Bep - Gems !
Bep - Gems
Konkurrel records 1993
01. Pest Control
02. Blue Peter
03. Your Decision
06. Bell Bottomed
09. Definite Devon
10. Who Are They?
11. As If I Care
14. Truth Hits Everybody
BEP lineup on Gems:
Bernt Nellen - drums
Evert Molewijk - bass, vox
Paul Van Dijl - guitar, vox
BEP's story gracefully told by Evert (the rockin dude w. the bass), enjoy an exclusivity that comes uncensored and straight from the heart & guts of Holland!
Guitarist Paul van Dijl and singer/bassplayer Evert Molewijk played together in a jazzcorepunk band called Pubic Hairdo (who didn’t release any material although some of the Pubicsongs, or parts of them, were used on songs of the ‘Gems’-c.d.).
After the break up they teamed up with Bernt Nellen, a very talented jazz drummer from Germany, to form a band called combining the first letters of their names, BEP (also Evert's mother’s name, short for Betty).
Within weeks of BEP’s existence (1992) they were asked to tour with the Rhythm Pigs.
They had to release some material too so they rushreleased a single containing 3 songs: 'Definite Devon', 'Irreversible' and Bernt’s 'Bronstige Bossanova' (the first 2 songs were rerecorded for ‘Gems’ and the 3rd is an instrumental that sounds a lot like a Victims Family-rip off). The single was recorded on 8-track in a rented rehearsalspace and produced by Tijs Keverkamp.
It was released on GAP-recordings, a sublabel to Konkurrel. The actual B-side ‘Irreversible’ was played quite few times on Dutch radio, VPRO mainly.
After they toured with The Rhythm Pigs, visiting Germany, Poland, Spain and Belgium, they were asked by Konkurrel to record a full length album which turned out to be ‘Gems’ (which means jewels in English but is a kind of mountaingoat in Dutch, hence the cover!).
They recorded it in 2 weeks on the houseboat of Paul’s dad in Amsterdam. Production again was in the hands of Tijs Keverkamp. Released in march 1993.
In this first period they were heavily influenced by Nomeansno, Victims Family and the likes but Paul was also into much slower stuff like Obsessed or metal like Prong which comes out in songs like ‘Lovechild’ and the very slow ‘Trapped’. They sure liked the difficult stuff but always tried to let the song be more important.
‘Gems’ didn’t do too well and in these frustrating times they had innerband clashes which resulted in the dismissal of Bernt.
He was replaced by Jérôme Geerlings, who was the drummer in Jam Jar (their guitarplayer Eric Huijsen designed the sleeves of ‘Ripper’ and ‘Worst’!).
Within a month of Jérôme being in the band they recorded ‘Ripper’ in the Metrostudio in Hengelo (NL), produced by Andre Zweers and released in October ‘94 on Konkurrel.
Jérôme, although technically a great drummer, made the songs sound much simplier than they actually were when Bernt used to play them.
They still played songs that were in strange times like 5/4 (‘I’m’), or 7/4 (‘No Compromize’), 6/4 (‘Change’) or all of these times put together (‘Overkill’) but always tried to disguise it in such a way you wouldn’t notice it listening to the songs.
Around this time they started to incorporate their love for straightforward punkbands like Greenday and Snuff (‘Calm Down’ and ‘That’s Alright’) and also their growing love for stonerbands like Kyuss and later on Queens Of The Stone Age (‘Takeaway’).
They toured ‘Ripper’ supporting Alice Donut through Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Paul took a year off to spend some time in South East Asia, he was temporarily replaced by Martijn Braun (also from Jam Jar!).
They demoed some songs with Martijn (‘Timi Yuro’s Ass’ was released in 2000 on a benefit-album on Strike-records for ‘Ravage’-magazine which also features Nomeansno and Chumbawamba among others) and with him played some memorable shows including one or two supporting one of their all time favourite bands Kepone (check their 1st album ‘Ugly Dance’ for a fine example!).
Because they didn’t make any money playing in BEP but still wanted to make records, they designed a clever system selling sleevespace (i.e. a picture on the inside for 25 guilders, around 12 euro per person) so they could at least partially pay the release of their 3rd and 4th c.d.’s.
In return their ‘sponsors’ would get the album for free. Remember this was in the time that recording records was analog and pretty fucking expensive!
‘Moodswing’, arguably said to be their best album was recorded in ’96 in Studio 195 in Wernhout (NL). Produced by Patrick Delabie and released by W.E.R.K (a sublabel to Konkurrel) in ’96.
