MOZES AND THE FIRSTBORN - MELLE DIELESEN
“For me music always comes first. I don’t have the intention to convey a world changing message through music. I write about things that bother me in every day life and try to present them in an interesting way.”
Mozes and the Firstborn, a garage-rock band from the Netherlands who are naturally pushing an incredibly raw and somewhat addictive sound. It’s gritty and it’s real. The four-piece released their self-titled debut album earlier this year via Burger Records and are about to start working on a second. We caught up with Melle Dielesen who fronts the band to chat about this killer sound and what went down in his Mum’s basement.
When did you guys start making music together?
We started out 4 years ago in August. I went back to my hometown Eindhoven after living in London for a year. I started recording demo’s under the moniker Mozes and the Firstborn in your capital city. Raven (drummer) heard about this and contacted me through a good mutual friend. Next thing, we were jamming in my Mum’s basement and decided to operate as a band. Corto joined us on bass; I played in a band with him during high school. Ernst joined us on guitar a year-and-half later and completed the line-up.
Lyrically it’s pretty personal, or open. Who writes the songs?
I wrote the lyrics and most of the basics of the songs for this record. For me music always comes first. I don’t have the intention to convey a world changing message through music. I write about things that bother me in every day life and try to present them in an interesting way. For instance ‘Down With The Band’ is about a period in the band’s history where Raven (drummer) and I didn’t communicate very well. It’s about trying to put aside your ego and not letting the band ruin our friendship. A little sketch in the drawing book that is my life.
Can you tell us a little bit about the recording process?
We took a lot of time to get the songs right before we started recording. Structures, melodies, arrangements. After that we recorded all the instruments separate from each other in my Mum’s basement. We only had two mics at a time to record with, so we had to improvise and work with the means we had. After that, we mixed it in my old bed room. Raven and I took charge of most of the production together with our producer, Michel Schoots (ex-drummer Urban Dance Squad). We learned so much from him during the production of this record and from the beginning on he’s been extremely devoted. He was actually the first producer we contacted,who really listened to the demos and encouraged us to record it by ourselves.
Your sound is really raw. Did you use any interesting techniques or weird instruments when recording the album?
I think you can actually hear us learning how to record and produce on the record. We had a faint idea in the beginning and just explored as we went a long. We only had a couple of mics and half of them probably wouldn’t even be used in the cheapest karaoke bar imaginable. We used one that I had bought off the internet for 20 euros for the first time while recording vocals for ‘Heaven’. We loved the ‘analog white noise’ it produced. After a computer failure we started up our recording program again and apparently it was just a noise that derived from digital interface malfunction. Nonetheless we left in the noise because it adds a lot of character to the song. It’s inexperience like this and a lot of experimenting with tape and reel-to-reel-recorders that made the record sound the way it does.
What’s it like making music in the Netherlands?
When you play live you get very well taken care of, just like in the rest of mainland Europe. It’s nice and all, but you get spoiled really easily. In the UK (just like in the US) you have to take care of your own food, drinks and sleeping places. We really like that attitude. It makes you realise you have to work really hard as a band to get anywhere. From the very beginning we’ve been really focused on getting our music across the borders of our small country and putting all our effort into this band. I guess, that attitude suits us well.
What gets you going aside from making great music?
Ha ha, thanks for the compliment! I’m into literature and film. I used to be a football fanatic but I haven’t been able to see a match in the stadium of my club PSV Eindhoven for a long time due to extensive band activity.
Who are some other bands you are loving at the moment?
Together Pangea (we toured with them in the US), Guided By Voices (Alien Lanes has been a huge inspiration from the beginning), Nirvana (always has been) and Weezer (only recently started to really appreciate them).
What’s plans for the rest of the year? Any visits to the UK?
As of this week we’re going back to my Mum’s basement to work on the new record. Getting the songs right. Probably we’re gonna do the recording in a ‘more professional’ studio this time. In between we’re going to be playing a lot of shows in Germany, France, Belgium and The Netherlands this Summer. Nothing planned for the UK, as far as I know. It’d be cool… Definitely for the second record!
We recommend you get their album here.