In den Redaktionstipps KW/06 hatte ich es schon erwähnt, Freitag war der Tag der weisen Entscheidung. Entweder das Konzert von Mine im E-Werk oder das von den Durchstartern aus Holland: Kensington.
Ich war hin und her gerissen und habe mir die Chance nicht nehmen lassen, einfach die vier zu treffen, ihnen meine Fragen zu stellen und am Schluss schaute ich mir noch ihren Soundcheck an. Der Nachmittag mit Kensington, der Abend mit Mine.
Kensington sind in Holland gerade DIE Band. Sie verkaufen an einem Tag 17.000 Karten für ihr Konzert in Amsterdam und weil es so gut lief am nächsten gleich noch mal für eine Zusatzshow. Ihr drittes Album „Rivals“ stieg gleich hoch in die Charts ein und dazu erreichte es Platin-Status. Nach dem in Holland schon alles so gut läuft, sind jetzt die anderen Länder Europas dran. In Belgien wurden sie schon mit einem „Wimmie“ (Belgischer Radio Preis) als „Best Dutch People“ ausgezeichnet. Man merkt also Kensington planen ihre Europa Herrschaft.
Ich traf die Jungs zu einem ganz besonderen Interview, denn mit ihnen feiert unsere neue Interviewrubrik „Ausgelichtet“ Premiere. Zukünftig werde ich nun zusammen mit Thomas Bands treffen. Ich interviewe und er schießt die Fotos. Man kann also gespannt sein, wer uns da noch so vor die Linse bzw. vors Mikrofon hüpft.
how deep is your love: For people who don’t know Kensington, how would you describe yourself in 5 sentences?
Casper: Five? Ok first sentence: we are a rock band from the Netherlands which makes, hopefully catchy songs with big choruses of reverb, guitars and tight drums. And we love to play live.
Eloi: Was that one sentence?
Casper: Yes that was the first sentence. Sentence two. No that’s about it.
hdiyl: Why did you name yourselves Kensington? You are very hard to find on Google…
Jan: You actually get us at the first hit.
Casper: In Holland you do, maybe in Germany we are not that far yet.
Jan: Hmm, that is our main goal: reaching number one on Google.
hdiyl: So Kensington „the band“ is number one instead of Kensington in London?
Casper: I think they should first think of the band instead of London. That’s our goal. People forget about London and only think of us. There is not a real big story behind our name. Just thought, it was a nice name and we thought it provided the challenge for Google. We like challenges. (laughs)
hdiyl: You became quite famous because of the Jack Wolfskin commercial. Are you afraid of being reduced to just being known from the commercial?
Casper: No, I think it is a good start, you need something to break through the first walls and then let everyone know what kind of band you really are.
Eloi: The commercial wasn’t that big. It wasn’t like a Vodafone commercial or something, like worldwide.
Niles: It’s like an introduction of your band. Because people, especially on the internet want to know where the music is from.
Eloi: The commercial is pretty epic.
Casper: Yeah, it fits the song and the song fits the images. Like they said it, but we don’t want to be the “Jack Wolfskin” band. I think, people will slowly forget about that. We will keep touring and putting out new music here and that will be just one little thing that happened.
hdiyl: Are you afraid of that it can end that quick, as quick as it started?
Eloi: Well in Holland, we have been busy like for ten years already. So it didn’t come really fast.
hdiyl: But maybe in other countries?
Eloi: Well even there, we started to build it up. We are not really famous here or something. We built it up here, as well. The first shows are selling out now here in Germany, that’s really nice. Hopefully we can do bigger venues when we grow more. I don’t think we are like instantly famous here. We are still really growing towards something we want to achieve in Germany.
Casper: That’s one of our main qualities, that we have a lot of patience and see it takes a lot of time and effort to reach something. Like a lot of bands in Holland grew faster than us, but went away faster than us as well. Now we are one of the biggest bands in Holland, because we kept pushing and we are very persistent in what we are doing. There is a saying in Holland: the one that is really persistent wins in the end or something like that.
hdiyl: What is it like having such a success in the Netherlands, but starting from scratch in other countries?
Eloi: It’s pretty fun. We actually started in clubs like this in Holland as well. It’s like back to basics and it’s really fun, because we already did it and we know how to work with that. Like we said, when you are successful and start straight away and do stadiums from the beginning. You go back in small clubs you think “Oh my God where are my blue M&Ms or what’s happening here?”. For us it is a very familiar site to start over again.
hdiyl: What’s the recipe for your success?
