Jozzy Rubenski
guitar/vocals

Joris Ruijzenaars
bass/backing vocals

Bock
drums/backing vocals

The Bips (25, and making an impression since 1987) back on stage

Rock city, techno-capital, leftwing squatters’ mainframe; call it what you will but Nijmegen has been Bips-city for 25 years. You’re not from Nijmegen if you haven’t heard of The Bips. It’s just a matter of time till someone digs up a Roman skeleton with a Bips sticker on his helmet.

In 2011 things seemed over and done with for punk band The Bips. Jozzy Rubenski (who lives by the healthy motto “If I wasn’t Jozzy I’d wish I was.”) may be the face of The Bips but for him The Bips also means Bock on drums or bass players Roy or Barbie. Without one of them The Bips seems too mainstream, and if there’s one band that has never been mainstream it’s The Bips.

In 1988 they make Linda de Mol (Dutch TV celebrity) blush by saying they want to sleep with her. When the music police aren’t paying attention DJ Henk Westbroek plays their music nation-wide on (Dutch) Radio 3. Their poster is on the kitchen wall in Absolutely Fabulous. The Bips is both loved and hated; somewhere along the line they briefly changed their name to Love Kills. They’ve been making an impression since 1987.
The band is revived in 2002. Their first new performance, which takes place on the same day as the Dutch royal wedding between Maxima and Willem-Alexander, has to wait until Jozzy (who knows the lyrics to The Sex Pistols’ God Save The Queen by heart) has finished watching the marriage ceremony.

But is that punk? “The basic rule is, there are no rules. Some punks have more rules than the penal code. I make my own rules, that way I’m always 100% right” Jozzy says. In 2011 The Bips may have seemed over and done with, but luckily this wasn’t the case. Drummer Bock returned from abroad and jumped into the studio with Jozzy. Joris Ruyzenaars had previously shown interest in joining The Bips, and instantly landed a position as the new bass player. “Nothing’s grey with me” says Rubenski, “It’s black or white, good or not good. And with Bock on drums it’s good. He has the same feel as Paul Cook from The Sex Pistols. When he’s drumming I know it’s all good. I have the same bond with Joris.”

With that good old feeling back, and just a couple of practice runs in the pocket, they soon received their first invite to play at Doornroosje (popular venue, Nijmegen) which had been The Bips’ home base in previous years. This was soon followed by a second show together with The Members in Den Haag. According to Jozzy the energy of the first five years has returned. And that’s celebrated with quality songs like Chaos In Nijmegen, Shot Of Dead Moon, and This Is Jurisdiction. Punk, the way it sounded in 1977, brought to you in 2012 with the clarity of 1987; the year The Bips first started.

Linda de Mol won’t dare invite them anymore, but daily talkshow host Matthijs van Nieuwkerk can give it a go. “And I promise I’ll just keep playing after that minute” Jozzy says, referring to the one minute playtime granted in the talkshow. The Bips is and always will be 100% punk-rock, they have been for 25 years and hopefully that’s just the beginning. Because every now and then Nijmegen and The Netherlands need a kick up the bum (bips), and The Bips will gladly polish up their Dr. Martins to oblige.

story by Alex van der Hulst

 

bass player from 1987 till 1989
 

drummer from 1988 till 1991
 

bass player from 1989 till 1993
 

second guitar player from 2001 till 2003
 

drumplayer from 2003 till 2005
 

drumplayer in 2007

bassplayer from 2001 till 2008

drumplayer from 2009 till 2010

bassplayer from 2009 till 2010