songs : Steverlinck, Du Pré
Producer : Dave Anderson
Year : 1999
Record co. : Double T Music
This band was formed in 1995, when David Du Pré and his group were looking
for a singer and knocked on the door of Jasper Steverlinck. As their first sign
of life, they sent in a cassette for the Rock Rally. In this contest for beginning
Belgian bands, Arid ended up in the final, but didn't make a big impression there.
The jury said about them "The sound of the seventies (Led Zeppelin) and that
of the nineties (Metallica) clash together in their songs, and in the middle of
that hell is a singer with Jeff Buckley-allure. Youthful class from Lembeke".
(Listen to "Keepin' up with the Jones's",
the song that was put on the Rock Rally CD of that year, to hear what that combination
As the guys said themselves, this contest had come a bit too early : "David
was playing his music, and I was singing my lyrics, but those two things had little
in common. We wanted to make songs together, but hadn't come to that yet. In hindsight
it is a good thing we didn't win, because if we had done so, we wouldn't have
been able to retire into or rehearsal room and develop a style of our own".
After these first battles, the band took a step back and quietly started working
on an own repertoire in the rehearsal room. When they came out of there again
after some two years, a lot had changed. For starters there was a new drummer,
Steven Van Haver of the well-known Flemish band Gorki.
And as Jan Theys of record company Double T explained in Humo : "In 1996
we had only noticed one thing : a good singer with a bad band. We have spoken
with them then, but let them go eventually. A year and a half later Reinhard d'Haene,
the drummer of Ashbury Faith, said to us he had
seen Arid live and that the group was hardly recognizable and that we should go
see them. We went to a rehearsal and knew immediately that this was it. We have
signed a deal with them the week after."
In 1998 the group recorded "Little Things of Venom",
the debut album, in a production of Dave Anderson (has worked before with Edwyn
Collins, Fine Young Cannibals etc.) and with guest appearances of Piet Goddaer
(see Ozark Henry) and David Dewaele (see Soulwax).
Even before this album had hit the shops in Belgium, it procured them an international
breakthrough in America. This came about by Howie Weinberg - who did the mastering
in New York - who introduced the album to Rachel Felder, on of the A&R managers
of Columbia who thought it was "fucking magical". The group even got
to choose between Epic and Columbia for a record deal in the USA.
In Belgium and Holland, the group was introduced to the public by opening on a
few important gigs for K's Choice. The deal with Columbia
also didn't miss it's effect ("America falls for unknown Belgians" was
a headline in Het Nieuwsblad). The CD was received almost everywhere with very
good reviews after it's launch in April 1999. The recurring themes in the reviews
where the comparisons of Steven's voice with that of Jeff Buckley & Freddie
Mercury, and the praise for the emotional music & lyrics. All this was certainly
enough give Arid a place at the Torhout-Werchter Festival and make their first
single "Too Late Tonight" a hit in "de Afrekening".
About a year later they made a breakthrough on a slightly bigger
scale when they did a succesful tour with Counting Crows on the British isles.
In March 2000, Arid did a contribution for the "Glittering
2000" project, on which Belgian bands covered songs from the glamrock
era, with a version of "Killer Queen" of Queen.
- Jasper Steverlinck (vocals, guitar)
- David Du Pré (guitars)
- Steven Van Havere (drums)
- Filip Ros (bass)
Buy CD's of this band at
- Little Things of Venom (Double T Music, 1999)
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