Belgium chooses 'The Wrong Place'04 March 2021 at 08:54 CET
Pop perfectionists Hooverphonic have revealed the long road The Wrong Place has travelled to reach the version you hear today. Speaking about the creative process at their video launch, the band shared that around 25 songs were in the running for Rotterdam, with a further 21 versions of this track being mixed before deciding they were happy for it to be released.
The song is written by the band's bassist Alex Callier and Charlotte Foret, who caught Callier’s eye with her indie single Wasted Time, though The Wrong Place wasn't penned with the Eurovision Song Contest in mind, explains Alex:
“Not at all. But it kept popping up as a possible candidate. There was something about that song that made an impression. As per usual, this is a Hooverphonic tune that could be the soundtrack to a non-existing movie.
The lyrics are inspired by Lee Hazelwood, who wrote These Boots Are Made For Walkin' for Nancy Sinatra, and countless other classics. With the whiff of sarcasm, some sardonic humour, and the well-defined attitude as a result."
The Americana influence continues throughout the song as Alex goes on to explain:
“We heard Johnny Cash on the radio during a songwriting session. In jest, we gave ourselves the challenge to incorporate Johnny Cash in our new song. This resulted in the lyric: ‘Don’t you ever dare to wear my Johnny Cash T-shirt’. The rest of the song is built around this phrase.”
The group’s singer Geike Arnaert was keen to share her thoughts about the Eurovision Song Contest:
"When I joined the band again last fall, Alex mentioned the Eurovision Song Contest and a voice in my head said: 'Oh, right, there’s that …' International attention of this magnitude is decidedly outside of my comfort zone. But then again, I have to admit that 9-year old Geike looked up to Belgian candidates like Sandra Kim and Liliane Saint-Pierre. I even imitated them in my own backyard. The contest has always fascinated me, and might as well have planted the seed that put me on the path of becoming a singer."
Lead guitarist Raymond Geerts has his own memories too:
"Even as a kid, me and the Eurovision Song Contest had a bond. The jukebox in my grandmother’s café had all the winners’ singles. The diversity of the festival have always been dear to me. I really dig Non ho l’età (by Italy's 1964 winner Gigliola Cinquetti) and ABBA's Waterloo from 1974, the Belgian entries from Jean Valé, Louis Neefs and Bob Benny, and the revolutionary trailblazing song Rendez-vous by Pas De Deux from 1983. I'm looking forward to representing Belgium this year."
Hooverphonic will perform in the second half of the first Semi-Final on Tuesday 18 May.
The Belgian band have been releasing music that blurs lines between symphonic soundscapes and highly infectious pop tunes for over 2 decades. Last year they celebrated the 20th anniversary of their landmark album The Magnificent Tree and to mark the occasion they released an updated version of its lead single Mad About You; widely considered a fan favourite and their biggest success worldwide so far.
Hooverphonic are a band that like to go off the beaten path. For over quarter of a century, they have perfected their own unique, instantly recognisable sound. Alex Callier (songwriter and producer) and Raymond Geerts (guitarist) have been the band’s backbone from day one.
Throughout the band’s history Callier and Geerts have worked together with a wide range of supremely talented singers. Between their 2020 and 2021 Eurovision entries, lead vocalist Luka Cruysberghs left the Sint-Niklaas outfit and was replaced by previous longterm member Geike Arnaert who had been part of the set-up from 1997 to 2008.
Through the years, the band has evolved from the dark, subdued trip hop from their 1996 début to a warmer, more orchestral sound that’s part psychedelic, part catchy and part poppy, but always the soundtrack to a non-existing movie! Hooverphonic still tours the world with a solid live reputation and hits like 2Wicky, Eden, Mad About You, Anger Never Dies, Amalfi, Badaboum and Romanti.
Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest
Belgium is one of the founding countries of the Eurovision Song Contest, participating in Lugano in 1956 and only missing three competitions since (1994, 1997, and 2001).
Interestingly, Belgium has entered the competition twice with a song performed in an imaginary language: Sanomi in 2003 and O Julissi in 2008.