PUNK GLOBE’S COWBOY RACER INTERVIEW

WITH MARIJNE VAN DER VLUGT

BY

OZGUR COKYUCE

 

 

 

Cowboy Racer (originally called Cowboy Kate) formed by ex-Cuckatoo Twins(Swallow) member Mike Mason,ex-Boredoms member E-da and ex Salad Member Marijne Van Der Vlugt. With their own words they are “Creating a true and organic soundtrack for life”. So far they have released their “Yellow Horse EP” and currently they’re recording their debut album.
Marijne was Salad’s lead singer plus one of the most famous VJ’s of MTV Europe in the early 90s who had previously worked as a model. Now she’s back with Cowboy Racer and it’s my pleasure to do this interview with Marijne who is also an artist to contact about her beautiful handbags... (www.marijnebag.com)

So let’s start…..

Punk Globe : Marijne, as Cowboy Racer you’re recording your new album nowadays. How’s it going? So far, the “Yellow Horse Ep” has been released. Will the new album sound be similar to the EP?

Marijne : The new album is going really well. We are now at the mixing stage and are gradually working through 18 tracks from which we’ll chose 12 or so for the album. We’ve got a few titles in mind none of which I can share with you today unfortunately, but I have to say that unlike the yellow horse EP which was a sample to introduce us to the world, this album written over a period of about 2 years tells a story of heart break, love, (fulfilled and unrequited), fast cars, and explores the lighter side of life also. The sound of the new album is similar but also moved on…for example a few tracks from the Yellow Horse EP will be on the album but have been either remixed or reworked to fit in with the progressed Cowboy Racer sound. I think we are still creating unmistakable Cowboy Racer tracks but with everything in life over the past few years we have learnt so much more about song writing, recording and have been through the odd trauma or two to add to the depth our music.


Punk Globe: Please tell us a bit about Cowboy Racer. Where did the name come from, how did the band form?

Marijne: Originally the name Cowboy Kate came from a book of photographs by a famous photographer form the 60’s called Sam Haskins but like with all art, you take inspiration from everyday life that takes place around you and having written ‘My Car is Faster Than Yours’ about someone in my life playing far too much Grand theft Auto, our designer made some images for the song and called one of them Cowboy Racer, instantly we felt that name was more fitting to us at that time and it stuck and anyway we were not sure whether Sam would ever let us use the name of his book anyway.

Punk Globe: With Salad you had collaborated with 60’s legend Sandie Shaw on her 1965 classic “Girl Don’t Come” on an episode of Channel Four’s White Room. ”Dream a Little Dream” duet with Terry Hall (of the Specials)for the 1995-Help Album was also unforgettable and beautiful. Can we expect collaborations or covers like these in future Cowboy Racer albums or as a solo artist from you? 

Marijne: I would love to do something else with Terry Hall as he is a special guy, doesn’t take any notice of fashions and trends, goes where his heart leads him, kind of how we write also. But talking contemporary artists, well I wouldn’t say no to a duet with Emiliana Torrini and I really like Klaxons


Punk Globe: For the intro part of the “Dream a little dream”, Eric Cantona (Man.Utd footballer) was invited to sing, but his football club didn’t give permission, so it didn’t happen is that right? : ) Were there any other thoughts for alternative players to be invited or because of the limited recording time didn’t it happen?

Marijne: I’d forgotten about that bit of trivia, I think by the time Eric’s club said no we had to find a quick alternative. That whole day was nuts, everything was done at super speed but no corners were cut. The studio was full of string players, children, dogs, managers, journalists, friends and several TV crews, while Terry and I had to sing our hearts out and make up harmonies on the spot. A highlight of my time in Salad I have to say.


Punk Globe: Marijne, in one of your interviews, you mentioned that your favourite TV show ever was “Friends”and you could find a bit of yourself, your friends and family in the characters. Which one of the characters was Marijne or was the closest to Marijne? 

Marijne: Mostly like Phoebe because of her thinking outside the glass and I have been known to be a bit dippy like her, and possibly giving almost everyone the benefit of the doubt, I mean I try to always seeing the good in someone first before judging them…this can have its drawbacks but is ultimately a good character trait to start with I hope, but then when it comes to my relationship with my best friend I’m more like Rachel, a bit helpless at times and need mothering, on the other hand I love to be in control and adore games like Monica, and then there’s Chandler…well him and my big brother were separated at birth


Punk Globe: Salad (aka The Merry Babes previously) was at the height of their popularity in the golden days of Brit-Pop, where there were bands around like Echobelly, Elastica, Sleeper, These Animal Men, Blur and more…. Salad was a great band of course but if you were to create your all time Indie-Pop dream band who would be the members of this heroic army?

