BE FAIR, KIND and TRANSPARENT
ART is FROM PEOPLE, BY PEOPLE, FOR PEOPLE
SHARING is EXISTING
EVERYTHING STARTS with SINCERITY
GOOD VIBES and FUN are IMPORTANT in the PROCESS
EVERYTHING ENDS with SINCERITY
MONEY, SUCCESS and ATTENTION are all SECONDARY GOALS
INSPIRE and BE INSPIRED
TAKE YOURSELF SERIOUS but NOT THAT SERIOUS
INDEPENDENCE is A VIRTUE
Two years ago, Gaëtan Vandewoude drew up a manifesto. A checklist with ten statements to test the motivation with which he made music together with his band. Over the past fifteen years, Isbells had made a name for itself as one of the most authentic groups in our country. Yet the feeling prevailed that it was important to go back to the essence, to create a new form of support. "
Unlike many other musicians, Vandewoude did not experience the lockdown as a major upheaval. He continued to write songs in his home studio as before, although this time the new songs expressed a different feeling. The typical melancholy was still there, but where he often sought out his own demons on previous records, this time a regained optimism shimmered through the lyrics. He discovered someone who felt better about himself for the first time in a long time. Someone who had lifted a load from his shoulders and was able to zoom in on the beauty of an ordinary day. Honestly, he was shocked by it. It felt like he had finally found himself after a long time. The numbers were more optimistic. Brighter too. They radiated joie de vivre. They were about sons and daughters. About broken relationships. About a father who never became the same again after his brain injury. About parents and the love for their children. But also about the deluge of information and the pressure of social media. Each song tells its own story, and requires a different approach.
That is why there is now Basegemiti. The title is composed of the first letter of each statement. The word itself does not exist, but if you google it, a bad Italian translation will reveal basic moaning, a flag that, according to Vandewoude, covers the load completely. Basegemiti will not be a traditional record with three singles that get all the attention. The songs will initially be released separately, so that each has room to breathe and just be. Only later are all these diverse ideas collected in one place, as a kind of best or with only new material. "Right now, the idea of putting out a record feels too restrictive. Every song is equally important to me, so I want to be able to give them all the same amount of attention," says Vandewoude. "In the past my psyche and my emotions determined in which direction the music would evolve, but this time I am in control. I am no longer guided by my fears. I myself am surprised at how dark and even negative my texts used to be. The turnaround has already started on 'Sosei' – our previous record – and this is the important next step in that process. For the first time I am really proud of my lyrics. I write much clearer, because I know better what I want to say. I also experience the music differently."
Basegemiti therefore heralds a new beginning, with a new record company, a new management, a new booking agent and a new promotion team in addition to a new sound. That speaks of ambition. "That's true. I've had a do-it-yourself attitude all my life. But at the same time that means that I come up against my own limitations. That is why I am now outsourcing a number of things, so that I have more energy to do even better what I can do." Successfully. This time Vandewoude very consciously stepped out of his comfort zone, without worrying about whether what he had just created was suitable for the group. The framework within which Isbells now works has therefore become considerably broader, and that creates more possibilities. "In our previous albums, for example, there was hardly any humor. That's an aspect of Isbells that has never had a voice in music in the past. While there is quite a lot of laughter backstage before and after a concert. That aspect will be discussed this time. There is a lot of love in the group, and you can feel that in the music. For me, that bond is extremely important. I never play my music at home. Because then there will be no one to hear them, and therefore no one to share them with. While that's what it's all about for me. That's why I need other musicians. And an audience: because the people who listen to the music and come to the performances ensure that the songs have an existence."
Basegemiti will be released on September 22, 2023 by V2 Records. Pre-order or pre-save the album here.