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A Conversation with Nicos de Cock of the BluesBones



By Ken Wallis.



The BluesBones are a hard-hitting rock/blues band from Belgium. They won the Belgian Blues Challenge in 2016 and captured second place in the European Blues Challenge in 2017. When they take the stage, audiences feel their energy flowing from their music. The band’s high-energy performance is captured on the latest release Live On Stage.

Ken Wallis interviewed Nicos de Cock for the radio show Blues Source International. Excerpts from the interview follow.





Ken Wallis

We’ve got a great blues album in our hands right now….it’s by the group called The Bluesbones… they're out of Belgium and joining us to talk about the album is Nicos de Cock…Nico thanks so much for coming on the show


Nicos de Cock

Thanks so much for having me…it's a real pleasure


Ken Wallis

Tell us a little bit about the band. How did you guys get together and how did you come up with the name Bluesbones?


Nicos de Cock

Well we got together in the end of 2011. I just finished with another band and it was called The Blues Conspiracy. I always felt the name of a band has to be good and I was thinking about the name of Bluesbones…it just popped into my head and I said let's try this. We wanted to record a demo of five numbers, and we recorded seven of them and our producer said if you record three more you have an album. We said okay let's try it and we recorded it, and in the beginning we just burned it ourselves on CD, but we were playing live gigs and I couldn't keep up with burning the CD's because we sold so many of them. And from that point on we recorded another album 2013 and a live 2015 studio album. Then in 2016 we released a double live album and since that point on we got attention in the U.S.A. and also in the U.K. I was trying to reach out to radio and I didn't know how to do it because we were just an independent band so I tried everything myself and then worked my way up a little bit.


Ken Wallis

And where was this album recorded?


Nicos de Cock

It was recorded in in the place nearby, it's 20 kilometres from my home and it was recorded in a cultural centre in town, and we organized it with a big festival. There is a big festival here in Belgium Swing Wespelaar and we asked them, can you organize this evening? That we only had to think about recording this album live and we don't have to think about entrance…people getting drinks…people getting food. So they did it for us and we just put our focus on playing the music.


Ken Wallis

And boy did you guys play! It’s a great album…I’m thoroughly enjoying it. You feature a lot of original material...who writes your songs?


Nicos de Cock

Well it depends…sometimes I write a song… mostly I write the lyrics and sometimes it's the band. Sometimes we come together and jam a little bit and sometimes a song comes out of it and and I write the lyrics. Sometimes our hammond player writes a song with lyrics…sometimes our guitar player has a good song. It's not always in the same way a song comes to life you know.


Ken Wallis

For somebody that doesn't know the band and they get a hold of the album…what song would you suggest that they listen to first?...the one song that basically features you guys the most


Nicos de Cock

It's hard, but I would say 'The End' for the biggest audience you know blues audience can enjoy it, but also other people. Also the song that works for us the most… is 'Sealed Souls' and it's a ballad but it's more kind of a rock ballad instead of a blues ballad…but it's also a song with a message about war and about all the crazy stuff war brings to you. But I think the sound of the band to listen to is 'The End' and it's a definite combination of blues and rock.

Ken Wallis

You've got some videos up on YouTube for our listeners to go to. You do the vocals and you got a great voice…whatever got you interested in singing in the first place?


Nicos de Cock

Well I started singing when I was very young. My mother…she was a singer in the church choir here in Belgium, and when I was a little boy I always had to go with her to the rehearsal because my father was working and she couldn't leave me alone at home. So as a little boy you're sitting there and you sing along. From when I was young, I listened to the radio and always was singing with the songs and I knew all the lyrics to all the songs. And then when I was 17 years old… a good friend of mine…who recently moved to America…he's our producer and he’s doing music. I was always working with him in the studio…making some music…singing some songs and at one point…I think i was 30 years old he said, "damn you…you need to go sing in a band". I said "like, no no no, I don't want to because I'm very nervous because sometimes when I did go to a karaoke bar and I always needed to be drunk before I got on stage." He was searching on the internet and then one day he called me and said, "Hey, I found a band for you to play in" and I was 31 years old and I started to sing in my first band.


Ken Wallis

You’ve got a great voice and the five of you seem to mesh together…you guys really seem to enjoy live performances.


Nicos de Cock

Yeah, I always say we are a live band. Sometimes you just need to put out a studio album but from the six albums we recorded three were live albums because we are a live band. The first two studio albums we recorded in the studio, but, we played them live. We didn't play each track differently…we just played them together in the studio…three times the same song and we said this is the best one okay it will be on the album. It's the connection between the musicians…we can look at each other and we know what is going to happen. Everybody can say, like okay now, we're gonna take it easy…everybody follows…you know, it's the five together that makes magic.


Ken Wallis

The band is toured a lot through Europe…any plans to come to North America?


Nicos de Cock

Well we would love to come to North America, but, it's not that easy…and especially now. I could reach out to bookers over there but they would say like, hey there's nothing happening…so what can I do at this point. We really hope in the future that our music will stick to the people in America and maybe they will remember us when everything is more of a normal life again. I really hope…it would be a big dream come true to play in America…in the land of the blues.


Ken Wallis

Well I'll tell you one thing…if you get over here I'll be front and centre sitting in the front row listening to you guys because I'd love to see you perform


Nicos de Cock

I would love to meet you in person yeah.

Ken Wallis

Where can folks get a hold of your album…I shouldn't say get a hold of it…I should say where can they buy your album?


Nicos de Cock

The best way to buy it is on our website…it's thebluesbones.com The album is everywhere, on Spotify on iTunes and Amazon…we don't have a retailer…a distributor in America, because we are on a small label in Belgium…Naked…it's a good label but it's more European-based. I try to reach out to American radio to reach out to more people…


Ken Wallis

I think the word's going to get around.


Nicos de Cock

Well I really hope so


Ken Wallis

Nicos…thank you so much for your time…I really appreciate it and I wish the band all the best.


Nicos de Cock

Well it was an absolute pleasure and I really hope we can come over there one day and we can meet in person


Ken Wallis

We'll sit down and have a beer together.


Nicos de Cock

I’ll bring the Belgian beer! [LAUGH]



Website: www.thebluesbones.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thebluesbones

Twitter: twitter.com/thebluesbones

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thebluesbones





 

 

 

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