It’s Only Creepy If You Are: How BRIK TU-TOK Free Their Minds 

BRIK TU-TOK at the Handelsbeurs, Ghent, Belgium. Photo by Illias Teirlinck.

Join us on a trip to the harbour of Ghent, Belgium, where we meet Linde Carrijn and Maxim Storms, the avant-garde performance-duo known as BRIK TU-TOK. At their light-filled studio in an old red-brick factory we marvel at BRIK TU-TOK's handmade fashionable costumes, colorful accessories and extraordinary DIY music instruments. What's the Giggle Gallery, and can we come? Welcome to our crushes' bizarre, but fascinating universe! 

Linde & Maxim in front of the door to their studio

BRIK TU-TOK on Instagram
Watch BRIK TU-TOK's music videos on YouTube
All music during the interview is by BRIK TU-TOK. 'Worse' plays at 14'25", 'Cheap Trip' at 20'24" and 'Badass' at 26'40".

Look up atelier Pantserschip, the collective of makers that's now housed in the old red-brick factory of I. Mahy & ses fils

Beautiful Online Thing: Nautical Waters on Etsy


Listen to the episode

Transcription of BRIK TU-TOK's interview



JB: Jozefien Buydens

LC: Linde Carrijn

MS: Maxim Storms

D: Dog with a squeaky toy


JB: So where did you meet? And How?

MS: I was living already with someone and we were looking for a roommate and I don't know why but Linde came over and she started to live with us. We became friends, I guess—Oh la! There's a dog over here

LC: There's a dog

MS: —who likes to play. So that's how we met. By living, very closely together.

D: [squeaks toy]

LC: And then we started an atelier, trying things out but not necessarily to, "I'm gonna put this in the art gallery." Researching: how can this be in theatre? How can you develop an atelier-workspace as a comedien—not comedian, it's 'comedien' in French—

MS: Yes, you're very funny. You are! [laughter] As a performer, yes

D: [squeak]

LC: Oooh the dog! Oh! Every month we did an open day, or an open thing, where we tried to do things, new things, where it was like, "OK I want to make an installation, let's do it."

MS: Yes, I made a few songs, but very, ugh, pattati-pattata musique, eh?

LC: And there was an installation that day and after that I was like, "I really like that Maxim, let's do maybe something together." And so that's where it started, I guess.

JB: So that's where BRIK TU-TOK started?

MS: Kind of, yes.

LC: Yeah, when you see pictures of that now, or when you hear what we did, it's like wow, it's a long time ago. It's like really different, the things we're doing now.

JB: Mmhmm

MS: Ah, it was very bric-a-brac, just, just—

LC: We had a lot of tapes and we worked with like this 4-track machine. Four track is like, you have four tracks, for example the drum, the guitar, bass, and the rhythm, and we mixed it live! So that was something difficult already. I forgot my lyrics.

MS: I forgot my lyrics!


JB: Your first performances with BRIK TU-TOK were very different than they are now? What's the difference?

LC: We went crazier and crazier I think, also with the makeup and like the transformation. We really are looking for "what are the boundaries of it?" and how can we go beyond those boundaries? And we aren't working with tapes anymore.

MS: So the music, there's much more melody than before. In the beginning, everything was just rhythm. Now there are more RHATASSSIII (HELP JOZEFIEN)

LC: layers

MS: layers of different, I think we sing also more...

LC: Now we know what the qualities of our two voices together are. That was difficult in the beginning, that changed. And now we know, "OK, it works when you do that and when I'm doing this."

MS: Because none of us play the guitar, there are no drums, there were none of that. And in the beginning when we were performing, I think I still felt a little guilty that I'm—

LC: Not playing an instrument

MS: That I'm not playing an instrument! And that it's just some karaoke act or something. But now I'm, I see...In theatre everybody asks, "but why did you do that? Why are you doing that?" I have the feeling never ever did somebody ask that with BRIK TU-TOK. Everybody's, "Oh I love it, I'm—whoo!" They like the confusion, they like not understanding it. They, it's very—it's freedom, I guess.

LC: Lyrics are so different from the text for a play.

