Blue Feather Interview (English Version)

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Blue Feather Interview


Soul And Funk Music: When did Blue Feather started?
Blue Feather:

The story of Blue Feather starts in 1976 when two brothers, Ed and Ron Brouwer, started a band with some musical friends. After playing in small clubs, where they performed a repertoire of covers and own written songs they decided in 1980 to start again with a few new members. From that time they started with their own written songs and developed a new sound. The result was a mix of Latin, Funk and Pop with arrangements for several voices.

Soul And Funk Music: How did you come up with the name Blue Feather?
Blue Feather: Through personal interest in the original inhabitants of America, the indians. After reading some books I came up with the name Blue Feather.


Soul And Funk Music: How did you get a contract with Phonogram (Mercury)?
Blue Feather: During the year 1980 we send some demo tape's to different record company's in the Netherlands. The result was a contract with Corduroy Productions en Phonogram Records, they were the most energetic of all.

Under supervision of producer, composer and lyricist Roy Beltman two songs, "it's love" and "Love We Tonight", where recorded at the end of 1980 in the Wisseloord studio in Hilversum the Netherlands. The first single "it's love" was released in the begin of 1981. This song is a modest hit in the Netherlands and Belgium with a top 21 on the national hitparade.

The track "Let's funk tonight" was as successor of their first single released at the end of 1981 on 7" and 12". "Let's funk tonight" did not get any airplay in spite of good reviews. On the dancefloor it was a modest hit. Their next release (7" and 12") was "Call Me Up" in the beginning of 1982. This song did get some airplay on the national radiostations.

Soul And Funk Music: What did you feel when the first 12" in 1981 was released?
Blue Feather: It was exciting, we had the feeling that Let's funk tonight (our first 12”) was something special. We did make a long version of 9 minutes of it with a special composed extensive instrumental part. I bought this release in my local recordstore.

Soul And Funk Music: How much 12" are issued?
Blue Feather: "Let’s Funk tonight" / "It’s Love" had an issue of about 5000 pieces only in the Netherlands. Also the album Feather Funk had an issue of about 5000 pieces only in the Netherlands.

Soul And Funk Music: Do you had money for promotion these days?
Blue Feather: No, we didn't get any money for promotion purposes.
After disappointing results from "Call Me Up" and "Let's funk tonight" Corduroy Productions and Phonogram Records doubt to go further with Blue Feather. But unexpected the get some good news.
In the UK and France a big interest arise by an Canadian imported 12" remix version of "Let's funk tonight". In Canada "Let's funk tonight" hit the top 10 in the Disco charts. (In the meanwhile the Canadian mix reached the Disco charts).
In response to that the single "Let's funk tonight" was officialy released in entire Europe and some other countries outside Europe. The result: A Number one hit in the UK, France, Italian, Spanisch, Belgium, Germany and Brazilian Disco Dance Charts.

Soul And Funk Music: Let's funk tonight (canada Mix) is released in canada, how did that come about?
That is a nice story. In Canada arise an interest for the import version of the dutch 12" by record label Siamese Records. This label decided to release "Let's funk tonight" in a Peter Frost remix in Canada. The remix version hits the top 10 in the Canadian Disco charts. In the UK also arise an interest for the Canadian release because it was very successful in the Disco and clubs. This was the reason to release "Let’s Funk Tonight" in whole Europe. Whe didn't get any dollar of this deal because Siamese records disappear totally from sight when the earned enough money from Blue Feather and other groups.

Soul And Funk Music: How long took it to complete the debut album Feather Funk?
Blue Feather: Due to the success in France and Italy (top 10 hit) Phonogram decided, under pressure, to release the "Feather Funk" album very fast. The already released 12" and 7" singles where placed on this album.
Soul And Funk Music: How was the sphere in de studio?
Blue Feather: The sphere in de studio was excellent. The wisseloord studio’s, then the Europe biggest, offer unprecedented possibilities. We laughed a lot with our producer Roy Beltman. Finally it was very instructive and pleasant in that period of time.

Soul And Funk Music: During recording did you change the tracks?
Blue Feather: The recorded tracks are almost unchanged released on vinyl but Roy Beltman did a big part in the production.

Soul And Funk Music: Is Feather Funk also released in de uk or us?
Blue Feather: No, Feather Funk is only released in the Netherlands, France and Italy. The album Let's funk tonight only in Japan and our next release Shadows of the night only in the Netherlands.
Soul And Funk Music: Did you receive some prices after this success?
Blue Feather: A France oscar, for the best new group of 1982. And in the Netherlands we ended on a second place for the dutch exportprize.
Soul And Funk Music: What was the successor of Let's funk tonight?
Blue Feather: In 1983 "Let it Out" was released globally as successor of "Let's funk tonight". It was a modest hit in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Brazilian.

Soul And Funk Music: Album "Let's funk tonight" was released once more in 1984 in Japan. What is the difference?
Blue Feather: The Japanese version is totally different than Feather Funk. This albums consist of the 7" single versions of "It’s Love" en "Call me Up" instead of the 12" versions. As bonus the 7" version of "Let it Out" (our fourth single) and two never released tracks "Keep on Dancing" and "Let’s go out Tonight". Personally I think this album is our best. There is a possible of a reissue.
Line up 1980/1984:
Ed Brouwer: Solo Guitar Lead and Backing vocals.
Ron Brouwer: Rhythm Guitar Lead and Backing vocals.
Jan Weeda: Keyboards Lead and backing vocals.
Rob Hoelen: Bass Guitar.
Dirk Nusink: Percussion.
Lex Nusink: Drums.

