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© 2007-2023 weird

A queer perspective on women in pop culture

Ausgabe Nr. 131

November 2018












A New Angle








Interview mit Sarah Bettens

K‘s Choice




Interview: Christine Stonat (10/2018)

Fotos: Frank Clauwers







weird: Why did you decide to be a part of the Belgian TV show “Liefde voor Muziek” (in Germany it is called “Sing meinen Song”)?


Sarah Bettens | K’s Choice: Even though I don’t live in Belgium, I had heard many great things about this show and especially about the musical quality of it. I knew the musicians were amazing and it sounded like a great adventure, so we didn’t hesitate too long.




weird: You can’t choose the artists you have to cover in the show but you can choose a song. Why did you pick the songs you did, means how did you decide which song you wanted to do?


Sarah Bettens | K’s Choice: It was really just a matter of listening through every artist’s repertoire and waiting until something jumped out at us. The genres were so different and out of our comfort zone, that it took a lot of imagination sometimes to imagine a K’s Choice version, but that’s what made it fun and interesting.




weird: I followed your uploads of the songs you covered. And every time I was surprised not surprised how amazingly you arranged the songs and made them sound as if they were your own. How do you approach to a song of another artist?


Sarah Bettens | K’s Choice: What I kept in mind is trying to keep the essence of the song, what the original artist wanted to say, but still make it our own. It wasn’t easy to do, but an amazing creative challenge.




weird: Is the aspiration, challenge and demand you have and feel towards yourself the same with cover songs than with your own songs? Where do you see differences maybe?


Sarah Bettens | K’s Choice: Every time I put something out there with my name on it, the standards are high. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for a tv show, a solo project or a new K’s Choice album. I pride myself on becoming a better musician and a better songwriter all the time, so I have high expectations of anything new that’s going to be released.




weird: As far as I know you never did much cover versions in your K’s Choice and also solo career of over 25 years. Why is it so and why was it the right time for you to do so now?


Sarah Bettens | K’s Choice: We’ve done a lot of covers over the years actually when we play live, but not so often on a record. We did it for some of the acoustic albums. It’s always tricky recording cover songs, because usually the song was already perfect in its original form, so you don’t want to dishonor the artist by recording some lesser, watered down version. So when we actually go through with it, we take great care in assuring we’re adding something to the experience and it’s worth being on tape.




weird: What is the most important thing for you if you are about to cover a song?


Sarah Bettens | K’s Choice: The most important thing is that the cover version adds something to the original. I’m not saying it has to be necessarily better, but if it’s going to have the right to exist, there has to be something about it that makes it interesting, maybe a new angle, a new approach.




weird: How do you generally feel about others covering K’s Choice or Sarah Bettens songs?


Sarah Bettens | K’s Choice: I love it! I take it as a great compliment that someone likes my songs enough to sing it and perform it. It always amazes me when I find out that somewhere in the world, someone has been playing the very song I wrote somewhere in my bedroom years ago.




weird: How did you experience the others covering your songs particularly in the show?


Sarah Bettens | K’s Choice: I was very impressed. Most of the other artists on the tv show came from a very different musical background, so I was very curious to see how they would handle our material. I loved every second of it, really. The songs were all over the place, so original and interesting. ‘Believe’ for example was translated into Flemish and has become the biggest hit of the year, it’s a trip!




weird: How important is the feedback of the artist you covered for you? In the show it is direct and face to face, with other songs you might never get any reaction at all.


Sarah Bettens | K’s Choice: We all liked and respected each other so much on the show, it was very important to know what the other artist thought of your rendition of their song. That was what made us the most nervous. Not the millions of viewers. J




weird: Is there anything you took with you from the show, I mean like new impressions, visions, ideas, thoughts, feelings, something new you learned …?


Sarah Bettens | K’s Choice: I learned that I have much more in common with these other artists than I thought. It was eye opening for me to see how we’re really all doing the same thing, just in very different ways. I don’t want to sound corny, but I really feel like I learned from it, learned to be more open to what other people are doing and all different approaches.




weird: After the show you took the songs you covered in the show and other cover songs and put them on a record which is out since June 2018. It is called “Love = Music”. And I guess it is not only a great album but also a great title because I think it is definitely right. How do you experience all the love that you get and that you give with your music and live shows?


