We caught up with Tim Vantol from the Netherlands on his UK last month with Thrice’s Dustin Kensrue. We spoke about what it’s like playing in front of different audiences, whether it be with the full band, solo, standing, seated or at mixed-billed festivals.
How was Hit the Deck last month?
Yeah it was really fun. It was one of the first times when we’ve done a bunch of festivals. But it’s been a really long time since we’ve played festivals in England it was really good. The first one in Bristol we just arrived, played and we had to go, but at Nottingham we had time to see some other bands and some friends. So yeah, I had a really good time.
Is it strange playing those sort of festivals with really mixed bills?
Yeah, the music is a little bit louder. We are the guys with acoustic guitars and stuff. It happens more and more now, but I think at the end the different isn’t too big. Overall, we play quite a lot of shows with hardcore bands and stuff, we’re just happy to see some cool bands! The only difference is the acoustic guitar.
Is it much different playing a show with your full band compared to solo?
Yeah, yeah. It really is. I think with the full band there’s more energy, and for me as well, I look around and I’m like “oh yeah, you guys are here, so let’s do this!” No matter what situation we’re in, we try to make the most out of it. After Hit the Deck we did some full band shows in the UK for the first time. Then we went home and played in front of 12 people. And we loved that. Not to brag about it or anything but it’s been a while and we really enjoyed it. As long as we see one person smiling we’re happy. If I play solo, though, it’s almost like being naked or something. Especially for these shows. People are sitting! I’ve never played in front of seated crowds. It’s weird because people are just sitting and watching! It’s very scary.
Yeah. I was surprised when I looked at the listing and saw it was a seated show.
Yeah, yeah, it’s really weird! People are like really, really focused. They just watch and listen to you, and I can explain all my stupid jokes! It’s nice, as long as everyone is having a good time. It’s a new experience, new challenge.
How has it been supporting Dustin?
Yeah, it’s been amazing. Scotland yesterday was amazing, it was beautiful, and we had a standing audience. People are really friendly and really nice. I’m really happy with how it’s been. It’s nice to play in front of loads of people. It’s a different audience too because Thrice had a different style of music.
Is it much different playing in the UK compared to on the continent?
[Laughter]. No, no. No. It’s all the same, really. I just had to laugh, though, because when I get that question I just have no idea how to answer it.
Yeah. You get a wide range of answers, too, I’ve heard some bands genuinely prefer one to the other or sometimes have better experiences with promoters in Europe.
Yeah. I’ve done a bunch of tours here in the UK and some of them were really tough and some were really great. This run has been amazing. The problem is we’ve been starting from scratch in a lot of places. But as long as the sun is shining and it’s not pouring down like last time, I’m happy! But it’s the same in the mainland, it can rain for weeks on end. So far, so good. I’m really enjoying it. It is different from mainland Europe. I’ve worked hard in the mainland as well, I hope we can reach that here, too.
It’s been a while since the last record was first released, have you got much planned now?
Well this record just got released here last month! But I know it’s been out of a while. Yeah, I’m starting to work on a new record right now. As soon as we drive home I’ve got some time off to hopefully finish it off, and then hopefully it will be released in January. In August we’ve got festival season, then in October we’re gonna do a really big run in Europe. Then December, we’ll start getting ready for the new record. For now, we’re just trying to fill up the rest of the year!