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The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives on the Radio!

On november 16, 1998, I was interviewed live-on-air by Benny D'Haeseleer for the VRT-Radio 1 programme "Rang 1"
Below you find an English transcript of the interview, but you can also listen to it in Dutch in streaming Real-audio : interview.

Het Belgisch Pop & Rock Archief op de Radio!

Op 16 november 1998 werd ik geïnterviewd voor het Radio1-programma "Rang 1"
Hieronder staat een engelse transcriptie van het interview met Benny D'Haeseleer, maar in het Nederlands kan je er beter naar luisteren in Real-Audio : interview.



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.

Good Afternoon.

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 home ??

No. No. Yes.

So if they ask for you, your parents say "He's in his room, he's on the internet" ??

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 concerts, albums.

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 are short)

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 work.

Thanks !

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.





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Dirk Houbrechts stopped working at The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives (you can read his personal statement here). The website is now entrusted to the Flanders Music Centre ( Contact:

Watch it : This site pays royalties, and was built and maintained in accordance with the terms and conditions negotiated with SABAM, the Belgian society of copyright-holders. Consultation of this site is free, but this exludes downloading, reproducing or public performance of any part of this site. Please do not copy. Link!

Last update to this site : March 2002.

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