If you’ve heard Triggerfinger covers (or at least one of them), you follow what the whole thing is about. The band consists of singer and guitarist Ruben Block, bass guitar player Paul Van Bruystegem and drummer Mario Goossens. In this post you will enjoy reading Triggerfinger interview where the guys reveal the truth about their band and each other.
The popularity of the Triggerfinger band skyrocketed pretty unexpectedly when they played with Lykke Li’s popular song ‘I Follow’. Now they are stars. They’ve finally made their breakthrough and got the well-deserved international attention. It’s not that they haven’t striven for it, they just aren’t used to it yet …
Mario Goossens, drummer
(about Paul Van Bruystegem): “He stands onstage dreaming away in his own way, playing and enjoying himself.”
Ruben Block, frontman
(about Mario, their experienced drummer): “Mario is the best drummer I have ever played with. He is not only a drummer, he is a real musician as well.”
Paul Van Bruystegem (‘Polle’), bass guitar player
(about their band): “Technique is one thing. But playing expressively is something else. We take risks. We are not playing it safe”.
(about Ruben, their frontman): “I think he is the sexiest singer in the world. If I were a woman, I’d definitely be on the hunt for him. Fortunately for him, he’s got a moustache!”
“He couldn’t sing one note. He started singing because no one in the band could at that time. Now he’s become a great singer!”
Triggerfinger interview: enjoy getting to know the band
What was it that brought you together?
(Ruben): Many things… It started with music… And we are friends as well… And we are fans of each other…
(Mario): And with the playing comes chemistry that I never had by playing with any other band. And then our energy just explodes. Whether we are getting onstage or are making songs, it always shows… And I actually felt it when we started playing together.
What evokes this ‘chemistry’ in your opinion?
(‘Polle’): It had begun before we started playing together. We already knew each other. And when we talked about music, I felt immediately that it would work with these guys. I could feel it. I had never played bass before but I knew that wasn’t a problem for me. In my head I knew we’d make a great band.
Why did you decide to cover Lykke Li and release it as a single? We know you arranged this song in 15 minutes. And now it became a mega hit…
(Ruben): We really hadn’t planned to release it as a single. But everybody instantly started posting it on their Facebook page. National radio stations in the Netherlands and Belgium started playing it. So we released it as a single. Having a hit with a live song, the version of which was arranged in only 15 minutes feels very good.
Has it been your ambition to become this big?
(‘Polle’): Of course, secretly it was our ambition. Absolutely. It would be very hypocrite to deny that. It’s not that we really counted on it. This is more like a cherry on top.
The frontman usually becomes the most important figure of a band. Do you feel this ‘importance’?
(Ruben): That may be the case for some bands, but not for us. You know, we always try to be photographed with all 3 members when we are being covered in the media. Because this is a band. Not a singer with 2 musicians. We have been a band from the beginning. And that is why the three of us are always on the front of the stage.
And always very close to each other. Even when you are on the biggest stages you still want to be standing as close as possible to each other.
(all three): Absolutely.
(Mario): It’s our special tradition. Because when the set up is only half a meter off… Then it doesn’t feel right anymore.
So it really comes down to centimeters?
(‘Polle): Yes. We have a special groove together. Mario has a certain groove, Ruben has a certain groove. Me as well. So when we are too far apart, then this groove doesn’t exist anymore. And that feels strange.
And still you are the face of the band… Charismatic singer…
(Ruben): Yeah… But you know, they are also charismatic.
(‘Polle’): Differently, but still in a nice way (all three are laughing)
Triggerfinger interview: music, friendship, rock and roll
Is it still ‘rock and roll’ with you guys?
(‘Polle’): Depends on what you mean… ‘Sex, drugs and rock and roll’ is something we don’t preach for sure… Our ‘rock and roll’ is living our lives our own way, playing music we like and making a living out of doing what we love.
For me rock and roll is playing at all those cool festivals at my age. I’m 53, by the way. This is what I call rock and roll!
I’ve seen you drinking soy milk a few times. Are you on a diet?
(‘Polle’): No, not really on a diet. Because that’s not going to help anymore. But no booze or drugs in my life, I left that behind. No cigarettes. The thing is, I grew up drinking. I came to my senses, just in time. I just said ‘Stop’ to myself.
Paul’s alcohol addiction became a threat for the band some years ago. He was replaced by another bass player for 8 months. So that he had the time to get clean.
How bad was your alcohol addiction?
(‘Polle’): Very bad. A doctor once told me: ‘If you don’t quit now, you will die in two months. Your liver, everything is really bad.’ And my lifestyle was getting up with a bottle of Vodka and going to bed with a bottle of Vodka. That was it. Luckily, I don’t remember much about it anymore.
And you really left it behind?
Yes. And it was only last year.
(Mario): We never pointed a reprimanding finger saying: ‘You can’t do this’. Take your time. Do what you have to do. And get back to us then. That was our attitude.
(‘Polle’ about the guys): They are real friends. They are fantastic. I am lost for words. I will never forget that… I don’t want to sound too sentimental. I was afraid for a moment that I didn’t have too much passion anymore. Touring was getting too much. But then I saw them once with the guy they replaced me with… Then I became really scared. The train with the two coolest musicians I have ever played with is passing me by. Of course I realized it was all my fault.
(Mario): And it eventually took up to 8-9 months until he said “I want to give it another try”. And that was a very memorable moment. I thought alright, if this works, it’s going to be great. Nothing can break us now that we’ve been through so many troubles together.
They are a band. They are good friends. They love playing music and have their own views on ‘rock and roll’. They are ‘Triggerfinger’ (requires no treatment even if overdosed). Your euphoric moments must have been easily triggered by their music when (or if) your fingers clicked some of their best videos on Youtube.