The Bateleurs – Interview

The Bateleurs – Interview

Interview with Ricardo Dikk of The Bateleurs and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD: What type of artist are you?

RD: We like to think of us like a Postmodern Blues/Rock band, with an Iberian twist.


PD:Tell us the brief history of yourself.

RD: It started when I (Ricardo Dikk, bassist) met Sandrine (Vocalist) on a studio session; I was pretty amazed with her vocal prowess, and not long after we discovered we have a lot of common musical background, we both love Rock from the 70s, Blues, and old school Soul and Jazz; I was playing with Rui Reis (drummer) in some bands for some years, and we get together with Sandrine and started playing in local clubs, mainly covers of Zeppelin, Purple, Janis and some Blues. The chemistry was evident, and it did not take too long before we start writing our own songs; we went to the studio to record the best of them, and so the Immanent Fire EP was born.


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

RD: Our music is deeply influenced by the great bands of the late 60s and early 70s, especially Zeppelin, Purple, Janis and Hendrix; we also dig deep in the Blues and the Soul Music of the Motown era; we even like to listen to some old jazz, especially bebop; one big passion of ours is musical theater, we love the Broadway and West End vibe, the unique way of storytelling that art form can achieve; we also love horror and sci-fi, and I, in particular, am very interested in pagan religions, old folklore, and ancient occult traditions.


PD: What are your dreams and goals?

RD: On a short term, record our first album, next a European tour; afterwards, the sky is the limit!


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

RD: I write the bulk of it with Sandrine, but when we are rehearsing, everybody has a say, and we change and experiment with everything until we’re happy with it; it’s a very democratic procedure.

PD: How do you promote your band and shows?

RD: Nowadays, for a new band with limited resources, almost everything is done online; Facebook, Instagram, Tweeter and YouTube, mainly; there’s not much airplay for independent Rock bands on mainstream radio in Portugal, but we try to have our music played in smaller stations; for the shows, the FB Events feature is very effective; when someone checks their phone trying to figure out what to do on a Saturday night, if your event shows up, maybe they’ll go there and bring some friends; it has worked for us a couple of times.


PD: What do you think about downloading music online?

RD: I think the trend now is streaming, not many people still download music, it’s way more practical to have all your music available without consuming storage space on your devices; Unfortunately, people lost the habit of paying for music, and the repercussions in the industry are dire; Streaming anyway is a bit more fair, but we still have a long way to go to find a way that really compensate the artists for their efforts.


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

RD: I’d love to have written “Since I’ve Been Loving You” from Led Zeppelin, because I think it’s the best song ever!


PD: What are some of your pet peeves?

RD: First, it will definitely be the epidemic of Latin and Afro music currently in Portugal; don’t get me wrong, I love World Music, and Africa and Latin America have very cool traditional music; I love Cuban music and songs from Cabo Verde and Senegal, but nowadays what they call Latin and Afro are an electronic garbage with the same 4 chords all over again, with no content or purpose…that really annoys me! On the other hand, people on shows more intent in their phones than in the music, really turns us off; why would you go out at night, spend money to go to a live music venue, and spend your time looking at your phone, or taking selfies for Instagram? For that, stay at home, and don’t be a buzz killer for us who are trying to make everybody have fun and share the music.


PD: What is your proudest moment in music?

RD: We have great pride in doing all our recording process with no use of digital tools to correct our performance; we abhor autotune and pitch correction, and all the cut, copy and paste of modern production techniques; we think it sucks the life and soul of the music, and we believe we should be true to what we can achieve without those cheats; Since we are a very new band, we didn’t have time to reach great achievements, but we’re working hard and they’ll start to come very soon. Anyway, we had one of our songs on first place on a listener’s pool at a national radio, and on that moment we were definitely proud.


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

RD: We’re writing and rehearsing new songs for our first album, and hopefully we’ll release it next fall


PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.

RD: We’ll be playing a couple of shows in June, one of them at a Harley Davidson gathering, that will definitely be awesome; you should come to our shows because we really like to spice things up live, we improvise, extend the songs, and there’s really much more to it live; we also pay tribute to our heroes, and you might hear some very cool renditions of some Zep and Purple classics.

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