Reborn Songsmith WOLF VAN WYMEERSCH Talks About His Early Years And Elvis Wally

18 August 2022


(photo by Julian Hills)

WOLF VAN WYMEERSH, maestro of Belgian post-punk-sludge crusaders Elefant and guitarist of former power-pop idols The Van Jets wrote-recorded-released his solo debut album, baptized THE EARLY YEARS last May. A romantic record looking back at days gone by. A newborn singer-songwriter pearl.

Let’s talk with the author about it. But first as usal here on Turn Up The Volume an
interview starts with a slice of music. Time for a ride on your horse, ladies and gents…

Hello Wolf,
thanks for making time
for this chat

What and/or who inspired you to look back and translate
what you saw into the songs for your solo debut longplayer?

I’ve been tinkering about this album for a long time. The title ‘The Early Years’
was a joke title for the first Waldorf record, but seemed perfect for a first full
album. The title directed the choice of the songs: I was writing new songs about
my past life and cherrypicked older songs.

Are all the songs related like families are?

I’ve never thought about it that way, but yeah, some songs = sisters/ brothers.
Some songs are literally looking back (The Hog, On A Sunday Afternoon, I Gathered
Everyone
), other songs deal with relationships (Drama I, Part Of Me, Who Can Tell)
whereas some are more philosophical (Friendly is Better, Come As You Will,
Fall From Grace
) and everything in between.

We are family the Wolf way

You said that some of the tunes were written in your youth.
Why did you put them away for so long? Time flies, doesn’t it?

Some songs I forgot about, others were deemed too dramatic
or personal at the time, others didn’t fit the bands I was in.

What/who triggered you to start
writing songs in the first place?

Somewhere in time, I was playing as if I was performing on stage in
my bedroom. There I was playing/improvising my first songs. I never
played a lot of covers, writing my own seemed more natural or easy.

What’s your best and your worst
memory of your early years?

Hard to answer that specifically.

Best stuff: my grandmother’s smile

Worst stuff: All of the darkness that surrounded my family.
The (silent) conflicts and tension between my parents.

Whose big beautiful eyes are looking at us, on the LP’s cover?
And why this choice of photographic artwork?

It’s my wonderful daughter Marie-Lou. My girlfriend took this super picture,
I was passing it every day as it was hanging in the kitchen and I loved it.

I knew instantly this had to be the cover of my album.

In the studio you were assisted by musicians Stijn Vanmarsenille and
Roeland Vandemoortele. How were they involved in the ‘making of’?

At first I wanted it to be a strict solo effort. But since we had started playing
live and since they are amazing players they ended up playing and singing
some cool stuff on the album.

Like cool banjo stuff Roeland played on Part Of Me or the otherworldy
arpeggio’s Stijn came up with in I Gathered Everyone.

How different is it to play/work with a band and be your own boss?

It is not such a big difference as I rely on my 2 compadres for advice.


With a little help from his friends, left and right (photo by TUTV)

What went through your mind, what did you feel, when you opened
the box with the first manufactured copies of ‘the early years’ CDs/LPs?

I felt happy and fulfilled 🙂

Thank you lord Satan, Jesus, Buddha and Elvis Wally!

Do you feel old today, Wolf?

Yes and no.

Yes: I enjoy the ‘wisdom’ that comes with aging, less doubt and mist.
A minus is that my bones are cracking and that I’m aching in the places
where I used to play.

No: My mind is still very eager and fun-loving.

What are the top priority things – musically/personally – that are
on your bucket list. The things you really want to accomplish in
your life
?

There are plenty:

Music for theatre/music,
a French album,
a Dutch album,
a metal album
an electronic album in the vein of Perrey/Carlos,
an abstract noise album,
an acapella record,
etceterararum.

Is ‘The Early Years’ the start of looking to
the future years as a solo artist, Wolf?

