– win like a man

We met the ” Dholes ” a ” Brand new ” indie rock band on the Belgian scene.
They are 5 members (well 4 for the interview ;)) :
Augustin, Arnaud, Xavier, Brieuc and Lucas. They received us as only a rock band knows how to : in the middle of instruments, ashtrays and good mood.

Whether full-time for some, or every second of their free time for others, they play with passion and pleasure but want to win like men! We let them speak!

Pictures: Benoit Do Quang


*translated from the original French version by Abbie & Rose

First of all – and most importantly: What is your favourite emoji?

For Lucas: ?
Arnaud: ? (for hangovers)
Augu, Brieuc, Xavier: ?

Tell us more about your project, how did you get there?

Augu: We are a young indie Rock band with a British touch. The group was created 3 months ago. It took us quite long to find the name – “Dholes”! We wanted something that sounds a bit English and not too Belgian in case we wanted to go international. Dholes is an Asian dog you can find in the Far Cry game for instance. It lives with its group, we thought it fits well with the spirit of our band.
Brieuc: It’s a brand of tinned fruits as well! ☺

How did you get together?

Augu: I came up one day with some “stuff”, things I wanted to do. Arnaud and I were already working on an other project together but we all knew each other for at least a night out! Except Brieuc, who I introduced to them.

Do you have a fun story to tell us about your project?

Brieuc: We went away together for the first time for 3 days in Rochefort in a guesthouse and we literally crashed a car! The road was,… well, not very practical and the oil pan broke. We had to find how to get a tractor and move the car, tricky situations create some connections!
Arnaud: And it was someone else’s car! Fun times! We are a young band but we already have a lot of fun stories to tell. The first time we had a party together and I met Luc (Lucas) – the drummer – who was sleeping at my place, I woke up in the middle of the night. He was having an anxiety attack, I almost thought he was dying! It was the first time we properly met…

Why did you choose the music?

Xavier: The Red Hot Chili Peppers!
Arnaud: Don’t say that!
Brieuc: Music is tempting. It has some “positives”… (for the girls, of course)
Xavier: The bass is not that good for that. Guitar player and singer, that’s better!
Augu: Yeah, you’re right!

Do you only do that?

Arnaud: I make cocktails in a bar. (Arnaud is going to represent Belgium in a mixology contest for the 250 years of St James rum in April)
Xavier: He’s like Tom Cruise! ☺ I am in the construction industry.
Brieuc: Teacher.
Augu: I had a hard time to get my artist status and now… well I don’t have it anymore. For now, I do some odd jobs. I want to commit to Dholes so I don’t want to start a full time job. The project wouldn’t have gone so fast if I had a job on the side.
Xavier: If we could live from it, we would all only do that. We have to keep our feet on the ground.
Brieuc: Also, we don’t want to put ourselves under too much pressure. The goal is to do our best on our first gigs and enjoy it!
Arnaud: Lucas would have said… and get some girls!

What do you do to take your mind off work?

Xavier: Playing music is already relaxing! Otherwise, go for a drink (approved by the whole group)
Augu: Or we do some sport with Xavier
Arnaud: Sport is not for me, no!

And what about if you have a problem with each other?

Arnaud: It can’t happen!
Xavier: I think we don’t spend enough time together.
Brieuc: If we managed to get mad at each other in the little time we spend together… that would be a problem ☺.
Xavier: We spent three days together from sunrise to bed and it was not a problem! This was a good test!
Brieuc: It was really short this thing in Rochefort, the mix table was in the kitchen. We were really stuck together for 3 days!
Augu: Our manager doesn’t want to bring us to big things yet. He was right to bring us to something smaller so that we can see how we work together, and realise that it’s not because we are in a small thing that we have to get mad at each other. And it’s not our style anyway…

How did you find the manager ?

Xavier: Very cool! ☺

No but did you know him before?

Augu: We already knew him. He was the manager of an other project I was working on. It was not his thing so he was not so motivated. He was a press agent. I told him “I have some stuff for you to listen to”, he told me “Great”. At that moment I saw he was really motivated and today I really see the difference.

Do you get along with him?

All together: Yes, yes
Xavier: Well, he’s a bit weird but… Yes (laugh)

Were you dreaming of music when you were young?

Arnaud: It’s a child’s dream when you start to play the guitar, to be a rock star. But for me it was a fireman!
Augu: I think I always wanted that!
Xavier: Yeah, pilot! To be honest it didn’t work out.
Brieuc: When I was young, I was forced to play the piano so it was clearly not the music. It really put me off music for almost 10 years and I finally came back to it when my friends started to create their bands and were in need of a singer. As you see, when I was a kid, I changed my mind as often as I changed my shirt (nice one!) : pilot, fireman… but never policeman! I was more of a bandit. My dad was an old Sicilian bandit – now I am going to cry! (laugh). He always found himself in some sort of mischief. I quickly understood that I didn’t want to be like him. This is why I chose teaching. Legal mischief, of course!!

Do you have any other dreams besides your project?

Augu: I am a big fan of Damon Albarn (from Gorillaz). He’s doing mad things and goes all over the world to make his projects happen. It’s through travelling that you can find inspiration. This is my dream.
Arnaud: I am not so much into travelling, I am really good in Belgium!
Xavier: Hahaha, listen to him: “I like my sofa”… He’s right, it’s a very good one!
Arnaud: Music is my goal and the first step is: if I manage to play at the “Ancienne Belgique” {famous venue in Brussels}, it’s all good, I made it, I can die ☺ It’s still reasonable but it’s a kid’s dream. I don’t want to show off and imagine amazing venues. It’s useless! 😉

And now, what do you need to reach the very top?

All together: Time!
Brieuc: To be able to pay our bills thanks to our music would be the best. Time and money are still what makes the world go round. We’re not born with a silver spoon in our mouths, unfortunately.
Augu: That’s true, for some bands it’s easier. I don’t want to give any names, but I am thinking of 2-3 of them ☺. I don’t want to criticize at all but when the family is able to bring financial support, it helps. But it’s not our case and it’s not the reason why you will play better music anyway. I don’t say we play better music either but you’re even happier with the outcome when you’ve had to struggle to reach the next step and you don’t come with 19 guitars at your first venue.
Brieuc: What makes me mad is that people easily think we’re just having fun when we play music, whereas there is so much work. It makes me angry ☺! Playing music is a way to relax but when you want to be a pro, you have to make some compromises, be forthright, work at home on top of rehearsals. It’s not possible if you don’t work. Of course, I enjoy playing a lot but it’s not all about fun! It’s a lot of work to make it enjoyable! The goal is to be proud of what you do! When someone asks you: “How is your orchestra doing?” it can be fun because it’s your grandma but it shows people don’t take you seriously. Today, if you want to play music, you can have the best project and the greatest music, if you don’t give yourself the chance to succeed and show what you can do at venues, you can easily give up and realise you spent so much time for almost nothing. Playing music is still enjoyable but it’s more complicated, like most artistic activities.
Augu: You can also find some support. We’re going to perform at the Reflektor, they’re here to welcome and help young bands. And it’s a great venue!

Finally, what advice would you have given yourself ten years ago?

Arnaud: Don’t do that kid! (laugh)
Xavier: Don’t worry, you can have more fun! Don’t take things so seriously. Treat yourself as well.
Augu: Don’t worry and if you want to make your project, do it for yourself and because you enjoy it first. And do it right, not partly.
Brieuc: Always be proud!
Xavier: Oh you’re gonna make me cry! (laugh)


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