With their spectacular viral video Witch Doctor and support slots for Muse and the Rolling Stones, Dutch band De Staat remain joyfully uncategorisable. Under the wing of frontman Torre Florim, whose big voice works like a call-to-arms, they flirt with funk and tribal rhythms, introspection and wild humour, owing more to David Byrne or Prince in their musical attitude than any ordinary rock band. And fourteen years into their career, they’re about to launch their new project: Red, Yellow, Blue.
There will be no studio album – instead, a mammoth collection of new songs roll out on digital platforms starting November 4th and throughout 2022. Florim has embraced his band’s famous eclecticism to produce rock and roll’s first auditory art project, writing dozens of tracks reflecting the colours of red, yellow and blue. Red, Yellow, Blue is an experiment in songwriting that sticks two fingers up to the concept of genre. There are so many ways in which people try to describe De Staat’s music and none of them fit… but Red, Yellow and Blue are their alternative categories for the various moods of songs they’ve been writing all this time.
First envisioned by Torre in 2006 as something of a challenge to himself; before there was a group, there was a one-man project in Nijmegen, Holland. “I was making so much music, all different kinds,” grins Torre. “I just wanted to see if I could make something that sounded like one thing!” Having wrangled said sounds together, that ‘one thing’ would soon become known as De Staat – translated as ‘The State’ – and their 2009 debut, Wait For Evolution. With a line-up completed by lead guitarist Vedran Mircetic, bassist Jop van Summeren, multi-instrumentalist Rocco Hueting and drummer Tim van Delft, what De Staat have achieved since those fledgling days is remarkable.
Across four more colourful albums, 2011’s Machinery, 2013’s I_Con, 2016’s O, and 2019’s Bubble Gum, De Staat have established a chameleonic brand of rock that is wholly their own – a band who cite the influence of everyone from Talking Heads, Rihanna, and Nine Inch Nails to Radiohead, Michael Jackson, Run-DMC and Soulwax. And more and more people are noticing them because of it – including some of the biggest bands on the planet.
In 2017 De Staat landed some highly coveted support slots, including The Rolling Stones in Amsterdam and a run with Muse across Europe during their blockbusting 2016 Drones tour.
In 2019 the band toured the EU an UK and played at major festivals like Rock Werchter (BE), Amsterdam Dance Event (NL) and Deichbrand Festival (DE). They replaced The Prodigy as headliner at the Lowlands Festival in August 2019.