About Me

Interview with Dool

A very mysterious, yet beautiful album is launched. Ryanne van Dorst, vocalist, talked with Metal Imperium. A very friendly conversation, that talks about the cover, the songs, the inspirations and many more. It was like we were talking to a friend.

M.I. -  Hi there. Thanks so much for answering our questions. Could you introduce yourself and the band’s history, please?

I think we are a group of friends and we started making music in 2016, because we wanted to do something new and something fresh. That’s when we started Dool and this is our second album. We grew a lot in this last couple of years, in the last three years as a band. I think your music style is like, I don’t know, Dark Rock music or something. I don’t know. You can give it a name, but we like to play with a balance between dark and light. That’s how I would say as an introduction.

M.I. -  This is your second release and it’s called “Summerland”, released on the 10th April. Why this name? I know it comes from paganism.

Yeah! “Summerland” is a version of heaven, I came across it while reading a book by Richard Matheson called “What Dreams May Come”. He describes “Summerland” in his book, and I was interested. So, looked it up a little more and this “Summerland” is a version of afterlife or heaven or Valhalla, or something. That is created by yourself, by your own needs, your own desires, and your sense of beauty. Not by a church or a god, or a book, or a society, or whatever. So, I thought it was interesting like an individual painting of heaven, you know? We tried to create this with this album. 

M.I. -  What have been some of the challenges in getting this album together?

I don’t know. It always costs a lot of energy, blood, sweat and tears to create an album, write songs, rehearse, you know? Try to make sure that you’re the best version of yourself as you can be. And this time was no different. I mean, it was hard work. But it’s fun and good work. Everyone is really driven this whole time. So, I think you can hear that on the album too. I think this process was organic, lively, natural. So, yeah, we are in a good place as a band, even now. We all love the band and you can hear that on the album.

M.I. -  Let’s talk about the recording process: it was recorded at DAFT Studios in Malmédy, Belgium, and Studio Cobra in Stockholm, Sweden, with Martin Ehrencrona (Tribulation, In Solitude). Mix and mastering were handled by Cult Of Luna's drummer, Magnus Lindberg, in Redmount Studio Stockholm. What ideas did you have for the songs, for the part of lyrics and music? What were your biggest inspirations? How was it working with these musicians?

I think because we evolved a lot as a band, we already knew what our sound is like. Because we played so many live shows over the past three years, when we released the debut album “Here Now, There Then”, in 2017, we played so many shows. With the debut album, we were looking for what we wanted to do and right now, with “Summerland, we already knew: “Ok, we can do this kind of sound and this kind of songs, we can rely on each other, trust each other!” But now we can dive into the experiment and see what else we can do. So, we had a little bit more confidence and this is something that you can really hear in the songs and the sound. And the reason we wanted to work with Martin Ehrencrona, was that we’re big fans of Tribulation and it was a great pleasure. He has a good vintage vibe, vintage sound. And we wanted that for the guitars, mainly, but also, for the drums. We wanted a more modern mix than he usually does. We thought it would be a nice idea to ask Magnus to do the mix instead so that we have a combination of old and new. And this is something very significant for Dool. We play with familiar sounds, but we try to create it into something new and I think it really balances out in the production too.

M.I. -  The album cover shows pink smoke and a tiny house. Whose idea was it for this photo and does it represent anything?

(Laughs) When we decided on the name of the album, which would be “Summerland”, I was thinking: “Who shall we ask for the cover art?”. And then, I thought of the photographs that my friend, Nona Limmen, takes. She’s a very gifted artist. She makes photographs and she creates all different worlds with these photographs. Her work is very dreamlike in a way. I was thinking that it would really fit with our new album. So, I asked her, and she immediately said: “Yes!”. I told her about the theme and then she came up with this pink smoke and a tiny house (laughs). It’s very dreamy, it’s big and small, and it’s timeless and it’s her version of “Summerland”, really. And it suits really well with the album and songs.  

M.I. -  Is there a connection and story between the songs? If so, could you tell us about it, please?

I try to describe what heaven would look like for me and I try to challenge the listener to what it means for them. I try to compare it with earthly experiences.

M.I. -  With this album you’ve improved yourselves. Was this the sound you ambitioned the band to follow?

I think it is something that happened automatically and organically and we were experimenting a lot and I wrote some songs, took them to the rehearsal room, played them for the guys and started jamming to it. Even without speaking a word to each other, everyone understood like: “Oh! We can do this, and we can do that!”. And this is what I mean. We grew so much as a band, over the past couple of years. We gained an identity; we know how to rely on each other and what to expect from each other. We can give each other space in the music, for solo or whatever. We’re very much like one organism as a band. I think you can hear that. 

M.I. -  It clearly show us a more expansive, more varied on all fronts and mixes Middle Eastern sounds with metal, psychedelic and post rock. In what way did Middle East have an impact on this album?

I don’t know. Our bass player, JB, has some Middle Eastern and Arabic instruments at home and we just wanted to try out, if it works for the album, because he was playing them a lot. I was wondering if it would be cool to use that and to take the listener instantly to a different atmosphere, to some sort of halogenic kind of dream world, or something. I think that we really succeeded in a way.  

