TEASE & DENIAL

tease and denialI don’t know really what it was that drew me to TEASE & DENIAL but there was something about them that had me interviewing them. ©2016 Anders Ekdahl

Could you please introduce yourself to those of us in the dark?
-We are Tease & Denial, a band from Amsterdam and Berlin. That’s right, we travel all the way to make music! Mariska Lie A Ling van Veen (singer) Ivan Lie A Ling (guitarist) and Ron Broekhuizen (bass) are living in the Netherlands. Jochen Röder (drums) lives in Germany . Crazy, isn’t it?! Having started in 2013 we are convinced that this is a very special combination of people to create the music we love ! Every character in our band is unique, and we do think we all bring out the best in each other. We chose to give our band a slightly misleading name, and as some of us are quite perverted, it became Tease & Denial.
We create some sort of heavy alternative rock, but that doesn’t say a lot. There are elements of stonerrock, blues, industrial, indie, pop… We dont’t care so much about genres however the only thing that matters to us is that our music has to be exceptional. Actually, we don’t like having to define what we’re doing. It can go in almost any way, which makes Tease & Denial a quite unpredictable and dangerous band 😉
In 2013 we recorded our first EP “Damsel Sessions” and currently we are working on our second album.

I often wonder how people discover that they can do what they do. How did you discover that you can sing and play instruments?
Mariska: When I learned walking as a kid, I did two things: running away and climbing on stages. Performing in many ways. When I heard I want you to want mefrom the band Cheap Trick, and hearing the screaming audience singing along with the band, I knew what I wanted!
I started singing when I was a teenager. But wrote my first lyrics at age 25. For me that was a turningpoint. Being real and sharing my live stories, and connecting with the audience.
Jochen: I play a few instruments, but drumming is what I do best. I started playing instruments at the age of 6, and by the time I was 12, I got pretty ambitious about drumming. I remember that during one of the first drum lessons I suddenly had to cry out of happyness, when being showed how to play straight 8ths on the ride. Thanks to my great drum teacher at that time I discovered that I must have some sort of musical talent, which luckily had been supported by other teachers and my family ever since. There is nothing else that touches me as much as music can do. And playing the drums to me is very close to having sex.

When did it become a revelation that you can do this and maybe get paid for having fun?
Jochen: I’ve been in bands since I was 13, from school big band to punk band and many things in between, but I soon developed the urge to create my own stuff, or at least give already existing music a personal twist. At a certain point I got quite bored with the music around me, and although I wanted to study classical music, something told me to refrain from spending my life in orchestras playing sheet music, and instead be independent and create my own stuff. Luckily, the early 90’s were a fantastic time for a adolecent to get great inspiration. But hey, creating good music is not always fun! It’s basically hard work, sometimes quite frustrating, but when you realize that you’ve done something right, it feels incredibly good.
To me, music is something holy, something to remain completely untouched by other needs. I never compromise, so getting paid for music to me is something nice, but no aspect of the actual creative process. I rather prostitute myself in „normal“ jobs than abuse my music as necessary income generator. Anyhow, when „Nevermind” happened, I did realize that it is possible to get rich and still be authentic.

When you spend an amount of your life on a band does it ever feel like you have wasted time, that you have fought one too many windmills?
Jochen: D efinitely NO! Never ever. Even if the band was shitty, or the guys unfriendly, or the music not my style, commercially without success, whatever… Being in a band is always a learning process, in many ways. I had to learn a lot of lessons, good and bad ones, and this finally led me to join the other guys and girl and set up Tease & Denial. Our routine as a band is pretty unusual, as we live devided in Berlin and Amsterdam (600 km distance!), but it’s worth it, believe me.
Mariska: I have never felt that way. Never! It’s the opposite! Music makes me happy, and I feel a strong need in what I’m doing. I sing, I scream, I learn, I cry…I really need this! Our rehearsels are very intense, just like our songs. We travel all the way to Berlin, and make music for days. Because of our own studio at home we can practise at home so the rehearsal is never a waste of time, it most of the time is a feeling of pride. Playing live is top of the world!
Because of my health we had to slow down for a while, could not perform or record. But no, it was not a waste of time! We kept on making music and our next album. This album is special because the songs were written during the very heavy period. I took something bad, and turned in to something beautiful. My heart tells me we succeeded. We hope people will like what we’re doing. Not being signed ( yet) has never been a problem. Its all about music.

No matter how small or big you were as a band you will leave a legacy behind you. How do you want people to treat this legacy?
Jochen: Difficult question. I guess I’d be happy and proud if people would acknowledge that Tease & Denial is/was a special and unique band, with some very special and unique songs. Even if they dont’t necessarily like our music. That no other band is like us! We are Tease & Denial.

Is digital taking away the mystery of waiting for a new album now that you can upload as soon as you have written a song?
Jochen: I guess so. I remember the anxiety of having to wait for every new album of artists I liked. But just because one can upload and publish a new track, doesn’t mean one has to do it… Btw, the concept of an full length album appears somewhat outdated, as the physical CD days are vanishing, which offers quite some new possibilities in terms of music publishing. For instance, you could publish your songs one by one, singles only. Or, just release EP’s, if you like your songs to be heard in a small bundle (that’s what Tease & Denial is favoring with at the moment). Nothing wrong with a great full length concept album, but in the past, the industries pressure upon artists to release a full length album every one or two years has resulted in a lot of songs of questionable quality, that we like to refer to as „fillers“.

How important is image in separating you from all the million different styles of metal there is out there?
Jochen: First of all, Tease & Denial is NOT a metal band. We do appreciate a lot of stuff within the metal genre, but you won’t find it within our music. But maybe this is a good moment for us to say “thank you” to Battlehelm for still having us featured in your mag!
Mariska: This is interesting, because we never thought about image in that way. For me the difference between all the other bands is not only about image. It’s in our songs and I guess the performance on stage. We want our songs to be special . We want the “TD factor”. Wich means exiting, unique, some little strange turns, or waiting for the climax. We avoid clichés and being predictable. We want our songs to be tough and sexy. We are also critical about the lyrics.
Listen, I used to think my voice is strange . Now I know because its not much common, it also helps in seperating from other bands. So all these things together might be our image?

Do you deal in different topics lyrically or do you keep to one, just using different variations?
Mariska: I write lyrics about love, ( It’s Good, Zinzitlies, A Bucket full of charm ) but also about sex ( Kitty Position ) , but also about heavy stuff like child abuse ( Like A Record ) unsaved babies ( Musk ) and on our new EP I sing about the shit of the last months, ( Hide & Seek, A remedy for waiting ).
Jochen: Funny enough, I still haven’t figured out who the second person , the” you” might be in Mariska’s lyrics. Lately it appears to be another woman.

Do you consider yourself a live artist or do you like to spend most of the time secluded in a studio?
Mariska: we are definitely a live band! Everyone who has ever seen us perform live will confirm! We also recorded live. This is us!

How much of a touring band are you guys? What memories do you take with you?
Mariska: We had to skip touring the last months, but we will play much more in the future. We are going to promote our new EP ofcourse, so we will go on tour. Than we eat nice (sushi, Turkish or genuine Chinese ) and drink all sorts of beer. Playing in sold out Paradiso. Meeting sweet fans and a lot of other nice bands.

What does the future hold?
-Sharing our love for music with our fans and those to yet be convinced. And be happy with our new record deal.

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