The Netherlands was well represented during South by Southwest 2015, and among the showcasing acts from that Western European country was Taymir, sounding a bit like a band from a different time and place.
There’s a 1960s British Invasion component to Taymir’s music, and that’s something singer Bas Prins and guitarist Mikkie B. Wessels are comfortable in acknowledging.
“The Beatles and The Kinks: Our songs are pretty much based on that kind of music, and then we work it out in a different way,” says Prins.
“You always remember or recognize a ’60s song within a second you hear it,” adds Wessels, snapping his fingers for emphasis. “And it will stay in your head for the rest of the day. That kind of aspect was something we were really interested in when we wrote our songs.” (Taymir isn’t a newish band only obsessed with the distant past; admitted influences of more recent vintage include The Strokes and The Hives.)
Prins and Wessels are seated on a couch inside a second-story gifting room at the Container Bar, an industrial-looking venue on hip Rainey Street in Austin, Texas. It’s an overcast Saturday afternoon in late March, and Taymir is about 45 minutes away from playing its fifth and final scheduled gig during SXSW week, which included an official showcase two days earlier at Maggie Mae’s Gibson Room.
Despite their busy schedule, Prins and Wessels appear fresh, and they’re willing to briefly discuss the brief history of their band before hitting Container Bar’s first-floor stage.
“We formed about two years ago,” Wessels says. “Bas and I have known each other since we were babies.”
Wessels met bassist Quinten Meiresonne about three years ago. One day after school, they encountered the inspiration for the band’s moniker.
“We used to coincidentally see this random guy,” recalls Wessels, adding they eventually got around to asking for his name, which the then-innominate group decided to adopt.
“I later found out Taymir wasn’t even his name,” Wessels says. “It’s just what I understood and how I heard it [as Tie-meer].”
Along with drummer Harrie Roelse, Prins, Wessels and Meiresonne recorded Taymir’s debut album, Phosphene, which was released in late 2013 in the Netherlands. Last year, the band played more than 40 festivals, both at home and in other countries. The single “Aaaaah” placed high on Dutch airplay charts, and the track “What Would You Say” was included on New Moons: Volume II, an emerging-artists compilation released by London-based Killing Moon Records.
Releasing Phosphene in other countries is a priority for Taymir in 2015; Sony has the album on its release schedule for Europe this summer. And as Taymir had hoped, U.S. labels took notice of the band during SXSW 2015.
When Phosphene does come out in America, it will be unchanged, featuring the same songs, tracking order and mix as the 2013 edition, according to Prins and Wessels.
“We really want it to be like, ‘The album is what it is,’ ” Prins says.
“It gave us a really successful year in Holland,” Wessels adds. “We’re doing a tour in May in Germany [opening for The Arkells] because of that album. I don’t think there’s a need to change it.”
Taymir itself has changed since recording and releasing Phosphene. Friend Isai Reiziger — who, like Taymir’s other members, is a student at the Herman Brood Academie in Utrecht, the primary national Dutch arts/music academy — became the group’s drummer at the beginning of this year.
As a result, Wessels says, “It’s almost like you’re listening to a different band” in 2015. The current lineup is working on new music as it continues to promote Taymir’s debut.
— By Chris M. Junior
From left to right: Taymir members Isai Reiziger, Bas Prins, Mikkie B. Wessels and Quinten Meiresonne. Photographed March 21, 2015, in Austin, Texas, by Chris M. Junior