There are not too many Dutch bands, that play solid yet melodic hardrock mixed with some real raw edges. Most of them sound far too poppy for our magazine. NODAL POINT though, knows that it can be done. Their music has a lot of balls and their new album “Out Of Control” is a good example of how rock music should sound. Lots of guitars, a wild driving rhythm section and a female singer that puts a lot of power in her voice, but who can sound gentle in the ballads, too. MM proudly introduces you to NODAL POINT, a band that gives the Dutch rock music a new future....
When did NODAL POINT get together as a band?
Mireille: “NODAL POINT first started out in 1996. Our music had so many influences, and it was a real mixture. Our bandmembers either liked metal or funk, while the third was more a singer/songwriter kinda guy. We had no real plan or goals, just playing music. In 2000, after some changes in the band line up, we finally started to become more serious. We wanted to record some songs, play gigs and see where it could end.”
How did you actually meet up with each other and did any of the band members play in other bands before they joined NODAL POINT?
Mireille: “Hhmm, I am the only founding member left in NODAL POINT. It has been a whole experience being in a band and still is. In 2000, Pierre, our drummer, joined and that’s where we started having a more stable band. He played in a band, called FOOL’S PARADISE, a more progressive style, but liked the straight forward style of NODAL POINT. He knew one of the guitarplayers from work and we asked him, if he was interested. He finally ended up only playing for us. Ron, our guitarplayer, joined us early 2002. Pierre knew him from the past, so he called him. Within three weeks Ron knew the songs and had his first gig with NODAL POINT. He used to play in REVOLT, a real tight metal band from our city. Also from REVOLT, we found Kornee to be our new bassplayer in 2003. He used to play with Ron for so many years and when NODAL POINT looked for a new bassplayer, he was happy to join us. Funny thing to mention is that Pierre, Ron and Kornee played together in their very first band, when they were around sixteen or seventeen years old. And now they’re back together again. You can imagine, that the chemistry was there immediately.”
Can you introduce the band members to our readers, please?
Mireille: “Of course. Well, I’m Mireille Quist, singer of NODAL POINT, founding member like I said and I’m thirty years old. Ron is our guitarplayer, 26. Kornee, our bassplayer is 28 and the last one, that joined NODAL POINT. Pierre, our drummer, is 33. Just recently by the way, Pierre and Kornee started doing backing vocals. And they’re doin’ pretty well.”
Who came up with the band name and why did you choose for this name?
Mireille: “Actually, it was our first guitarplayer and founder of the band, who came with NODAL POINT. It has to do with physics. The intersection of soundwaves. So could be silence or double volume. Something like that. We never thought about changing it. It’s just a name, and people start to recognize it now, so why bother about the meaning?”
Did any line up changes occur, between the foundation of the band and today? And if yes, what was the main reason for the ex-members, to turn their back on the band?
Mireille: “Well.. I already mentioned we had some changes, yes. Reasons were different of course. No need to go into details, but let’s just say some had real personal problems. Either with themselves, which started to effect the band or with their partner, which forced them to make decissions. I can assure you, it all influenced NODAL POINT in writing songs.”
How would you describe your music?
Mireille: “Well, we’ve got a simple opinion on that one. Straight forward no-bullshit melodic rock. We’re really influenced by the eighties. Bands like SKID ROW, SLEEZE BEEZ, STEELHEART, AC/DC, VAN HALEN and many more. But all that mixed with some of our own stuff. It is not really hardrock, but definately not anything slow and soft .. hehehee. It’s the mixture I think of a female singer in the rock scene and you just don’t see it that often in our music style.”
Who are the main influences of the band, and maybe you can also point at some of the main influences of each individual member, please?
Mireille: “I really like ANOUK (Dutch singer), CREED and DORO.”
Ron: “STEVE VAI, SATRIANI, etc.... the real technical guys. And bands, hmm... many ranging from SKID ROW to PANTERA.”
