Niels Hoppe - Milky Way Gas Station
Niels Hoppe

I started playing classical guitar when I was eleven. Unfortunately the lessons were rather dull. I heard Muddy Waters’ blues standard Mannish Boy on the radio and discovered that I could play it quite easily. I also started to listen to cheesy hard rock: Iron Maiden and stuff. I played that fairly easily too. From then on it has only become more complex and more interesting. I had my first gig with a band when I was 15, somewhere in a pub.

Before going to the Academy of Music in Alkmaar I studied musicology first. I was not quite ready for the Academy yet, and, more important, otherwise I would have had to do my military service. I liked musicology a lot. Learned lots of theoretical stuff they don't teach you at the Academy.

In Alkmaar I studied jazz and pop music. I still have a bit of a jazz approach in my chord diagrams. I try to throw unexpected things into the music. Peter Vink (Q65, Finch) inspired me to play symphonic rock when I was 19. I really fell in love with prog rock, and I still am.

As a professional musician I worked with a lot of well known Dutch artists and comedians - both funny and unfunny. I reached the final of the Dutch band competition 'Grote Prijs van Nederland' three times, with three different bands. The third time we won, with Corey.

What I love about the music of MWGS? The melancholic atmosphere, the odd time signatures, making complicated parts sound simple and organic. And, of course, for a guitarist MWGS is like heaven! In which other band can one play epical solos of four minutes long, three times in one song? David Gilmour, eat your heart out!

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