I hope to make some more music in the distant future.
I’m brooding on some new dark songs 🙂

Thank you for this interview.
May the road rise with Wolf
and his family.

Buy/stream THE EARLY YEARS
here below via Bandcamp.


.
WOLF VAN WYMEERSCH: Facebook – Sporify

WOLF VANWYMEERSH With His Early Years In Motion

10 June 2022

Belgian singer-songwriter WOLF VAN WYMEERSCH is a versatile musician who played/plays in several bands, but now he decided that it was time to write/record
his solo debut LP. It came out early May and is baptized THE EARLY YEARS.

Wolf: “It has become a retrospective record with songs that muse about childhood,
love or life or songs that were effectively written in my youth. In terms of sound, it is
a combination of acoustic, electric and electronic sounds.”

Turn Up The Volume named it album of the month of May: “The easy-listing construction
of his classy compositions transfers you to a place where reality fades away and makes room for melancholic memories. As I said before (several times) Wolf is a romantic at heart with a soul-stirring singer/songwriter gift (did I already mention, Father John Misty?) and a heartwarming voice. Magnific achievement.”

Last Friday it was launch night in his (and mine) hometown of Ghent, Belgium in
a cozy club for a cozy performance. I’ve seen Wolf playing countless times with
the bands he was in, but this was the first as a solo entertainer. Just like the album
this gig is one to cherish.

And just like on the album, Wolf and his two playmates created a warm, mellow atmosphere. But the tone and drive were much rockier than on record which
was received with euphoric screaming by the clap-along crowd.

The greater part of the set, of course, consisted of gems of the longplayer, supplemented with three beauties (Not To / Friendly Is Better / Queen Of Mire)
from his romantic 2021 EP Songs Of Light And Shade all served with grace, with
charm and with a big heart. Wolf is here to stay.

Picture this


Wolf is wide awake


And on synths… Stijn Vanmarsenille
And on guitar (and vocals here and there)… Roeland Vandemoortele


And on guitar (and vocals here and there)… Roeland Vandemoortele

Buy/stream here


.
WOLF VANWYMEERSCH: Facebook – Instagram

All photos by Wouter De Sutter
Kinky Star Ce Soir

Album Of The Month May – WOLF VANWYMEERSCH With His Solo Debut ‘THE EARLY YEARS’

30 May 2022

Artist: WOLF VAN WYMEERSCH
Who: The maestro of Belgian post-punk
crusaders Elefant and the guitarist of former
power-pop rockers The Van Jets

Debut album: THE EARLY EARS
Released: 5 May 2022 – Buy here

Wolf: “It has become a retrospective record with songs that muse about childhood,
love or life or songs that were effectively written in my youth. In terms of sound, it is a combination of acoustic, electric and electronic sounds.”


(photo by Julian Hills)

Turn Up The Volume said: Damon Albarn was the first name that popped up in my head when The Early Years impressed my ears on first hearing. At times I thought he was a guest singer on Vanwymeersch‘s debut longplayer, with his pondering voice and his reflective songs . Check Drama I, Who Can Tell, I’m Wide Awake and you’ll find out why.

Vanwymeersh also, like Albarn, is a song architect. All lullabies, reveries, and tunes at
play here stick quickly. But with every listen you discover how rich and subtly layered the musical arrangements and feel-good orchestrations (hear that playful banjo sound on Part Of Me ) are. Then again he invites you into his sonic labyrinth where he goes left, right, and back in one and the same song (When You’re Old And Grey And Full
Of Sleep
/ Fall From Grace).

The easy-listing construction of his classy compositions transfers you to a place where reality fades away and makes room for melancholic memories. As I said before (several times) Wolf is a romantic at heart with a soul-stirring singer/songwriter gift (did I already mention, Father John Misty?) and a heartwarming voice. Magnific achievement.