Sarah Bettens | K’s Choice: It’s everything in this job, really. It’s the interaction with the other musicians when you look at each other while you’re playing because it’s all locking great, or the interaction with the audience on any given night, when the vibe is just right and everyone just feels happy. Music is such a great equalizer that way, it unites.




weird: You will be on tour in fall and winter 2018/2019 with that album. What will it be like? Acoustic or full sound full band? Cover songs only or will you also play some of your own songs?


Sarah Bettens | K’s Choice: We have already finished our first leg of our 37-show tour and it’s been amazing. We’re performing as a trio, so we added Tom Lodewijckx, our guitar player, to the mix. The night is a combination of K’s Choice songs, cover songs that meant something to Gert and me in our childhood and of course the Love = Music tracks. All shows in Belgium are sold out and it feels good to be out there and finally play this set we’ve been working on and putting together for such a long time. When we start a tour like this, we take the setlist very seriously and truly attempt to put together a night that is special, not just a random collection of songs.







Interview: Christine Stonat (10/2018)

Fotos: Frank Clauwers

Sarah Bettens mit ihrer Alternative Rock-Band K‘s Choice ist die absolute out Lieblingsmusikerin der weird-Redaktion. Sie war die erste Interviewpartnerin in weirds allererster Ausgabe im November 2007. Seither folgten weitere Interviews mit ihr. Zuletzt zu weirds 10-jährigem Jubiläum im November 2017. Zum ersten Mal ist uns K‘s Choice als Vorband von Heroes del Silencio im PC69, Bielefeld begegnet und hat uns seitdem nicht mehr losgelassen.


Die Belgierin Sarah Bettens, die seit vielen Jahren mit Partnerin und Kindern in den USA lebt, war eine zeitlang solo unterwegs und ist jetzt seit ein paar Jahren wieder gemeinsam mit ihrem Bruder mit ihrer Rockband K‘s Choice aktiv. Letztes Jahr hatte die Band 25-jähriges Jubiläum. Seither sind sie fast rund um die Uhr auf Tour. So auch diesen Herbst und Winter 2018/2019. Die Tour durch Belgien und die Niederlande, wo K‘s Choice man kann fast sagen Superstars sind, geht vom 29.11.18 bis zum 3.2.19. Die Band hat - besonders live - eine sehr rockige Seite mit mitreißendem Indierock und eine sehr softe mit intensiven, wunderschönen Balladen und Akustikversionen.


Auf ihrem neuen Album „Love = Music“ präsentiert die Band um Sängerin und Gitarristin Sarah Bettens jetzt erstmals ausschließlich Coversongs. Darunter der Song „Message To My Girl“ der neuseeländischen Crowded House Vorgängerband Split Enz um Frontmann Neil Finn. Überaus beeindruckend wie Sarah Bettens und ihre Band es schaffen aus jedem Song ihren „eigenen“ zu machen. K‘s Choice waren 2018 Teil der belgischen Version von „Sing meinen Song“. Das neue Album „Love = Music“ besteht aus 8 Songs aus der Show und 9 weiteren Coversongs. Im aktuellen weird-Interview - hier im englischen Original veröffentlicht - erzählt Sarah Bettens von ihren Erfahrungen bei der TV-Cover-Show, vom Covern und Gecovert werden, von ihrem aktuellen Album und warum Liebe = Musik ist.





K‘s Choice

„Love = Music“ (Wallaby Records)

Out: seit Juni 2018

Single: „No One Knows“



Live: 29.11.18 - 3.2.19 Belgien + Niederlande




Weiteres weird-Interview mit Sarah Bettens s. Archiv-Ausgabe Nr. 121 November 2017


- in eigenen Worten -


Name: Sarah Bettens

Alter: 46

Beruf: Musician

Wohnort: Palm Desert, California

Meine weirdeste Eigenschaft: I’m a very boring eater. I could easily exist on oatmeal and steamed vegetables alone. If I never had to go to a restaurant again, I would not be sad about it.


11 Jahre weird

 November 2007  -  November 2018

Sarah Bettens | K‘s Choice | Foto: Frank Clauwers

Hinweis: Sam Bettens ist ein trans Mann. Dieses sowie frühere Interviews mit ihm wurden vor dem öffentlichen Coming-out unter seinem alten Namen geführt und die Einleitung mit altem Pronomen geschrieben.

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