Ron Coolen – Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (


PD: What type of artist are you?

RC: I am a solo artist from the Netherlands. I recorded my first solo album ‘RISE’ over the last 3 years and invited 12 guest musicians for guitar solos, vocals and lyrics. I wrote the songs myself, played all drums, rhythm guitars, bass and keyboards. Most of my musical life, from the age of 17 I played drums and since 6 years I play guitar, in all sorts of bands.  I have spent more time of my musical life as a band member, compared to being a solo artist 


PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.

RC: I started drumming as a kid and joined my first heavy metal band called RAZOR with big dreams to conquer the world. It did not happen.  I spent most of my professional life working in Sales and Marketing roles. Next to that I played in local Dutch bands, mostly cover bands. The last couple of years I played in AC/DShe, a female fronted AC/DC coverband. Making my own album was a lifelong dream, and years ago I decided to just do it!


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

RC: As a drummer I have been mostly influenced by Simon Phillips, Ray Luzier and Chris Adler (ex-Lamb of God). I love their grooves, breaks and styles of playing. As a guitarist my biggest influence is probably Malcolm Young. I always call him a drummer on guitar, since his right hand riffs, attacks and grooves are almost typical for a drummer. 

Jason Becker has been an influence, not only musically, since his determination shows anyone can achieve anything if you just go for it and believe in something!


PD: What are your dreams and goals?

RC: For now I enjoy all the appreciation and positive feedback from my album RISE. It has motivated me to go for the next album, which I hope to release in the middle of 2021. Suppose the world is back to normal by then, I want to take my music to the road!  There are enough dreams and goals to fill the next couple of years!


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

RC: I wrote the music of all songs, the lyrics were written by several guest singers, most of them by Keith St. John. He is very good with words, and able to tell a complete story in just one word or sentence. The lyrics deal with different themes, ‘Paradise’ is about the huge California fires back in 2017, ‘Too late to Surrender’ about the mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2018. But we also sing about the usual sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll topics, like in ‘Sin City’. Personally I am very interested in politics and big global themes like big data and climate change. But I don’t intentionally use my music to make personal statements on these topics.


PD: How do you promote your band and shows?

RC: I do all the promotion myself. As mentioned I have professionally worked in marketing before, and with all the available tools for self promotion, I think this is the best way forward for me. I have a bit of love/hate with social media. I know I need to use it, and I do it, but there are limits as to how I want to expose myself there. I draw a line to selfies with duck faces and stories with me baking cakes or doing shit. I try to keep content relevant to the music. 


PD: What do you think about downloading music online?

RC: Well, first of all I think the volume of illegal downloading has decreased significantly with the emergence of streaming services like Spotify. Both legal and illegal downloading. But yeah the problem has been much larger in the past. Illegal downloading is in principle theft from the artist. However, there is also another side to this, and I’m speaking from personal experience. In the past I downloaded music illegally as well, however with the objective to discover new bands. I learned to love a lot of bands, attended gigs, bought their merchandise etc. All things I would have never done without downloading their music.  I did not have a real principle problem with it, as long as I spent money on bands, albeit a different stream of money.


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

RC: ‘Whole lotta Rosie’ would have been nice. Just think how incredibly good the guys from AC/DC, Van Halen, Boston etc. were back in the days to write such epic tunes in that era.  We have so much more reference nowadays but still all their songs have never been topped. 


PD: What are some of your pet peeves?

RC: Intolerance, aggression, selfishness……the direction humanity is taking, is not the right one I’m afraid.


PD: What is your proudest moment in music?

RC: That must be the release of RISE on March 1, 2020. A 3 year journey with many highs and lows all came together in that physical CD I had in my hands that day.


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

RC: 2 weeks after the release of RISE, we all went in Covid-lockdown over here, and never really got out. I immediately sensed that touring was no option, and decided to use the time to write new songs. And that’s what I’m still working on now. I plan to release the next album mid 2021, and I have some great guest players again! 


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

RC: My album RISE can be purchased in CD and Digital format from my website ( and from Bandcamp (

At the moment I have released 4 songs on streaming platforms, and I plan to release the full RISE album to streaming services in february 2021. 

Ron Coolen links:
Band/Artist location – Netherlands
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Bandcamp – Merch – 
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – Google Play
Check our page for Ron Coolen