Dutch version of biography


Erik van der Vlis

As a teenager Erik van der Vis (1971) was infected by his older brother who played bass guitar in a Utrecht cover band. Probably not yet realizing that this four/five string instrument would accompany him on his musical adventure, Erik took every opportunity to play. In an almost incessant search for like-minded people, different compositions were jammed and performed. Although Erik developed himself as a versatile bassist in cover bands and school bands, his preference for prog rock and sympho became increasingly clear. Early on there was a lot of admiration for bands like Genesis. Camel, Pink Floyd, IQ who juggled enchanting storylines, strange time signatures and an often epic "big" sound. Captivated by these ingredients, Van der Vlis took his first cautious steps as a guitarist at the end of the eighties. In addition to his development as a tight bassist, Van der Vlis increasingly emerged as a gifted melodic storyteller on guitar. The latter would only take on more prominence in the new millennium when he recorded his iconic guitar solo for the track "Done with it" on the debut album of neo prog group Last Son of Eve. But before Erik joined LSOE as a permanent guitarist in 2018, he can already speak of an impressive musical journey.

The band that Van der Vlis has been in the longest (Dilemma) would eventually bring him to LA for recordings. There he met top producer Rich Mouser in 2016 who recorded Dilemmas album Random Acts of Liberation produced. This album was the ticket for Dilemma to the bigger stages like Night of the Prog, Lorely. But the band also toured as support with Flying Colors and Sons of Apollo. Erik has experienced various line-ups, compositions and successes in his 20+ years at Dilemma. He eventually left the band in 2019 to focus entirely on his guitar skills. During his years with Dilemma, he also played with bandmate Paul Crezee (guitar) in the blues rock quartet Blue Labeled. The raw blues-infused "straightforward rock" of BL turned out to be a pleasant change for the string duo with the prog violence of Dilemma, which can be heard well on their two EPs (videos: impressions Strings and Naked). At BL, Van der Vlis also worked together with Peter Zaal (Desicion D) and in metal cover band The Memory Remains. Although (rock) covers were not shunned, preference was still given to more unique, if not own work. We have to go back in time for that when Erik temporarily works with the ladies of Kaja. The folk duo had some fame in the early 00's and Van der Vlis provided bass parts for a number of live performances. Over the years Erik has also contributed to several other live projects (including Mega Church) as well as being featured on album, EP, single and video productions for various artists and genres. With one of those albums, Van der Vlis put pen to paper in the late 1990s to draw the circle that today appears to be complete in his career. When Erik starts working with multi-instrumentalist and song writer Steef Broekhof (aka Steve Brooke) in 1998 to record his album Down to Earth (1998), it is mainly their shared love for prog rock that brings them together again twenty years later in their band Last Son of Eve. As mentioned, Erik's guitar skills can now be fully heard on the first debut album Gathering Stones. Van der Vlis was praised in various reviews for his solos, which sometimes made comparisons with Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. Tight riffs interspersed with beautiful virtuoso solos are a big part of the sound of LSOE. You could just say that Erik has now completely found his place as a guitarist. Still, the bass guitar is not completely up in the air yet. This still regularly comes out of the suitcase for projects. Erik also gives bass and guitar lessons in his home studio (see info)



Watch the photos



Mike Portnoy gives the IO Pages prog award



More information about:
• Blue Labeled
• Dilemma

Steve Brooke

Onno Kelk