The mysterious dark rock outfit Dool’s sophomore album Summerland, will be released tomorrow (10th) via Prophecy Productions (order here). We caught up with vocalist/guitarist Ryanne van Dorst to discuss their new album and how they’ve evolved since their 2017 debut, Here Now, There, Then.
How do you think you’ve evolved since your 2017 debut, Here Now, There Then?
Back in 2016, when we started playing together as a band, we had no clue what we’d sound like or even what we wanted to sound like. There were just some skeletons of songs, and we took them into the rehearsal room and started jamming around to them until we found that it ‘worked.’ Each song became quite different from the last, but in the end they all fit together, drenched in some dark melancholy sound we all appreciated a lot. However, the songs only really came alive when we started performing them live, after the album was released. We found our sound in the many shows that follow ‘Here Now, There Then,’ and the result of that is to be heard on our sophomore album ‘Summerland.’ I think overall we sound a lot more confident and dare to approach the experimental side even more.
For those who are unfamiliar, can you talk more about your overall sound?
Light in Darkness, Darkness in Light. We like to play with contrast and tension. No song the same, no genre to be defined.
What was the process like recording Summerland?
Same as with ‘Here Now, There Then,’ I would write some basic version of each song on an acoustic guitar or piano or something; a chord progression with a melody on top, and then make a simple demo out of it to send to the rest of the band. Then we’d jam on that a little in the rehearsal room and everyone would add some of their own ideas into the overall arrangement. Maybe I’d take the song back to the drawing board and start over, or cut or add some parts, but this is the point where songs basically come to life. In preparation of ‘Summerland’ this process was done with a lot more confidence than our debut album. We really got to know ‘DOOL’ in the 2,5 years of touring and playing after the debut album was released, and so we gained some sort of sense of identity. When writing and recording with this newfound confidence, it felt like we understood each other a lot better and could even communicate without having to explain stuff to one another.
What have been some challenges getting this album together?
Surprisingly enough, this album came to life very organically and there was not a lot of pressure and/or stress. Well, not more or less than any other album. I would have expected this album to be a lot tougher to make, after the unexpected success of ‘Here Now, There Then,’ but in the end (and I’m speaking for the whole band here), we have never felt this confident about a record ever. We’re all so excited about ‘Summerland,’ and feel it’s really, really fucking good. I would buy this if it wasn’t our own album, hah!
What are some of the lyrical themes?
‘Summerland’ is a form of afterlife that is tailored to each’s own desires and sense of beauty. A customized life after Death, rather than an afterlife designed by a God, a state or an institute such as a church. In the lyrics I try to define what this would look like for me, and why I would have to wait until after dying to indulge in such pleasures.
The lyrics of the album have a red thread in this, since I’m singing about the things that make me feel like I’m touching a piece of heaven on Earth so to speak. We also want to challenge the listener a bit and have them think of what ‘Summerland’ would be to them. In order to give them this space, I used a lot of metaphors in the lyrics, as not to be too defined, without losing my personal meaning to songs.
Can you talk more about the song “A Glass Forest?”
‘A Glass Forest’ is about breaking free of certain social constructs. Even in 2020 there’s still so much labeling and pressuring and expected behavioural patterns in society, which keep the human mind and soul from flourishing. We’re all familiar with the term ‘Glass Ceiling,’ used to describe the so-close-yet-out-of-reach job promotion or leading position within companies or politics. ‘A Glass Forest’ uses the same metaphor, yet not in an upward movement, but on the same level. It can be quite a challenge to move around unconstrained, without having to fight for your position in society every day over and over. The song deals with this struggle on a personal issue, but can be interpreted in many different ways, since it’s a very common struggle, only the subject differs every time.
Is there anything else you want to say about the new album?
We can’t wait to play these songs live, since this is where our hearts lie in the end. Thanks for your interest in DOOL!