songs : An Pierlé
Produced : Karel De Bakker & Jo Bogaert
Year : 1999
Record co. : WEA
Born in 1974 as An Miel Mia Pierlé, she supposedly declared
at a very young age that she wanted to "act and sing and make music and dance
and if possible all together". She didn't like her classical piano-education
though, and enrolled at the age of 17 at the art-school Studio Herman Teirlinck
in Antwerp. In her third year there she made a solo-programme with songs of her
own, alone at the piano.
few cautious tryouts in small rock-clubs - to check if the combination Pierlé/Piano
also had an impact outside of the shielded environment of art school - she took
a bold step to send in a cassette to Humo's Rock Rally, edition 1996. Her participation
was a success, because she went all the way to the final and was spoken about
more than any other band (despite the presence of Arid
Her impressive version of Tubeway Army & Gary Numan's "Are friends electric"
became a radio-hit. The live-tape of this also was included in a British Gary
Numan tribute "Random" (with contribution of Dave Clarke, The Orb, Moloko
and Damon Albarn van Blur). Gary himself has stated he was mighty impressed with
the version she did of the song.
The result of all this was a modest "An Pierlé"-hype, but
this didn't rush her into exploiting the situation : "After the rock Rally
I had to slow down a little : it all came kinda sudden, everybody heard I supposedly
was fantastic so they were expecting a lot from me ... But I was lucky. My name
was out and that gave me the chance to develop ... Nobody cares about local talent,
you have to aim internationally from the start. And it has to be very good to
do that. Music is a game, but a serious one at that : I want to do this for the
rest of my life, so I'd rather make one really good thing than ten worthless things",
she told Knack.
The waiting for a first album took some time, because she went on a tour with
the theater play "Bernadetje" of Victoria for almost two years, and
played a part in the television series "Moeder waarom leven wij". During
this period she did play some solo-concerts in Belgium and Holland (eg. Gentse
and Lokerse Feesten, Boterhammen In Het Park, Marktrock '98, Crossing Borders,
Lowlands and Pukkelpop '98).
A cooperation with Kloot Per W (In the Belly) didn't produce
anything, a cooperation with Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung
(DAAU) made it's way onto the CD "We need New Animals" as the track
So it wasn't until early '98 that she signed a record deal with Warner Music
Benelux. After a few scrimmages to find a producer to her liking - in the end
they opted to work with Karel De Bakker (soundman of Zita Swoon, A Group ...)
- they started the recording of what was to become "Mud
Stories" in an attic above a theater hall in Ghent. On top of the takes
with an electrical Yamaha CP-80 piano, they recorded extra takes on a grand piano
with Jo Bogaert (Technotronic-fame). And as the
official bio says : "The debut "Mud Stories" offers an multifaceted
amalgam of surprisingly diverse and mostly brand new material. All in pure singer-songwriter
tradition, with influences from Bach to John Cale to Dolly Parton and even Kim
Wilde. An Pierlé uses delicate ingredients : an impressive voice, sometimes
an electrical, sometimes an acoustic piano, here and there combined with highly
effective"arrangements". To conclude from this that it is a "sweet"
album would be wrong though : this "wild freshness" often hides a "distorted"
side ... Pierlé clearly has has done "her own thing", and is
proud of it too!"
2000 she did a lot of concerts, culminating in a place at the Rock Werchter festival
in the summer. Warner also released a CD, filled with all kinds of remixes of
the Mud Stories track "Tower". Among the coöperators on this were
DJ Mig One (Starflam), Jo Bogaert (Technotronic),
Buscemi, DJ's Geoffrey and Marius, multi-instrumentalist
Eavesdropper and the classical Hermes-ensemble. Especially the Starflam-mix got
quite a bit of airplay.
Besides her solo-concerts on the piano (and accordion) she also performes in a
more experimental form as "Gis & Pierlexa". This was a project initially
developed for SMAK in Ghent, in which she played with some other musicians (hier
friend on guitar & her soundman on "noise"), allowing her to show
her more theatrical side and experiment with new songs.
In 2001 - aside from a small tour in Brusels and Wallonia and new track named
"Telephone" she lended to a CD "Psychoasis" - it remained
fairly quiet around An Pierlé. But there are certainly plans for a 2nd
CD. Thus, she told Veto in October 2000: "It won't certainly become a
copycat of the first cd, but also won't be a radical change of style and genre
either. My style of playing has already undergone quite a bit of evolution. Also,
it won't be piano only, although it will remain sober, at least that the goal.
The second album is a difficult one to make, isn't this what they're always saying?
I just want it to be good. And that means there's still a lot of work to do. For
the first CD I spent a lot of time figuring out what direction to take, and what
to say with it. I also want to do that extensively for a 2nd CD.".
Buy CD's of this artist
- Mud Stories (Warner, 1999)
- Tower (8 remixes of "Tower", Warner, 2000)
de track "Are Friends Electric" is o.m. te vinden op :
- Humo's Rockrally '96 (Double T Music, 1996)
- Big In Belgium (Double T Music, 1996)
- Rockgarden (De Standaard, 1996)
- Random (a Gary Numan tribute, Beggar's Banquet, 1997 )
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