Gilles Demolder poses on a white brick background

Lakenmetershuis, Friday Oct. 1, 18u30

Gilles Demolder is known for his work with Oathbreaker and Wiegedood, but out of nowhere surfaced Siem Reap. This solo project is something Gilles has been working on for the past three years. Siem Reap is something new, something personal that is very close to his heart. It is Gilles as you have never seen him before.

Siem Reap’s music is a sound experiment. It is intense, yet fragile. Gilles writes, records and mixes all his songs by himself. This DIY approach comes mainly from the financial aspect. Having no money left to use a fancy studio, he decided to do it on his own. It is a DIY concept with a worker’s approach. Gilles does not sit around waiting for inspiration. In the morning he is stuck in traffic on his way to the studio and at 6 o’clock the workday is finished. This aligns with his self-image. Even though he is a musician, Gilles still views himself as a simple guy from De Haan and just happens to play music. He also adapted a new approach towards song writing. He looks at this as if he is creating something physical and leaves things to the luck of the toss. When a song does not turn out the way he wants it to, Gilles figuratively rips it to pieces and starts again from scratch.  

Fragile music comes with equally fragile lyrics. Based on daily conversations with his girlfriend, the texts tend to be uncomfortable. Siem Reap prefers this to “wearing a mask”. It feels more natural, more comfortable. His lyrics are filled with self-mockery, sarcasm and cynicism. This allows him to write about his issues without it sounding like self-pity.

Comfort is something Gilles seeks with his live performances as well. That is why he prefers not to work with session musicians. Siem Reap’s live band consists of Jasper Hollevoet (bass), Filip Brans (guitar, keys) and Wim Coppers (drums). Gilles chose these three musicians because he knows he can trust them. They ensure a feeling of warmth and safety.