When asked about his obvious preference for lawnmowers, Melle de Boer, head of the Dutch alternative-folk-band Smutfish replies: “They are a typical tool of my home country Holland; an expression of smalltown, bourgeois density in all those backyards. I also like keeping things short. I think I have a destructive nature.”
A troubled childhood in a dismal suburb of The Hague gave the poet, painter, singer/songwriter, de Boer, a veritable speech disorder. However, the experiences of a difficult youth have given his work the density of reinforced concrete. With a vast and surreal vocabulary the scraggy and, in real life, rather taciturn de Boer pulls objects from the borders of consciousness and arranges them in word, image and sound. He’s not one to use grand gestures; rather he sacralizes the supposedly banal. However, his 2003 debut album “Lawnmower Mind” hit with a wave of euphoria, proving how interwoven with the zeitgeist his melancholic existentialism really is.
The Volkskrant features a very positive review of their performance: “Melle de Boer’s pleasantly gnawing performance and the magnificent and restrainted playing of his experienced bandmembers make songs such as Tear Factory into sinister gems resting on a bed of beautifully expressed male sorrow.”
Smutfish played at festivals such as Noorderslag, Crossing Border, Popkomm and SXSW, and toured with Daniel Johnston through Europe.
Agent: Marije van Veen
Label: Excelsior records
Availability: Generally available