In the spotlight – Moving are a four-piece band from Haarlem (the Netherlands) comprised of Anne on guitar, Bep on drums, Tim on keys and bass guitar, and Elliott on vocals. Bep and Anne are brothers. The band members have all been close friends since secondary school.
Elliott: “Music is the main thing in our lives. From early on, it tied our friendships together. I remember many evenings of endless conversations about great songs and shows.”
Would you mind briefly explaining your sound to any potential new fans?
“It’s interesting, when we began to release and promote our music for the first time we had to think about what our ‘sound’ was. We never set out to make a certain type of music, and our musical backgrounds meant that influences came from everywhere: jazz, punk, folk, indie. Our songs tend to carry a fragile and melancholic edge. They’re mostly mellow but often quite catchy. In labeling our sound we often connect this catchiness to the genre that inspired the song the most, for instance, indie-pop, folk-pop, or alternative pop.”
What music inspired you guys growing up? How does that compare to what you’ve been inspired by lately?
“We all grew up on bands like the Beatles, Spinvis, and Wilco, but there were also differences in the music our parents, siblings, and friends introduced us to, which reflects our diversity today. Now we’re finding stuff that inspires us individually, and bringing that together when we work on new songs. We grew up on authentic bands that did things their own way, and we still look for inspiration in those kinds of bands today. It’s great to have some artists that we all adore, that inspire all four of us, and also have influences that inspire us individually.”
As a fairly young and new band, how did you guys end up in music? What was it about music that inspired you to pursue a career in it?
Anne: “Bep and I came into contact with making music quite early on through our father. When we were young he was always writing and recording music. We both picked up a different instrument (drums and guitar respectively) and playing together became a natural thing. From that point on, music was central to our lives.”
Elliott: “It’s a similar story for me. My dad had been making music since he was a teenager and my grandmother was an opera singer, so music runs in the family. My mother was also big into artists such as Lou Reed, David Bowie, and the Beatles. All my life, music has felt like a natural part of it, I couldn’t imagine life without music. So, after a while, I naturally started to practice and express myself in music, through singing.”
Tim: “For me music has been a connecting force in my family, mostly in the form of listening to CDs in the evening or in the car on family trips. When I was eleven, I started taking piano lessons, mainly jazz/pop-based. Years later I bought a bass guitar, and soon I started playing in bands. In a somewhat impulsive fashion, encouraged by my mother, I applied for jazz bass guitar at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and somehow got accepted. There I gained an even greater love for music, as well as insights into the professional side of it. Moving brings me joy and lets me express sides of my musical persona that are still very much developing.”
Why did you choose Moving as the name for the band?
“For a long time, we were only focused on making the best music we possibly could, which meant we didn’t think that much about who we were, or what we were called as a band, we were just translating our friendship and passions into music. At a certain point, we had to think of a name since we wanted to share our endeavors with the world. ‘Moving’ came up when we thought about our story, which revolved around the room where we wrote and recorded all our music, and where Anne and Bep were born. Soon, that room would be someone else’s since the house had been sold. ‘Moving’ felt right, it reflected our story and said something about our music, which aims to move hearts and feet.”
What would you say is your greatest strength as a band?
“Often we look at things differently, and sometimes we disagree, but we always find a way of turning any differences into stronger songs. It helps that we have been close friends for so long; we know we can trust each other, and we’re always willing to hear each other out. That’s a positive and fruitful process and probably our greatest strength.”
Is there anything you would like us to know about your single ‘I Don’t Know’?
“It blew us away when Anne first played it for us. We knew it was going to be a really special one, which meant recording it was a very rewarding process. ‘I Don’t Know’ also portrays the influence folk bands, such as Wilco and Big Thief, have on our music.”
I always love hearing about the song writing process. What can you tell me about yours?
“It starts with Anne. He often has a couple of ideas that he’s been working on recorded as demos on his phone. They’re always beautifully fragile and gentle, just him and his guitar. Individually, we immediately start thinking of ways to build on the song, whether instrumentally, lyrically, or structurally. We discuss the ideas we’ve come up with and slowly start to piece them together. That’s where our different musical backgrounds blend to create a ‘Moving’ song. It’s a natural process.”
Who are some of your songwriting heroes and do you think you can hear their influence in your music?
