For our last NEST EATS OUT installment of the year we hunted down some of the best Korean BBQ in town (shoutout Ten-Raku) so we could show our bitbird fam how we do KBBQ including Dutch duo DROELOE, who are currently on tour with San Holo. Vincent and Hein respectively shared with us some of their favorite stories about food and being on tour in the strange land of America. The boys DROELOE also just dropped a heady new trap-funk-lite collab with Taska Black featuring spaced-out, angelic vocals from CUT_ called “Running Away,” which we recommend pairing with this interview.
What’s the craziest thing y’all have seen in America so far?
Vincent: We saw some guy walking around Walmart with a glock. It just reminded me that yes, everyone here can have a gun. It’s crazy.
What were you getting at Walmart?
Vincent: We were just getting underwear and socks, what every touring DJ does.
Hein: And water.
Vincent: Yea that’s also a thing here, tap water is … no good most of the time.
Tap water is good in the Netherlands?
Vincent: Yes, very good. It’s such a small thing to think of but then once you don’t have it. For us it’s big becacuse we drink a shit-ton of water. It’s so convenient.
Hein: We never buy bottled water in the Netherlands because tap water is just as good.
That sounds nice, also not surprised that the craziest shit you saw was at Walmart.
Hein: Walmart by itself is pretty crazy.
Just the essential American experience right there. What’s your craziest?
Vincent: It’s hard to filter our the craziest because a lot of things seem crazy to me over here.
What about the best show?
Vincent: First show in Denver was pretty cool, people were going crazy.
Are you guys also doing a live show this set?
Vincent: No we are just doing DJ sets but Heinz is also VJ’ing first song every show.
Do you use Resolume?
Resolume is great.
Hein: Oh yeah. We have a nice system down, it’s almost time-coded visuals. So just plug in, see if it works.
Are you taking information from CDJ’s?
Hein: No we are doing a really MacGyver set up. Sander plays almost the same set every night so if he doesn’t screw up, I have a playlist in Resolume which stays synced the whole way and if he does screw up, I’ll just readjust.
That’s really cool. Does he play via Ableton?
Hein: No he plays CDJ’s and a guitar.
This is the second time you’ve been to America with San? What’s changed since last time?
Vincent: Gigs are bigger, crowds are more responsive to us.
Hein: I think last tour people got to know us and now there is a bunch of people who already know our music. Last tour people came for San and we were an added bonus. Now it feels like people are coming for us and San. It’s really nice and it makes performing way more fun because everyone is really into it. The shows are definitely way bigger compared to the 200-300 cap venues that we played on the last tour. Now everything is 2,0000 or bigger, so that’s pretty crazy.
Two nights in LA, that’s a feat. Are you guys flying mostly or have a bus?
Hein: Depends, some shows we have our own little sprinter van.
Vincent: But we’ve flown more than we’ve used the sprinter van.
Hein: Yea, it’s more for the Chicago, Michigan area where you can just drive between all the cities. It’s way nicer than just constantly flying.
What’s your favorite city you’ve seen so far on tour?
Vincent: Probably Shanghai.
Hein: Shanghai was really cool, but actually LA is our favorite American city.
Vincent: Yea, I think this is where we feel the most at home.
Hein: I think the vibe is just nice, it’s an easier place. The weather is always good, people are relatively nice, and I can imagine it being less fun the longer you stay just getting around, but for us it’s great for the week or weeks we’re here.
You guys put out a lot of music this year, what is your plan for 2018?
Hein: To put out a lot more. We have some stuff in the works.
Vincent: We worked a lot on the EP before we went on tour so that’s why at this point we don’t have many new tracks in the works. But at the end of this tour I’m gonna stay in LA for two weeks and work on some new shit.
Are you guys working with anyone in particular?
Vincent: At this point we are working with Taska Black on another who is another bitbird artist, I’m pretty excited for that.
Hein: We’re really proud of the track we just did with him (“Running Away”), it’s such a cool song and we’re probably going to play it tonight which will only be the second time we’ve played it out.
