A party in the '90s would be incomplete without a dose of their peppy numbers. Vengaboys, the Dutch pop band formed in 1996, shot to fame with songs such as To Brazil!, Boom, boom, boom, boom, and more. While their lyrics were sparse no-brainer, their over-the-top videos, garish costumes and energetic music were loved by all. In 2001, when the band toured India, fans went crazy, and turned up in hoards. However, their fame fizzled a few years later when the group disbanded in 2002. Now, they are back again, and are set to perform in Mumbai. Ahead of their gig, band member Robin Pors spoke to us from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in a telephonic interview, and said that he still believes that they can get the party started.
You are coming to India after almost 14 years. What took you so long?
India is far away from Amsterdam. But finally, we are coming back.
Your band was really big in the late '90s till 2001-02. What caused the slump after that?
In the late '90s, we were exploding. In 2002, we were becoming hysterical (sic). Then, we took a break because there was too much work on our hands, and we were travelling a lot. In 2006, we started performing again because people were constantly requesting us to come back on stage. We did a few performances. Now we are back again.
Why did the group split?
There were differences between us, but they weren't that big. We were young when the band started; just 19 or 20. We don't fight now.
But when the band started drifting apart, it did dent your popularity.
I'm not sure. It feels like we are still popular because when we perform, the crowds still go crazy. The only difference is that we don't make real big music or deliver big hits like We're Going To Ibiza. But when we play these songs, everybody goes nuts. I can imagine that people have moved on, and have been saying that we are non-existent, or that we have not been there for a long time. But when people see us, they say we are alive and still a lot of fun.
Has life changed from the time when you guys were hugely popular?
Yes, life was different then. We had to do a lot of TV and radio show appearances, and interviews. We had to work 24x7. There was something happening every day. Now, we chill and party, and sometimes, we make new music and put it out there for fans. Life is easy now. We hang out on the beach in Amsterdam, and perform at night. The best thing for an artiste is to perform for fans. And that's the only thing that we are doing right now, and it's the best job in the world.
Your band's line-up has changed frequently over the years. How did that affect your music?
We work with two producers who have been making music with the band for some time now. So the band's sound hasn't changed. We had a change of band members, but the present line-up has three original members - me (Robin Pors), Denise Post-Van Rijswijk and Kim Sasabone.
Are you expecting the same kind of response from your fans in India that you received 14 years back?
I hope so. Wherever we go on this planet to perform, we get a good response. We will have fun in India just like the last time. Everybody likes to party, and Indians like to party.
Most of your songs are about partying. Is life all about partying for you all?
Yes it is. Last weekend, we had a big party in Amsterdam. We do like to party, and love to hang out with people.
Are any of your songs inspired by Indian music?
We don't release all the music that we make. Yes, we have made a song that's influenced by Indian music, but we never released it. We may play it in India… Then we can play it in a Bollywood movie and feature in a Bollywood movie.
Other than the concerts, what else is on your itinerary?
I would like to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra. We want to have some fun in Mumbai. I have seen some photos of Goa, and I have heard it is a beautiful place. I want to stay there for three-four days, have some fun, lie on the beach and meet new people.