Kornee: “Billy Sheehan. He’s a great bassplayer and also more metal-oriented bands like PANTERA and MEGADETH.”
Pierre: “Well, I’m the more sleaze rocker in here, I guess. SLEEZE BEEZ, STEELHEART and Mike Portnoy of DREAM THEATER. He’s a big inspiration and not only for his drumming.”
What’s the rock and metal scene like in your part of the country? Are there many bars and clubs, where you can play live, or is it difficult to play gigs in your neighbourhood?
Mireille: “There are quite some bands around here. But most of them are (without degrating them) just rehearsing every week and not doing much to take that extra step. In style there are some metal bands, rock bands, cover bands and many more punk(rock) bands. I think, the biggest problem is that bands are not really stimulated anymore. There are not many places where they can play. It takes a lot of work (calling, email, sending around promos) to get any gigs. We’re just fortunate that we can play a lot now. But we’ve been through the same shit, ya know. And we still have to work hard to fill up our agenda. But it’s worth it!!”
How did the press react on your CDs, so far? And did you also get any negative reactions on these products?
Mireille: “The press reacted very good!! We’ve got some very nice and good reviews in several magazines, ezines and radiostations. First thing you have to take in consideration: you’re not a well-known band, you’re just happy people take the time to listen to your CD and write about it. With our first album “Crying Out Loud” (‘01) we had some comments on not having a straight style. There were too many influences on that album: metal, punk, rock, funky stuff, etc. They said to make up our minds…heehhee. So we did. With “Out Of Control”, we really had a lot of songs and decided to come up with a more compact and dedicated CD. We took our time to record the album and make sure we had a good production. Even the artwork had to be above average. Just to show them, that NODAL POINT is not just another band out there. We’re serious about our music and want to give something good to our fans.”
Let’s have a look at your live shows, if we may. Do you play live very often?
Mireille: “Again, we’re very fortunate to be in a situation, where we do have a lot of gigs right now. While after our first album we played, I guess, around one or two shows a month, we’re now doing around at least three shows a month. But we put a lot of effort in that to be there. Just recently, we hooked up with a booking agency and hope these guys can get us to a higher level also. Not only in having more gigs, but more important to us to play in more well-known venues. We’ll just have to see how that works out.”
Which bands did you play with already, and what’s the biggest gig you did so far?
Mireille: “Hhmm. We’ve played with a lot of bands. In our situation it’s like trying to help eachother as well. We arrange a gig and bring our own support. That band is taking NODAL POINT as their support in their neighbourhood. This works just fine. But to name a few: JEWEL IN THE MIRE, BRATT, TORRANCE, SUBURBS, BILLY THE KID, TEASER, CELESTIAL SEASON, FLOFFGIRL, SKIDMARK, THE INAXY, BADLY PRESERVED and many, many more. Our biggest gig so far was this summer (2004) at a festival, called Rock Around The Bridge. There were about twelve hundred people there. It was really amazing! So many people in front of you and then the reactions of the crowd. We would love to do that again many times. Headliner of the festival was DOG EAT DOG. Great and funny guys. We have good memories on that one.”
Do you stick to your own written material during your live shows, or do you also play any cover songs?
Mireille: “Well, it depends. If we’re doing festivals or play as support act, mostly forty-five minutes sets, we don’t play any covers. But in our one hour or ninety minutes show we sometimes put in covers, just to have some stuff in that is recognizable for mainstream visitors of our shows. Some covers that we play are: “Crazy Train” (OZZY OSBOURNE), “Youth Gone Wild” (SKID ROW), “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” (VAN HALEN), “Sweet Child O’Mine” (GUNS ‘N’ ROSES) and “Keep On Rocking In A Free World” (NEIL YOUNG). Funny thing to mention is, that we put “Keep On Rocking….” on our latest album. It’s really our own version of the original and much heavier..”
Do you use any show elements in your live gigs?