Other than that we’re just steady grinding. The whole EP took so much out of us (and it’s amazing, listen here) work-wise, and then we went straight to Asia and then afterwards straight to America so there really hasn’t been that much music being made lately with show after show after show.
Do you guys have any time to relax?
Hein: We are, we are, I mean we will – I think we’re going to go back home January 14th.
Vincent: For a couple of weeks without shows.
Hein: Yea and in February, off the record, we’re doing a couple shows in Europe.
Jeffrey (Heroic Family Management): I don’t think that needs to be off the record!
Hein: Ok fine, it’s back on the record.
Vincent: Please make sure this is on the record.
Ok it’s on! Who is your favorite bitbird artist right now?
Yeah that track is insanely good. So is the Eastghost track that opens the Gouldian Finch compilation.
Hein: So good.
What got you started in playing music and what keeps you going?
Vincent: I was brought up with a lot of music, my parents were both drummers. So I was brought up with a lot of jazz and music was always a thing for me. At some point I started to rap in Dutch and I needed beats so I started making my own beats. Then I liked producing better than rapping. I went to school for electronic music which is where I met this guy.
Which school did you go to?
Vincent: HKU college for arts, music, and technology.
We just heard a song today by a Dutch rapper, Lil Kleine. It was “Drank & Drugs” with Ronnie Flex.
Hein: Oh yea, it was such a big hit in the Netherlands. Like crazy amounts but Lil Kleine is just the biggest douchebag ever but Ronnie Flex’s solo project is really good. He is kinda like the Dutch Khalid.
Did you grow up classically trained?
Vincent: In a way yes but I’m not good at learning stuff. I teach myself more than I learn from teachers. I used to experiment a lot. Before we started DROELOE I had a bunch of different music projects and they were all way to experimental for people to even be able to like it.
What is the name DROELOE?
Vincent: It’s a weird word, it’s not really a Dutch word. It’s more of street slang in Dutch. It originates from the Dutch Antilles’ which used to be a colony. Over there it actually means shit but it’s used as meaning shit-faced.
You named yourselves after shit.
Is it true that Dutch food isn’t that good?
Vincent: Dutch food is terrible.
So what is your favorite place to eat?
Hein: Traditional Dutch is really shit. It’s not shitty by quality, it’s shitty by design. Not that flavorful, same with British food, it’s just bland and straight to the point. There’s no flavor.
We are a very multicultural country so we never go to a Dutch place and we cook at home a lot.
Vincent: Groceries are way cheaper.
What is a traditional Dutch plate?
Hein: It’s basically cabbage and potatoes. The quintessential Dutch plate mixes cabbage, potatoes, sausage, and gravy. We also have something called bitterballen, basically just whatever the butcher doesn’t use, grind it up and deep-fry it.
Hein: It’s actually really good.
Croquettes are so good, isn’t that a Dutch thing?
Hein: It is, well, it’s traditional Belgium but we stole it from them pretty well. But if you eat there five days out of the week you’ll die within a month. It’s probably the heaviest thing you can eat but I think it’s the number one dish for when you’re fucked up.
And what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever eat in general?
Hein: Live octopus in Korea, hands down.
Wait, how does that work?
Hein: They chop its tentacle off.
Vincent: But it’s still alive so it’s writhing, and doesn’t it suck on the inside of your throat?
Hein: Yes! As you eat it so you have to really chew it. And it’s super chewy.
Wait…while you’re eating it…you can feel it sucking on you?
Hein: For sure.
Vincent: You definitely run the risk of it happening.
Hein: Yea, but you just have to chew it really fine. And it’s so raw and so chewy it feels like you’re killing something, it really feels that way. I couldn’t have more than two pieces, it was too strange and I thought ‘I am never doing this again.’ And I was with only Korean people in Seoul; when they said, “We’re going to eat octopus” I assumed it would be that and a lot of other things. Nope, just octopus.
Vincent: A lot of octopus.
We can absolutely guarantee that nothing we eat here today will put up any kind of fight.
Hein: Appreciate that, cheers!