PUNK GLOBE’S COWBOY RACER INTERVIEW
WITH MARIJNE VAN DER VLUGT
(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
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?
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?
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
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?
- 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
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
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? : )))
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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....
PUNK GLOBE –