Mireille: “Good question. We’re always busy with how to give the audience a nice evening. Not only the music of NODAL POINT, but something extra. Of course, we try to do the typical clothing-hair-and-make-up thing. Run around stage, using a megaphone, depending on where we play there might be a nice light show and I have the honors to throw water around to keep the guys cool, especiallly Pierre. We’ve been busy for some shows to use fireworks and stuff. But there’s too many legal regulations, so we were not able to do that yet.”
With which band would you like to go on tour if you had the chance? Pick any band you like!
Mireille: “OK, any band. EUROPE would be nice. They have a new album out now also. Or SAXON! These guys rock and are so damn’ old. They’re definately an example to us. Don’t give up and do what you do best. WHITESNAKE - another great band. They did two shows in Holland recently, but unfortunately NODAL POINT was not able to be their support.”
I think, that there are some nice and funny stories to tell about life on the road with the band. We hope that you want to share some of these hilarious situations with our readers here?
Mireille: “Oh, there are quite a few indeed. It will become a long answer, so let’s stick to some short versions. Once we played in a nice big venue. First song… we really hit it… then a big bang… I looked behind me and saw how a complete side monitor fell aside towards Pierre. He was half on the floor, half behind his drumkit. Trying to play. This didn’t work of course. Another time he was playing and the lockers of the cymbal stands came of. Cymbals all over the floor. Funny thing is, that we got both ‘accidents’ on video! Then there are always the drive-back-home stories. It’s 2am in the morning. We’re at the gas station, drunk guitarplayer and we’re all buying food and drinks. I would pay the bill, but Ron didn’t know. So he scans his stuff and the cassier tells him it’s twenty-three Euros. He completely freaks out, like “How’s that possible?”, etc. We were all laughing and the cassier looked like he would say: “Twenty Euros then..”. It was hilarious. And there are many many more stories, where that came from…”
How important has the role of the press been in the bands career so far?
Mireille: “Hmm. We’re not that well-known yet. So the role is not that big yet. When there is a chance to get some promotion or attention, we will take it. But we are really focussing on playing live and not spending too much time now on getting the press to hear about us. (Except for this great interview!). I mean, it’s all very time consuming. Once we will have more time to put some effort in the press-thing, we will.”
Who writes the lyrics for NODAL POINT, and what are they about?
Mireille: “It’s very different. It all depends on the emotion of the song. For our latest album “Out Of Control”, it was mostly Pierre, who came up with the first lines, basic idea and the theme of the song. After that, it’s me and Pierre together, sometimes also with Ron to finish the lyrics. Lyrics are very important to us. We want to say something, give the listener something to think about. And often that works. Like “Out Of Control” is really about ourself, about living on the edge, too much alcohol and experimenting with drugs. While “Road To Nowhere” is a song about getting away. Not wanting to think about the daily stuff, just drive and see what it may bring you. “Just Because” is a song I completely wrote by myself. It’s really a love song. Thinking about how I met my boyfriend, and why I feel the things that I feel. In general, all NODAL POINT’ lyrics contain a message. “Out Of Control” is very much about personal issues and having fun. In fact, our first album “Crying Out Loud” was more aggressive and politically related, when looking at the lyrics. We like more, what we’re doing now.”
Is there already serious interest in NODAL POINT from a label, or are you confident with the ‘do it yourself’ approach, because you don’t have to make any compromises in what you are doing?
Mireille: “There’s no serious interest or contact with any label whatsoever. It doesn’t mean, we wouldn’t like to get it goin’ with any, but so far things are goin’ well. Right now, the added value of a label for us would be promotion and getting our album in stores. But again we can do a lot ourselves. And playing live is the most important step for us right now. We do send CDs around and just hope someday a label stands up and takes us to a higher level again.”
What do you think of the final result of “Crying Out Loud” and “Out Of Control” yourself, and what would you change, if you had the chance?
