Home > Music Interviews > Q & A With… Richard Bolhuis (House Of Cosy Cushions)

Q & A With… Richard Bolhuis (House Of Cosy Cushions)

DPIK – House of Cosy Cushions Spoken Interview 2009-02-04

Richard Bolhuis

Richard Bolhuis

DPIK skived off college for the chance to chill out and drink coffee in South Dublin with Richard Bolhuis, front man of House of Cosy Cushions…

Why did you choose Ireland?

Richard: There was no obvious reason I just wanted to go abroad for a change and I was thinking of England but then I visited Dublin with my girlfriend and we just loved the atmosphere of the place and kind of thought ‘lets give it a go’ and we actually hung around here. I love the fact that you’re close to nature. There are parts of Donegal and Mayo that I have gone to. I love the fact that you’re near the beach and the coast. And since I moved here, I came across a lot of music that I like. When I came here I didn’t know a lot of Irish music that I now love. It’s only after living here that I came across a lot… I would of never of course known this music otherwise.

When you came here did you find the scene clicky and hard to get into?

Richard: I always avoid scenes so am not confronted with the clickiness. So I don’t really care in that sense. I think as soon as something is a scene you get these things. I just like to meet people and worked with different people, so it’s easy to avoid.

What’s your own opinion on the music in Ireland? I presume you like it.

Richard: I don’t really have an opinion of the Irish music at all. It’s just that there’s certain musicians that I really love, but there mightn’t be loads of them, but the ones that I love, I love so much that it’s worth it, you know?

Are you happy with the response the album received?

Richard: That another thing that sounds how do you say? I’m happy with any response, you know, I mean I know a lot of people who enjoyed the album. Which is great, but then again, if they didn’t, I would still make it. I think a lot of musicians would say that but that’s the truth. You’re making music for the love of it, so whatever the reaction is, its fine.

An added bonus…

Richard: Yeah, and the main thing for me is to perform and to write songs cause that’s when I’m happiest, that’s what I need.

Where did you find the rest of your band?

Richard: I was just constantly on the run you know I met Steve through a guy who was on the label, Seadog Records, and eh, it just worked immediately. I can’t even remember how and when I met all these different people. I was constantly listening, keeping my ears open, and I came across a lot of brilliant musicians.

Your videos are pretty different compared to the Irish bands and pretty much everyone else’s, where’s the inspiration come from?

Richard: I work with a friend called Erik Hendriks, whom I do the animations with, and we both have a love for dark fairytales and we also loved to work without having a very clear idea. Because we have very clear visions, but we don’t like saying ‘this is how it should be’ so this is how we do it. We improvise a lot and we make loads of shots. We do everything ourselves, the casting, the animation, and he does the filming. But like everything is really close. The last one we did, ‘Palace For The Lost Ones’ is filmed on a ship and there are fools on the ship, and how they get around by doing theatre on the streets. So say, they go to a town in Italy, they have a parade and they just get all the people to come to their ship and pay them a few coins so they can buy their food and they do theatre. And I love them so much and we kind of were their house band for the last year that I lived in Amsterdam. When they headed for a world tour I headed to Ireland, so we both left Holland around the same time. I just wanted to show the beauty of that ship and the freedom that’s there through video. For me, the song ‘Palace For The Lost Ones’ is almost about friendship. Surviving with friends.

What’s the story with that film you were working on?

Richard: I’m still working on it, with Erik, its still in the making which means we’ve done loads of sketches. We write a scenario, but the scenario is not as exactly how its going to be, its kinda the opposite of Hitchcock, who knew exactly what he was going to do. We want to be surprised at the moment itself and its very funny sometimes that it totally turned out as it would in your dreams. I think sometimes you have to let things go to let them flow naturally. That’s what I try with everything. It’s pretty hard sometimes you know I mean, I can be a very awful control freak as well at times, but I try very hard every day to let go, and not worry, you know.

What’s next for House of Cosy Cushions?

Richard: There’s no real next, we just keep going. Keep gigging, keep recording and eh you know, hopefully every now and then we release albums as much as we can. We have the tour coming up now and just keep changing.

Are there similar musicians like you in Holland?

Richard: In Holland I was more in touch with painters and people in the theatre and stuff for some reason. And here it’s more music. It’s nice though; it’s a good change.

Do you do all the production yourself on the album?

Richard: I worked very closely a friend of mine and he’s worked with me for a long time so there’s a sense of telepathy [laughs]. We can communicate without talking and he’s used to me speaking in colours and we recorded 20 tracks and 12 made it, I was happy with about 16 tracks, but four of them didn’t sound right.

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