INTERVIEW: THE SUBS GO BLANK WITH GLINTS IN NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO
He is undoubtedly one of the most exciting Belgian artists in a long time. They are the kings of turning any venue into a sweaty rave session, the leading force in Belgian made dance music. Of course, we’re talking about Antwerp’s finest, Glints and electro band The Subs. Together, they’ve collaborated on the new single “Blank”, which premiered today.
The hard-hitting rave track also comes with a very interesting music video. We spoke to Glints and The Subs co-founder Jeroen De Pessemier about the new track, in Glints’ Antwerp city living room.
How did the collaboration between you guys happen? Where did you meet?
Jeroen: I believe we met a few years ago at Pukkelpop (a Belgian festival) when we played there.
Glints: Yeah, you guys played the Boiler there, which is big. It was my first time at the festival. Jeroen messaged me beforehand that I should just join them behind the booth, which I did. We’ve been buddies ever since.
Jeroen: We also have a very beautiful picture to commemorate that moment (laughs).
Glints: Yeah, a very pretty picture.
Jeroen: Jan (Glints’ real name), right off the bat, had such a cool vibe. He also talked about what The Subs had meant for him back in the day and it was real, you know? So, I instantly knew he’d be a cool dude to work with. We’re sort of tuned in to the same frequency.
Glints: We’re both kind of hyperkinetic (laughs).
Jeroen: When you’re on stage with us, probably even more.
Glints: That’s what I’m really looking forward to. I can’t wait to perform the song live.
The music video for Blank features footage by Brussels-based filmmaker Jiri Loozen, from his short documentary Boys. How did that footage end up in the video?
Jeroen: Stijn from our management team had seen the documentary, then showed it to us. We immediately were drawn to the realistic vibe of the footage. We sat down with Jiri, who’s such a great and open-minded spirit. He was down to collaborate immediately. We cut up the documentary into a music video. All we had to do then was film Jan rapping and edit that into the final cut.
In the video, there’s talk about drug usage. There’s sort of an immediate association with rave culture and drugs. I’m wondering what the both of you think of that. What’s your stance on drugs in nightlife?
Jeroen: It’d be kind of silly to ignore it. They exist, they’re real and they do happen in nightlife. But anything can be a drug. How many people self-medicate with alcohol? Yet, that’s legal. So are sex and food but let’s face it, those are also drugs once you go overboard and gravitate towards them excessively. At one point, don’t we all use external things to bring us happiness or escapism? There are people who become obsessed with their jobs to escape another part of their life. All drugs should be legalized so it can become a more coordinated thing. There shouldn’t be this war on them because they’re always going to be there anyway. Then it becomes this clandestine, uncontrollable thing that doesn’t come with a warning. People need to be responsible for whatever they’re using. That’s always the key, with everything.
Glints: The song talks about a night out basically. I think that if you make a song that exists within that universe, whether you’re opposed to drugs or not, it’s still a given. It’s a part of rave culture. Neither the song or the video judges drug use or glorifies it. It’s just there. The video uses documentary footage. So, it doesn’t take a positive or negative stance, it just shows the reality of things. That’s it.
Is this single part of an upcoming Subs album or…?
Jeroen: We’re releasing singles for now. Ultimately, I think those singles will grow into an album organically. That’s the way our first album, Subculture, came together. We’re sort of pretending we’re a new band (laughs). Of course, we know we have a back catalog but we’re setting ourselves up for a new beginning. We’re releasing these songs and then suddenly, the album will sort of appear by itself. We’re going to feel that moment approaching. That’s how spontaneous it went with our debut album and we’d like to go back to that unconstrained feeling.
Can we expect more collaborations from you guys in the future?
Glints: Who knows what the future could bring. You’ll have to stay tuned for that one. What I do know is that I will be dropping more Glints music very soon. I’m gearing up for busy times.
“Blank” is out now on all platforms. The Subs will be joined on stage by Glints this Saturday at Ancienne Belgique, last tickets are still available.
Photography by Thor Salden