Photo By Pieter Clicteur

Photo By Pieter Clicteur

Your Life on Hold published their third album some months ago: Echoes from the Bardo. Nine songs, nine amazing masterpieces, that show how YLoH are today one of the world gothic rock figureheads. Jan Dewulf kindly answered our questions, here is the interview.



  1. Everybody in Spain (at least everyone who read laletracapital) know you, but we would like you to introduce yourselves.


Your Life On Hold is a Belgian gothic rock band injecting the classic gothic rock sound with some fresh ideas and sounds. On stage Your Life On Hold is a full combo of six bringing the gothic rock sound to life.


  1. Do you want to tell us about YLOH meaning? Why did you start making music? Why this kind of music? What is your personal description of your sound?


Your Life On Hold is the melancholic but consoling soundtrack to a life of solitude and loss. The music expresses the inner torments when life gets stuck in sorrow and despair. But the songs also offer some comfort to the troubled soul, they soothe the consuming feeling of desolation. I would label the music we make as gothic rock. The music is dark, but there’s light hidden underneath.

I started making music more than 25 years ago. The reason I make music is because it’s my own personal way to exorcise my inner demons. But although my music and lyrics are personal, I want the listeners to resonate with the stories and feelings in the music. I want people to recognize their own stories in my music.


  1. The Belgian scene is not well known in Spain, besides yourselves, what’s your recommendations for our listeners?

Gothic rock in Belgium? Let me see… Our friends from Ground Nero and A Slice of Life are two bands that pop up in my mind. Or my friends from Der Klinke. And Star Industry, they’ve been around like forever. So there’s definitely happening something here in Belgium. But the scene is growing smaller with each second, and that’s a shame really.


  1. How is the composition process? First music, then lyrics, or… The rest of the band also work in the musical creation?


In general I make the music pretty much on my own in the studio. When things are almost finished I invite some of the guys to add some bass or specific guitar parts. The first three albums were made like this. On stage we’re a bunch of six though, and in the meantime we’ve become very attuned to each other. This is why we decided to make the next album with the very six of us together. We already started jamming during rehearsals.

Lyrics and music are taking shape independently. They come together somewhere in the process.


  1. How important are lyrics for you? What do you talk about? What do you want to express through them?


The lyrics are very important. I guess they’re pretty much the very core of YLOH. As if I were exorcising my inner demons, the lyrics deal with disillusion, pain and desolation. I express personal feelings, but as I said earlier, I want people to reflect with the feelings I share within my songs.


  1. Why did you choose English for your music? Which artists, musicians or otherwise do you consider have influenced your style?


I think English fits pop and rock music really good, and I’m sure the language is understood by lots of people around the globe. So many things influenced me. I’ve been a producer of music for a quarter of a century. That journey, making different kinds of music throughout the years, made me the producer and musician I am now. But I’ve always been into the darker kind of music, whether it’s dark electro, industrial or gothic rock. Making electronica for years, and listening to a broad variety of music spiced up my perspectives. All those different influences and experiences came together when starting Your Life On Hold. I guess this explains why Your Life On Hold had a very distinctive sound from the start. If you want me to mention some names, I’d say Love Like Blood as an important influence.


  1. You publish nowadays for Solar Lodge who edit albums by other interesting bands like Merciful Nuns, Aeon Sable, La Scaltra, Whispers in the Shadow, Near Earth Orbit and The Devil & the Universe. Today is one of the most prolific labels, just in a time when it’s very difficult to publish physical albums, Spotify (and others) is near to “eat” all…


Music business is constantly changing and is facing rather difficult times indeed. Streaming technology changed the face of the industry. The cool thing about it, is the availability of music. People can discover so many new things by just browsing a vast collection of music. But the downside is that artists are underpaid and labels are struggling to survive. Luckily the niche scene we’re in is loyal and still prefers a physical record. That’s one of the reasons Solar Lodge is still going strong. And their quest for quality of course.


  1. What’s your relationship with the rest of Solar Lodge bands? (Artaud Seth sings one of the songs in your last album)


I met some of the bands already on a Solar Lodge Convention, and I hope more occasions like that will happen again in the future. A tour with one of the bands would be cool. I met Artaud a few times now. Apart from being my mentor, he’s a cool guy to talk with.


Photo by Gwenny Cooman

Photo by Gwenny Cooman

  1. Since Burning the Ancient Connection, your sound has evolved quite a lot, getting more personal and diverse…


Thanks. It’s an ongoing quest for sound and lyrics. With the first two albums I wanted to define the blueprint of the ‘Your Life On Hold’ sound. While staying faithful to that specific sound, I felt the urge to become more melodic on the new album. I allowed myself to experiment a little, and to cross some borders. I’m definitely inspired by the gothic rock and dark wave sound of the 90’s but I see Your Life On Hold as a band of today. Especially on the production side, I consider us a modern band embracing new technologies and ideas. While there’s an echo of the past in our music, we consider ourselves in the ‘now’, not in the past.


