It’s not often that an artist blows you of your feet the first time you get the chance to see him/her perform. Robin Borneman did. His music, voice, lyrics, intense performance, tough appearance, awesome band and super kind personality mix up to goosebumps all the way.
Robin Borneman’s recent life is best described as a musical novel, as a boy’s dream come true. In 2013 the singer from The Netherlands was discovered on YouTube by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO), an American progressive rockband. With over 10 million records and many more concert tickets sold, TSO is one of the most successful rock-productions of our time. Robin is touring with TSO two months a year, performing for millions of people in arenas all over the US and Europe.
Folklore I, II and III
The man whose gravelly voice filled and tamed many sold-out arenas in the US has more to offer. There’s another side to him that’s more profound, sensitive, even philosophical. He expresses it with his own music. A mix of dark roots, blues, folk and film music. An emotional blend of styles that surprises and touches with each and every song. His albums were described as ‘mini radio plays’ that take the listener on an exciting adventure, with the wayward Borneman singing and crying his heart out in songs ranging from vulnerable spoken word, to fully orchestrated musical epics. Film music, anyone?
In 2012 his self-released, short album ‘Home’ regionally sold so many copies that in some recordstores he became top-selling artist, even topping big-time stars like Muse and Ben Howard. It got him a record deal with a small new label, Kroese Records. Between 2015 and 2019 they’ve released his longplayer trilogy Folklore I, II and III. The songs are about a nameless traveller who is exploring, travelling towards new worlds, passing the dark places and almost gets lost before finding the light again.
Distant echoes of Tom Waits, 16 Horsepower and Johnny Cash float around the eerie landscape, while the warmth of Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen offers a sense of hope and beauty. The cinematographic detail that’s become Robin’s trademark has been fully developed here, and the album was greatly received by the press. Not long after the release Robin signed with Dutch booking agency Bureau Zwaardvis and he played several festivals around the country with his band before he flew to the US for yet another tour with TSO. More info, music & tour dates at www.robinborneman.com.
What makes road tripping so special?
“When I’m travelling I’m always in the NOW. I’m not thinking about tomorrow as much as at home. I can sit on a mountain and just gaze, and not really think about anything at all. A rare moment for me, and a time of inspiration and reflection.”
What’s your best road trip so far?
“(Multiple memories enter my head) … I went to New Zealand with one of my best friends a few years ago, that was epic. We travelled around for two months in a rental van. We went hiking, climbing, skydiving etc. Extremely adventurous and us being together made it extra special for me because I usually travel alone. Also, this year I went to Scotland with my Dad. We walked the West Highland Way which was absolutely stunning. We’re going to do a hike every year from now on. My dad’s still a badass!”
Which road trip is on your bucket list?
“Antarctica. An obscure choice perhaps but … yes. I would love to go there, gaze over the immense ice plateaus and just imagine the world in a different way. I think it would be mesmerizing. It’s really the last place on Earth that’s truly untouched by people. I would probably go there alone. Actually, there’s something I do every year and that’s going out to the mountains alone. It’s a beautiful place in France that I’ve come to know very well. It’s everything I could dream of; mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, stunning views and not too many people haha. If only I could build myself a house there…”
What means of transport would you use on that road trip?
“A friend of mine went to the South Pole on a large ship that he worked on. It was an old ship, almost like a pirate ship! Very cool. They sailed from Patagonia to Antarctica in a few weeks time. His pictures were truly stunning. I’d do that! If it’s closer to home? Well, hypothetically, an old Volkswagen hippie van. No, an old school bus!”
Who would you travel with?
“With my band, touring in Europe! We’d be perfect travel buddies for sure. My bandmates are the best, we would talk about life and music for hours while Manny, our Irish driver, would occasionally stop for fuel, or say something cool.”
What about music on the road?
“We’d probably write songs on the road! The best songs happen when you’re in the moment you know. And we’d all be together, it would be perfect. Furthermore we would play anything from Bob Dylan to James Blake. And some classical music as well, maybe Bach. We’d have whiskey, but not too much, just enough :-). Man, I’m starting to look forward to all this. Let’s make this happen!”