Today is a big day for Harm Coolen and Merijn Schotte, the Amsterdam-based duo that makes up WEVAL. Their self-titled debut is being released after a year of hard work and the finished product is an experience, to say the least. They’ve already achieved commercial success–their track “Detian” was in a Schweppes ad starring Penelope Cruz, another track in a BMW commercial. WEVAL’s previous two EPs did quite well, and they’re back for more.
Self-described “kinetic electronic chamber pop,” WEVAL actually proves that they transcend genres with their album release. If you’re into heady bass lines, intense dance tracks, and something to make your next event feel both fun and classy, then you’ll want to have WEVAL on-hand. We caught up with the duo to discuss.
How did you two meet and decide to work together?
We met on a birthday of a mutual friend and started to work on a film project, as we were both into filmmaking. While doing that we got distracted by making music. The first two years without any plans or a name. When we had ten demo’s we said to each other, OK let’s finish this and put it on Soundcloud. That in the end became Half Age EP.
What’s the story behind the name?
It’s phonetic, or actually we thought it looked nice. After considering many options we shuffled with some letters and in the end Weval came up.
Where did you draw inspiration for this LP release?
Mostly from the sounds itself, just trying to come up with melody’s or drum rhythms that makes us happy. Comparing to our early work we more after edgy and psychedelic elements.
We didn’t listen to a lot of other music, if we did, we listened mostly to Krautrock and 60ties’ 70ties experimental music.
You’ve been signed to KOMPAKT for a couple of years now, but this is your first full-length release. What has the process been like in making this album come to fruition?
We worked a year full time on this album, mostly together in an attic in an old primary school building. Isolated, an hour cycling from our homes. Finishing music is alway difficult for us and after rescheduling the album we still worked till the very last second. We never had a year that went so fast as 2015. This tunnel vision, trying to create something that we can hear over and over again is great to be in and also intense. We like it when there is this project overwhelming you a little bit. And now it’s nice to jam a bit more with all the material, play with it and think about new ways of making music.
“The Battle” is such a fun song. Even before you layered it, we started to move our hips! What was production like on that one?
Haha thank you! Merijn made the backbone of this track really fast. After the concept was there it was a challenge to find a balance in the bass parts.
The bass drum is quite leady, so you want to hear that loud. But then there is also something like not blowing up everyones speakers 😉
You’re playing NEON Festival as your album releases. What are you most excited about for that show?
We rearranged a lot of tracks, for example “The Battle” changes in a acid track during the break in the middle. Can’t wait to modulate that bass line!
What’s the best part about making music together?
Besides the social parts, traveling together and being in the studio, we really like it when our different musical ideas come together in one track and make something that we never would make as an individual.
WEVAL is available now.