Singled Out: Netherlands' Severance

Keavin Wiggins | 03-30-2023

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Netherlands Album art
Album art

NYC Sludge Rockers Netherlands are releasing their new album, "Severance" tomorrow (March 31st). To celebrate we asked Timo Ellis to tell us about the title track. Here is the story:

Our latest single, SEVERANCE (also the title track of our new record) came out of a spontaneous guitar playing session at my studio, within my normal practice of just pressing record and f***ing around/ seeing if I'm able to channel anything decent. In this case, the song's main lumbering riff emerged and seemed to be worth following, worth developing; throughout that initial session it fully evolved into (another) one of what I would call our down-tempo "minimalist doom" numbers; a song without a particularly sophisticated intention, mostly meant to create a hypnotic effect....and with as massive/ menacing of a guitar sound as I can muster.

After years of lugging around vintage Marshall heads (which of course would always poop out at the worst possible times) around 8 years ago, and with some trepidation, I switched over to running two Quilter 200 watt solid state heads; and after a lot of trial and error, I was able to dial-in a pretty monstrous, warm, and punishingly loud distortion sound using pedals.

However, when I got to Kurt Ballou's studio God City to record basic tracks for this record...I realized that (relatively) I had not even begun to really explore the sonic range of what was possible with my guitar sound using different speaker cab combinations, and in the context of the recording, trying different microphones and different microphone placement, etc. Kurt B. is a bona fide WIZARD of recording and he was able to ring out the unbelievably massive, punchy and powerfully clear distorted guitar sounds heard on the entire record, featured especially on this song.

The song itself is a scream of anger, and of grief, about what we are doing to the natural world, and is basically telling the tale of someone who is desperately trying to find their way back to a heart connection with the Earth, and with the collective, in a way that doesn't feel utterly compromised and/ or hopeless. It's basically a cry for help, and for this reason it gradually became the thematic heart of the record. I'm extremely happy/ proud of how it came out, as MO it is very succinctly "of a piece"/ there is nothing superfluous happening in it, whatsoever. For what we do it's just a soulful banger...and it's also extremely fun to play! Word. Enjoy!

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here

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