Jan: Yes we have one. My mother gave it to us.
Casper: It’s like Coca Cola. There a 37 things mixed together…
Eloi: … and you have success straight away.
Jan: We bought it from another band.
Casper: No I think, like we said persistence is very important and you need to have a plan. We don’t do stuff randomly. We think about what we do and plan ahead. That’s pretty important. And just trying to keep having fun, because if not it’s really tiring and hard to do. That’s why we do this tour. We could take lots of people with us as a crew and sit in our hotel all day, waiting to play. This is much more fun actually to it ourselves and we are just six or seven people on the road and it’s totally fine.
Niles: Actually the tour manager is doing all the work.
Casper: Ok so we are still doing anything, but we try to pretend to do something.
Eloi: We try to book interviews right at the time, when we have to set up.
hdiyl: You are on tour the next few months, what is it like playing in front of 100 people and the next day in front of 1000 or the other way round?
Eloi: It is a really weird combination. I think it is equally as fun as if it is 10.000 people. You don’t see individuals anymore, you see just a crowd. And if a crowd sings your songs along and put their fist in the air. It’s actually one of the most beautiful things you will ever see in your life.
Casper: I certainly compare it to like the Romans in an army. Such a powerful feeling.
Eloi: The small things are really fun as well, because you do see individuals and people really enjoying it. You can see their faces and emotions and that is really nice as well.
Casper: Our show is pretty pinned on big crowds but we don’t really change our show too much for the small venues. So it’s actually fun to have a stadium show in a small club. People seem to like it.
hdiyl: Is there time to have a couple of minutes for yourselves?
Eloi: Not really.
hdiyl: Do you spend every minute together?
Casper: Sometimes we have a hotel room for ourselves, but normally we sleep in double rooms. No you have to spend time with yourself at home and on tour it’s a lot of “group activities”.
hdiyl: Do you have plans for the future, something you want to achieve?
Casper: We want to keep touring in Germany. We did a small one last year, which was two weeks and this one is four weeks. We want to keep growing and we got plans for autumn to do new shows abroad. That’s what we actually do and like the most is touring, playing and try to build what we have built in Holland. In the whole of Europe, but especially in Germany, Austria, Switzerland. Belgium is going really well. We are going to Italy for the first time. There is a lot of new stuff happening which is really exciting. I think we’re going to write a new record at the end of this year, beginning of next year. Pretty normal band stuff, I guess. And I want to go to Japan to tour as a dream.
hdiyl: But why is Germany so important for you?
Eloi: It’s really close…
Casper: … and it’s really big and the culture is similar. So there a chances here for us. The food is really good. The hotels are nice. It’s such an easy, nice country to tour in. Our music could go well with the Germans. If not we wouldn’t try it. If you read this, check it out. And hopefully we will convince you.
hdiyl: What’s your favourite song at the moment?
Eloi: There is a really unknown band called Demob Happy. There are two songs on Spotify.
Casper: “Succubus” and the other one I like better (sings it). It is a really obscure tip. Wait, I will look it up. Nobody knows it. And I really like Benjamin Booker He’s an indie artist. The song called “Violent Shiver” by Benjamin Booker and the happy song is called: “Suffer You”.
hdiyl: Thanks very much, I will listen to it!
An dieser Stelle noch mal ein großes Dankeschön an Kensington für das Interview und die Zeit zum Fotografieren!
Zum Glück steht ja jetzt wieder die Festivalsaison an, Kensington sind hier auf zwei Festivals vertreten und sie begleiten Revolverheld auf ihrer Immer in Bewegung Open Air Tour.
Zum Schluss: Kensington sind wirklich sehr sympathisch und ich kann es den holländischen Mädels nicht übel nehmen, wenn sie in der ersten Reihe stehen und kreischen! Mit ihrem Soundcheck haben sie mich überzeugt und es ist schade, dass ich nicht die Möglichkeit hatte, das Konzert mitzuerleben. Hätte ich sehr gerne, weil es dann doch etwas anderes ist, wenn man sich ihre Musik so normal anhört. Wenn ich mich so durch die Titel höre, dann klingt es ja fast so als wären sie für die Bühnen dieser Welt geschrieben, egal ob groß oder klein.
/ Text: Matilda Pfeil / Bilder: Thomas Bönig/ www.thomasboenig.com