An advantage of our job here is that we can spend some time surfing
the internet during the working hours, and we're getting paid for it too.
At a certain moment, we ended up on a Belgian site called "the Belgian Pop
& Rock Archives", with on it about everything there is to be said about
Flemish popmusic. We searched a bit to locate the maker of this site, but we have
him on the phone now. It's Dirk Houbrechts.
Good afternoon, Dirk.
Why have you started such a thing, the Belgian pop archive ??
Mainly because that information was sadly lacking on the internet. And because
that was very close to both my hobbies : the internet and music.
So if I understand it well, this is a hobby of yours ??
You weren't commisioned to make this site ??
So why did you start, I presume there is a lot of work involved ??
It ended up being a huge site, but that's a thing that has grown slowly.
It isn't like writing a book where you have to respect a deadline. I started with
10 biographies, and than worked on up from there.
And when do you do that ??
In the evenings and during the week-ends.
A personal question : Are you married ?? Have a girl-friend ?? Still live at
No. No. Yes.
So if they ask for you, your parents say "He's in his room, he's on the
That happens, yes.
What is it exactly that we can find on your site ??
The core of the site are some 180 biographies ranging from the fifties to
these days - with a slight emphasis on the early eighties. Of all these bands
there is a bio, a discography, some audio, scanned sleeves, weblinks. The visitors
can also offer records for sale, tell they're looking for some records, review
Don't you have a problem with royalties then, if you're offering music ??
Yes, that's true. But all the artists that have come by are quite enthousiastic
about the site and view it as an extra promotional tool for Belgian music. (I
forgot to say that the audio-quality is also very low, and that the fragments
Curiously enough, the site is in English.
I started it in English, yes. But now I'm slowly translating everything
that's on there into Dutch. My French is kinda weak. If I had started the site
in Dutch, I would have scared away the French-speaking Belgians perhaps.
Isn't it very expensive ??
No, it isn't that expensive. If you want to publicize something on the net,
you can get ample webspace for free. I hire webspace with an American provider,
'cause they are very fast and I can keep everything nicely together. But that
costs me only 10$ a month. (forgot to tell my phone bills are quite high though)
Oh I see. That's cheap. So, Dirk, I wish you all the luck with your life's
And we'll put the website address of your site in the form of a link on the
Radio 1-website. The listeners will be
able to find it there. Bye.