MS: Oh yes

LC: You can, you can really play with lyrics, like in another way that you play with a theatre text. We get to know more like, the freedom of being a musician. Which is different than in theatre. And that's like really nice. We are somewhere between being a performer and being a musician, or being a performer that plays that he's a musician.


JB: You talked about it a little bit earlier, how you collaborate. How do you build a song or how do you build a performance?

LC: There are some moments that we like, "OK we have this really nice melody, nice groove. But oh, what can we sing on this?" And then we do these improvisations in the mirror

MS: In the mirror!


JB: Good!

MS: It's a jam, that we call it.

LC: And then we do like [singing nonsense syllables] like really like,

MS: [singing other syllables]

LC: And then, then we record it and then we listen to it like, OK that's a nice, and then we try to hear some words, and then we, we can start like the poetic sound-ish thing creation.

JB: What do you like about collaborating together?

LC: Nothing, actually

MS: I don't know, I don't know!


MS: Ummm you're funny, you're very funny,

LC: [quietly] one of us has to be

MS: we have to laugh a lot. One of us has to be! I'm the depressing one.


MS: And also we like to dream. And there are again no rules and no limits. Everything we do, we just do it. We do the costumes, we do the music, we do the video clips, we do the merchandise.

LC: You're really good in doing the video thing and I can work with the music program, so we are clicking in together.

JB: Symbiosis

LC: Yeah

MS: Mmhhmm

JB: About your studio space: so you just moved in, right?

LC: The first of March.

JB: And so what do you like about this space now?

MS: It has a garden. Also, the other people here are creative people

LC: Yes. And they're really sweet.

MS: Yes.

LC: Mmhmm. I like the atmosphere here. A lot of things are going on, and people are also really curious to what we are doing. They are not musicians, they are working in wood and they're making tables and stuff like that. And, another kind of art they are doing. I like it.

JB: Yeah. And if there were something you could change in your studio, what would it be?

MS: I would like to have mannequins where you could, the outfits, right now they're in the closet or something. It would be nice to sometimes have this mannequin model thing?

LC: Yeah yeah, no we don't have, we would like to have. To be sponsored.

JB: You would like to have.

MS: We ask for sponsoring.

JB: OK, we can add that to the show notes!


LC: For me it really works that I go to this place to work, it's not in the city centre, I can really focus here. And I don't know yet what to change, we are just here for two months, so.

JB: It's too early to see

LC: Yeah I guess


JB: And you have a new album?

MS: It's called the Giggle Gallery, it's made together with music videos, and the music videos are one story about the Giggle Gallery.

LC: So the Giggle album was invented in the first lockdown. And then there was the second lockdown and we're like OK let's make a bigger album because we have the time to make it now, so that's a bit the story.

MS: Umm, what's, yeah, what do you want to know?

JB: What's the Giggle Gallery?

MS: Uhhhh, what is it? Umm... [chuckles]

LC: The story about a place that didn't exist but, a place where everybody can go to... [pause] And in this place there are also like concerts or performances. But it's not... I don't... It's really difficult to explain. Ummm...

MS: Let's call it the place you, you'd like to be, and where everything can happen, as good, or as bad as you like to.


MS: It's a place, it's really a bar, an old cabaretier,

LC: Every personnage, character, is working or has something to do with the Giggle Gallery. I want to play like a real show, and like, to have the normal vibe of a show, really this atmosphere. The moment and being together and, so I hope that that will be, like that this summer. But Ooph, fingers crossed.

JB: Yeah yeah, let's hope it gets better.

D: [squeak]

JB: Oh, that's the dog again

LC: With its little toy


JB: I really like the movie of the Giggle Gallery

MS: Thank you

JB: Yeah, it's nice. Svea, my co-host, she said that she thought it was a little bit creepy. Is that something that intentionally, that you do? Or is that—

LC: When you see the single for the first time and you don't know anything about us, I can imagine that it's a bit, Whoa, this is a bit creepy and a bit weird. But it's not bad or something. It's fine. [laughter]

MS: I think there has always been a kind of dark side at BRIK TU-TOK but I don't think that I would like to call it "The Dark Side" because it's both, it's just

LC: It's life!

MS: It's life! It's just... It's life. It's...yeah