“There’s room for all kinds of genres at Eurovision” – Hooverphonic

"We wanted to participate this year as the Contest has become much more serious over the last 10 years or so."

Following their second rehearsal on the Eurovision Song Contest stage, Hooverphonic spoke with Wiv about “The Wrong Place” and their reasons for taking part for Belgium at the competition this year. Plus, we also learned exactly how long they’ve all been Eurovision fans and play the Either/Or game to get to know the trio much better!

“We’re into old movies, so it became clear we wanted to translate this idea into our stage show”

First up, Wiv asks the band exactly what inspired their stage performance of “The Wrong Place”:

“The staging is similarly to the inspiration for our music video: we’re quite into old movies, and our music is inspired by this too. So it became clear we wanted to translate the old movie vibe to the stage. That’s why the background projections are inspired by an German silent movie from the 1930s, the piano is inspired by old Westerns and the dress is not only very Hooverphonic, but similar to cult movies like Barbarella too. We wanted this film noir vibe, and that’s why we chose this combination of things and two steady cams to shoot the whole performance with their very strict ballet of filming. It looks simple, but technically it’s quite difficult!”

“We wanted to participate as Hooverphonic, not by creating a song for Eurovision”

Wiv highlights that “The Wrong Place” will stand out amongst the more up-tempo entries in the Contest and Alex immediately agrees:

“That was one thing we wanted to do. We said to VRT when they asked us to participate, we want to participate as Hooverphonic, not by making something specifically for Eurovision. This is our next single, not just for the Contest. The only way for us to do it was to stand out and do something different. It’s about being ourselves, and what we have been for the last 25 years.

“It’s a lot of fun!”

Alex also says that when people ask why Hooverphonic wanted to participate, it came down to the band enjoying themselves and the experience:

“For us, it’s also a lot of fun. A lot of people ask “why do you participate, you already have a career”. We just liked the Contest for years. Raymond watched it since he was young, Geike watched it when she was young. Raymond and I kept on watching it and are still watching it every year if we’re at home – but even sometimes on tour, we have it on. In 2006, we were playing a gig in Istanbul and I remember we were watching it backstage when Lordi won. We got off stage, saw the results being given and it’s funny how music always brings back memories. Every time I hear “Hard Rock Hallelujah”, I think about that song! Remember MTV? We’re that old! We watched MTV!”

Raymond first remembers the 1966 contest – black and white viewing! Hooverphonic made themselves a Spotify playlist with songs from across eras including both “Amar pelos dois” and “Friend of a Friend” as well as older Eurovision songs. Psst, if you’re reading this Hooverphonic, we want the link to the playlist.

Alex does also explain that he felt the Contest lost its way in the 90s before celebrating “Sanomi” by Urban Trad coming second in 2002, also describing he’s always watched with pizza and beer alongside friends, although now often with conversations over WhatsApp about the Contest instead!

“It’s about time it goes from being a guilty pleasure to just a pleasure”

Wiv responds by saying that she thinks its about time the Eurovision Song Contest returns back to being a pleasure for everyone to view, rather than the ‘guilty pleasure’ tag that has been attached in recent decades. The band wholeheartedly agree:

Definitely, totally. That’s also why we wanted to participate this year. We think that over the last ten years or so, the Contest has become more serious again – this year as well with Bulgaria, France having really nicely produced entries. it’s not just a show with uptempo and electronic tracks, there’s room for all kinds of genres: even nu metal, who would even have thought this would become cool again? I love the diversity, that’s what makes it fun! I always say to people “it’s not meant to please you every time, you shouldn’t like every track”, you should have your favourites and others which aren’t your cup of tea because everyone has a different opinion!

When asked by Wiv which of the other competing entries they would like to remake in a Hooverphonic style, they respond by saying Voilà, as they had actually already produced this track which you can see below:

You can discover the band’s Either/Or choices as well as we find out who prefers summer and who prefers winter! Plus, who prefers water or wine…

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