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Next Wave #1123: Mood Bored

Touching base with the Netherlands trio ahead of their plans for world domination...

It was a cancellation that saw my path cross with Mood Bored’s Myrte, Daan and Timo; a gig in Newcastle being traded for an unscheduled appearance at a Liverpool charity night, their second ever UK performance. Huddled in a basement, it was certainly a downsize from their performance at the iconic KOKO the night prior. But they “just wanted to play.” “It’s our first time in the UK as a band, we want to make the most of it.” Sandwiching in the performance between two support slots with Nation of Language, it’s fair to say that they did just that.

In fact, they were personally picked by the band to support them, putting this achievement down to sharing eierbal – the Netherlands version of a scotch egg – from a hole in the wall with the band. In their retelling, Mood Bored almost completely bypass their musicality. Whilst they’re undeniably funny, personable people, that’s not the main reason for success, or the praise they receive from fellow musicians. No, this band demonstrate something many fail to, originality. Myrte’s wispy vocals pull you close, with instruments complementing rather than taking centre stage, she is the sun in a solar system of three. Their tracks inspire not just physical movement but emotions, be this for swayers or moshers. The crowd in Liverpool certainly had both, but all left in a haze of feelings.

Reconnecting via zoom a month since we last met, Mood Bored are already onto the next big thing. “We’re recording at the moment,” Daan explains, the studio in the background. Making a demo of their “interim single”, they’re filling the space between their recently released ‘Bored’ EP and the career-defining, embargoed news Daan accidentally let slip. “That’s not been announced,” Myrte laughs, “maybe leave that out.”

All three of them are bundled into the frame. With the constant blur of conversation and over-talking, they almost merge into one. It’s no surprise that the band hit it off like they did. With an enviable forward-facing trajectory, prying into their formative years as a trio feels almost inappropriate. But in fact, only 18 months ago, the band didn’t even have a name. Now, they talk of albums, tours and the promise of their future together.

“Myrte was my first friend at Rockacademie,” the school where the trio met, “Daan was my second, all in the same day,” explains Timo. Playing in different bands before the pieces fell into place, Mood Bored cut their teeth at Netherland’s Popronde, a travelling music festival for breakthrough artists. “We had to come up with a name for the application.” Safe to say, they chose well, being picked up by record label Mattan before the festival even began.

This all signifies a breakthrough. They’ve sold out gigs in London, Liverpool and Glasgow, and caught the eye of some big players within the scene. More importantly, it’s reasserted their lifelong love affair with “toilet venues”. “We want to go on a UK toilet tour,” Timo says in full confidence. A rather apt phrase for grassroots venues, the band are enticed by the dark, dingy basements that only loyal music lovers would ever venture into. “Small venues have more atmosphere,” they explain. A mindset that most of the music industry seems to have forgotten. As 150-500 cap venues close down all around us, we’re left with fewer opportunities to just stumble upon the next big band: bands like Mood Bored.

Words: Megan Walder

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