At Groezrock this year we managed to sit down for ten minutes with folk-punk troubador and lovely man Tim Vantol to chat about his favourite festival, his new album and who would play him in a movie about his life…
Hey Tim! How’re you doing, are you well?
I’m doing really good, yeah. It’s a great weekend!
We’re here at Groezrock, where you played with your band yesterday and again today in the American Socks Tent. How’s it been?
Amazing! I was kinda stressed because it was the first show of the season again with the full band and we’ve got some new people with us that were stood onstage for the first time together. I’m always a little bit nervous when it comes to those points but I know that those guys work their asses off to get it all done and I know that I can trust them. Overall it was crazy. The crowd was amazing. I played here four years ago and it was my favourite show, and this one I can say the same. I’m really happy!
You’re maybe the first solo acoustic act I’ve seen have crowd surfers in such a small tent…
Yes! I was just like ‘Come on! We need to make a little party out of this one!’ That worked out pretty well. It happened yesterday as well. It hardly ever happens at my shows, but yesterday was crazy. At one point everyone started coming onstage. It was really weird because they wanted to give the fist bump and I’m like ‘Dude I’m playing guitar, just let me play guitar!’ but it was good. Everyone was in a good mood and it was so much fun. It was a pleasure to see so many faces singing along. Even the new songs, the record has been out for one week and people are singing the new songs. It’s amazing.
Groezrock tends to be the start of festival season, especially in the punk world, what is it about this place that means so much to you?
I don’t want to bring other festivals down at all, I love a lot of them, but Groezrock is a festival that I went to back in the day with all my friends. We’d just put a tent up and enjoy the weekend. This festival is organised really well, but the thing I like the most is when I first started this whole solo thing, I worked a lot with small promoters. All of the people who gave me a show or a place to sleep, not to make money but just to have a good time, they are still coming to Groezrock. I have all of these friends from all of these countries that have helped me out are all here together. That’s what I like the most. I don’t have a lot of time to watch bands but it’s always good to see a lot of old familiar faces.
Despite not having a lot of time in the schedule to check out bands, have you managed to check anyone out this weekend?
I decided to take it easy yesterday so I had a little time. I saw some of Thrice and Deftones. Their lights were insane! Today I’ checked out my friends in Call It Off. A couple of those guys sometimes play with me in my band. They played an awesome set!
Your third album, Burning Desires, has been out for about a week now. Are you happy with the response?
It’s amazing! It’s weird because m previous record was four years ago. When you release a record it’s always a special moment, but I almost didn’t know how it felt anymore, so it’s good. Everyone is really excited, it’s great to see. The most important thing for me though is playing live, because by playing live I can see how things are going and I enjoy that the most. You can give me numbers and tell me that people are really excited about it but it just doesn’t do anything. It’s not that I’m not happy about it, I just want to play. Give me a guitar and I will play. People are coming to shows and singing along to new songs, that’s where I get my energy. But overall, everyone has been really nice and really supportive. The limited edition vinyl was gone in no time, which was great. I’m just lucky.
Where did you find inspiration for this new album? I’m picking up a bit more of a country vibe in some of the songs…
I’ve been to the States. I went to Nashville, I love it there. I really fell in love with the cheesiest country music ever, so that might be a reason. It’s also the music that I listen to. I love some good old Country. I think whether you want it to or not, the music that you listen to will influence you anyway, even the shit music you listen to. I would love to do a proper cheesy country record. Not too cheesy because I wouldn’t take myself seriously, but I like the music.
It’s been a while since you’ve been over to the UK. Do you have any plans to come back soon?
I have nothing planned yet, sorry! It’s really busy right now with festival season and then a headline tour. I’m not even playing much in Holland! I’m playing a lot in Germany.
There seems to be a good scene in Germany. I know a lot of people in bands from the UK who go out there quite a lot.
It works differently there. I don’t know what it is. The German people want to get to know new bands, so they always check out the support acts. The promoters are all hard working and want to set up good shows. There’s a really good scene!
A silly question just before we finish – Hollywood calls, they’re making Tim Vantol: The Movie. You’re in charge of casting. Who plays you?
Wow! I should just play myself, fuck it. The best impression of me would be myself. I’m terrible with names of actors. Actually, you know what! It doesn’t make any sense but fuck it! Bruce Willis! Why not? You can even call it Die Hard 5 or 6 or 38 or whatever it is now.
Finally then, is there anything else you’d like to add for anyone checking this out?
Go to Groezrock next year! It’s a really awesome festival. And keep supporting the bands that you like because the people support the bands that keep them going. Keep going to shows and go early to shows because you never know, the support act might be your new favourite band. And also check out my new record, Burning Desires!