Don’t Skip speak with us today about their newest release “Lovesong”! Discover more of their journey right here:
Welcome Don’t Skip! You guys are very talented and create music that not only inspires but entertains people. What motivates you?
Hi and thank you for the interview for your blog. Before we answer your question we would like to introduce ourselves real quick. We are Serge Meulenberg and Harald Bruijstens from the south of The Netherlands and together we create music under the name Don’t Skip.
The biggest motivation is the power of music itself. You can ask a hundred people who they listen to and you might get a hundred different answers, but ask them why and that number goes down. For almost every one it serves a purpose of comfort, hope, empowerment, an escape from reality, you name it. As musicians we are in the position of creating something from nothing. Something that brings about some kind of change. A harmony, a melody, a combination of words that can change the course of somebody’s day and that might be enough. It does the same for us when we create music. It puts all the noise in the background and for a moment we are tuned just right.
Let’s discuss your newest single “Lovesong.” How did this song come together?
When I recorded the guitar riff I was trying to capture a more sensitive mood. I brought the tempo down to 110 BPM which automatically creates a different energy. I tried to create a melody that inspires hope.
If it wasn’t for the whole Corona crisis and the social distancing rules ‘Lovesong’ might not have existed. Serge recorded the guitar riff two years ago. Unable to sit together in my cramped project studio I started scavenging the hard drive for something useful. This guitar riff caught my attention and before I knew it the whole structure of the song was there.
The atmosphere of this song is: “When life is not a love song, we have got to sing the words.” What inspired you to write “Lovesong”?
Life is a sequence of ups and downs and it’s usually the downs that inspire us to write. In this case the words came from a feeling of loneliness and a lack of self love. Probably caused by the negative influence of social media. Everybody is so opinionated, so firm in their beliefs, there is so much animosity. Sometimes I wonder why it’s called social media. #spreadthelove that’s what I need, so there must be others out there that need it too.
Your mixture of pop and electronic dance music is addicting! What’s your process like when you’re creating new music?
It depends. Sometimes Serge records a bunch of guitar riffs and sends them over to me. I filter through the material and separate the good stuff from the junk, to see what inspires me. We both have a diverse but different taste in music which makes it hard sometimes to find that sweet spot where our worlds meet. When I’m inspired by a riff I will compose a melody and write words and start the production process. A bit later I invite Serge into the studio and together we continue to work on the track.
We also have some jam sessions. We have conversations about many different topics and somehow that translates into music. Then Harald plays the piano and I play the guitar and we just go with the flow of the moment. We also listen to music together and comment on details that we like, that’s how we find our common ground.
How would you describe your sound to someone who just listened to your music for the first time?
Call it a fusion of pop and electronic dance music with a guitar riff and enticing vocals as key elements. Think along the lines of Gryffin, Martin Jensen, Cheat Codes or even big names like Lost Frequencies and Kygo to get a sense of direction. Since we are musicians and not DJs we always find it hard to label our tracks, so if somebody just heard our music for the first time, we would be very interested in hearing how they would describe our music.
What do you want your fans to take away from your music?
Just anything positive. It would be nice if people saw our music as mental nutrition, a bowl of hope with a side dish of comfort, so they can see themselves and the world around them in a more positive mindset.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
That’s a tough one. At the moment most people don’t even know that we exist, so let’s change that first.
Which artists have influenced you through your musical journey?
When I was young, listening to Busted actually made me play the guitar. My style of playing has been influenced by 2 Door Cinema Club, but Linkin Park and Foo Fighters have also inspired me a lot. At a job I met Patrick Hermanns (Deep Impulse) who introduced me to dance music. Then I discovered how hard it is to come up with a really good riff or melody. It’s a challenge to say something with your instrument in just for or eight bars and say it over and over again in a track without it getting old.
I’ve been inspired by great lyric writers like Bob Marley, great voices like Chuck D from Public Enemy or Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam, great entertainers like James Brown (I shook his hand once) and visionaries like George Clinton. The beauty of dance music is that so many styles and genres are recycled into something new.
When you look at the people who inspired us you probably wonder why we make this kind of music. Well, somehow this is where our worlds meet.
Will you be releasing a new album anytime soon?
We have a couple of singles lined up to release in the upcoming months. We’re thinking of creating an album by the end of next year, with physical copies like vinyl and compact disc, maybe even a USB stick or SD card. It will contain all the digitally released singles plus a bunch of brand new tracks.
How would you define success?
It sounds like a cliché, but success is not the destination, it’s the journey and in that regard we’re already successful. We just want more of it. On this journey we want to learn, about our craft, our business and bring something positive to people we have never met. To fill a room with those people would be a great success.
Thank you for speaking with us! What do you hope to achieve in the next 5 years?
We hope to discover a secret chord progression that happens to cure Covid-19 and earn a Nobel prize. No seriously, it’s really hard to look that far ahead right now. Our goal is to get as far as we can on our own strength and then connect with a third party to carry us further. So, for the next year or so we’ll keep doing what we do, but somewhere in the next five years we want to get signed to a proper label, produce a physical album, have our music played on the radio, collaborate with some great artists, hopefully make gold records and finally when those five years have passed talk to you again.