As an introduction to this session, here’s a fragment from the chapter on De Haan in my book ‘Onder Invloed’, translated for the first time.
Bad Astronaut was the reason for De Haan’s musical preferences to change from punk to his new and more refined taste. There’s a cover of Elliott Smith’s ‘Needle In The Hay’ on the album Acrophobe of this American band. De Haan has a habit of piously reading the ‘thank you notes’ in album sleeves. On Acrophobe it says: ‘Astronomical salutations: Elliott Smith, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Jawbreaker, Elton John, Bad Religion, Iron Maiden, The Replacements and Rush. All of which we directly or indirectly ripped off.’ “Some of these acts I already knew, but not Smith. So I went and searched for his music.”
At a record store, De Haan looks at the collection of LP’s when he finds the second album of Smith, which features ‘Needle In The Hay’. “I immediately played it and heard the original for the first time. Right there and then I realised that this was my kind of music.” ‘Needle In The Hay’ symbolizes the change in De Haan’s musical taste. Whoever wants to hear this change just needs to play the versions by Bad Astronaut and Elliot Smith on end. In that order. “I started strumming the guitar because of Elliott Smith. This was the sort of music I wanted to make.”
All photos by Matthijs van der Ven.
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Cafe Tabac, Amsterdam