Mireille: “Both CDs were of course as we say a glance of the moment. Like a few shots out of a complete movie. Looking back at “Crying Out Loud” (‘01), we recorded and mixed at two places with two different persons. The sound was not that heavy and the recordings not that tight and solid. We took about four months to finish everything. But for us, it was fine at the time. “Out Of Control” (‘04) was much more complete. We had a tighter schedule, plus we were more focussed and determined to make it something special. Also because we all had the feeling the chemistry was there. Never before we were so driven and so sure about the songs. No, I wouldn’t change anything about “Out Of Control”. Maybe in three years, when we talk again.”
The cover your latest CD shows us two girls who are “Out Of Control”, is that a right interpretation, or do you have another explanation for the cover?
Mireille: “It is the right interpretation indeed. Just that extra dimension to the title, makes it visible. We’re not gonna tell everything about the photoshoot or who these girls were. But there are some more pictures on our website!”
What are your future plans on the short and the long term?
Mireille: “Well, first of all playing live as much as possible throughout Holland. Getting NODAL POINT on the map of rock ‘n’ roll. And in the meantime, when there’s time for rehearsals, we are working on a lot of new songs. There’s already so much new material. But there are no plans for any new recordings already. On the long term, it would be nice to be able to go on the road as support for a more well-known band. And getting our third CD out there, somewhere end 2005/early 2006.”
We heard, that you had some trouble with your voice. What went wrong and are you doing fine now?
Mireille: “Well, I did have some problems with my voice back in early 2001 already. I had a small operation and they took out my tonsils… Because of that, I always felt like having a cold, which really influenced my voice of course. I’m now able to sing a little bit higher, and my voice is a lot stronger and heavier and I’m more able to give ya’ll those howling yells. And yes, everything is fine now. Don’t have any problems with my voice anymore.”
Are there any interesting or important gigs on the calendar?
Mireille: “Like I said, we play three to four times a month. From small pubs to bigger venues and festivals. In 2004, we really enjoyed the festivals, we did. There were some new experiences and big crowds. But sometimes the small pubs are more intimate and the reactions even better. So, I cannot say there are really special gigs on the way ahead. Every gig we do is important in a way of getting people to know us. It has got less to do with the place itself. But check out our website; it’s all there!”
What’s the most important thing you’ve accomplished with NODAL POINT, in your own opinion?
Mireille: “For me personally, it still is being in the band from the start. That we continued to keep things going. We went through some diffecult times together and got out stronger every time. It’s not just playing in a band, you know. Also close people around the band are involved in a way. So it had a bigger impact what’s goin’ on inside the band sometimes.”
Is there any goal, that you have set for NODAL POINT?
Mireille: “Of course, we discuss what we want as a band, and try to work towards that as hard as possible. The year 2004 was our first complete year back again. We put out a record and did around twenty-five gigs. And that was in about seven and a half months only. The goal for 2005 is to play at least forty times! And we will work more on promotion by using our website and all the cool magazines out there.”
What’s your favorite NODAL POINT song and why?
Mireille: “Oh, there are many. Let’s take this question for each one of us. From “Crying Out Loud”, I still like the song “This Guy”. It has got a good rhythm and good lyrics (it’s about hearing a couple through the walls in a hotel room). From “Out Of Control”, I prefer “Road To Nowhere” and “Out Of Control”. These songs have such a drive and they could be our classic ones!! The lyrics are great, too.”
Pierre: ”OK, from our first album I like “Dark Emotions”. It’s an uptempo song with some metal grooves in it. And lately “Road To Nowhere” and also “Out Of Control” are my favorites. These two songs really represent the new direction we took and the style we love to play.”
Ron: “Definitely “Out of Control”, because it kinda describes a phase in my life I wouldn’t like to have missed. If you haven’t been down in the gutter, you never get to the top.”
Kornee: “It is always a thrill to start a live show with “No Feelings”. It’s a real tight straight in your face song!”
Is the fact that you have a female member in your line up an advantage or a disadvantage, and why?
