Balthazar is a Belgian indie pop and rock group. The band consists of Maarten Devoldere, Jinte Deprez, Patricia Vanneste, Simon Casier and Michiel Balcaen. The band members come from the areas of Kortrijk and Ghent.
The group started in the second half of the year 2004. In the spring of 2005, Devoldere, Vanneste and Deprez (each eighteen years old at the time) won the national Kunstbende competition for young people with Lost and Found. On 3 December that year they also won Talent West, the rock contest of the province of West Flanders.
In 2006, Balthazar won Humo's Rock Rally KBC Audience. In August, their first self-titled debut EP was released. In early 2007, after sixty performances, Joachim Quartier bassist and drummer Koen Verfaillie were replaced by Simon Casier and Christophe Claeys, and Balthazar started with a brand new set. In July, Balthazar performed at the Dour Festival, which followed the release of their first single "This is a flirt". The single was picked up by Radio 1 and Studio Brussel and lingered through the summer in De Afrekening hitlist, with second place as the top listing.
In February 2008 Balthazar released their second single: Bathroom lovin ': situations. This time the song ended up in the lists of Humo, hotlist and De Afrekening. They played that summer at Folk Dranouter and Marktrock, among others. The band then started performing abroad, in Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands and France. In the summer of 2009, Balthazar went to South Africa for a club tour and then work on their first album. Upon return in the end of December 2009, the first single Fifteen Floors was released.
On 22 March 2010, their debut album Applause came out in Belgium and the Netherlands. The album was produced by the then 22-year-old Martin Devoldere and Jinte Deprez and was mixed in Norway by Ynge Leidulv Saetre. Applause was widely welcomed by both the press and the public, thus ending up in the top of many lists such as the best Belgian final album of 2010 (Focus Knack, De Morgen, OOR magazine, etc.) and on January 7, 2011, Balthazar received a Music Industry Award for "Best Album 2010" on MIA's 2010 list. Not only the singles "Fifteen floors", "Hunger at the door", "I'll stay here" and "The Boatman" contributed to this, but also the unique sound that the young group had with their own production and brought forth in their live presence.
In April 2010, the band performed at London Calling in Amsterdam Paradiso, after several bands were canceled in connection with the cloud of volcanic ash over Europe, this was a big step forward in the Netherlands. They again performed at several festivals during the summer of 2010, including Rock Werchter, Pukkelpop, Dour Festival and Lowlands. In the autumn various club performances in Belgium and the Netherlands were sold out.
In the spring of 2011, Balthazar promoted their first album in Belgium and the Netherlands with concerts the Ancienne Belgique and Paradiso. Balthazars EuroSonic 2011 did not go unnoticed and switched their European story into high gear. The band was playing more across Europe, including for The Joy Formidable and dEUS. Balthazar went overseas and played for the first time in New York. A European contract with Pias Recordings, they made their debut on October 10, 2011 which was released in France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Scandinavia.
The second album, Rats, was released on October 15, 2012 in Europe, excluding the UK. This was again produced by Jinte Deprez and Maarten Devoldere. The album was mixed by Noah Georgeson (Devendra Banhart, The Strokes) in Los Angeles. At the Music Industry Award in 2012, Balthazar again won the award for best album for their album Rats. Recognition for the album went beyond Belgium and the Netherlands, in France the prestigious newspaper Libération claimed the album was the best album released in 2012.
Maarten Devoldere - vocals, guitars, keyboards
Jinte Deprez - vocals, guitars
Patricia Vanneste - vocals, violin, synthesizer
Simon Casier - vocals, bass guitar
Michiel Balcaen - drums
Joachim Quartier - bass guitar
Koen Verfaillie - drums
Christophe Claeys - drums