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dEUS week

Filed under: Music — Thomas @ 16:08


For some reason this week turned out dEUS week at home in Barcelona. Ripping the deluxe edition of Worst Case Scenario that came with the DVD, I finally watched the 'Time is the state of my jeans' documentary about the album.

So I thought, why not go the whole hog, and use some dangerous pirate site to download the Belpop special about dEUS, and get through all of it.

The contrast between these two documentaries was very revealing.

The first one focuses only on the album, with interviews of the band members together, and they turn out very different than in the second where people were interviewed separately. In the joint interviews, you can see how Tom's controlling side comes out and talks over the other people; maybe I'm reading too much into it, but you even see some of the band members bite their tongue and being reminded of why they left the band in the first place. It doesn't paint as nice a picture of Tom.

The second documentary makes him look a lot nicer. They seem to actually show bits of the other interviews to each member, so they can still react, and usually it ends up with loud laughter. The stories are better too, the second documentary goes more in-depth. The international stars make a comeback experience, which I guess is unavoidable.

It's fun to see the history from before the first album, and it reminded me of the first time I saw them - a little festival 20 km from my house in the sports room of a school, where they were the last band before headliner Nemo (who had just released their debut). dEUS in its early days was sloppy but dangerous - when you see the live recordings of that period of Suds & Soda for example, they mess up one of the two notes in the riff, mess up the rhythm and the phrasing, and so on.

The second documentary is full of funny moments. My favorite is when Rudy Trouvé talks about the EP after the debut:
"Tommy thinks that my sister = my clock really (long pause) made sure that a part of the audience tuned out. I think so too (starts giggling evily)".

The Belpop documentary is definitely the better one of the two.

The bonus disc for the WCS deluxe edition is a nice collection of stuff I painstakingly collected at the time, just in time for our current music consumption culture. Kinderballade, their only dutch-spoken song (and one of my favourite tracks they ever did) was on a hard-to-find tribute album, probably made around my sister = my clock because the sounds are so similar, but beautifully done. Their b-sides from that album are plentiful and excellent.

The one answer neither documentary answers is the question I've always had about the debut album - why did the English version have a different tracklist ? For me, Via will always be followed by Let Go. Yeah, maybe Right as Rain is a better song, but it's not right in the flow of the album. Same for Great American Nude - an amazing song, but after the 50 second splinter bomb of shake your hip (the real ending of the album to me), the only thing that fits is the completely atypical dive bomb djingle. Great American Nude brings the energy back up instead of doing something out of character to go back to the opening track. I just have no idea what was wrong with the original release.

I hope to get off planet dEUS by next week, but an album like this that hit when I turned 18 is going to be in my head forever. They were, and still are, an excellent band.

Here's hoping that two years from now the WCS gang gets together again to play the album together. Come on Rudy and Klaas, give it a think.

After so many years, I also finally appreciate a track like WCS (First Draft). I used to hate that song, but today it's one of my favorites. Time is the state of my jeans is as good a definition of time as time is what turns kitten into cats.


  1. Hey Thomas; I bought the deluxe CDs so I could get my hands on some tracks (well, I’m younger than you, and from the “wrong” side of Belgium (music wise, at that time, at least)…), and I definitely share the feelings about the original tracklist, it felt quite wrong to rip the CD and get a different tracklist, I listened to hit and wondered what was wrong for a while… Anyway, I wish you all the best; cheers, Fred.

    Comment by Frederic Peters — 2012-12-06 @ 23:45

  2. dEUS is great, certainly in the early years. It’s clear how some of the members leaving changed the sound of their music (Stef Kamil, Rudy Trouve, …), but albums such as ‘the ideal crash’ showed they could still produce one of the best sounding music coming out of Belgium. Since a few years Mauro joined (who ever thought that? not me, being more of a Evil Superstars fan back in the day).
    Tom Barmans attitude came as a surprise to you? He’s always been like this, luckily for him he appears to be really musically gifted, but i don’t think he’s an easy person to get along with. I consider him to be the BDFL of dEUS, the belpop episode made it clear he was even like this when the band (and himself) was very young. Probably one of the reasons why i liked Mauro more, he’s just the kinder type.
    Damn, that 90ties Humo cover of Tom & Mauro making out is etched in my brain.

    Comment by Dirk Dierickx — 2012-12-11 @ 08:45

  3. No, his attitude didn’t come as a surprise to me. I’ve met him several times, even backstage at events and concerts, and he’s always given me that vibe. I was surprised it came out that much though even when around his own band, where you’d think it would be less necessary…

    Comment by Thomas — 2012-12-11 @ 09:27

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