Singles/clips: The Hog / On A Sunday Afternoon / Friendly Is Better

– THE HOG –

– ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON (IN EVERYDAY LIFE) –

– FRIENDLY IS BETTER –

Stream/buy The Early Years here…


.
WOLF VANWYMEERSCH: Facebook – Spotify

Song Architect WOLF VANWYMEERSCH Looks Back At ‘THE EARLY YEARS’ On His Magnific Debut LP

17 May 2022

Artist: WOLF VAN WYMEERSCH
Who: The maestro of Belgian post-punk
crusaders Elefant and the guitarist of former
power-pop rockers The Van Jets

Debut album: THE EARLY EARS
Released: 6 May 2022 – Buy here

Wolf: “It has become a retrospective record with songs that muse about childhood,
love or life or songs that were effectively written in my youth. In terms of sound, it is a combination of acoustic, electric and electronic sounds.”

References: The Beatles ‘Revolver’, Blonde Redhead ‘Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons’, Goldfrapp ‘Tales of Us’, Armand ‘Een Beetje Vriendelijkheid’, The Good, The Bad & The Queen ‘The Good, The Bad & The Queen’, Portishead ‘Third’, Radiohead.


(photo by Julian Hills)

Turn Up The Volume: I want to add Damon Albarn (with his solo records) to the aforementioned references. At times I thought he was a guest singer on Vanwymeersch‘s debut longplayer. Check Drama I, Who Can Tell, I’m Wide Awake and you’ll find out why.

Vanwymeersh also, like Albarn, is a song architect. All lullabies, reveries, and tunes at play here please your ears instantly. But with every listen you discover how rich and subtly layered the musical arrangements and feel-good orchestrations (hear that playful banjo sound on Part Of Me ) are. Then again he invites you into his sonic labyrinth where he
goes left, right, and back in one and the same song (When You’re Old And Grey And Full
Of Sleep
/ Fall From Grace).

The easy-listing construction of his classy compositions transfers you to a place where reality fades away and makes room for melancholic memories. As I said before (several times) Wolf is a romantic at heart with a soul-stirring singer/songwriter gift (did I already mention, Father John Misty?) and a heartwarming voice. Magnific achievement.

Singles/clips: The Hog / On A Sunday Afternoon / Friendly Is Better

– THE HOG –

– ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON (IN EVERYDAY LIFE) –

– FRIENDLY IS BETTER –

Stream/buy The Early Years here…


.
WOLF VANWYMEERSCH: Facebook – Spotify

A Kraut-Singer-Song Patchwork Blanket – Crooner WOLF VANWYMEERSCH Announces Solo Debut Album And Shares Single ‘THE HOG’

Daily electricity to load your batteries

5 April 2022

Artist: WOLF VAN WYMEERSCH
Who: The maestro of Belgian post-punk
crusaders Elefant and the guitarist of former
power-pop rockers The Van Jets

Debut album: THE EARLY YEARS
Pre-order here

Wolf about the record: “It is a personal retrospective record, the album contains songs written in my youth and new songs that look back. While finishing my father died and that also colored the plate brightly. Musically it has become a kind of kraut-singer-song patchwork blanket.”

“A kraut-singer-song patchwork blanket?”. I have no clue what he means with
that. But I’m a sucker for the sound of words. Like with weird descriptions
of something/someone that just sound crazy, cool and cryptic.

Lead single THE HOG confirms what we already loved about his 2021 EP Songs Of Light And Shade. Vanwymeersh masters the art of writing smooth, instantly appealing songs
you can play any time of the day.

His crooner voice, the easy-listing construction of his compositions and its graceful orchestrations transfer you to a place where reality fades away and makes room for
sepia-colored memories. As I said before Wolf is a romantic at heart.

Here’s why…
(Stylish b/w clip directed by Anton Coene)

WOLF VANWIJMMERSH: Facebook

Ps 1: Striking album artwork
Ps 2: Trust my ears, folks, ‘The Early Years
is pop nostalgia at his emotive best.