Behind the Song
Kralingen produces 'Symphonic Surf': a uniquely gripping, moody, sensual, at times epic, and above all original indie sound. Their songs are warm, mysterious, sensory experiences that draw you towards the edges of love and lovemaking, never shying away from our inner darkness and natural desires, yet always connecting deeper with the listener.
They are an Amsterdam based formation centered around singer and guitarist Rogier van Kralingen and supported by pianist and composer Victor Butzelaar, producer and drummer Arjan van Asselt and many other famous artists, including current and future collaborations with Marianna Kocsány, DMA’s, Janice Wong, Sticky Fingers, Bootleg Rascal and Djilani.
For fans who have never heard your music, can you pick three words to describe it?! If three words just aren't enough then tell us more!!
Warm, mysterious, sensual
What is your favorite part about being an artist? Is it songwriting, performing, recording, something else?) Tell us why.
The thrill of creating a song all the way through, starting as rough as possible. We like flipping the script and always test songs in their roughest forms live instead of immediately go into recording studios. Our songs then develop with the audience. So the recording and publishing part is very much the end of the creation process, with lots of people and voices involved. It's inclusive and we love that. So, it's a bit cheesy I guess, but I'd say the greatest part of being an artist is the people around me.
Can you tell us what being in the recording studio is like for you?
It's tough. Not that I don't like it, I love it. But there is always a moment where you've listened to a song so many times, you start to dislike it. It's kind of like surfing in a really, really rough sea. You have to go through all of these waves before you get to that point where you've past the surf. Then it's quiet, you get to prepare, do the right stuff, and then you surf that great wave. I love the songs again when they are finished... but I'll go into that foam again and again if I have to, to get it right. I love, love, love going into the studio, but I always know I have to through all that toughness, before I emerge salty but happy.
Okay, this a fun question. When you are not doing music, what else do you enjoy doing?
Hahaha! Yes, that's a great question! Well... I'm also a writer and I teach storytelling. My life is pretty much always about finding inspiration. So I do a lot of exploring. And I mean a lot! That means I always have an excuse to do fun stuff. It can be watching films, finding art, going to new places and travel... anything that gives me that spark. It's really cool to justify that lifestyle and saying I do it for my job! I'm an active person, always moving, doing sports, and exploring both the inner and outer world with my loved ones. I'm not the biggest party goer, but I do party hard if I've had that adrenaline rush of recording for hours on end, or performing live. I love and need excitement. That, and I surf. Hence the music style Symphonic Surf hahaha!
Who do you admire most in the music scene today and why?
My Australian musical friends. Without them, you wouldn't be reading this. I went through a rough time a few years back, and by chance on a small gig I ended up with the band Sticky Fingers for two weeks in my house. I was pretty lost creatively, and these guys taught me to have fun again in my artwork. Meeting them... I just dropped everything. It was a breathe of fresh air. They are as free as can be, and they reminded me that I was that way too and could be again. And it worked. Through them I became friends with amazing artists, DMA's, Bootleg Rascal, Angus Stone, Reverbnation, Planet, The Delta Riggs... both their music and their characters inspired me greatly. Check out the track 'Heavens Devils' that I wrote to them as a thank you. I owe it to them all to make that track grow and spread the word. Amazing, amazing guys.
Can you tell us what song you've written that is the most emotional and describe the meaning behind it?
Slowest of Falls with Marianna Kocsany, who is now breaking through under her artist name Maria La Nova. When I write about love, it's anything but standard. I don't enjoy most love songs because they are so one dimensional. Love really can be struggle, with huge highs and gigantic lows, with sex and desire and confusion mixed in. So, I wrote a track that approaches it differently, a lot more calmly, about two people who just fall really slowly into love. It has that lyric, 'What if we fell, what if we've been falling all along'. The slower the fall, the greater the love. Please do not ask me for the obvious stuff, because love is the greatest adventure of all, and I don't need my partner to fall head over heels. I need her sharp to make it work.
Are you working on any new material right now or what's in the works for the upcoming year?
Under our new band name Kralingen, together with composer and pianist Victor Butzelaar, we haven't released too much yet, and it's not flying just yet, but... we have dozens of tracks coming. We're working on our debut album which will feature some great, and even some more famous artists. It'll be more energetic, a bit more surfrock than the first EP we released, but it still has that mysterious, lovemaking feel.
But I'm also going for a remake of an old blues track of mine called The Wildman for a documentary about a friend, a real biker called Thierry Tronquit. The track is about him really, and also a little bit about my homey photographer Martijn Lap. Two very, very wild men hahaha!
I've also just produced and released a Dutch language song, a seafaring track, that my dear friend Djilani sings called 'Zoeklicht', that is translated as 'Searchlight', that's about how you stand firm going through rough waters when you can't see the light. Our next track together will be totally different though: hip hop. So, it's a slow build up really. But all things considered, things are speeding up and getting more gripping and epic every step of the way.
Tell us where fans can access your music.