the moment. Beige privilege, beige faces, beige hole sun, Ariel beige. I see a beige door and I want to paint it beige, beige romance, beige velvet, beige moon, feeling beige, Herman Beige, beige, this is the beige, beige woman, out of the beige, into the beige, beige bashing, beigesist. So probably a song about racist beige people. Beige problems. Beige solutions.
Susan Lanting: We have great plans, I’m not allowed to say much about it yet, but I can promise it will be epic.
Douche: Just say it. Our great plan is to make a song about pillows.
Sina Khani: I will just focus on my solo career.