The Ex has defied categorization ever since they started playing in 1979. Born out of the punk explosion, when anything and everything was possible, the band have still managed to retain both curiosity and passion for their music. Using guitars, bass, drums and voice as their starting point, The Ex have continued to musically explore undiscovered areas right up to the present day.
The adventurous, innovative Dutch band The Ex exists 40 years this year and is still going
'An Ex show is a shared experience, they take the audience on a musical adventure to places no one has been before. They are the most interesting musical unit in the world today…Go and see the Ex and you will hear rhythms you have never heard before…a sweaty seething party, an uplifting, joyful celebration. They have brilliantly proved that playing music with this sense of wild-eyed fun and radical political edge and this adherence to all that was good and great about the positive politic of the punk and post punk period can actually fucking work' THE QUIETUS
'Once seen, a live performance by … The Ex is never forgotten. Imagine two men in short pants and army boots, guitars slung impossibly low, careering round the stage like demented dodgem cars, backed by a veritable arsenal of precision-honed polyrhythms' THE WIRE
Already the early 1980s saw collaborations with jazz musicians and an Iraqi-Kurdish band. In the 90s the group found a myriad of partners from varied musical and non-musical backgrounds like Kamagurka, Tom Cora, Sonic Youth, Han Bennink, Jan Mulder and Shellac. In 2002 The Ex set up a lively musical exchange with Ethiopia, organized many projects over there and invited several Ethiopian musicians to Europe. Most striking was the collaboration with the legendary saxophonist Getatchew Mekuria, which eventually led to two CD recordings and more than a hundred concerts.
After all these years, more than 25 albums and around 1900 concerts the band continues to work as they did in when they began, completely independent of record companies, managers or roadies. Because of this ‘do it yourself’ work ethic The Ex is still a great example for other forward-thinking bands and musicians.