Q & A

Interview With Matthew Op’t Eijnde From IDEK

Interview With Matthew Op't Eijnde From IDEK

XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?

 We have been busy writing music and discovering/playing with new technology. Can’t give you any dates, but we have recorded a live version of a new song + light show in virtual reality. So if you have 3D glasses, you’ll be able to look around the stage. Stay tuned. Cool stuff.

XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?

 The band founded in 2015, but our current formation has only been like this since 2019.

XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?

 For me personally, I love to create. I love making music and I love to think about concepts. A band gives me the opportunity to feed off the energy and creativity of my band members, who all have a very different background than me.

XS ROCK: What is your music background?

I grew up with a lot of music around the house. My dad used to be in a rock band & worked at a record label and he kind of passed that passion down to me. I briefly had guitar lessons, but I’m mainly self-taught. My influences can be found in metal like Metallica, Nine Inch Nails and Gojira but also grooves in acts like The Gorillaz & Cypress Hill. I’m currently more into IDM-style music like Aphex Twin and Lorn. Or jazz acts like BADBADNOTGOOD, Snarky Puppy or Jacob Collier.

XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?

 That we can be anything we want. We usually make a mockery out of a lot of things, including ourselves (sometimes to our own detriment). We’re all about having fun and not taking things too seriously. On the other hand, we always try to evolve our craft and break our own boundaries. Our new live track The Trek illustrates our more serious side; sound-wise and theme-wise. I believe that makes us hard to predict, which is something I personally like.

XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)

Besides IDEK. I’m currently working on a solo ambient album under the name Maenda. Ambient music with industrial influences. That project is about improving my production and mixing skills, knowledge of instruments and arrangements and molding that into something that sounds like me. That will also open more doors for IDEK., of course. As for IDEK., it’s about finding a way to work together efficiently without sacrificing that creative spark we get when we’re jamming. The Trek was a live experience in a big church that has a reverb of 7 seconds. We wrote a song around that reverb and turned the whole thing into a live experience. We’d love to do more things like that.

XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?

 I would like to work more conceptually. More than just music. With my solo project Maenda, I’m also creating this visual world that comes with the album and directing a music video to illustrate that. My goal is to work on larger concepts more, be it for my own musical projects or for other bands and/or artists.

XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?

Very difficult one for me! I’m kind of an introvert and I love being creative & playing around with various instruments, so writing and producing is where I shine. But I also love the energy and the kick you get from playing live. Let’s say live improv? Let’s make that a thing in the metal-scene 😉

XS ROCK: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

 IDEK. has a wide range of themes. From fighting back to bullies to suicide, to domestic abuse, to heartbreak to rants about how social media breaks down human connection. But The Trek explores the story of a creature coming into existence and finding it’s way in the world and realising it’s sense of agency. The idea spawned from a conversation we had about the Boltzmann Brain concept (go Google that, it’s absolutely bonkers) and we decided to create a story inspired by that.

XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.

Well, there is this story about a certain band member throwing ripe bananas into windows, making them splatter. But sharing that wouldn’t be very good for our band PR 😉 

XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?

I guess we were asked to play a heavy song again (live), so they could slow dance to it. And we did. It was very romantic. And they say chivalry is dead!

XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?

They were not. It made things a lot harder, but they’ve come to accept it. And now they’re proud!  

XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?

 I love to play Approaching Storms live. It’s a very dynamic song. It has the fun riffs, clean parts, a guitar solo and a heavy breakdown. We play it along with an ambient intro, so I get to use my synthesizer live too. Good fun. A good second place is A Fool’s Gold; crowds tend to like that song and their energy feeds into mine.

XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?

 Very cheesy, but that honor goes to Metallica. I don’t particularly like their music nowadays, but back in the days, it changed my life. Hearing One for the first time was eye-opening: I had no idea guitar music could be so cool and dramatic. And that guitar solo made me want to learn guitar. 5 months later, I got my very first guitar.

XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?

Oh jeesh, that’s very difficult. It would have to include Dillinger Escape Plan (rest in peace), Leprous Twelve Foot Ninja, Gojira and Raketkanon (also rest in peace).

XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?

Playing at Complexity Fest was a huge honor. We couldn’t believe we were on the same bill as Sikth, Vola, The Faceless and Employed To Serve. Absolutely mental. I will never forget that day.

XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?

 Well, I actually have a career next to playing in a band. I’m a social media marketeer & branding consultant. Sounds a lot more boring than it actually is.

XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?

I generally use my Sterling JP60. Very light, very easy to play and very versatile in sound. Next to that, my Ibanez RG Premium is my axe of choice. With that, I have a PodHD500x plugged straight into the PA. Sounds like heresy, but you hardly hear it with my current patch. Plus, it saves so much carrying around. It’s a true blessing. Though sometimes, I like to take my Peavey 6505 for a spin. I’m a sucker for middy sounds. With that, I use a MicroKorg XL for all my synth parts.

XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?

 Let’s say I’m optimistic. The Grammy’s are absolute shit, but if artists like Tyler The Creator and Jacob Collier can score a Grammy, it can’t be that bad, right? About metal: people say metal is dead, but honestly: metal has never been this interesting. Especially on the avant-garde/prog side. Having said that, I have to say that the metal press and gatekeepers in The Netherlands tend to favor bands that basically sound like any old band that came before. I’m a big fan of new sounds and new takes on genres and unfortunately, the old guard here likes to keep things exactly the same as 10, 20 or even 30 years ago. Especially in prog, which is a paradox in itself. 

XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?

 I have 2 beautiful hairless cats and I love to cook. 

XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?

 We sound like that gurgling sound you hear when the last bit of water runs down the drain of your bathtub.

XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?

Stay true to yourself and don’t let anybody tell you what to like or what to do. Unless it’s scientists telling you to stay the fuck inside. Then stay the fuck inside.


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About the author

Bobby Caughron

Music journalist and Editor-In-Chief for XS ROCK and The Wild 80s.

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