Anne: “Andy Shauf, Spinvis, Paul McCartney, Jeff Tweedy, among others. As I come up with the base of the songs I think the songwriters that inspire me have the biggest imprint on our music. I personally believe that all creative ideas are influenced by other work. The songs I come up with are the way they are because of the music I’ve been exposed to. The structure of our songs is greatly influenced by Andy Shauf, who I think is one of the best songwriters today. I’ve listened to Spinvis, a Dutch artist and songwriter, since I was 4 years old. One of his strengths is his poetic lyrics, which I don’t think I can match. However, the chord progressions he uses in his songs are always interesting and can catch you off guard. I often try to do the same thing with my progressions.”
Elliott: “I am deeply inspired by songwriters who manage to describe the everyday banality of things in an original and thought-provoking way; people like Alasdair MacLean (The Clientele), Benjamin Woods (The GOLDEN DREGS), Guy Garvey (Elbow), and Sydney Minsky-Sargeant (Working Men’s Club). As soon as I hear one of their songs, I’m motivated to think and write in a similar way about my own life.”
Where do you find inspiration for the music and/or lyrics?
Anne: “Almost all our songs are about personal/internal struggles. Sometimes it’s easier to put those into a song instead of speaking about them directly. For me the process of writing a song is a good way of dealing with these things and spending time thinking about them; something I probably wouldn’t do otherwise.”
Elliott: “Similarly for me, I write about feelings that stem from everyday experiences and surroundings. Since we are all in the same stage of our young lives, the lyrics, written by one of us, are personally felt by all of us.”
Do you have a song that means the most to you? Which one and why?
“‘Home’ is probably the song that means the most to all of us. It was the first song we ever released, which was something we were looking forward to for a long time. Also, the video clip, made in the room where we always wrote and recorded, perfectly portrays us as a band, and as friends. To see the song do so well on streaming services is really special, and it’s always a joy to play it live.”
Tim: “As for me, the song ‘Something’ really touches me. The song is about falling out of love, and the night before one of our shows, my relationship of six years ended. Of course, the show had to go on, but I stood on stage with my heart on my sleeve. In that moment, this song, which was already so emotional, connected with me on a very deep level.”
How does the collaborative process with your bandmates compare to the feeling of performing to an audience?
“When we perform live we are eager to show the audience what we have been creating together. The feeling of being on stage with the four of us, and giving the audience an insight into our musical world is a perfect extension of the creative collaboration that happens in the rehearsal room. When we’re on stage together, it feels as though it’s just the four of us, but as soon as we look out at the crowd, we realize there are people enjoying themselves, and the excitement is incredible. The songs come to life.”
What have been career highlights so far? And what is on your bucket list that you’d want to achieve?
“Besides releasing our music into the world for the first time, our EP release show in a sold-out Patronaat in Haarlem was definitely a highlight; playing just around the corner from the house where our band (half of it literally) was born and where we’d spent so many hours working on the songs. The atmosphere that night was electric, the room was alive with excitement.”
“One thing we’d love to do is play the Dutch festivals we’ve been visiting for years. It would be an amazing feeling to look out at the crowd we have been part of so many times.”
Where do you see the band being in a couple of years’ time?
“We’d love to be able to keep making and playing music, that’s the most important thing. Obviously, it would be great to see the number of people listening to our music and attending our shows grow, alongside our abilities and songwriting. One thing’s for sure, in a couple of years we’ll still be close friends, sharing our love for music.”
What does the rest of 2023 look like for you? Any gigs coming up and/or new music?
“We are releasing two more songs in 2023, as part of the four singles showcasing different aspects of our musical style and personal influences. We’re finishing off 2023 with gigs in Haarlem, Leiden, and Amsterdam, which we’re really looking forward to.”
What’s your favourite song from the Cool Top 20 and why?
“‘Seagull’ by Still Traffico is a really cool song. The driving guitars and energy are very infectious, the singer has a great voice.”
What song would you like to add as a bonus track?
“The bonus track we’d like to pick for the chart is ‘Talk About Running’ by Wilson A. They’re a really exciting and energetic post-punk band from the Netherlands, who just released their first single, which is great.”
(Photos by Lydia van der Meer)
Written by: leancool20
Alasdair MacLean Andy Shauf Benjamin Woods Bep Big Thief Dutch Elliott Guy Garvey Haarlem Home I Don't Know Jeff Tweedy Lydia van der Meer Moving Patronaat Paul McCartney Seagull Still Traffico Sydney Minsky-Sargeant the beatles Wilco Wilson A
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