Identifile: Heyaeb


Joachim Claeys & Jo De Paepe or []
electro, synthpop, dark-techno
Joachim Claeys
Jo De Paepe
Jan Dewulf
Christophe Fedele
Tony Van Hoecke
short bio

[Stéphane Froidcoeur, Side-Line Magazine]

Heyaeb is the one-man-formation of Joachim Claeys. It was established in 1996. Before that Joachim had been active in several rock-and new-wave projects. One day his friend and drummer died by a traffic-accident, which caused a stop in the pleasure of creating music. After a long time of silence Joachim decided to restart making music. The drums were replaced by an old rhythm-box and synths (Roland D-10). It inspired Joachim to dish out more electronic and dance fields and so he set up Heyaeb at the end of 1996. On stage he was accompanied by Jo De Paepe (live-keys & live-gadgets), one or more guest-keyboarders (Wouter Willaert, David De Vos, Lieven Devoldere, Jan Dewulf) and sometimes a guitar-player. They named the band “Heyaeb” (pronounced in Russian as “Netsajev”) after a Russian anarchist/terrorist and follower of Bakoenin. “We sometimes regretted this name which is difficult to pronounce, but never changed it because we now consider that this name is already known in several areas”. The name maybe says something about political interests and convictions, but it’s not our goal here to start a debate about Bakoenin, anarchy and what else!

The first demo “Subtle Cheating” has been released in ’97. At that time, they moved on the edge between Gothic and Electro. The Belgian press compared them with Wolfsheim, the legendary Pinkdots,… The project was nearly dead and forgotten when quite unexpectedly, Heyaeb had been selected for a “Goth-Rally” organized by the Blackcave in ’97. “We were absolutely not interested in these kind of activities and that’s why we decided to set up a crazy and carnivalistic performance. The concept was successful and we even got the second price and price of the audience. It incited me to start back composing and I bought some new equipment”.
The second demo “Digital Farts” shows us a totally metamorphosed band which now finds a style in the dark-electronic territories. The arrangements are indeed more worked out while the global soundsculptures are personal and avoiding too much standard sounds.

Searching for influences and loving their second demo, I compare Heyaeb with a traditional Belgian dark-electro basis, but which goes on in time. “I’m not longer interested in traditional electro bands, but I’m rather listening to techno, goa, bit-beat, synth-pop, melancholic rock and dub. It probably has a big influence on our sound and so my goal is to combine the feeling of electro and synth-pop with the technicality and danceability of techno. My favorite bands on this moment are: Empirion, Mesh, Hooverphonic, Apoptygma Berzerk, NIN, Portishead, Massive Attack, Madonna (feat. Orbit), Pragha Khan, Kode 4, Autechre, Aphex Twin, Sven Väth, Luke Slater, Faithless and definitely Novastar (best Belgian rock-album ever!)”. Heyaeb avoids to drown in the big pool of clones and bands which think that electronic music stopped after the golden eighties, but prick up one’s ears to the current trends. “The bands now all pretend to be original and free from influences. I’m not ashamed to admit that we started from electro and EBM, but we don’t want to stagnate in this style and try to recover the electro-basis with current influences: a sort of nineties (or millennium-) EBM, provided of techno, big-beats and dub. Jan Dewulf (Mildreda) described our music from the beginning as beïng Eurodance”.

After the excellent second demo, things went very fast. Heyaeb got the chance to play at a more or less important festival in Bruges (Necropolis 98). The audience liked their show. Alain Meulebrouck (The Invitation, Mr.Moonlight, Purple Moon Records) then asked Heyaeb to open the Black Easter Festival. “We sent him a CDR with some of our most danceable songs and he played them at several parties as sort of promotion. When he saw the enthusiasm of the people, he offered Heyaeb a contract to be signed on his label. At that moment we were still in contact with several other foreign labels, but we noticed that they were often quite unprofessional. Purple Moon took care for the costs and proposed us very good conditions. We don’t regret! Promotion and distribution are perfect…”

“Aperi Ventes” is the first mcd of Heyaeb, containing several potential dancefloor thumbs. It was recorded at the Louis-studios at Tienen, following major bands like Sonic Youth.

Recently they released there first full-length CD called “Sisterly Love”. It is different from the maxi. It is more worked out, sometimes more powerful and sometimes more emotional. Next to the clubhit “Another way to suffer” it contains 13 brand new tracks and one moody ‘hidden track’. Personal favorites: “Let me out!”, “Wander”, “Sisterly love” and the brilliant, very emotional “Afraid”. There are also two remixes on it; one by ‘Diskonnekted’ and a gothic-rock-oriented one by ‘Complete Despair’. Joachim recorded and produced the album at home, after having been very dissapointed by several expensive studio's. He also played all the instruments himself.

According to me, the most fascinating and original aspect of the band is the live-show where they don’t hesitate to add an own sense of humor. “The main point with a lot of bands is that they create a caricature of themselves. The guy you see on stage is different from his real being. We refuse to follow this trend because you’ have to believe in what you’re doing and that’s why we put a bit of humor in our gigs. People like to see something visual, but we’re not going to convince the audience that we’re into vampirism or s/m. I think for several bands the image is getting more importance than the mediocre musical content”. It’s quite wondering that this promising live-band admits to spend a minimum of time in rehearsals before a performance. “We’re climbing on the stage and wait for what’s coming. We sometimes prepare funny items, but most of the show is pure improvisation and an interaction with the audience”.



other projects


Subtle cheating

1 Warming up
2 Lucifer's den
3 Future bomb
4 Aperi ventes
5 Abscheid von der Holle
6 Terminal disease
7 Ohne worten
8 Lucifer's den (speedy version)
9 Die Zaubergeige

demo 2  

Aperi ventes
Purple Moon
Aperi ventes
1 Aperi ventes
2 Another way to suffer
3 Ballade de danse
4 The parting

Sisterly love
Purple Moon
Sisterly love

1 Another way to suffer 2.0
2 The heart drug
3 Let me out!
4 Wander
6 Infernal grooves
7 Eternal sun
8 Nothing more
9 Storm
10 Afraid
11 Final dive
12 Sisterly love
13 Another way to suffer (Diskonnekted RMX)
14 Wandering (Complete Despair RMX)

tbr 2002

page updated on 15.05.2003