Nouveau Vélo

Nouveau Vélo produces exciting pop songs with the right edge, the right hooks, and the right amount of dissonance and reverb to be labelled ‘actually really good!’ And hey! the boys hail from Helmond, even better. With outskirt-roots like that and an EP titled Moestuin – the predecessor to their forthcoming Subroutine release Daze – we felt they were the ultimate band to take to the cold, cold ground of the Dutch Underground.

Interview by Willem Sjoerd van Vliet, photos by Isolde Woudstra



When I heard Nouveau Vélo for the first time, I thought I was dealing with a US West Coast band. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out you’re from Noord Brabant. What’s in your tap water, causing you to sound like you do?
Niek: Well, we’re bit isolated in Helmond, music-wise. That always helps. And the delay effect of our guitar and all the layers of reverb delay on the voice also add to our sound.

Rolf: And of course the music we listen to and the songs we like are a big influence.


In the song ‘What to Do’ from the Moestuin EP, the lyrics say you want to be like Marvin Gaye, sing like Morrissey and sound like Josef K. That’s a pretty eclectic party. Are they your influences?
Niek: Not so much Marvin Gaye ‒ I don’t know any of his songs, to be honest ‒ but I do like to listen to Josef K, and we all listen to the Smiths.

Rolf: But I thought you liked Marvin Gaye? Anyway, the majority of the band never wants to play that song live. I am the dissenter…

Niek: If we really want to sound like Josef K, we’d have to sound a lot darker.

Rolf: Yeah, and we should drink less. The Josef K boys didn’t drink, they only took speed.


Can you tell us the story behind the title of Moestuin EP?
Rolf: We always rehearse in a cellar that’s located under a kitchen garden (moestuin in Dutch). It belongs to our drummer’s dad. The EP name is actually the result of our first recording, the Courgette demo from 2010. Once, the drummer’s dad gave us a really big courgette.

Niek: It really is a very nice kitchen garden.



Let’s go from the cellar under the kitchen garden to The Sound of the Dutch Underground. Nouveau Vélo is part of the line-up of the festival in Melkweg this month. Is there a feeling of connection with the other bands?
Rolf: I’ve noticed there’s a difference between bands of the ‘upperground’ and the underground; the latter is much more active in organising events and stuff like that.

Niek: Recently we joined the Subroutine label and we’re happy there, also we now play with bands we really like, such as WOLVON and April.


What’s the state of the Dutch underground scene? Do you think there’s a lot of talent?
Rolf: I think it’s really awesome that artists like Jacco Gardner perform on De Wereld Draait Door. Finally, there’s some good music on TV! But whether that sort of thing will happen more often I don’t know. Maybe if people listen to music more carefully, better things will come to the surface.

Niek: On a tangent, tomorrow we have the photoshoot for the magazine. Do you think we can wear our Carnaval outfits?


Why not? I think that’s cool. What are you going to wear?
Rolf: WelI, I have a dress-up chest for Carnaval, I always pick a combination of clothes. Tomorrow I think I’ll go with a dress and a soccer jersey.

Niek: I think I’ll dress up as Carnaval itself, like I did two years ago. Back then I was the embodiment of Carnaval. I just looked really really festive and I had a cap with the word ‘Carnaval’ on it.


Nouveau Vélo play at 22.00 in the Theaterzaal at The Sound of the Dutch Underground – 21 March, Melkweg. The trio release their brand new 10″, Daze, via Subroutine at the show. Head over to Subroutine’s joint at the Label Market in the Gallerie from 19.00 to 23.00 and pick up a freshly-minted copy.