It was December 2015, when a great Belgium post punk mini surprise album popped up on Bandcamp. The name of the band… Whispering Sons. Band members are four great lads (Kobe Lijnen on guitar, Sander Hermans on synths, Lander Paesen on bass, Sander Pelsmaeker
Hi Whispering Sons! Can you introduce your band to our Last Day Deaf readers?
Hi Last Day Deaf! Whispering Sons is a post-punk project that we started with the five of us a couple of years ago.
What is the meaning of the name Whispering Sons that you have chosen for your band name?
Back when we first started making music together we used to play a lot of covers. The song ‘Whispering Sons’ by the Danish band Moral was one of them. It inspired us in a way to write our own music. So eventually we decided on the band name ‘Whispering Sons’ as a sort of tribute to that moment.
The style of your music is considered to be dark wave, 80’s post punk & with a hint of atmospheric 90’s alternative rock / shoegaze. Is there any influence from bands of that era? And which ones? Or are you trying to make your own sound?
Of course, like any band out there, we are influenced by a lot of other artists, and a lot of different genres. Too many to name here probably. From those eras specifically, well, the likes of The Cure, David Bowie and Slowdive come to mind. But mostly it was modern bands like The Soft Moon that inspired us to try and do something new with those influences, and try to create something that sounds dark but contemporary.
Brussels, the capital center of European culture. But you are originally from Genk, right? Do you feel that your city is really lively regarding musical culture? Are there any more bands from the city that you’d like to share with us?
We’re not exactly from Genk, but from various small villages in that neighbourhood, yes. We now live in Brussels though. In Brussels there are a lot of cool bands like Charnier and Empereur. Definitely check them out.
Regarding your live concerts this year through Europe, how has the experience been so far? Did the fans appreciate it? Have you got any funny memories?
It was pretty amazing. It was the first time we did an actual international tour and we got loads of positive feedback from all kinds of lovely people. We were actually surprised a lot of the time when we saw how many people turned up to our shows and enjoyed them. You wouldn’t think a lot of folks are gonna show up when you play a show in a small village with 300 inhabitants in France, and yet there was such an amazing crowd. It’s stuff like that that really keeps you going as a band.
‘Endless Party’ your debut mini album in 2015 presented to us an enigmatic but beautiful album cover art: an open window facing in front to a possible chimney factory a bit far away and more closely a TV antenna.
Can you explain to our readers what is the meaning or the message of the cover art that you want to transmit to your fans?
It’s a picture made by a good friend of Sander, our synth-player. We were looking around for artwork and when we saw that image we just felt like: yes, this is exactly something that fits our music. It just felt right. What the meaning, or message or interpretation is we are leaving up to you.
Regarding the songs and lyrics from that album, do they have a story? Are they influenced by any books of poetry?
They’re personal stories. All of my lyrics are autobiographical and introspective, and they always hint to a theme of escapism. I’m influenced by the things I see and read at a certain moment; the creativity of others can inspire me greatly.
Your vocals have a certain male sound mixed in a psychedelic Nico style deadspan. Did you have any vocal courses or is this just your real sound?
No, I didn’t take any courses. It’s the voice I feel most comfortable with while I’m singing. I don’t have to think too much about singing in tune, and I can just focus on the emotions I want to put in my lyrics.
A new single ‘Performance’ has been released recently on Weyrd Son Records. The sound is a bit different, more deep into the gothic wave. Is this a good sound sample of the possible new album in 2017?
To be honest, we have no idea yet what a new Whispering Sons album would sound like.’Performance’, and ‘Strange Identities’, the B-side of that single, are both songs that were written this year, while playing a lot of shows. They quickly became a fixture in our live-set and seemed to be the perfect follow-up for ‘Endless Party’. So hence the new single. We’ll start working on new music soon though, but what it will sound like: we really don’t know yet.
After the successful tour in Europe, is there a planned West tour (North America & South America) or even going East for next year?
Well, as fantastic as it would be to go to other continents to play shows (especially in South America and Brazil particularly, they seem to be way into post-punk and darkwave over there) it’s just not something we can afford to do as a band at the moment. Hopefully in the future we can. There are going to be more shows in Europe next year though. Last tour, in September, we moved south to France, Spain and Portugal. Next up will be Germany, The Netherlands and thereabouts.
Can you give Last Day Deaf readers any info or hints of when the new album will be out next year?
Well…All we can say right now is: at some point in time, there’ll be new music. We are working hard on new material, but it might take a while before we can get it out there. We want to take time so we can make our debut album (our first release ‘Endless Party’ was an EP) as amazing as possible. Hopefully it will be!
Thanks so much for this nice interview. We want to wish the band all the best in the future.
Photo credits: Annick Geenen