Finally they had a sound of their own, they realised.
Going from loud and fast to slow and low (that is the tempo!).
From straight punk (‘Backbiter’, ‘Blank’), Kepone rip-offs (‘Who Invented The Wheel?’), emopunk avant la lettre (‘Hard To Trade’, ‘Holy Spirit’, ‘The Test’), strange counting songs with two hoovers playing the solo (‘All’s Well’) and some slower groovebased songs (‘Avoid’, ‘Topdog’).
But what was their strength (being as eclectic as they could) became their weakness in the end. Nobody was waiting for a band mixing punk and stoner!
The moment they got a crowd going for them with some fast songs, they used to put in some slower groovy ones, sometimes leaving them as the only ones in the building… Quite a bit frustrating, as you can imagine!
They thought that maybe the livesound wasn’t full enough so they asked Tijs Keverkamp (former producer) to be their second guitarplayer.
He played with BEP for at least a year which means that BEP grew to a fourpiece. With Tijs they appear on a Bitzcore-compilation called 'Holland Sux' featuring among others NRA, Human Alert and Seein’Red.
The fun thing was that all the bands had to play live in the studio with possibly some minor overdubs. They contributed 3 songs: ‘Louise’ (also on ‘Worst’), ‘Trapped’ (much faster and tight than the ‘Gems’-version) and ‘Beg To Please’ (mistitled ‘Back To Please’, this one with only Paul on guitar).
The record took a long time to get released. It was released almost a year after the recordings took place (release date: 1998).
Finally Paul decided to leave the band. Frustrated as hell, playing for minimal audiences, he couldn’t be satisfied in being only a ‘recording artist’.
Still Jérôme and Evert persuaded him to help them record ‘Worst’ (the word ‘worst’ means sausage in Dutch, hence the sausageridden artwork!) as some kind of farewell to him. On the sleevenotes it says, in Dutch, that all guitarparts are played by Paul although in the line up Frank van Vuuren, his successor, is already mentioned as BEP’s guitarist.
Of course Jérôme and Evert weren’t too pleased of him leaving the band as they were already in the middle of the preparation of making the album. A little anger is ventilated in ‘My Be All And End All’ the penultimate song on ‘Worst’.
Although ‘Worst’ was not the best album they could’ve made, soundwise or songwise, they still had a great time making it and Paul was at his best.
They recorded in their hometown Amsterdam in the cosy little Stilteloosstudio with their friend Daan van der Elsken as their producer (better known in Italy as the singer / drummer in God and later Plexus, rocking like fuck bands!), so they could go home and sleep in their own beds after a day at the office.
At this time they were even more extreme in seeking the extreme extremities in music, Evert likes to think.
They even had a song in Dutch! This song ‘Theo Vogelaars’ took on a life of it’s own and became a little hit on Dutch radio.
The subject of the song is the bassplayer of the worldfamous, in Holland, Tröckener Kecks.
Although the Kecks were a cool band, the main reason of singing Theo’s name was that his name actually means Bird’s Ass (Cloaca in Latin).
Just stupid schoolboy humour of very bad taste, which fits fine with Death Bürger's spirit! (Ha Ha Ha)
Theo Vogelaars (the guy himself) knew about the song but didn’t know what to make of it. So he decided not to meet them and rightly so! ^^
Still, the song got them some airplay and even got them to play live on a national radioshow ‘3 voor 12’ of VPRO-radio.
‘Worst’ opens with an oldschool 2/4-time punksong ‘Just Like My Life’ followed by the stoner rock nihilistic ‘Eight’ (with a bit of mathematics in the chorus).
Then ‘Louise’ (another Kepone rip-off), ‘Theo Vogelaars’ and the extreme slow Melvins-like ‘Pulling’ (in the fade out you can hear Everts 5-years old daughter Isa singing Jingle Bells!).
The next two songs sum up to be BEP’s greatest strength: actually putting all influences together into one song.
‘Under Scrutiny’ is a real bandeffort with the intro gradually fading into the verse which changes within itself followed by some sort of Greenday-chorus, a bridge, which is actually the verse again but played differently, a grand guitarsolo, another bridge (again another version of the verse) ending in two different choruses.
The next song, ‘Up For Grabs’, is combining a stoner riff played very fast mixed with 2/4-punk (which Evert got to play a lot more in Beyond 93, the band he played in after BEP) and a melodic vocal on top of that.