M.I. -  Richard Matheson’s novel “What Dreams May Come” had an impact on this album. What is the theme of the novel and why did it take a big part on this album?

The whole theme of “Summerland” came out of that book: “What Dreams May Come” and this is when I started looking for more information about the theme of “Summerland” and its concept. So, yeah! This is where the influence comes from.

M.I. -  “Here Now, There Then” was your first album. Do you think you’ve evolved between these two albums?

Yes! A lot! I mean, we played so many shows and had a new bass player, after releasing the album so we had to grow as well. We did that as a band. Now we also have a new guitar player, Omar. So many things have already changed in the past couple of years. I think everyone is really putting their hearts and their minds into Dool. It’s just really important to all of us. I think that became even clearer, the more we play, the more we rehearse, the more we are together, the more important it becomes for everyone. Everyone really wants to make something out of this.

M.I. -  You have some guests who worked with you: Per Wiberg (Opeth, Spiritual Beggars, Candlemass) on Hammond organ, backing vocalist Farida Lemouchi (The Devil's Blood) and Okoi Jones (Bölzer), who contributed spoken words to 'The Well's Run Dry'. How did you choose them, in terms of vision for this release?

Because it’s a very generic sound. It’s the most standard song in the album. It’s like some sort of old school, Hard Rock riff. We wanted to make something special out of it, record it and put it in the album. I thought it would be nice to have a Hammond solo. So, Martin, the producer, agreed on having someone who could play Hammond and he said: “Yeah! I know Per. I recorded with him in Opeth and Spiritual Beggars.” In the next day, he was in the studio, doing this amazing Hammond solo. It was really cool to work with him. And Farid is obviously a friend. So, we worked together a couple of times together already on the recordings. So, it’s some kind of tradition that we just do. Okoi is also really close to the band. We were just looking for someone, with a very deep voice, who could play the voice of God. And he wanted to do this. 

M.I. -  “Sulphur & Starlight” was out on the 24th January. Why did you choose this song to be the first single?

Because it felt like a fresh starting point for the album, as well. And also, for the new kind of Dool influence that we wanted to show people. It’s a very diverse song. And not everyone fits the best song. But it’s a very representative and diverse song. It has multiple faces but the most important thing is the underlaying tension and what comes with it. There is even some kind of poppy/folky chorus but there’s still so much unreleased tension, that comes along with that song, that I thought I would be really a good opener for the new album.

M.I. -  “Wolf Moon” was released on the 6th March and was directed by Nina Spiering and shot by Robijn Voshol and is as much of a journey as the music video is and you’ve said about it: “it is about alternative realities, created by choice and chance”. What type of reality are you talking about? 

For instance, I’m talking about the kind of reality that we are living right now, if it wasn’t for Covid, that shocked the whole world around you. It’s like these experiences very profound, deep, emotional, social and experiences that can totally change your life. The song is about what would happen if points like that, would be a simultaneous damage, in which another choice or another event, continues to exist at the same time. 

M.I. -  I also know that the 90’s had a huge impact on the footage. What bands do you like from that decade? Which ones inspired you?

Obviously Type O Negative, Sonic Youth, I grew up with Nirvana, all these kinds of bands, basically. They had a major impact on myself.

M.I. -  “God Particle” starts with a Middle Eastern sound and the guitars are phenomenal. “And you relate to me” is a very catchy phrase. Does it have a Bible reference in it?

No. This has nothing to do with the Bible at all. This has to do with spiritual connection towards people, maybe something like a soulmate or something. You can always feel someone else’s presence around you. And I had an experience like this. Maybe one time, that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I thought it was really an inspiring moment. So, yeah. That’s what this song is about. An interconnection, regardless of location or time, even.

M.I. -  Last year, you’ve played in one of the most important festivals of the world: Hellfest. Did you like the experience? What do you remember from it? Did you watch other bands playing? Which ones?

Yes! It was great. It was only like our third show in France. We were already quite surprised that they were booking us. Apparently, the booker saw us in a live show that we did. He liked us so much, that he gave us a big tent on Hellfest. We were surprised, because, there were so many people. It was packed, full. We played a great show and it was really amazing. And afterwards, I got to see Kiss for the first time. So, it was pretty fun. It was really hot, and we saw Sisters Of Mercy playing, on the same stage right after us. So, it was also pretty a cool experience, because we’re all big fans of Sisters Of Mercy. That you can see them, and you say: “OH!” (laughs).

M.I. -  The European Tour Spring 2020 is cancelled. Will, by any chance, it happen this year? Maybe in the autumn?

I don’t think so. I think we’re looking to early 2021, because there’s a lot of uncertainty still about 2020. So, I think everyone will fuckin’ be really angry if we have to cancel the tour again. So, we want to play it safe and just wait a little more.

M.I. -  Thanks so much for your time. Any final words you’d like to say about this album or anything else?

I just want to wish the readers in Portugal a lot of patience and I hope that everyone can make it through to the other side, in a good place.

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Raquel Miranda