Kurt was born in Hasselt, in 1974.
He formed his first rock band, together with his brother when he was sixteen.
With this band, called Angel Act, Kurt played for many years.
Kurt is a journalist at a big Belgian newspaper. During the day, he writes about crime and death. At night, he writes about love and life.
"Most of the songs, recorded by Tortuga Boulevard, are written right after tragedy. After losing something or somebody. When there's nothing left, except memories. Or dreams."
Kurt was at home when Rob called. It was at the end of december, 2011. Rob and Kurt were friends for decades.
They talked about music, about forming a new band. About one week later, they plugged in some guitars. Little did they know this was the very beginning of Tortuga Boulevard.
Kurt plays an LTD EC-330, a Hagström Ultra Swede, and sometimes his first Ibanez, a vintage thing he will never ever sell. His amp is Vox. He gets all of his gear @ B&G Music Store in Aarschot.
At the end of 2011, Rob was eager to start a new rock band after playing with several other bands in the past. Shades of Grey and Hate Factor 9, just to name a few. Rob was influenced by all kinds of music and had been on stage and in studios many times. Rob, born in 1970, is a passionate guitar player ever since he was a teenager. As said, he and Kurt go way back. They formed a band in the nineties and were on stage together a few times.
In Tortuga Boulevard, Rob is the silent one. If we would be paid for every word he speaks, we'd be living in a gutter. If we were paid for every note Rob plays, we'd be a millionaire. He plays guitar faster than his shadow. And louder also. "We are a rock band, we need to be loud".
Rob plays his Gibson SG and Gibson Gator on a duo monoblock amplifier from Marshall (EL34 50/50). Bought @ Jacky Claes in Hasselt.
People knew Rob and Kurt were looking for a drummer and pointed out 'this guy', Bjorn, living in Genk and playing drums in some other bands. So Rob gave 'this guy', who turned out to be Bjorn Konanowicz (1979), a phone call. "For about an hour Rob tried to explain what was happening in his basement", Bjorn recalls. "It was something between rock and grunge. And some stoner and maybe some metal. But some ballads too… Bottomline, Rob said, it was two guys playing guitar and singing and desperately seeking a drummer. Rob finished by saying 'well, come and take a look for yourself."
A few days later, Bjorn met Rob and Kurt. "I remember them playing this song they called 'Rose'. At that moment I knew why Rob couldn't explain what they were doing: this was pure chemistry."
Bjorn, Rob and Kurt moved out of the basement and into a rehearsal room. It was the beginning of 2012. Tortuga Boulevard was born.
Bjorn plays drums ever since he 's a teenager. He's got a Pearl signature, from Adams Drumworld.
Bart (1970) lived in Genk al of his life.
He learned about music after seeing this local band Moshlim, a speed 'n trashmetal band. "I wanted to be on stage, just like them", Bart recalls. "It must have been somewhere around '86 when I started playing guitar."
Bart played in several bands for years and years. First guitar, afterwards bass. At home he's got his private studio, so when everybody is asleep he works on music. "Although it isn't really working. It's passion…"
When Tortuga Boulevard did a tryout in a pub in Maasmechelen, at the end of March 2012, the band didn't have a bass player. "There was a new gig coming up, just a few weeks later", Bart says. "They told the organisation they had a bass player, but they lied. Just because they really wanted to play. So I decided to help them out. Just for this one gig, I said..."
A week later Bart stepped into the Tortuga Boulevard rehearsal room, R1, @ the Muziekodroom in Hasselt. Bart plugged in his bass and started playing.
He never left again.
Well, until January 2017 that is... ... ...
Just a few weeks before Tortuga Boulevard would celebrate their 5th anniversary, members went their separate ways...
We thank you all for being with us on this great adventure.
Rob, Bjorn, Bart and Kurt formed the band in the early years. Meanwhile, Tortuga Boulevard, is much more than 4 people on stage. We cannot do what we do without Ralph giving us the sound we need. We cannot do what we do without Ine, Annelies, Lesley, Christa (+), Guy and you know who you are without being there for us every time. We cannot do what we do without YOU, our fans 'n friends, that come and rock the hell out of the place every single time! Thank you all!