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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Ken Wallis Chats With Nico de Cock Of Belguim-Based Band The BluesBones


By Ken Wallis. Photo Credit: Walter Vanheuckelom.



The BluesBones is 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. They are continuing to rock Europe with scintillating live performances and have released a new studio album entitled 'Unchained'.





Ken Wallis

One of my favourite bands, The BluesBones, from Belgium, have a new album out. It’s called Unchained and joining us to tell us all about it is lead vocalist Nico de Cock. Nico thanks for coming on the show.


Hey, thank you so much for having me.


Ken Wallis

This is your seventh album I believe. Does this album differ from your previous albums?

Nico de Cock

Well, a little bit because this album was the first album we also released on vinyl. So, we had to make it like a 38 minute maximum on an album. And we wanted to do the same on the CD, so we wrote our songs a little bit more compact to fit on an album, and we would have eight or nine songs on the album. That's a little bit of a different approach. Most of the songs in the early days had guitar solos for three and a half minutes, and we couldn't do this on this album. So, it's a little bit more compact, that's the only difference, but the normal sound of the band stays.

And why the title Unchained?

Nico de Cock

We were searching for a title, a good title for the album, and then we looked at all the songs and all the songs are a little bit about finding your new life. And at one point we said maybe it's like getting loose of the chains and also the chain gang. We said maybe Unchained is a great title for the album.


Ken Wallis

The Bluesbones are well known as a blues band, but you guys sort of cross over all kinds of different genres. How would you describe the music on this album for people that haven't heard it yet?


Nico de Cock

We have Blues in our name, The BluesBones, but we are not the typical blues band. We try to be very diverse in all the music we make, but we sometimes play traditional Blues songs. But it’s also rock songs and everything in between, with the soul of the blues still inside of it. I think it's hard to put yourself inside one box. It's always hard, like you're this or you're that, and sometimes it's better to be wider or open to different kinds of genres.


Ken Wallis

When I first listened to the album. I was really struck by the energy of the music. It's almost as if you guys recorded that live.

Nico de Cock

We are a live band, and we feel like we are at our best when we play live. On one album in 2018, Chasing Shadows, it was the first album we did separately. So first of all the drums, then bass, then the guitar and we all had the feeling like, no this is not us, this is not how we play at our best. And so, for this album, we said okay, we're gonna go to into a big studio where we can all play together. We recorded everything at once and we just played with dynamics and looked at each other, and made music. We just recorded four takes of every song and we listened to it and said this is the best take and this will be on the album. Only the vocals were recorded afterwards, and we did some add-ons but at the base of the songs, the guitar, the drums, the Hammond, they were recorded live.


Ken Wallis

And how do you guys come up with your songs? How do you go about writing them?


Nico de Cock

It's different styles. Sometimes I write a song like I Cry, it was a song I wrote on my acoustic guitar and I came to the band and said can we do something with this song? Or sometimes Edwin our Hammond player has got a song and he introduces it to the band. We start messing around at the rehearsal and our guitar player Stef plays a riff and we start jamming. Then we feel like, oh this is good, and we record it and I start to babble some words. And then l go home and listen to the recording and I start writing lyrics on it. It's all different kinds of types of how we come to our music.


Ken Wallis

Tell us about the song The Tale Of Big Tim Brady, I think that's really interesting


Nico de Cock

Well, that song came out of a jam. We were just jamming and when we were playing this song, I said this is like a Nick Cave song. There has to be a story to it, and we were jamming and then when I got home and I started writing lyrics. I was thinking about a jazz club the early 1930s or 40s, thinking about it in my fantasy and there is a guy who stole the girlfriend from another guy and my imagination started running wild. I came up with the lyrics because I thought it was a story to be told. It was a a song that needs to have a story.


Ken Wallis

I certainly got into it right away and I really had to listen to where the story was going. I'm curious about one thing. European bands usually record in English, but they also obviously speak other languages, and I assume that the reason is because sales of Blues goes a lot to English-speakers. As a band coming from Belgium, when you perform is it always in English or do you guys go to another language when you perform?

Nico de Cock

We always perform in English. The only thing what we do in Belgium, if you talk to the audience we talk in Dutch. We never perform in our language. English is like our second language, because we're learning that in school. We see all the television shows because in Belgium nothing is dubbed. In France or Germany movies and series are getting dubbed in their language, but we hear the original audio and we get subtitles. So, we learn English by nature and when we are very young. You hear the sounds and you read what it means in Dutch.


Ken Wallis

Well it's a fabulous album. I've really been enjoying it. Any plans on a North American tour?


Nico de Cock

We really would like to but it's not that easy, because you need plane tickets, and travel stuff. We would need to find a booker or an agency to work with us in in North America because they know the market there and what needs to be arranged. If you come to work there, there are several papers you need to be in order. If some promoter or an agent would like to work with us we would love to come there.


Ken Wallis

I'd love to see you guys live maybe with a little bit of luck I'll get to Belgium one of these days, and see you guys perform. Nico tell our audience where they can get hold of your album.


Nico de Cock

Well our album is on all the streaming services like iTunes, Spotify, but you can order our album. We send it all around the world so you can order our album on our website. We have a web shop, and it's the best way to get it if they want to buy a physical copy or vinyl. They have to go to the web shop, it's www.thebluesbones.com and then you can see the web shop and you can go there and pay with PayPal or credit card or so that's no problem.


Ken Wallis

Well I salute you and the band because I really enjoy your music and you've turned me onto so many bands in Europe as well. I really appreciate there's some great Blues happening over there.


Nico de Cock

It's true, there is a good blues scene here in Europe and also in Scandinavian countries, there are a lot of great bands.


Ken Wallis

I've been getting into a lot of blues bands from Ireland and Australia and all over the world, it's amazing. I'm starting to believe that Blues is becoming more and more popular.


Nico de Cock

I always say that since vinyl is coming back, the older music will come back also, because the music that was on vinyl will soon be popular again, because people will start to investigate what in the early days what was on vinyl.


Ken Wallis

Well I encourage everybody to go out and buy this album because it's well worth it. Nico I really want to thank you so much for your time, it's really been great chatting with you again.


Nico de Cock

Thank you so much, it was great to being on our show again and yeah I hope to be back someday soon maybe when we record a new album.







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