  1. The title My Name is Legion for We are Many seems like a Christian Bible reference. Are you considered religious? In Solar Lodge there are many bands who “use” strong and powerful religious, spiritual (and esoteric) images like Merciful Nuns or Aeon Sable…


I’m definitely not religious, but I like the symbols and rituals of religious or spiritual activities. The looks of it, basically. I like to play with religious symbols, and create suggestive images and ideas while (ab)using them. The ‘bardo’ for example, is the Tibetan concept for the ‘intermediate state’ between death and reincarnation. But I tore it free from the religious connotation, so it became a symbol for the whole idea behind Your Life On Hold: the in-between world, that no-man’s-land between different stages in life, between relationships, between darker days and better days.


  1. About Echoes from the Bardo. I think it is a great album, full of amazing feelings and a huge energy. Maybe it is one of your more energetic albums. Do you agree?


There’s a lot of energy indeed and all songs are driven by the same main concept. I think this is the ‘golden glue’ that makes the bigger picture even stronger. I try to become a better songwriter and producer with each record. For the third album I took a more classic gothic rock direction and injected the Your Life On Hold sound with a rather melodic approach. I guess the melody is another driving force of the album.


  1. The CD has a beautiful and cared design (the three, really). How important is this for you? Is there any connection about the artworks?


Thank you. Yes, the artwork as well as the image of the band are important. It’s part of the general concept of the band. I try to stay faithful to a certain look and feel. While I did the artwork for the first and last album myself, the second album was done by Phønique Arts (aka Golden Apes singer Peer Lebrecht).


  1. We’ve always (or at least since the late eighties) heard, both within and without the scene, that gothic rock is as well as dead. What do you think about present dark scene? There are tons of bands today and most of all sound really good!


They’ve been telling the scene is dead for some decades now, so I’m sure we’ve been pretty much alive all this time. But the scene is growing smaller and it lacks young blood. But as long as good music is being made and great new bands keep the flame burning, things will be okay.


  1. Echoes from the Bardo is a very very diverse and eclectic collection of feelings, since songs like Let’s start a war to, for example, Let’s Start a Fire, since harder to smoother…


“Let’s start a war” is the black mirror for the softer “Let’s start a fire”. I guess Nine Inch Nails taught me you can switch from heavy to quiet in one and the same song. NIN also taught me quiet can be painful and harsh while loud can be uplifting and peaceful. If you don’t get lost in translation but tell the story right, you can use any language. And that’s what I want to do: I try to get the story right in my songs. Sometimes heavy guitars are the best way to translate a certain idea, sometimes I need repetitive dreamy guitars. I like to switch back and forth without losing focus on the story.


  1. Which is your favourite song of YLOH career? Why? And to perform live?


In general I remain really happy of all songs, which gives me a comfortable and grateful feeling. But a personal favourite is probably ‘Falling’. It’s the oldest YLOH song in fact. I love to play it live. It has this nice uplifting feeling which gives me goose bumps every time we play it live.


  1. The pandemic attacked the entire music scene. How did Covid19 affect YLOH as a band, apart of the cancelled gigs?


Mid March, we had to cancel our mini UK-tour because Belgium was just starting its restrictions and things were very uncertain. It was a very hard and heartbreaking decision to cancel the tour. It would have been our very first adventure on the road. Another gig was cancelled as well. And then there was W-Festival that was postponed at first but then cancelled all the way to be replaced by Sinner’s Day that eventually got cancelled as well. And this was just our story. But in fact every band has to deal with the very same uncertain situation.


  1. And in future, what is next for you?


We hope to perform live again. That’s on the top of our wish list right now. I’m starting to realize there will be a big gap between the current release and the time we’re playing live concerts again, because of the corona pandemic of course. So maybe there will be an EP or something to fill that void.


Photo By Pieter Clicteur

Photo By Pieter Clicteur

And finally, three questions more frivolous (not sure if the previous ones are in the same way):


  1. You have released many songs in all these years… Which three would you choose from your whole career?


Your Life On Hold: Falling

Dive: Inside your head

Mildreda: The parting (because it’s very first decent song I wrote.)


  1. During the last years, I am sure that there have been a number of bands and songs that seems to have had an influence in your music… Could you choose three songs from other bands that you would have liked to write yourselves?


Fields of the Nephilim: For her light

Sisters of Mercy: Temple of love

Katatonia: My twin


  1. Apart from the three songs just mentioned and the covers you have done, which three songs would you like to cover?


I’m not a big fan of covers. Whether it’s listening to covers or playing them. It’s just not my thing.

Having said that, we might in fact do a cover after all. But I keep that track secret for now… 😉


Thank you very much for all! The last words are yours.


Thank you for the interview!

Let’s start a war;

Let’s start a fire;

A revolution of desire!