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July 2019

"Aren't you proud?" my wife Irene asked, after I let her hear some new songs.

Well, I do. I am very proud of you ”, she said after I did not spontaneously say 'yes'. Well, pride is not always the word that comes to mind when I have made something, no matter how successful and appreciated by others. Perhaps a kind of jubilant relief is a better description of the feeling that goes with it. It worked, phew, something like that. It could have turned out differently. I also always have doubts, always reservations - it could be even better, that melody line, that word - and everything can go wrong between making a song and the final recording. So that pride, just wait a little longer.

Anyway, the stock of new songs has gotten so out of hand again that we can announce without reservation that we are on our way to a new Kayak album. In fact, there is even a need to cut again because there are too many songs that qualify for what I will call '18' for the sake of convenience. And no, it's not going to be called that.

Hopefully we will manage to add a new shoot to the Kayak tribe around April 2020. April, that seems a long way off, but much remains to be done. To be able to 'go out' in that month, the master must be delivered by January at the latest, and then the time frame will immediately become a lot tighter, especially now that we know that we will also be going on a European tour in December with the Swedish band The Flower. Kings. That saves another month.

The first phase, that of writing, is therefore almost over. All those songs, themes and lyrics, that have been racing laps through my Formula 1 head for months like Max Verstappentjes, crashing every now and then, getting a flat tire and flying out of the corner, can be put aside for a while now. Phase two (the recordings themselves) will take many months from now on and phase three (the mixing), we are not thinking about that for the time being.

November marks ten years since Pim Koopman's brilliant drummer, composer, producer, friend, rival passed away. I really did not think that after that shock, and all the internal turmoil a few years later that resulted indirectly, the band would still be so vital and almost in the starting blocks to start making a new album, and go on tour again.

If one could be proud, it was Pim. In that too I envied him quietly: so happy and unabashed as he could let everyone - willingly or unwillingly - 'enjoy' what he or the band had made again. I only really have that in retrospect: if I put everything in order that we have made, perhaps a little bit of pride may actually be quite fine. And gratitude to everyone who made this possible through his or her contribution and dedication, both within and outside the band. I don't want to mention anyone by name - except Irene, who not only contributed her own creative stone, but also experienced all the fun and less fun things up close.

She has known for years when those racing cars tear through my head again and I answer her questions without actually hearing them, or not seeing things that are important to her. And if she is proud of that, yes ... then I am that again ... of her!

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