Tim vantol (NL)

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He just came back from a tour trough Russia, he’ll probably be on another tour when this gets posted online. Fortunately Tim had some time to answer some questions. Read and find out what Tim has to say on touring, Antillectual, Eminor7, and more.

First of all, could you please introduce yourself? Who are you, where are you from, where are you going?
Well, I’m just a simple guy from Hoofddorp (Amsterdam) The Netherlands, I’ll try to survive on the Road as a solo guy for about 2,5 years right now, and I’m thankfull for being still on that road. At this moment of writing I’m touring Russian where I will travel around for 2 weeks, and than ill head back to Germany, Holland and than down towards South of Europe till the beginning of December.

You tour a lot. How does that go with what most of us would call “normal life”? Any plans to go somewhere you’ve never been before?
When you decide to go on tour fulltime, you can say goodbye to your normal life, your friends, the normal live pattern, actually you won’t be able to see your family that often. You have to leave most of that behind, it’s a choice you make, it’s not an easy one (well it starts easy, but soon you will see it can be fucked up so now and than). You will actually loose most of it, but at the end your real friends will support you no matter what. And luckily my parents and family are supporting me a lot, that means a lot to me. As I said I’m in Russia right now, which is not new to me as I was there earlier this year with Antillectual, but now I will visit a lot more places all over this crazy country where I haven’t been before so I’m excited. I would love to tour Australia, New Zealand and the West-coast of the States but the tickets are a bit expensive, but maybe someday.

Any great experience whilst touring you would like to share with us? Where should we go and visit, or where not?
I don’t know, there are too many stories. At every tour there will happen some great things and also the fucked up things. Although the bad things are mostly the cooler stories to tell. If you want to checkout my experiences you can visit my website (timvantol.com) and checkout my journal. Where should you go and where not? It’s hard to say, I’m a big fan of playing in Germany, those people know how to handle with the whole music scene. I love Sweden cause it’s so beautiful. I love to see new things, and actually those countries where you hardly find any luxury (east of Europe and Russia for example) it’s good to face the facts, just to know that we should stop complaining and should be happy with what we’ve got, at least those people seems to, and they live without any luxury.

As said, you’re touring endlessly, but you also run your own label Eminor7, how does that go together? Any future plans for the label? Well as soon as I’m off or as soon I’ve got some new ideas and time I will put some time in the Label, It’s not a fulltime label kinda thing, I mostly release my own stuff, I wish I could release other acts, but it’s financially impossible right now, and I’m not able to put shit loads of time into promotion for other bands. Although I would love to. I’m trying my best, and will keep on doing that. For now on the Label is split up in 3 parts, the Label music part (where I’m release the records), the Screenprinting part (where I print shirts for bands and friends, and also where I print EminorSeven shirts) and the Backseatsessions part (where Mark is doing a lot of work for, it’s a video session thing, where we put bands on the backseat of a driving vehicle and let them play an acoustic song). Beginning next year I will take some time of from touring and I’ll stay at home for a while, so I’m planning to get some bigger machines for the screenprinting stuff, and will probably try to do more with the whole label, maybe a new solo release or something. I’m really looking forward to it.

You’re Dutch, but you live in Germany, what is the biggest difference in the punk rock community between the two? What could we learn from each other?
Well the German scene is alive, and will stay alive for a while (well at least I’ve got that feeling). The People/venues know how to welcome bands and how to handle things. The kids will show up at shows on time. No bullshitting they are all there for having a good time. I seriously don’t have a clue what’s going on in Holland the last bunch of years in the punkrock community, I mean we’ve got a couple of regions where a bunch of bands try to help out and set up shows (which is really awesome), but even if they want to help out keeping the punkrock alive, most of the audience/visitors hardly seem to give a fuck, unless you are a bigger band. Back in the days there were a shitload of youth centers in Holland which were always fun to play, but where did they all go? But I think I’m not the right person to ask now, I haven’t been that much in Holland for playing shows the last years.

You played bass in Antillectual for a while. What is the most important or useful thing you learned from that time?
Well that might be the fact that there is no change that you can combine 2 fulltime projects at the same time, even if you really want to. There will be always one project which won’t get as much attention as it should get.

You’ve released your debut album “Road Sweet Road” in March 2010 and a 7” in May 2011, when can we expect something new?
Well I’m working on a split 7” with my good friend Matt Tansey, hope that will be released (by EminorSeven) at the beginning of our tour in November. That November tour will be my last tour of the year, and after that I’m planning to take off for 5 months, to write a new album, to work on the label, to do some other things, I mean I’ve been touring my ass off the last 2,5 years, and I think I should take some time off, and hopefully I will get some good inspiration to write a new album. Being on the road will also isolate you (well me I guess), it’s good to be back and just look around and see what’s happening instead of getting in the van, loading out the van, play a show, drink some beers get some sleep and repeat. And as I really can’t write on the road, it’s good to sit at home and write.

Will you ever pick up an electric guitar again? In other words, start a full band?
Oh hell yeah, I will pick up the electric guitar again (it’s laying somewhere under my bed right now, being dusty), if I’m gonna start a new band? I don’t know. It’s hard to start from the bottom, and i don’t know if I really want to do that. But maybe…. Or maybe I will call some old friends and setup a project thing. I love to be on the road with friends as a band and feel the energy as a full band, I just need some good punkrock tunes so now and than (just like the most of us).

Do you prefer touring solo or with other (backing) musicians?
I did this fullband (playing my solo songs with a band) tour last may, and that was just awesome, it turned out so well, that we decided to do it next year May again but than instead of 2 weeks, a whole month. I love it. But the reason why I went solo is because I got sick and tired of being the only dude in the band who worked his ass off, and also to arrange things for a whole band see if everybody is able to go on tour (jobs, girlfriends, family meetings etc. etc.). I love the freedom of going on tour when and where I want, and just actually do what I want to do.

Anything you’d like to add?
Thanks a lot for giving me the change to answer some questions, thanks a lot for having this blog and for setting up shows and try to keep our punkrockhearts still beating. Hope to see some faces in November while I’m playing 2 shows in Holland (1st of November – Café Lokaal in Heemskerk and 2nd of November – ACU in Utrecht).

North Empire will host a show for Tim on Tuesday November 1st at Cafe Lokaal. Come down and find out for yourself why this guy is so good live and why people love him so much. If you won’t be able to make it, check out Tim’s new 7” ‘What It Takes’ on Shield Recordings. We also want to thank Tim for his time to answer these questions, really appreciate it.