Exactly one week ago, I managed to see DOOL love in Budapest. Their performance that night was extremely powerful and it definitely exceeded all my expectations. Like all things great, this interview was not planned, but came into being after that show, when I managed to talk a couple of minutes with a tired but happy Ryanne Van Dorst. Below is the result and I couldn’t be more happy with what came out. Thank you, Ryanne, for your words and support. Enjoy!!
1. Dool was formed in 2015. What was your first thought when putting this band together? What were your expectations at that moment, if you had any?
Most of us had been already playing together in different projects, and we felt that it was time for something totally new, under a new name, with fresh energies. My songwriting in this time had changed drastically, from being angry and extrovert to a somewhat more honest and open sound, and lyrically reflecting inward instead of outward. We took those songs into the rehearsal room without any concept of how we would like to sound, and just started jamming on the riffs and melodies until gradually we found each other in the frequency that had then become DOOL.
2. All those who wander are Dool. This statement has quickly spread through those who know your album and have seen your shows. But what does it mean exactly, who came up with it?
Of course, this is derived from the famous Tolkien quote ‘Not all those who wander are lost’. Since ‘Dool’ is the Dutch word for ‘wandering’, we took the words of Tolkien and scrambled them around a little bit. What it means for us is that we’d like to regard ourselves as some kind of refuge for the musically searching. For people who choose to not be stuck in one (sub)genre, or maybe even those who need salving in life itself.
3. Your debut was the single Oweynagat which showed 2 sides of the Dool coin: a rather energetic one and a slow, haunting side, with an accent on atmosphere: Vantablack, The Alpha, The Death of Love, Oweynagat and its alternate version. Which one of these 2 sides do you prefer and represents you the most?
Both sides need each other and emphasize each other. And it’s not even that black and white to me to be honest. A storm doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. There’s always a precursor to it. One can see the air fill itself with clouds, hear the leaves rustle in the upcoming winds, before the storm is at it’s full force. We like to play with that sense of threat in the calmer, atmospheric parts, and the other way around as well; create serenity in chaos.
4. Looking at the Prophecy Records roster, for me it looks like DOOL is quite an atypical band for that label. In my opinion you would have fit more with Van Records. Are you happy with the choice you made? How did they sign you so fast, were they the first ones to offer you?
I myself am a big fan of a lot of bands on Van Records, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right label for us. In the end it has been Prophecy who showed us the amount of dedication and passion we wanted to see in a label. I think the glove fits perfectly, even though we are an atypical band on this label. They are strongly devoted and work so hard to get the best out of the album. We couldn’t be more content with them!
5. Some bands release an album every year, for some the creative process is longer. How is that working for Dool, are you a band which likes to take its time before releasing an album?
I want to give the songs the time they need to congeal. Deadlines are a no go, and releasing music for the sake of it or just for ongoing visibility also seems retarded to me. We are not a factory. An album that has no urgency shouldn’t see the light of day if you ask me.
6. DOOL is definitely a live band. On the record your music is very introspective and hypnotizing but onstage you just unleash the beast within yourselves, you take it into another dimension, like some “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” experiment. Where do that whole energy and adrenaline come from?
When we recorded the album we had only done a handful of shows. Now, a year after its release, we have a whole better insight on our sound and our energies. Even though DOOL has been an energetic live band ever since the first show, we tune in on each other’s frequencies more and more each time we share a stage together. For this reason I also believe the next album will sound a whole lot different from this one. We are still evolving and growing as a band, and it’s an amazing experience.
7. Watching Dool live was a fantastic experience and I was struck by the extraordinary chemistry which exists between the band members. Is this line-up the best one you had wished for?
I think I answered this in the previous one 😉
8. Since the release of “Here Now, There Then” in February last year, you have toured quite extensively supporting the album. Haven’t you reached a certain level of saturation playing the same songs all over again? What do you prefer the most, doing tours or festival appearances?
I’m sitting in the van, driving through Germany on our Elate | Elevate tour while writing this. We’ve just done another 15 shows in a row, and still each night the songs work their magic on us as well as the crowds. I mean, it’s not like we’re the Stones playing ‘Satisfaction’ again and again for 40 years. ‘Here Now, There Then’ is only 1 year old, and still feels very vivid and lively.
9. Dool’s music is not a happy one at all. Where does this darkness come from? From you, as the main writer/composer, from the surroundings you live in, or from both?
A person without Darkness cannot see Light. They need to coexist in order to exist at all. I believe that I’m very easy going in social inter-activities, and people would find me an easy to talk to, even though sometimes a bit loud mouthed. But this is only a social peel. A cultivated copy-paste to get through day to day life without hassle. Below this, there are plenty more layers to be peeled off to get to the core of the Self. I think that this self-reflecting whilst writing songs for DOOL has opened up some deeper layers within me, which are allowed to roam freely into the music. So far, it has had some very therapeutic effect on me and made me stronger than I was before.
10. “To Love is to Die” is the last verse from “The Death of Love”. Do you think loving is equal to dying? Who do you find more beautiful, love or death?
This is kind of personal, but it has a lot to do with the rest of the lyrics in the song. It is basically about a hateful relationship. Love and Death are both eternal in my view, so I wouldn’t pick one over the other.
11. Dool has recently released the video for The Alpha, which was directed by you. The result is really impressive, congratulations. Who came up with the idea of the script and how did you feel to be on the other side of the spotlights?
Thanks so much! I wrote this story years ago, but didn’t know what to do with it. Eventually, I managed to implement it into the video for ‘The Alpha‘, and it worked out quite nicely. Directing the video was above all an experiment.
I approached some more experienced befriended directors to work with me on the project, but they all said I just had to direct it myself since I had a very strong vision on the imagery. In the end it has been a very valuable experience, and with an amazing team we created a beautiful result.
12. What are some of your “hidden” influences and guilty pleasures? What are the guys in DOOL listening to?
There’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure! If you enjoy something – embrace it. On that note, we’ve been listening to some really sexy 90s R&B like LL Cool J and Adina Howard in our dressing room on tour, as well as old school Gabber music later at night. But generally, I think some of our collective most listened bands at this moment are Hallas, Stiu Nu Stiu, MGMT, Bolzer, and of course Michael Jackson.
13. Besides doing music, do you also collect it? What’s more important for you, a regular edition where the music speaks for itself, or a strictly limited-edition box set, with tons of collectible items?
Speaking for myself, I love playing vinyls, so I have a lot of LP’s at home. I’m not really a collector, so I don’t have any special editions or first prints etc, but I can see why people love to have these.
14. I’m gonna end this interview with two typical questions: What are your next plans? When can we expect a new album?
First of all, there a lot of shows and festivals on the program still, like Wacken, Graspop, Houses Of The Holy and Rock Hard Fest. Really looking forward to each and every one of them. In between that I’m gonna take some time to work on new material. We’re already experimenting with new songs at our live shows, and there’s many more ideas brewing. I can’t give you a set in stone date for our new record. I want to give it the time it asks for. Might be 4 years, might be 3 months.
Thank you so much, Ryanne, for taking your time to answer these questions. It means a lot for ScrollsOfDarmoth to find out more about this extraordinary band and the person who is behind it. The last words are yours, as always. See you next time!
Thanks you SoD for your enthusiasm. Loved reading the review you sent our way. Good luck with your future endeavors. Godspeed!