Marijne:
Alex James (Blur) – Bass
Debbie Smith (Curve, Echobelly) or Joey Santiago (Pixies) - Guitar
Chris Martin (Coldplay) – Piano and Backing Vocals
Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) – Drums
Kim or Kelley Deal or Nina (A Camp, Cardigans) or Lovefoxxx (CSS) – Lead Vocals
Any member from Hotchip, Lemon Jelly or Zero 7 - Programming


Punk Globe: Which bands were you listening to in your teens and which one of those had the most influence on you as an artist when dreaming and creating music? What are you listening to nowadays? 

Marijne:Then - The Cure, Queen, Pixies, PJ Harvey, Beatles, 10cc, Bartok
Now - Zero 7, Klaxons, Loads of classical music on BBC radio 3, CSS


Punk Globe: As far as we know, you also like Elliott Smith a lot. He passed away in 2003 and is a great loss for the music scene. What is your favourite Elliott Smith song and album?

Marijne: A very very big loss, I love Son of Sam of Figure 8


Punk Globe: Nearly 10 years has passed since the events of September 11 in the U.S. and terror is a bigger threat for lots of big European countries than ever. What has changed? And when we think about today, doesn’t the world need the existence of real and honest bands more than ever? For telling the youth what’s going on, giving them the spirit to not only getting angry but to question everything. What do you think?

Marijne: That’s a heavy question, not sure how to answer that… errrm not sure if the threat of terrorism which has, like you say, become an everyday reality, has any bearing on music that’s being made by anyone but I think music is a form of entertainment which can either be a great way of escaping but also a perfect way of bringing across life’s messages, what ever they may be and some bands may well want to concentrate on the threat of terrorism but others will focus on world poverty, while there are also those that are only focused on their own lives and bringing their audience closer to them by sending a familiar message closer to home. Personally I want to create music that people can relate to when it comes to their lives, loves, troubles, and happiness, you know, I’m a simple girl really

Punk Globe: A question I would like to ask the most….I saw an early photo of you named “Big Chess with loads of booze” Who won that chess game? : )))

 

 

Marijne: Most likely Mr. Peter Brown, he was the chess champ in the band, although I may well have won in the drinking stakes, he was more a roll up ciggie man.
 

Punk Globe: Returning back to Cowboy Racer. When can we expect the new album? What are the plans for next year? Videos for the singles of new album or any festival appearances?

Marijne: The New album will be out early next year.
Plans for next year are some live shows and a few videos; I’d like to at least ride a yellow horse through London Town or Amsterdam if at all possible
But there is a much bigger project I will be delving into and I will tell you more about that after Christmas.



Punk Globe: People also knew you as a VJ of MTV Europe, hosting the programmes like 120 Minutes and The Pulse. I personally know that many people remember you and those days with a smile on their face, missing and wishing to go back in time sometimes to enjoy the colorfulness of the music scene and those days once again. Do you remember which video you mostly enjoyed to play back then? Any interesting memories from the MTV days as a VJ?

Marijne: Whale –Hobo Humpin Slobo Babe
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Give It Away


Going to Israel and covering a festival out there was really interesting traveling around the country, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, the people were amazing, I had no idea at the time how into MTV they were over there, very cool.

Meeting Black Francis and Kim Deal (Pixies) were highlights, the only people I’ve ever been star struck by


Punk Globe: Last question, you released many albums in your career and I’m sure everyone of them makes you feel like a new child born. Which one is your favourite album and which song is the most special for you amongst others?

Marijne: Well each album has its special songs and these are the ones that were milestones for me
Singles Bar – Kent, it started everything for us
Drink Me – Your Ma & Muscle Man, I felt my song writing was taken seriously for the first time
Ice Cream – Broken Bird, I discovered a new side to my voice even though I was suffering from a ridiculously heavy cold which you can just about hear if you listen carefully



Punk Globe: Any last words for Punk Globe Readers???

Marijne: Don’t get hung up on the small stuff

 




P
unk Globe would like to wish the best to Cowboy Racer and thank Marijne Van Der Vlugt for taking the time to do this great interview....

 

 

DECEMBER 2007

 

PUNK GLOBE – OZGUR COKYUCE

 

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