Feiertag – Interview with MinimalMag

Summer 2021 has seen the debut album release from Netherland native Feiertag, Joris, to his friends. 

Live drummer, DJ, producer of dancefloor weapons for some of the best labels around; with this LP, he has cut a different path with a series of passionate songs and ethereal soundscapes. 

We caught up with the man himself to dig a little deeper.

Feiertag - Interview with MinimalMag

Joris, welcome to Minimal Mag. Can you start by telling us a little about your life during the past strange years and a bit? How have you managed and what have you done to keep positive?
Hi, thanks for having me.  My year in lockdown was very tough to be honest. 
My relationship ended, the whole process was very painful. 
It look a long time to recover from it. 
I can say without a doubt that 2020 was the hardest year to date for me.
Luckily, I feel a lot better right now. 
Of course, the lockdown year gave me the opportunity to finish my 16-track debut album, which was basically my therapy and I’m stoked that it just came out! 
You are known for your work as a drummer, touring with Kraak & Smaak. How did you come to your instrument originally and what was your first gig? And, who are the drummers that have most inspired you? 
Well, while writing this, I’ve concluded that I’ve been playing exactly 10 years with Kraak & Smaak now. 
It’s amazing to play with them, it feels like one big family and I would love to continue working with them forever. I was really young when I started, and luckily they gave me the confidence to grow as both a person and a musician in this whole journey. I really feel part of it now. 
When I was 11 years old, I really became interested in music, I wanted to play every instrument; drumming really sticked to me since I’ve got a lot of energy and therefore playing drums fitted the most to my personality. I can remember that my first gig was actually a playback show where I was ‘singing’ along to my first CD-single ‘Pretty Fly For A White Guy’ by The Offspring. After that, I decide I was better at drumming, haha.
My fav drummers? Oh man, there are so many great players out there! To name a few; Steve Gadd, Nate Smith, Dave Grohl, Deantoni Parks, Richard Spaven, Ash Soan, 
You’ve been recording for some time under your own name, dropping mostly dancefloor focused singles on label like Spinning and Last Night on Earth. What can you tell us about your early clubbing experiences and what drew you to making club music?
Well, at first I was a bit younger while I released this club material, so obviously I went to a lot of clubs, haha. I always wanted to make the music that I would wanna hear myself in the club. Plus, for me it’s important that you get some sort of energy from the music, so you will hopefully hear this back in my early music as well!
Your debut album, ’Time to Recover’ has dropped recently on Sonar Kollektiv. The album shows perhaps a different side to your sound, with a lot of strong song structures and sonic soundscapes. Tell us a little about the LP, it’s influences and the writing/production process.
I felt like it was time for my debut album. I’ve been producing for over 10 years now, played a lot of shows, but I’ve been searching a lot for my musical identity. Starting releasing with Sonar Kollektiv in 2019 felt like coming home. Seriously, it sounds stupid, but I’ve really found my path with them. After releasing two EP’s, I wanted to capture my whole musical spectrum into one big journey and it turned into this 16-track double LP. 
I’m a real intuitive person when I create and write music. Most important for me, is creating the right atmosphere and mood first. I’m always searching for weird textures, like self-recorded background noises and sounds for example. 
I usually start with this type of stuff, followed by sampling interesting weird little instruments such as (Koto) harp, kalimbas, the hang drum, the koto drum, sitar etc. I re-create them into something new and try to find the – for me – perfect loop. The drum / beat part comes very natural to me, since I’m a drummer and always have access to a full recordable drum set.
After a day or two working on a demo, I usually decide whether the track will need vocals or not. On this album, I worked with six vocalists; Tessa Rose Jackson, Oli Hannaford, Pete Josef, GOSTO, James Alexander Bright and Msafiri Zawose. They are all so extremely talented and a lot of fun to work with. I couldn’t be happier!

When you’re not recording, or performing, what gives your the most pleasure in life? Do you have particular hobbies, pursuits, obsessions?

 Well, I guess I like to be around people when I’m not working or studying. I live in the center of Utrecht in the most cozy neighborhood with a lot of beautiful friends & family around me. I guess sitting outside my door with a little beer – while just have finished a track – is one of the better feelings!

 If you had to pick one album that has had a profound influence on you and/or your music, what would it be, and please tell us a little of why?

 Very difficult to answer, but I would go for ‘Los Angeles’ by Flying Lotus. ‘Cosmogramma’ would be my second choice. Every time I hear these compositions, I’m hearing new things. His sounds, his grooves, the beautiful orchestrated violins. He is a real master and ‘Los Angeles’ is a masterpiece.

 What are your hopes for the year ahead and do you have any plans you’d like to share with us?

 The album just came out and I hope I’ll be able to perform it live if it’s possible because of Covid. I’ve a positive mind and I really think it will get better soon. Right now I’m working on a more uptempo and abstract groove-driven project. It has a different approach than the Time To Recover album, but I’m having great fun in the studio creating this and it’s nice to do something totally different after such a big project. So stay tuned for more music later this year!

Also, there are some gigs coming up with Kraak & Smaak as well, like at the Amsterdam Dance Event and currently scheduling a new USA tour. So fingers crossed the pandemic will be out of our lives soon as I definitely miss being on tour.

Feiertag Soundcloud

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