With a mix of dark, psychedelic rock, gothic-tinged pop sensibilities, and a lineup of seasoned musicians from the Netherlands’ musical underground, Rotterdam’s Dool is poised to make a big impression on rock audiences in 2017, starting with the release of its debut full-length, Here Now, There Then.
The band evolved out of Elle Bandita, the electro-infused punk/rock solo project launched by guitarist/vocalist Ryanne van Dorst 2008. Accompanying van Doorst on drums was Micha Haring, who also played in the influential Dutch occult rock band, The Devil’s Blood. When the two found themselves in need of a new bassist, they recruited Haring’s bandmate Job van de Zande. Eventually, guitarists Nick Polak (Gold) and Reinier Vermeulen (The New Media) joined the ranks as well.
Impressed by the group’s combined talents, van Dorst came to the decision to rebuild the band from the ground up with a new direction and a new name, Dool (which translates to “wandering” in English). “It felt like the right thing to do because when we were onstage in the last days of my solo project with this setup, it felt like, ‘this is not about me anymore. We are a group I can’t put this on my own name anymore,” van Dorst says. “The guys had so many ideas, and of course they were playing together as the rhythm section for The Devil’s Blood and they had this whole different energy. It felt weird to do it under the same name. Also, our message has changed.”
With Elle Bandita, van Dorst took on the world head on with unapologetic lyrical themes challenging conventions of gender, sexuality, and personal freedom in a constrictive society. In Dool, the desires to break boundaries and shirk conformity are as strong as ever, but the focus now points inward. “Dool has more to do with trying to find meaning within yourself in this plastic world. Not trying to change the world, but trying to find yourself, truly. That’s what’s changed for me over the last 4-5 years. I don’t want to change the world anymore. I want to have the best life that I can, get to know myself, explore things, and do new stuff. ‘Do what thou wilt,’” she says.
Dool channeled that vision into their infectious first single “Oweynagat” which, combined with their powerful live shows on the Dutch circuit invited a coveted spot on the 2016 Roadburn Festival. Though they were one of the newer bands on the bill, their set became one of the most talked-about of the weekend and helped land them a contract with Prophecy Productions.
Van Dorst describes the experience of creating the Here Now, There Then as “a whole different way of making music,” than her previous projects. “Before I would record the demos, have the guys rehearse it exactly the way I wanted it, and then we’d go to the studio and record. This time around I just provided the songs, but not the arrangements, so there was a lot of space left for everyone to do find their own way of playing. We thought together, “how can we make this as organic as possible?” and it started to grow in the rehearsal room. It was a really special experience for me because I’ve never had that before. It was like, ‘we’re a band, we’re doing this.’ There were a lot of positive vibes.”
Kicking off the album is the“Vantablack,” a dynamic song marked by heavy guitars, lush, melodic ambiance, and a hypnotic, slow-building finale that features guest vocals from The Devil’s Blood’s Farida Lemouchi and sets the tone for what’s ahead. “The song is about behavioral patterns and vicious cycles,” says van Dorst. “I can relate to that as a person but you can also project that onto the world. We’re always bound to make the same mistakes. I’m trying to change that in myself: the conditioned behavior I got from my parents, and from growing up, and from what the world says you have to be. Wash it clean from yourself and be reborn as a new person.”
“I think every day when you wake up you have to question, ‘’What am I doing?’ and have some sort of conscious way of starting your day and making decisions. ‘Do I want this? Yes or no.’ If you don’t know why you made that decision, ask yourself, and try to change that about yourself. Whatever it may be.”
Check out the US premiere of “Vantablack” (above), and keep your ear out for Here Now, There Then when it comes out on February 17, via Prophecy Productions.