INTERVIEW WITH RENE POSTMA.
How did North Star start?
As a bass player I’ve played a lot with other bands and musicians over the years. I’ve played many different styles of music and ideas for my own songs started to develop in my head. Since then I started writing songs and I’ve been working on them until I thought it was time to do something with them. Then I looked for a producer who could help me get my demo’s to a definite form.
You contacted Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas, bass player with MuteMath and The Pink Dust. Why him?
I am a huge fan of his band MuteMath. Their songs are really good, a perfect combination of electronics and acoustic instruments and it’s very creative. They really know how to get the best out of their songs: from very bombastic to small songs. They use everything needed to make a song. Not just guitar and drums. The remixes he made from MuteMath songs are great and so is his work with The Pink Dust.
Your are a bass player. Is it a coincidence that you asked another bass player to produce your songs?
I guess not. You always pay more attention to musicians who play the same instrument. What I like about Roy is that he does a lot more than just playing bass. On stage he plays bass, guitar, keys and is ‘ground control’. He controls sounds and samples that can’t be reproduced live.
How did you get him to produce your songs?
About one and a half year ago I contacted him and send him some demo’s I made. His first response: ‘You need to work on your songwriting’. Okay, that was somewhat disappointing but it also encouraged me to find a good direction. I studied and listened a lot and a year later I send him new material. From that moment on we started working on getting the songs to the final stage.
How did you collaborate?
I sent Roy the individual tracks from the demo’s so he could work on them. He added and removed some things. Then I could work on it from there. It went back and forth several times until we both agreed it was ready to be recorded. In december 2016 I went to Nashville, where he lives. In ten days we recorded all parts. We started with drums, played by Darren King, MuteMaths’ drummer. Really a great drummer! Anne-Linn, our singer also flew to Nashville to record vocals. They were long days of hard work because we had to get it done in those ten days, but it payed off.
As a (double-)bassplayer you play many different styles, from jazz to rock & roll. North Star is more pop/electronic. What music do you like to listen to?
I like to listen to bands that make real songs. In which I mean songs with a beautiful melody and a nice progression in chords. And of course something surprising. Like Teardrop from Massive Attack, Inhaler from Hooverphonic, but also Fifteen Step from Radiohead. And Chaos from MuteMath of course. A fantastic song.
What is your favorite song from this EP?
Ow, that is a difficult question. I like ‘What will happen’ very much. In that song we made a sample of Anne-Linn and we used it to make the chords. But I don’t have one favorite… yet.
What are your expectations for North Star?
At first I hope that many people just like my songs and that they will pop up in many playlists. And I would like to play live with North Star on many interesting stages of course. But for me this project is already successful, because I have learned so much in such a short time. I can use that in all my work from now on.
Have you found a band for live sessions already?
North Star does have a core of three: Anne-Linn Beekhof, vocals, Matthias van Olst, drums and of course myself. I will play bass, some guitar and I’ll do ‘ground control’. I work a lot with Matthias, he has also done a lot of work with de demo’s. As well as Anne-Linn. For live sessions we’ll see what and who we need. We know a lot of great musicians. Just let the live gigs come.
You wrote more songs than just this EP. Are you going to record them too?
Yes, those songs are all ready. A few need a little more work, that’s my next challenge. I am going to record them in March/April, so our LP will be ready in the second half of May.