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[sic] Magazine - Interview – Whispering Sons

[sic] Magazine

Interview – Whispering Sons

Brett Spaceman spoke with Fenne Kuppens of atmospheric Belgian post punk act Whispering Sons at the start of their European Tour.
Enjoy the interview.

Why the name Whispering Sons?

It comes from a pretty unknown Danish band named Moral. They had a song called ‘Whispering Sons’, which we covered during the early days of the band. When we started playing it, everything fell into place and we decided to name ourselves after it.

How did you form Whispering Sons?

It started as a project between the four guys of the band, who all knew each other from high school or university. After a while, they figured they were in desperate need of a singer, so they stumbled upon me. During the first years of our existence, nothing really happened. We barely played any shows or wrote songs. Things only started to kick off from 2015 onwards, with the release of our first EP ‘Endless Party’.

Were you all in bands before?

No, Whispering Sons is the first ‘serious’ musical project for all of us.

Are all of the bandmembers musical tastes aligned?

Sort of, but our musical tastes are pretty broad. There’s a lot of different styles blasting through the speakers of our tour van. You would never guess we played post-punk if you saw us passing through.

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Can we describe your music as post punk and/or Goth? Is ‘Goth’ even still a thing these days?

We’re not really familiar with the goth scene as such. We do play a lot of shows in the goth circuit, but we never really identified with it. We always call our music post-punk, because the term covers a lot and seems to fit better with what we do.

I’ve seen your music compared to Sisters Of Mercy and while I get the reference , they wouldn’t be my first thought. I get Banshees, early Cocteaus, Bauhaus, Velvets… Who are/were your main influences? Were you going for a certain style or sound in particular or did yours just evolve accidentally?

Of course we started with a certain style in mind. We all listened to eighties post-punk and new wave. The Sound, The Chameleons, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, etc. were bands we really loved at the time and still do. We figured it was a good starting point for us as we were able to channel our emotions through this type of music. We started from playing covers to writing our own music; evolving the more we wrote and the more we played live. We never wanted to be a copy of the older days, but always tried to keep the music relevant.

What can you tell us about the album?

Since ‘Image’ is our first full album, it was kind of a different approach to what we did before. We wrote most of the songs after we collectively moved to Brussels in 2016 and in between periods of touring. We worked with a producer for the very first time and used the studio as a means to broaden our sound, enriching it with acoustic drums and a whole range of synthesizers. It was important for us to deliver a record that felt as a cohesive whole, which is why we recorded everything at once over a period of ten days.

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There are some fairly desperate themes and motifs that keep arising in the lyrics. Are you writing from personal experience or in the third person, from you own imagination?

I’m not really a storyteller, so all my lyrics arise from personal experiences, but always in a more or less abstracted form. Themes of alienation and distance are frequent and also form the general idea behind the record.

Your voice is pretty extraordinary. Not at all like any of the artists mentioned except maybe Nico. How long have you been singing? Are you trained? And was it a conscious decision to go for the dark, femme fatal effect….or just your natural vocal pitch?

I discovered my voice a couple of years after we formed Whispering Sons. At first, I was singing in a higher pitch, but I never felt comfortable with it. After a while I noticed that it was easier for me to sing the way I do now and that it offers me a lot more freedom to express my emotions because I don’t have to focus on my singing that much.

How was the launch party gig at AB? (Editor – legendary Brussels venue)

It was a very special show for us. We worked really hard towards the release of the record, and at that moment everything came together. It was intense, the crowd was amazing, the vibe on stage was good. It was the perfect release show and the perfect start of the tour.

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And the tour generally, how is that going?

We just started with some shows in Amsterdam and Berlin, and they went very well. Other German shows are coming soon, as well as shows in Switzerland, Italy, Czech Republic, France etc. We’re playing some larger venues than we did before, so we’re very excited about that.

Do you have favourite territories in which to play? I know that darker post punk music is still attracting a following in Netherlands and Germany for example.

It’s a different experience everywhere and every country has its different crowds. Germany for example is a really good place for us to play and we notice that we already have a good share of fans there. It’s just very important for us to play all over Europe in order to reach a lot of people. Especially with the debut record, it’s necessary to keep playing to promote the album. But we love touring, and we love playing live, so that’s not a problem.

What next for Whispering Sons?

Right now, we’re just going to focus on the album, and play a lot of shows to promote it. We will see what happens after that.

[sic] Thanks Fenne, Whispering Sons and Kool Things Promotions. Photography from the band websites with kind permission and not for re-use. Band photographs by Geert Braekers and may be subject to copyright.

For more from Whispering Sons and Geert Braekers please visit via the links below.

Whispering Sons tour continues tonight at Namur Belvedère.

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First Glances

Band website

Geert Braekers page

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