The album ends with another extreme. The hidden track is a ‘Jungle’-mix of ‘Blank’, from ‘Moodswing’, called ‘Blank’n’Mix’.
The mix is made by Youri (of Mauser FK) under his DJ name Scaven.
Youri played guitar for BEP in the dark days between Paul and Frank, which makes the band so grateful to him.
‘Worst’ was released in1999 on the W.E.R.K-Works label of Everts best friend JW (who also designed 3 covers: the single, Gems and Moodswing and that was instrumental in their existence).
As already mentioned, Frank van Vuuren was Paul’s successor.
While Paul and Evert got on pretty well, Frank and Evert were not the best friends except when Frank strapped on his guitar... because of his playing style.
Though Paul was a lot tighter in the rhythm guitar parts (but not that much), Frank was the better soloplayer and he could actually sing backing vocals, which Evert really missed before. Of course Paul did his bit and Jérôme too (he was often too busy drumming), but Evert thought that was the one bit missing in their liveshows. One can hear it on the ‘3 voor 12’-recordings on the VPRO. Although they were in the middle of recording a new album, already 6 songs were recorded (3 in Daan’s Stilteloosstudio’s and another 3 in Studio 195), so there are only two songs released that actually feature Frank on guitar.
First is a double-album compilation of live recordings called ‘De Groote Weiver Gaat Hard – Live 1999-2000’ which contains songs by Nitwitz, Mihoen and Human Alert. All the other bands, mostly punk ones, filled their 7 minutes with at least 3 songs, but BEP did it with only one! It’s called ‘Blowjob’ and it’s a very slow sexy groovy stonerditty.
The other release with Frank is on the ‘Bonjour Gutentag Hello’-c.d., compiled by another friend of Everts, Robert van der Schild for Strike Records.
The song is called ‘Childcare’, one of the songs recorded by Daan, mixing metal and punk in a nasty way!
Approaching their 10th anniversary, they got very frustrated by the lack of success. Innerband troubles finally got the best of Evert and after Frank and him almost came to blows one night, they decided to throw the towel.
The next night, Evert seems to remember, the three of them went to see QOTSA, with Dave Grohl on drums, at the Milky Way.
By that time, he was really convinced they had blown the chance to be in a band like that, great songs, great sound and really fucking ass tight as can be.
Frank went on to play in Barby Pop, a band singing in Dutch. What he’s up to these days isn't said. He putted a few live videos of BEP playing at the Milky Way on YouTube though. If you google BEP and for instance ‘Rasti Rostelli’, ‘Theo Vogelaars’ , ‘First Hand Info’ or ‘Family Tree’ you should find some...
Jérôme doesn’t play anymore, he became a taxidriver…
Paul is into webdesign or some other shit concerning computers and the net.
The three of them are secretly planning a reunion of BEP.
For the umpteenth time… Tijs Keverkamp, their former producer and guitarist, still is in a band called KONG.
Martijn Braun went on to live in the United States and is never to be heard or seen again.
Bernt Nellen still grooves around in numerous jazz bands around Amsterdam.
Evert retired as a musician after BEP until a while after when he was asked to team up with Beyond 93, a very fast and tight poppunk band from Hoofddorp (near Amsterdam) with already one album under the belt (‘Stop Looking Back’, on Sony for God’s sake!) and one in the can.
The latter, ‘Would You Give Up On The World?’, was produced by Daan van der Elsken who recommended Evert to the boys when their bassplayer had to quit. Evert played with them for 2 and a half years and as a ‘retired old man’ had a great time! (in his own words)
They got to tour England and Belgium and even supported Bad Religion in a packed Milky Way and got the crowd really going!
At the time ‘Would You Give Up On The World?’ was released, they simultaneously released a video for ‘Someone Else’ which got a lot of airplay on Dutch television.
At that time they did a few national radioshows as well. If interested, check beyond93.com out for photos, music and all that jazz. Again the lack of success made them quit a few years back.
Let's all wish for a forthcoming BEP reunion guys, so the fun just never ends!
I just need to add one thing: I'm always amazed to see how cool can some artists reveal to be. And once again with Evert contacting me and helping out, i feel like Holland must be one kind of a great country to be living in...
People are so nice and friendly there it seems, when everybody's an asshole here round where i crawl. Including myself. Ha!
Well i guess everything's relative...
Cool first opus, can't wait to listen to all their stuff and yep, last track is a Police cover, and a good one too! Dig it mutha! Cheers Evert!
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