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- Vocals: Marco
- Guitar: Frank
- Bass: Fred
- Drums: Igor
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What does it take to be the most successful Dutch punk band ever? A couple of years ago the answer would’ve been: 5000 albums sold worldwide, a two-album deal with Black Sausage Records in the US and a raving review in MaximumRockNRoll. But that was before the Heideroosjes (pronounced: HI-DUH-ROSE-YES) came along and changed everything.
Punk was never big in Holland. Even in the seventies, when safety pins and roadsign-sized buttons were all the craze, no band ever made it past the social security office. But over twenty years after the first wave of pissed off loudmouth bands, four boys from the south of Holland changed all the rules: they sold hundreds of thousands records, had hit singles, played sold out tours, and were the subject of a best-selling book. All that without a proper record deal.
The genesis of the Heideroosjes is a classic rock `n´ roll story: Starting in 1989 with four teenagers, getting together in a barn to exorcise the boredom with loud, fucked up music, that scared away the cows, and made the neighbors complain. In the small rural town where they lived and went to school, they were considered outsiders (of course they´re local heroes now). They looked funny, acted funny and dug records no-one else in the local youth club wanted to hear. The Heideroosjes were not cool.
When they started gigging they soon found out that most of the other punk bands had the same view as the kids back home: the Heideroosjes weren´t up to date with the latest punk rock fashion, they didn´t take classes in Hardcore College. Plus: they came from the South, which -in the eyes of most big city scenesters- didn´t add to their credibility. But while the Heideroosjes were being snubbed by the Punk Rock Police, they struck a nerve with kids all over the country. The crowds that came to their shows could relate to every word singer Marco screamed into the mic. No poses, no frills, just straight from the heart rock `n´roll. The Heideroosjes were for real.
Their first self-produced, admittedly shambling albums sold by the bucket load. By word of mouth only. They sold out clubs everywhere they went. And by the time the media finally noticed the band, they landed themselves a spot on the prestigious Pinkpop festival in Holland (1995). It proved to be their break through performance. From that moment on their trademark red T-shirts dominated all festival fields. They toured with with Bad Religion, Pennywise, Less Than Jake and The Offspring, prompting Offspring guitarist Noodles to write in his tour diary: "I have a new favorite band, The Heideroosjes. Imagine the energy and level of NOFX, and multiply it with Rage Against the Machine. These guys rock and make me feel old."
Some years ago they signed the dotted line with Epitaph for Europe. For the US however they’ve joined forces with I Scream Records based in Los Angeles.
In the meantime the band keeps on touring, touring, touring. Of course all over Europe but they’ve also discovered new cultures by touring countries like South Africa (which made the band being the first all white-rock band playing in black townships). In the beginning of 2004 the Heideroosjes had their first US-gig during the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. In a raving review the Austin Chronicle wrote; “They burn more calories and write better songs than the standard-issue American punk band, and blew the first two bands right out the front door. Now there's a lesson in how to rock.”
Right after their US-experience the band got a Dutch Grammy Award. In an honest speech singer Marco told the hot-shots of the Dutch entertainment industry how he and the band felt about the lack of radio & TV-support for bands that don’t fit in the mainstream-profile. You should have seen the faces of the hotshots…and actually you can see those faces because the speech is part of the first DVD that Heideroosjes released in 2005.
At the time of writing the four roses are touring again, of course! Their first US nationwide release is a compilation of their best songs. The album called Royal To The Bone and now you probably want to know what the name Heideroosjes means. It means... oh fuck it, go find a dictionary!