Riobilly with El Rio Trio

Posted by Dee-Ann On August - 11 - 20103,733 views

Last June I was at the annual D-Day rock and roll festival in Amsterdam. There were bands like THE BEL-AIRS (uk), Mars Attacks (CH), Dale Rocka & The Volcanoes (I/Sicily) The Wildgoners (F), The Be-Bops (B), Mischief! (NL). Unfortunately, one of the bandmembers of Mischief had a terrible motor accident, so their show was cancelled (he is alright now, by the way). Instead a Dutch Rockabilly trio called El Rio Trio played. The other bands were great, very authentic sound and looks. But El Rio Trio’s show was very refreshing with close harmony parts and lots of wild movement on stage. Sweet, but wild. I like that.
Writing for RBO (as we call Rockabilly-online) gives me a good excuse to catch the attention of their long, tall and handsome bassplayer: Bopper.

Bopper, tell me about the birth of your band El Rio Trio
It started after two bands Snakebite, Richards and mine,  and the Haystack Hi Tones, Hans and Rolfs, fell apart. Those were the actual bandmembers at the beginning of El Rio Trio.
After Snakebite I gave myself a one year break, after playing for years, until Richard called to tell me they needed a bass player to play a little at Hans’ garage, in North Amsterdam. That’s where our roots are: Amsterdam.

On D-day (an annual Rock and Roll festival in Amsterdam) I heard many people say that you are the best band of all the bands that day. Even the foreign ones. What makes you different?
Ik don’t think that our music is that different, but the way we present ourselves sometimes is. We often hear that it shows we have a good time on stage, and I think that is very important. The fun we have on stage is real! We play purely for ourselves and it is nice to have some people come and watch us and very nice too. 60% of the songs we play are our own, and people like that.

So who writes the songs and how are they written?
Richard Jordan is our song writer and he has written most of the songs. It usually starts with a melody in his head when he wakes up in the morning. He has all day to work on it. Sometimes at his job and sometimes at night when he’s wrecking his guitar. The lyrics are made up while rehearsing or even during a show, the lyrics are being altered.
Once I wrote one song which cost me a lot of energy and effort and that one is recorded on cd. Our former guitarplayer Alex wrote a couple of songs too. The current magnificent guitarist Wouter, who is with us for almost 5 years already,  wrote an instrumental for our last cd “the third”.

The crowd in other countries, are they different than the Dutch?
It’s odd, but we don’t play a lot in other countries, but Germany, Norway, Belgium and Friesland (a part of The Netherlands) are on our “done” list. We prefer playing for our own Dutch audience, because they know us and they are always very enthusiastic. They sing along with most of the songs. That is what I like the most, interaction with the audience.

You always have a lot of fun onstage. You must have at least one crazy story to tell us.
Well we don’t have short crazy stories about our gigs. They’re all very long. But the gigs are always great. There is so much fun. Every gig is a blast and a party. We have great laughs with eachother. But we had a dramatic show recently. Well you can’t call it a show. The car broke down in Germany. It took us 12 hours to get home, so we didn’t play. Fortunately we have pictures 😉

The most bizarre situation during a show was at the Cruise Inn. I was lying on the ground, playing, and suddenly my uprightbass broke in half. The neck was seperated from the body and I stood there with two pieces of bass. The audience was silent, the band was silent. It was a strange moment and the end of the show. We laughed about it afterwards.

What’s your dreamwish?
I would like to play in the United States with El Rio Trio one day. It would be awesome, but I don’t want to call it a dreamwish.

Do you have strange habits?;-p
Strange habits. No, we’re the most ordinary band in the scene. Making Rockabilly music would be one of our neurotic habits. A lot of people come to see this unnatural behaviour of El Rio Trio.

If you were a stalker. Who would you be stalking?
If I were a stalker, I would like to stalk the singer of Dee-Ann And the Nightcaptains. Such a beautiful woman. Unfortunately, I’m not the stalking kind.

What is your advice to Rockabilly beginners
A Rockabilly beginner? I think to do the same as we did when we were beginners. Listen to music a lot, and pay attention to other bands. Most important: HAVE FUN. Rock and Roll is all about laughing and sharing your passion with others.

In October this year they’re going to record their 4th cd. We’re looking forward to that one!

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