Millionaire may just be the band we need to save us from the imposed hell of a few London-centric media types. Hailing from Belgium they've chosen to ignore the rules of 2002 and hence they're not called The Millionaire and although they do have an indepth knowledge of rock & roll music you won't find them wearing skinny ties or the traditional rock & roll fashion accessory of the day. Instead they bring into the melting pot hip hop beats, electro bleeps with enough rock to impress the Queens Of The Stoneage and Muse who both personally invited them on European tours. We caught up Millionaire's frontman Tim Vanhamel (formally of Deus and Evil Superstars) to find about one of the best bands of 2002.

Q: You've just come off tour with one of your favourite bands The Queens Of The Stoneage. How did that come about?
A: Queens invited us on the tour and every night they're there at the side of the stage freaking out. They're the best rock band around at the moment and this is the best rock tour this year. Basically how it all happened was we supported Gus' band Masters Of Reality in Belgium and Josh found out about, got the album and it was all upwards from then on.

Last time we played Manchester we supported Muse after they asked us - were a musicians band...all our favourite bands love us, but we never sell any records!!!

Q: So growing up in Belgium. All your musical influences are from the UK and the States. What's it like growing up in a country with seemingly no musical heritage - an outsider country if you like?
A: We are an outsider country, but that makes us modest. We have got a lot of different influences, but we will never say man, were the shit!!! The French say were the f**king greatest. The Germans say were the greatest. The English say were the greatest. The Americans say were the greatest. Only the Japanese, the Africans and the Belgians are modest and open about things!!!

Belgium is so small you have 2 bands in a building and they call it a scene. But there are good bands, good venues and we have 24 hour alternative radio so there's a lot of opportunity for you to become a musician. We have good art galleries, libaries and record shops - it's a wealthy country, man!!!

Q: We've been playing the "Outside The Simian Flock" album for about 6 months now. And when I heard you playing with Queens there's was an uncertainty as to whether it would work. A lot of the tracks to me sound more suited to hip-hop and electro clubs that a rock audience, but you proved us wrong tonight and rocked it up. Is that the direction the new Millionaire album will be taking - cranked up to 11 and rockin all the way through?
A: I don't want to saying anything, we just want to surprise ourselves. It's going to be rock, you're going to boogie to the music and there's going to emotional stuff. It's going to everthing we like music condensed into one album.

I think "Outside The Simian Flock" is a pop album and I think it's going stay like that. Even if the songs sound more rocking live when we go into the studio we'll put the guitars through a synthesizer and treat it like that. When we go into the studio we just totally ignore everything thats popular at the moment. I mean, I've loved the Strokes album since it came out but we've been listening to rock & roll bands all our life's and now all of a sudden it's like really popular - what's going on?

Q: Do you find with such a wide range of influences that you can't limit yourself to one album. There's hip hop, rock, electro pop all thrown into the melting pot - would you ever consider doing a double album?
A: Sometimes I think about putting out two albums of different styles, but a double album just doesn't work anymore. Could you name one good double album of the last year? Apart from Alec Empire's "Intelligence And Sacrifice" album there hasn't been one good double album in the past 12 months.

Maybe one day we will just release this over the top epic record where we throw everything in we can. But then release it as a single album with a hidden track lasting an hour at the end!!!


The single "Champagne" is out now on PIAS
The album "Outside The Simian Flock" is out now on PIAS
For more info

Post your Millionaire reviews / comments on the Message Board