Used instruments on Feather Funk:
Guitar: Fender Stratocaster, Amplifiers: Fender Twinn reverb
Keyboards: Fender Rhodes, Arp solist synt, solina strings, Juno 60, wing.
Bas: Peavy
Conga’s timbala’s, bong’s and other percussion instruments
Ludwig drums, Linn drumcomputer (Let it Out, Keep on Dancing, en Let’s go out Tonight)
Soul And Funk Music: Why split Corduroy/Phonogram and Blue Feather?
Blue Feather: After a musical impassse Blue Feather and Corduroy Productions and Phonogram records decided to split in 1984.

Soul And Funk Music: How come that it took a while that Blue Feather come with something new?
Blue Feather: Well, it's like this. After a hard period (leaving members, musical direction) a new offer arise in the begin of 1985 from Jan Vis agency to record a new album. Our second album "Shadows of the night" was recorded in the Brilly Sound studio in Rosmalen the Netherlands with four remaining members. This album was released on CNR records.

Soul And Funk Music: How much singles are released of the album Shadows of the night?
Blue Feather: Two singles, "Shadows of the night" (7” and 12”remix version), "After Midnight" (12” remix version)" of this album where released. Both songs where remixed by a dutch remixer named Rutger 'Ruttie' Kroese. "After Midnight" was a modest hit in the German Disco.

Soul And Funk Music: Rutger Kroese was the remixer Shadows of the night, how was the cooperation?
Blue Feather: We didn't have any contact at all with Rutger Kroese. CNR, the record company, did the contacts with him.

Soul And Funk Music: Is there any difference of making the album Shadows of the night and Feather Funk?
Blue Feather: We did not have a record company in 1984. We get an offer from Jan Vis Agency to record an album in his studio in Rosmalen the Netherlands. Feather Funk is more of less a best of album. The songs on Shadows of the night are specialy written for that album. We produced all the songs and the album is recorded in 2 weeks time.

Line up 1985/1988 Shadows of the night.
Ed Brouwer: Solo Guitar lead en backing vocals.
Ron Brouwer: Rhythm Guitar Lead and Backing vocals.
Jan Weeda: Keyboards Lead and Backing vocals.
Dirk Nusink: Percussion.

Used instruments on Shadows of the night: Keyboards: Yamaha DX7, Fender Rhodes, Juno 60, wing, Moog bass Synt
Gitaren: Fender Stratocaster
Drums: Emu Drumulator
Bass: Fender bass,
Percussion: computer Roland, various percussion instruments

In 1989 a new remixed version of "Let's funk tonight" was released in Europe. This wild boys remix caused a modest hit in some European countries espacially in France.
In the 90s Blue Feather write and produced songs for other artists.
Soul And Funk Music: Did you appear on television or made video clips?
Blue Feather: Yes, in some dutch television shows such as Nederland Muziek on Veronics in 1981 with "Let’s Funk tonight" and Veronica's Countdown in 1983 with "Let it Out". In France with the presention of the Disc de O'r for the best new group of 1981 with imagination. An appearance on a spanish TV station in Tenerife. In Poland we had an one and a half hour special about Blue Feather in 1983.

Soul And Funk Music: Did you also live appearances?
Blue Feather: Of course, in the period 1980 till 1986 we performed 4 times a week in clubs all over the Netherlands. We travelled and performed several times in Wales, England and Scotland with a main performance in Hammersmith Odeon (Londen) together with the soul/funk formation Light of the World.

Soul And Funk Music: Do you have still unreleased material?
Blue Feather: Yes we have still unreleased material, recorded in 1986-87 for the follow up of Shadows of the night.

Soul And Funk Music: Who is your example?
Blue Feather: My examples are Eric Clapton, Dave Mason and George Benson.

Soul And Funk Music: To which artist are you listening these days?
Blue Feather: To almost everything, Level 42, Earth Wind And Fire, George Benson, Shalamar, Eagles and Doobie Brothers etc.

Soul And Funk Music: Do you like the current soul music?
Blue Feather: Some songs are ok.

Soul And Funk Music: Dou you hear your own productions back?
Blue Feather: Regular in Foreign countries but much less in the Netherlands only in the Soul Show.

Soul And Funk Music: Do you still have contact with other members of Blue Feather?
Blue Feather: Of course with my brother but also with Dirk Nusink (Percusion) , Jan Weeda (keyboards) and Rob Hoelen (Bass).

Soul And Funk Music: Do you still playing?
Blue Feather: Not as Blue Feather but with my brother i'm still bussy with composing and recording songs.

Soul And Funk Music: You can find Let's funk tonight on internet for $178 how do you like that?
Blue Feather: Yes I also see this on internet. Strange because "let’s Funk Tonight" is not quite a rare track. There are about 300.000 copies sold. The albums Feather Funk, and the orginal album Shadows of the night, and also the Japanese LP Let’s Funk Tonight are more collector items. These albums are sold between $80 and $300 dollar on internet.

Soul And Funk Music: Would you spend that money?

Soul And Funk Music: What is your opinion about sharing, downloading MP3s?
Blue Feather: Illegal sharing, downloading is a bad thing for the artist and composers. Maybe the right solution is to offer these files for a fair price. But to stop this is impossible.

Soul And Funk Music: Who rereleased the album Shadows of the night?
Blue Feather: This reissue is an initiative form Vinyl Masterpiece, a dutch company that is specialized in hard to find disco, funk classics. Check for the reissue of Shadows of the night. Also available the CD Nighttime Lovers with unreleased 12" version of "Feel good".
Recently is "Let’s funk tonight" rereleased on the CD Funky Collector vol 16.
Go to the artistpage for more press-cuttings of Blue Feather.
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