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Cotton Soeterboek Band

Alan Cotton and Robert Soeterboek are the core of the Cotton Soeterboek Band whose debut album 'Twisted' is out now. If you like hard rock with a 70's feel (Deep Purple) mixed with southern rock (Molly Hatchett, Lynyrd Skynyrd) this is an album for you! Over to Alan and Robert...

What are you currently up to?

Robert: Well, with our new album Twisted just coming out, that has been taking up most of our time right now. We just signed a distribution deal, so the album should now be available at record stores all across Europe.

Alan: With the new album out now, I'm having to juggle between the business aspects of things and trying to finish writing the second album so I'm staying very busy.

Robert: I did recently record an album in Germany with Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69), Michael Klein (Wicked Sensation) and Dirk Bruinenberg (Elegy, Dial). It's a project and it doesn't have a name yet, but I think it sounds great.

How did the band come together?

Robert: I suddenly received a call from Alan and he said: I finally found you! We ended up getting together in the Rockies and recorded our first two songs together. It meant we had a partnership so we ended up writing about 20 songs together and of them made it on the album.

Alan: Yeah, that's basically it. Robert and I hit it off right away, it just clicked and the whole idea was simple, just write the type of music we love.

Robert: By the time we started to look for the other members, we just wanted people we knew so it was that easy. When the release date of the album kept being pushed back, we knew it was going to be a problem because of previous commitments, so we did have a line up change.

Could you take us through your excellent debut album 'Twisted'

Alan: Either Robert or I will come up with a song and we will sketch out a rough idea for an arrangement. By then, Robert already has the melodies and lyrics in mind but we might still bounce some lyric ideas around at that point. Then we will record them. We try not to spend too much time going over something endless times. It either works or it doesn't.

Robert: I must say that I really wrote the lyrics fast. I don't have to think a year about it. I just write down what I feel. Traveling to the States always gives me much of the inspiration for our music, except Pretty Maureen. That song is about how I feel about my wife.

Have you seen an upswing in interest over the past couple of years in classic/hard rock? How easy/hard is it for a band like yourselves to get onto tours with established bands?

Robert: A while back I did a concert in Holland called Classics in Rock with many well known singers. I worked with Graham Bonnet, Glenn Hughes, Jon Anderson, John Waite and Chris Thompson. I ended up singing at a secret show with Chris Thompson, Neil Murray and the keyboardist and second guitar player of Queen. After that we had a big show in front of ten thousand people. That proved tome that classic rock was back.

Alan: You know, we get so many people that like our music who grew up listening to all the classic bands, but also because of things like Guitar Hero, we probably attract as many young listeners. People who are just finding out about "Classic Rock" for the first time. I have to say that the response so far has been amazing.

Alan - what made you want to start playing guitar and what piece of advice would you pass onto budding musicians?

Alan: Music has always been a part of my life. It's something you're born with, just part of your DNA, so you really don't have a choice.

My influences would be all the greats like Jimmy Page, Gary Moore, Allen Collins, Ritchie Blackmore, Ronnie Montrose, Tommy Bolin, Robin Trower, Michael Schenker, Billy Gibbons. Those are the guys who made me want to play guitar.

As far as advice for budding musicians, besides practicing and songwriting? If you can touch some ones emotions with your music, make them smile or bring joy to their life, even if just for a little while, you have accomplished your goals as a musician and that is what you should always strive for.

Who are the bands musical influences and if given the chance who would the band love to tour with & why?

Robert: We didn't write with any band in mind, but I would love to tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Deep Purple. And don't forget the Allman Brothers. There's a lot I could learn from those bands, and they mean so much to me.

Alan: Any of those bands would be great. Just having the chance to watch them perform from the side of the stage every night would be amazing.

Robert - How did you hook-up with Ayreon/Star One? What have been the highlights, both recording and live wise?

It's easy, Arjen is a good friend of mine. We had played in bands together for years, so Ayreon was the next step. It was great doing the tour with StarOne, we all got along really well. Recording with Arjen is always funny. We have the same sense of humor so it's always great.

What have been the most memorable live shows from you and why?

Robert: Supporting Status Quo, the Classics in Rock show and the Star One tour.

Alan: Probably doing a live show for MTV. There were about 7,000 people there so that was crazy. The Gibson Guitars All Star Jam was also a lot of fun.

What do you like doing with your spare time outside of music?

Robert: I like to shop, cook and BBQ and enjoy my kids.

Alan: I don't have any free time outside of music.

Message for your fans?

Robert: Thanks to everyone for the tremendous support you have shown us so far. It means the world to us.

Alan: If you like our music, please tell your friends about us. Thetis the only way bands like ours can survive and as always, please support websites like Get Ready To Rock that brings you the music you enjoy!

Robert: Also, our second album will be out next year and it's going to be great. We already have 6 songs finished. I'll be back in the States next April to finish writing. After that we will be on the road.

Thanks Jason and everybody at Get Ready To ROCK! Greetings from Robert and Alan.


Interview © October 2008 Jason Ritchie.
All rights reserved.

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