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Aeilko Venema

Aeilko Venema | Lead Vocals | Lead Guitar

At age 17 I had some lessons on a Hammond. But was so traumatized due to the poor teaching, that I switched to guitar.

After only having my first guitar for a couple of days I bluffed my way into a school band, who were looking for a rhythm guitarist. Like a Japanese Tourist, I copied everything there was to learn from the lead guitarist and had the chord work down pat in no time.

After one gig I was asked to join a band that, in those days, was pretty famous in The Netherlands: The HeroeZ. A band that knew no boundaries and because of that, inspired a lot of young people to a career in Rock music!

After The HeroeZ I played in another local band for a short period of time with a, at that time, very young Toine Vanderlinden (e.g. Hot Legs, Martyr, Rebelstar and more recently Tony Mills) on bass and Jean Monsou (e.g. Secret Sounds, Time Bandits and Moonflower) on drums who was about the same age as Toine. Musicians who would end up making it in the music scene.
In ‘81 I quit music. Sold everything except for my guitar!

A few years (and a failed relationship) later I picked up writing music again, together with keyboardist Ad van der Voorn with whom I would form the band My Pleasure in ‘87. A band that combined great original music with a lot of exciting performances. Sharing festival stages with the likes of Golden Earring, Loïs Lane and The Pretty Things from the UK. Shortly after starting My Pleasure, I was asked by the brothers Van Staa to become their lead guitarist to thicken their sound a little. Music in the typical English Wave-Rock tradition. Until ‘94 I’d been playing in two bands at the same time.

In ‘95 I quit playing a second time, but this time I started my own PA rental- and Mobile Recording Company. I’ve helped out quite a few big names in de Rock industry to sound their best by being their FOH sound engineer. Artists as Tony MacAlpine, Mike Terrana, Szekeres Tamas and Colin Blunstone are a few of the people I’ve worked with. It was around that time that I met Paul and Eric. Both were (regular) FOH sound engineers for a few local bands in The Netherlands. The three of us have worked together many times and did some great sound-jobs together. With Eric I recorded and mixed the first album of Detonation. Paul mastered that album.

Within HARDLAND I’m taking on many different roles: singer, (lead) guitarist, composer, lyricist, arranger, drum-programmer, bass player and keyboardist. Luckily I don’t have to worry about the last three roles anymore now that they’ve been taken into better hands.

Despite many obstacles, our debut album is finished, ready to be promoted and sold. The 2nd album is already being mixed while we’ve also started writing material for a third album. Basically a musician’s life is great! I’m looking forward to what tomorrow has to offer….

Life of a musician is great!