HARDLAND – Interview

HARDLAND – Interview

Interview with Aeilko (vocals & lead guitar) of HARDLAND and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (


PD: What type of artist are you?

A: We are a 5 piece melodic alternative rock band from the Netherlands with a strong sound preference of music from the late 70’s and 80’s. We translated that sound into a modern day but still recognizable rock sound!


PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.

A: In the late 90’s of the last century I (Aeilko) had my own PA rerntal company and a mobile recording studio. Paul used to work with me and as we were working on a recording project for a local band back then we always had to wait quite a while for the audio to be rendered into the computer. To kill time we decided to write a song together. That was around 1999/2000. Our first ever attempt of writing a song together was the track The Only Answer (the ballad on our debut album 17 years later!) As we recorded a lot of music together (almost 150 songs), we discovered that 10 songs were really standing out and kind of fit very well together. After the recording and mixing was done, we wanted to fulfil a childhood dream and have the music mastered at Abbey Road London. After the debut album was released there was officially still no band…the project was called HARDLAND. A  name that fitted the music well in our opinion. We never expected it to be welcomed as enthusiastic as it was. It started a demand for live performances, but there was still no band. At that time Paul and myself started looking for musicians that would fit in the group that was going to become HARDLAND. We found Eric (drums), Marco (Keyboards) and Remi (bass) to complete the band and started rehearsing for live shows. In the mean time we figured that the 10 songs from our debut album weren’t enough to play a whole show. So we recorded a second album. Since we had written so many songs to begin with, we found another 13 great songs, of which 10 would make a great second album.  


PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

A: We have many influences from bands like: Led Zeppelin, Journey, Whitesnake, King’s X, Rage Against The Machine, Pink Floyd, The Beatles but also wave bands as Tubeway Army, Tears For Fears, Talk Talk and many more. We also love to experiment with vocal harmonies as were done by acts as the Beach Boys, Crosby, Still, Nash & Young, etc.


PD: What are your dreams and goals?

A: Our dreams and goals are to write as much great music as possible, play live in as many different cities and countries wherever they like to have us and leave a mark in musical history! But most of all, to continue to have as much fun as we’re having now.


PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?

A: Until now most songs were written by myself (Aeilko) & Paul, to which I write the lyrics (some with co-writers). Except our cover version of Are Friends Electric, which was written by Gary Numan!


PD: How do you promote your band and shows?

A: We promote HARDLAND as much as we can through most every digital possibility: Facebook, Website, Twitter, Instagram, BandsInTown and several other ways. We also work together with Metalmessage PR for extra promotion of the band, our music and our gigs!


PD: What do you think about downloading music online?

A: The use of music digitally through all kinds of streaming services etc are great of course. Every timeframe has it’s own way of getting the music to the listener. Earlier on it was through vinyl, 8 track, cassette tapes, CD’s etc and now a lot happens through streaming. That is cool. The one thing that is absolutely NOT cool is the ripping off the artists that’s done by these streaming companies. I understand that they are allowed to earn money on providing the service, but without content there is no service necessary. And ripping off the artists with completely unfair rewarding for their intellectual content is called stealing in my humble opinion. Same goes for illegal downloading. Especially in these days of the Corona Virus it is evident that nobody can do without art, music, books etc to pass the time…so it would be nice if people would be a little more appreciative and willing to accept that artists have a right to live as well and cannot do so without earning at least some money for their art or music. With all digital options I believe there is less need for all kinds of middle men, audience can get in contact directly with their favourite artist or writer and order their merch, albums or books through their websites. Besides the fact that being in direct contact with the creator of the content you love is cool, it also gives both parties a chance to exchange stories. A win-win situation.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

A: Oh, just about any classic songs that stood the test of time…Kashmir from Led Zeppelin, A day in the life from The Beatles, Sowing the seeds of love from Tears for Fears…Lots of great songs from Queen, Aerosmith – Dream On…and why?? Because they are such amazing songs, well written, every note is spot on!! Plus these songs always end up in the top of all the charts every year in every country all over the planet!! But, truth of the matter is, we didn’t write those…but we díd write: Hot Gypsy, The Nation’s Biggest Enemies, The Only Answer and many other great songs…but if they will be good enough to stand the test of time? Time will tell…


PD: What are some of your pet peeves?

A: Besides what I mentioned earlier about ripping of the artists through illegal downloading or rip-off deals with streaming companies, we don’t have any pet peeves. We are having far too much fun with the band and love every bit about what we’re doing so far. Most of all the interaction with the fans at concerts, but also through our Facebook page or by email.


PD: What is your proudest moment in music?

A: We have a couple, actually: One is that we have worked with one of the most outstanding Mastering engineers at Abbey Road London. Sean Magee is an absolute hero of us, since he worked with bands like The Beatles, Deep Purple, Rush….and now HARDLAND. Another moment of pride is the outpouring of positive reviews on our music, by media and fans! Never in a million years were we expecting that much positivity. As a matter of fact, we weren’t even thinking about that at all…were just recording for our own pleasure, but then it all came to us…And we love and take pride of it every minute! And than, of course, our ultimate moment of pride…when we released the albums, to actually have a copy in your hand of the final result and see the product of our creativity!! No bigger rewards than these moments.


PD: So what are you working on at the moment?

A: Right this moment we are writing new material for our third album and working on some extra videoclips to support our In Control album! Due to the Corona Virus being “in control” right now, we can’t play any live shows these days. Hopefully it will be over soon, so we can look back on what has happened , learn from it and see where we all can do better in the future!


PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from? 

A: Our music (and merch) is available at live shows and at the webshop of our label at:

People can also check us out on Facebook:

On Twitter and Instagram we can also be found as “Hardlandrocks”.

At YouTube:

Our music can also be found digitally on iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, and CDBaby store (

If anyone would like to book us for a gig or has other questions that they want to handle in private, they can email us at:

Band/Artist location – Utrecht, Netherlands
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Merch – Twitter –
Instagram – Itunes – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – Google Play – CD Baby – Last Fm
Check our page for HARDLAND