Mireille: “Hhmm, it’s difficult in a positive way. I hope it will end up being an advantage. But not because I’m female, you know. I want people to like our music, not just us. It’s the same with your readers… I hope with this interview they get curious enough to visit our website and listen to some songs. If they like our music, that would be great. But not because of me alone.”
And do you think, that female musicians still need the support that we give them with our magazine, or do you believe the borders between the two sexes have totally disappeared over the years?
Mireille: “I would not say, they need extra attention to be able to ‘compete’ with the male guys. However, there are not many magazines, that only focus on female bands or musicians. So, that’s kinda cool and makes it special. No, I don’t think the borders are gone completely. But that’s the industry we talk about then and not the ‘rivalry’ between bands. We played with so many bands at several festival and it has always been very cool! It’s all about the music for us and in the industry, it’s only about the money.”
What do you think about the fact, that you’re constant surrounded by male collegues?
Mireille: “Well, within the band, it’s no problem at all. I think having another female collegue would make it more difficult. Besides, I know these guys for years now. In the industry, you do see more male rockers, yes. I have no problem with that. I just hope that because having a female singer, NODAL POINT will be different enough to be able to take that next step.”
Are you working on a new album already and what can people expect?
Mireille: “Like I mentioned before, we stricktly focus on playing live for the moment. But there’s already a lot of new bits and pieces, even some new songs - rehearsal tapes - so to speak. We do evolve in our way of making music and writing songs. So it will probably be different, but hopefully not too different. We like what we are doing now.”
What’s the best thing of being in a band in Holland, and of course we also want to know about the worse part of being in a band?
Mireille: “Hhhhmmm… I have to think about that one. Best thing would be the small distances, so there are no real long drives before and after the gigs. Worst part I think in our style of music is that there are not many real followers to create a tight fanbase. We all do think and believe that in countries like Germany there would be a better market for us. Another bad thing about Holland would be the audience, I’m sorry to say so. We Dutch people are just so calm and we never let go. It’s our night out, we’re gonna check out some bands and then stand away for ten meters or so, arms crossed, knodding our heads, nice band. Come on people, get crazy and out of control!!”
Where can people find you on the internet, and how important is the internet for the band?
Mireille: “Check out our website at: http://www.nodalpoint.nl. The internet in general is very important to us. Not only for our website. But it’s where we find places to play and get in touch with other bands. Of course we promote our website, because that’s where people like your readers first get to know us and listen to our music. It’s a first impression and that has to be good. We already sold quite a few CDs that way, too. So rush to: http://www.nodalpoint.nl and check us out!”
Please tell the people where they can buy your albums and why they should buy your music instead of any other release. Now’s your chance to sell your product to our readers!
Mireille: “Both albums (“Crying Out Loud” and “Out Of Control”) are still for sale. You can purchase these throughout our website. Or by sending us an email. The email address can be found on our website as well. Why buy our album? First of all, if you’re into bands like SKID ROW, SLEEZE BEEZ, AC/DC, VAN HALEN, STEELHEART, BOSTON or WHITESNAKE, you should visit our website and check out our mp3’s. We believe we’ve got that CD, that you don’t wanna leave out of your collection. Secondly, we’re an independent band and would appreciate your support much more, because it would show you did take that extra step to check us out.”
Is there anything you’d like to add to this interview. Maybe there is something important we forgot to mention here, that is essential to know?
Mireille: “Not really, it was a nice and long interview. Thank you guys!"
Any messages for our readers?
Mireille: “First of all, keep supporting Metal Maidens. Because without them you would maybe never have heard about NODAL POINT. So thank you for that!”
The last words are for you....
Mireille: “Just visit our website and check out NODAL POINT yourself. http://www.nodalpoint.nl.”
Interview by: Toine van Poorten/printed in Metal Maidens #38, December 2004.
*CRYING OUT LOUD (CD 2001; independent)
*OUT OF CONTROL (CD 2004; independent)