Time to invite Martijn Van den Heuvel to my place
for a chat. He is the frontman of the Netherlands hardcore powerhouse,
No Turning Back. Besides that, he is also the brain behind the
biggest hardcore and punk festival of all of Europe, The Sound of
Revolution. Come on in, letís get started.
Hey Martijn, thanks for coming! So how have you been? If
we could, I would like to begin by asking you how No Turning Back came
I am doing fine, thanks for having me. We started as a group of friends
that met each other at Hardcore shows back in 1997, but in the end I am
the only original remaining member still in the band. But going back to
your main question on how No Turning Back came about. A big part of it
was the inspiration of our favorite bands: Agnostic Front, Sick Of It
All, Warzone, Killing Time, Slapshot and others. We really started from
nothing, we had no real experience in music, none of us could play an
instrument at the time. But with time, we grew and honed our craft to
become one of the biggest Hardcore bands in Europe today.
What are your musical influences?
From listening to the band, I would have to say, I
believe the NYHC style was a big inspiration. And through the years you
kept that formula with some slight changes here and there. Is that a
good observation? Please tell, haha. As you already mentioned NYHC was
the main influences for No Turning Back. Those were the bands we
listened to from the start. In the beginning, we were mainly inspired by
acts such as: Madball, Bulldoze, Dmize and Agnostic Front. But later on
things changed and we begin drawing on the inspiration of bands such as:
Breakdown, Killing Time, Outburst, Alone In A Crowd and Side By Side.
With that said, in the end, you know what to expect..
What about the lyrics, tell me about the subjects and if
there is a certain message to spread? Hardcore is worldwide unity, one
big family! At least I hope it isÖ
My influences are my daily struggles. Can be something in
our society or things in the Hardcore scene or personal struggles. Just
about life. Can be negative or positive.
Would you see No Turning Back as your job or more like a
Besides being the frontman of this legendary Dutch
hardcore act, you are also the main promoter of the biggest Hardcore
festival in Europe, maybe even the world, the Sound Of Revolution
Festival in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Can you tell us about this great
event and your role in the organisation? Is there still a band you want
on this festival and is there a certain bucket-list of bands you like to
book? Since we are a band out of Europe we never really were able to
live from the band. We always had to work side jobs to survive from tour
to tour. Nowadays weíre not touring as much and we all have steady jobs.
With that being said, for the past three years I have been working as
the main Hardcore and Punk booker at Loud Noise agency, as well as the
head promoter of The Sound Of Revolution festival. I always wanted to
set up a festival like TSOR and Iím glad that dream came true. Basically
Iím responsible for everything. As far as a bucket list, damn, itís a
long one, but I will mention two of them, The Bruisers and Bad Brains.
Besides the indoor festival, come June 8th, you all will be able to
experience our first live outdoor edition.
Cool I will be there Martijn and will plan no other
average event at that moment. The date is marked! But to come back to
your bucket-list. My big Hardcore brother Bert Daniels, from T-Town had
asked me a favour. Is there any chance to book these three American
bands: Squiggy, Yellow Stitches and Haymaker on your festival?
I like all three bands ,so perhaps YES!
Do you see your band as well as I do, as one of the
leading Hardcore bands in The Netherlands? Which countries have you
toured through? And is there any chance that you could breakthrough to
the North American audience as a Dutch/European hardcore act?
Yes I see No Turning Back as one of the leading hardcore
bands of all of Europe. In terms of outside of the Netherlands, we have
toured 64 Countries. As far as North America, primarily the US, we did
10 tours there which allowed us to hit all corners of the country, which
in itself is pretty amazing. And even greater feeling, is knowing that
your heroes are in the crowd. When all is said and done, I think we are
quite known in the US, but whatís the definition of breakthrough? Itís a
tough question, but I believe we are on the same level of musicianship
and hardcore spirit as American hardcore bands.
Do you miss the glory days of Hardcore back in the
nineties? And what do you think is the biggest difference between the
scene of then and now?
The perspective of the glory days, itís objective. In
2018 great albums were released and great bands are touring. For me
personally, the band and the festival, they both are doing great.
Any young Hardcore bands you recommend our readers to
Personally I love the Tilburg Hardcore band Pressure Pact! What do
you think about these youngsters? I know they played on your latest
Thatís true, they possess a great Slapshot, Negative
Approach vibe! In The Netherlands there are young bands like, Deathtrap
and Hawser from the Dordrecht area. In Germany there are bands such as
Slope who are really unique, and Spirit Crusher. In England there are
bands such as Life Betrays Us and Big Cheese. In Belgium there are great
names like, Chain Reaction and Absolve. With newer bands spawning from
this upcoming generation, I will do my best to provide a platform for
them to perform, such as the TSOR.
Last question comes from my American brother Chuck
Gordon, yes that one from Tilburg. He asks, ďWho is that you believe are
the forefathers of European Hardcore?Ē
Well lets go back to the early 80ís with Oi, Crust and
Punk, especially from England. Discharge, GBH, UK Subs, The Addicts,
Doom and Oi Street Punk bands like Cockney Rejects, The 4 Skins, Cock
Sparrer, The Business and others. The first Dutch Hardcore band in my
opinion was the Amsterdam based band BGK.
Thank you Martijn! Great you made some time for me to do
this chat! Any last words you would like to share with our readers?
No problem man. Keep an eye out in April for the new No
Turning Back album and I hope to see all of you at the Sound Of
Revolution outdoor edition June 8th 2019 or again next winter at De
Klokgebouw in Eindhoven, The Netherlands for another 2 days of Hardcore
and Punk fun!
for Headbangerszine www.headbangerszineandgigs.nl & Metal-Experience
2003 - Revenge Is a Right
2004 - Damage Done
2006 - Holding On
2008 - Stronger
2011 - Take Control
2012 - No Regrets
2015 - Never Give Up
2017 - No Time To Waste
Den Heuvel - Vocals
Emiel Laurant - Guitar
Andrť Grasshoff - Bass
Joel Heijda - Drums
Harm Haverman - Guitar