interview with Duo NIHZ

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Have any of you played in other bands? Yes 

How is it that you started playing music? My parents are musicians, it was natural to play music aswell 

What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?

Bobby Rootveld-string instruments, percussion, singing

Sanna van Elst- recorders, glockenspiel, melodica, percussion, singing 

Did you make music even when you were young? Yes, up from 4 years old I played music. 

Where are you from? Holland, but currently live in germany 

What year did the band form? 2001 

What's your style of genre? It is a mix of klezmer, classical, folk, musictheatre, jazz, yiddish, avant-garde, modern, holocaust songs and much more. 

What inspires you? People I meet, places I visit, other music and history.

How often and where do you reherse? We rehearse almost every day. Either at home or on tour at hotel rooms.

How have you developed since you started with the music? In the beginning music was just fun. Now it is serious fun. It is still fun but it must be as good as possible. And it became very personal to play our music. 

Do you have other interests of work outside the band? Yes We have our own concert venue, I work as an actor, guitar teacher and stand up comedian, I have my own record label and studio and I love travelling.

Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? No booking agency. I do all bookings myself. I know to many musicians (including my father) who have been very unhappy with their booking agency's.

By doing it myself I keep full control. 

Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that?

I have my own label. Once again: I keep full control.

What made you decide to make this music? Most of the music I play nowadays is all to get closer in feeling to my family who died in the holocaust. A lot of Jewish music I play is to honour them and remember what happened.

What are your songs about? About war, peace, hate, love, hope, despair, sadness, happinness and everything in between. 

Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? We both do. And we also play many compositions by other composers. 

Do you start with the music or the lyrics? That depends. That is changing all the time.

Do you compose in a certain inviroment? No, every corner is good. 

Have you done any covers live? Yes, hundrerds. 

What language do you sing in? English, Dutch, German, Danish, Yiddish, Hebrew etc.

What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? The least was 2 in 2002. The most must be around 1000 with this group but with a former group it was around 10.000 a couple of times.

What ages are most of your concert attendants? Between 40 and 80. 

Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? We vary, we try not to have a set programme. 

Do you have a regular place you play live often? Almost every place around the worldwhere we played asked us back. 

What was your first gig like? It was with my band at school. It was amazing! 

What was your latest gig? This morning:a children music and theatre comedy show. 

Have you had to cancel a gig? Once, due to extreme illness of a band member. 

Where have you played live this year? Dozens of places in holland, germany and israel. 

Where do you plan to gig the comming year? Sweden, Denmark, France, England, Italy, Israel, Holland, Germany, Taiwan, Hungary, Portugal, Spain 

When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? 2001. We sell dvd's and cd's and sheet music

Where can people buy your merchandise? through our website and at concerts. 

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? Our music is NOT available for download. That's a conscious decision. A cd with a booklet with much information is more personal and has more value then a download. 

How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? It has become easier to release because of downloading. But an album release used to be like your little baby or a piece of art: you work on it, you cherish it and you think about the music, cover, booklet and it's special... Nowadays it are just files on a computer... That's not as special. 

Do you have any role models or idols? Yes, several: Paul McCartney, my dad Fred Rootveld, Matt Bellamy, Brian Wilson, Daniel Kahn, Shel Silverstein, Johnny Cash, Kurt Cobain, Noel Gallagher, CrispianMills etc. etc. etc. 

Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Bands who are older I like more, so I get more inspiration from older bands. 

What have been your biggest obstacles? SO far we didn't meet giant obstacles. 

What advice would you give other bands or artists? Play music you believe in and work really really hard: the phone doesn't ring by itself: Call people for gigs. 

How do you get psyched for a gig? I am never psyched:I am a little excited and in full concertation 

Do you have any new material? Yes, recording it right now. 

What are your web sites?

How can people reach you? Website and email 

What are your plans for the future? So far we played in about 35 countries. That should be at least 100 :-) 

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