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Bee Gees Forever Wins The Tribute: Battle of the Bands

They had been the audience favorites for weeks, but with Night Fever, Mike Ott and his Bee Gees Forever band members actually took the big win on Saturday evening in SBS6′ The Tribute: Battle of the bands. ‘I had never sung with a falsetto before.’

How difficult was it to keep the secret that you were the winner of The Tribute 2024?

“I didn’t dare to believe it until it happened. Afterwards I walked around for weeks wondering whether it was really true. We were able to share it a bit with the band. But not with the outside world, no. I never dared to dream it. A dream is often not real, but this one is.”

What went through your mind during the recordings when it became clear that you were really going to win?

“I was actually constantly in a kind of disbelief. During the week and a half of recording, everything kind of happened to me. We mainly participated in the program so that we could perform more, but I did not expect that we received such nice comments after each performance.”

The Bee Gees Forever were brought together by Timothy Drake, who also founded the tribute band Queen Forever. He thought the Bee Gees’ music was great as a basis for a tribute band and asked if Mike would also like to participate. In the search for the perfect composition, the band members have changed a number of times. At the end, Martijn Bakker (Maurice Gibb) and Jeffrey Italiaander (Robin Gibb) joined and the formation was finally complete.

How did you decide who would be which Gibb brother?

“I feel most at home in Barry, I’m also the boy with the guitar. But it’s not like we immediately knew who should be which brother. I have also changed roles a few times. So I first started as Robin and later I became Barry.”

You are not only the boy with the guitar, but now also the boy with the iconic falsetto.

“Funnily enough, yes. I had never sung with a falsetto before, but I wanted to try it. It was a bit of a Pippi Longstocking situation. I just started doing it without knowing if I could do it. Like everyone else, I’ve tried it in the shower. But it’s a bit weird, right? Have you ever heard anyone else sing like that besides Barry Gibb? So it’s not like I’ve ever had to use a voice like that in a performance before. Only when you play Barry Gibb will you try that.”

You manage to harmonize your voices beautifully in every song, how much energy did you put into it?

,,A lot. The three of us really often sat together, listened to the music and then divided the votes. We tried to maintain the distribution as much as possible, but that did not always go as we wanted. It has really been a puzzle to get the best out of our voices. But sometimes we had rehearsed so much that we could no longer hear who was singing what. During the recordings there were also six of us in a house. There it felt like we really became brothers. Fortunately, we didn’t have any brotherly quarrels then.”

Mike Ott (r) met Bee Gees Forever in The Tribute. © The Tribute

Were you already a Bee Gees fan or did this make you one?

“No, I always was. My parents used to have a DVD of the Las Vegas Show from 1997. I destroyed it as a child. But I mainly listened to the Bee Gees with my grandparents. That was a bit of a fix. Whenever I was there, we put on a DVD.”

Are they extra proud that you have adopted that taste in music?

“Unfortunately my grandfather is no longer here, but if I had told him that I was going to do a Bee Gees tribute, he would have really exploded with pride. I also see that with my grandmother. It is very special that I can perform the music heroes I grew up with. Almost every Bee Gees song contains a memory of my youth and my grandfather. So every time I sing these songs, it is very personal.”

In addition to being a singer, you were also a plasterer, do you still do this?

“I’m still a plasterer. I am the sixth generation plasterer in my family, so that was really something I was taught at an early age. During the pandemic I was also a singing teacher, which I combined with singing. So I alternated singing lessons, singing and plastering. Because of corona I could no longer sing and no longer give singing lessons. But plastering was still possible.”

Won’t your family be disappointed when you give up plastering for a singing career?

“I think my father is actually cheering that that is happening. He will certainly find it a shame, but that is mainly because we will spend less time together. He is the one who encouraged me the most in my singing career. But he has also indicated that he wants to be there as much as possible, but only as a driver.”

The Tribute: Battle of the Bands is not your first TV participation. In 2016 you also participated in The Voice of Holland. After the battle against fellow candidate Thijs Pot, you received some harsh comments from Waylon: ‘You are perfect for the profession as a teacher, but in this case Thijs is a pop star.’ What did his harsh words do to you then?

“I was 19 or 20 at the time and not made of stone, so that certainly affected me. At first those words hit me very hard. Singing is something vulnerable, and when people react so strongly to it, it does something to you. But I am also certainly strengthened by the words of my coach Guus Meeuwis. He had confidence in my passion for music. I just wanted to do my utmost to prove Waylon wrong.”

You can count on people starting to think something of you as soon as you step on stage

Mike Ott

Did you doubt yourself or your career after that moment on The Voice?

“No, making music is something I do for myself. You can count on people starting to think something of you as soon as you step on stage. I had a good relationship with my math teacher in high school. He also signed me up for The Voice. He always said to me: ‘Mike, when you go on stage, a third of the people think you’re great, a third don’t like you and a third is at the bar ordering beer. Just see how you feel about it if you are satisfied.’ I have always held on to that. Guus saw my value and Waylon did not.”

Mike’s very first concert was Wolter Kroes in Ahoy Rotterdam. Now he will play there himself with the Bee Gees Forever. But with the win from The Tribute, they can also perform for an hour in the Ziggo Dome, a hall that can accommodate 17,000 people.

What are you going to play in the Ziggo Dome?

“We are very busy with that. With an hour-long performance it becomes a bit of kill your darlings. But on the other hand, you can also have a blast with all the great songs from the Bee Gees. When we were shown around by Rias (Starman from the David Bowie Tribute from the previous season) we stood in the empty hall and I thought: ‘Oh my god’, how is it possible that 17,000 people will soon be here listening to that string bean from Spijkenisse ?”

Playing in the Ziggo Dome is a dream that is already coming true, what is the next step?

“Well, my next step was a theater tour, but that is also coming. So that dream has already come true. But I don’t dare to think about it any further, everything in due time. I normally stand with my feet in the clay, so you don’t tend to float with your head in the clouds. We will be performing more than a hundred times with this theater show, so I don’t have much time to think about new dreams. This means I can make a living from music.”

And what is the next dream with the band?

“A tour abroad would be fantastic. We get messages on social media in ten different languages, so who knows. I’ve never been outside Europe, so if the music can do that, bring it on!”

This article comes from Veronica Superguide.

Mike Ott (r) plays the role of Barry Gibb in Bee Gees Forever. © private photo

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2024-02-17 20:39:04

#Winner #Tribute #Battle #Bands #dared #dream

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