het Theater Festival

Music was my first love — The Only Way is UP

do 07 sep 2017


The Only Way Is UP is Jonas Vermeulen and Boris Van Severen’s second show in which they try to establish the perfect synthesis of theater and music.

Dina Dooreman

(c) Thomas Dhanens

In contrast to the pop rock jams in their debut project The Great Downhill Journey of Little Tommy, they now step into the world of electronic music. As a DJ-duo they entertain the crowd standing behind the vibrant booths, spinning upbeat records, slamming on string synthesizers and jamming on electric guitars. On their energetic odyssey through music history, they narrate the life stories of four characters.

Boris Van Severen: ‘Electronic music is so widespread and general. We really had to investigate the niche territory to find music we wanted to work with. We were mostly drawn to bands belonging to the category french house such as Daft Punk, Soulwax and Justice. Daft Punk, for example, was an interesting source of inspiration because the guys know exactly how to sample the perfect catchy sound on the right moment. Some other inspirational bands were Air because of their atmospheric sounds and Under­world because their work sounds so industrial and monumental. Those are all bands we grew up with, but I don’t think it has necessarily something to do with our childhood. The electrifying Grace Jones is of equal importance to us.’

Jonas Vermeulen: ‘We are just not influenced by the electronic music that is nowadays very popular. The hard part is the fact that electronic music is quite often limited to a dance format. But we didn’t want to go in the direction of Tomorrowland. That’s why we still consult old classics such as Nick Cave, Jacques Brel, Tom Waits and Lou Reed. They are true masters when it comes to creating content in their lyrical texts. We adapt their way of storytelling and convert it to our electronic form. In the text of our show we often use quotes that refer directly to albums and songs. Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is one example. It is cool to know that people actually recognize the references.’

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