14:54 Thursday 16 May 2013

Belgium rockers Balthazar head to Birmingham

Written byBY JAMES BRINDLE

AFTER releasing a terrific second album earlier this year, Belgium pop/rock outfit Balthazar arrive in Birmingham for a show tomorrow night brimming with confidence.

The band’s two songwriters Maarten Devoldre and Jinte Deprez have certainly put in the hard yards getting to where they are now.

As teenagers the pair took to busking to earn a few Euros.

Beginning on opposite sides of the town square as strangers, the pair came to realise that there may be a more productive way to make money.

“We had three songs each which we would play in a loop, and I was wondering whether he was making more than me with his three songs,” Devoldre said.

“I was a teenager and shouting for attention,” added Deprez.

“But I started to wonder if, with six songs and the chance to sing harmonies, we would make more money.”

The band started from there and it feels that with their second album Rats, released in March, the band have really hit their stride.

Devoldre said: “Most of contemporary pop productions sound too ‘noughties’.

“There’s no depth. We’ve tried a different approach.

“In the past we just wanted to write cool arrangements. Not this time. We wanted the emotions to surface.”

Deprez added: “The first album was about making a statement.

“This new one is about getting carte blanche, about doing what we want and what we love.”

Influenced by classic songwriters such as Leonard Cohen and Serge Gainsbourg, as well as the production of Dangermouse, Rats is an inspiring listen.

Balthazar perform at Birmingham Rainbow on Friday night. See the venue for tickets.

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