[Home]1. Biography
  1. The Early Years (1949-1980)
  2. TC Matic (1980-1986)
  3. Arno 1986-1991
  4. Charles et les Lulus
  5. Arno 1992-1994
  6. Arno & The Subrovnicks
  7. Arno 1995

The Early Years (1949-1980)

21/5/1949:Arno Hintjens is born in Oostende, Belgium
1967-1970:Arno leaves school at eighteen and travels round Europe. He takes up singing, accompanying himself on the guitar.
1970-1972:Arno returns to Oostende and forms his first group.
1972-1974:Arno sings with another band called Freckle Face. The group records just one album, which is to become a collector's item worth 1500 French Francs ($ 250) ten years later.
1975-1977:Arno works with guitarist Paul Decouter. The duo Tjens-Couter is born. They mainly play r&b.
1977-1979:Ferre Baelen and Rudy Cloet join Tjens-Couter as The T.C. Band. The group has a hit with the single "Honey Bee / The Milkcow". The duo tours England, Belgium, France, Germany and Holland. One of their albums is even released in the UK. T.C. Matic plays for the first (and last) time in TopPop, the Netherlands' most popular tv music show. In Germany, they appear on the famous TV show Rockpalast and one of their songs plays on CBGB's juke box in New York for several years. The group released 4 albums with IBC/EMI.
1978:Arno has his first encounter with the cinema, writing the music for the Belgian movie "Le concert d'un homme seul".
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T.C. Matic (1980-1986)

February 1980:Tjens-Couter changes its name to T.C. Matic (after the Yugoslavian author Matic), to reflect the musical shift from r&b towards a more modern sound. T.C. Matic is made up of Arno Hintjens on vocals, Paul Decouter on guitar, Rudy Cloet on drums, Ferre Baelen on bass and Serge Feys on keyboards.
June 1980:Decouter leaves the band; he is replaced by Jean-Marie Aerts, formerly of Raymond van het Groenewoud's Bien Servi and with Kaz Lux, Johan Verminnen and Plastic Bertrand. The band signs up with EMI, releases 4 albums and tours and appears in festivals throughout continental Europe and England. T.C. Matic even gives a concert in New York.

T.C. Matic debuts with the double single Femme Femme/Modern Noise/Take it Easy/White Rhythm, which is later included as a bonus 12-inch with the first album, T.C. Matic. The second single, Oh la la la/Still on the Loose makes it to the Belgian top 10.

The group's first album, T.C. Matic, is promoted world-wide (Europe, UK, Japan, ...). Some of their songs, such as "Putain, Putain", "Elle adore le noir", "Oh la la la" become classic hits.

T.C. Matic develops a sound that is radically different from anything then on the music scene. Arno says he wants to make European music: T.C. Matic's music is indeed influenced by "variété" music and French chanson.

1985:TC Matic does a two month European tour as the opening act for Simple Minds

In the same year Arno sings for a month in performances of "Faust" at the prestigious Opéra de Paris.

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Arno 1986-1991

1986:TC Matic disbands.

Arno launches his solo career. He signs a recording deal with Virgin and releases three albums. That same year, Arno plays the lead in the Belgian film "Skin". He also writes the music of the movie. He does several tours of Europe, mainly in Belgium, Switzerland, France and Holland.

On his first album, "Arno", Arno sings a duet with Technotronic's female singer. The single "Whoop that Thing" will also be remixed by Technotronic. Arno forms the groups Lala and releases the single "Do the Kangaroo".

1988:The album "Charlatan" is released, accompanied by a tour in Belgium, Holland, France and Switzerland.

Charlantan is produced by Arno and Holger Czukay (Can). The album features Arno's cover of the Jacques Brel song "Le Bon Dieu". The film industry becomes increasingly interested in Arno: director Jacques Doillon uses the song "Trouble in mind" in one of his films and "Jive to the beat" is heard in a fim starring Catherine Deneuve.

1990:The album "Ratata" is released, co-produced with Jean-Marie Aerts (from the TC Matic days).
1991:Arno writes the music for the Bertrand Blier film "Merci la vie", starring such famous names as Charlotte Gainsbourg, Anouk Grindberg, Gérard Depardieu, Jean Carmet and Michel Blanc. Some of the film tracks are also written by Philip Glass.
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Charles & les Lulus

April 1991:Before the unplugged fashion, Arno forms an acoustic blues band "Charles et les Lulus" with Roland Van Campenhout on guitar, Ad Cominotto on keyboards and accordion and Piet Jorgens on drums. The group releases an album with Virgin. Charles & les Lulus tours extensively from April 1991 to September 1992 and also plays the Rennes Transmusicales festival in France.
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Arno 1992-1994

October 1992:Arno goes to Nashville to record his new album, produced by Glenn Rosentein (Ziggy Marley, U2, Talking Heads, The Ramones, ...). The album features a cover version of Adamo's "Les filles du bord de mer")
February 1993:Arno releases his fourth album, entitled "Idiots Savants". The French, Belgian and Dutch press give this new album rave reviews.

The cultural French/German channel Arte devotes a special programme, Macadam, to Arno. Idiots Savants receives a Gold Record in Belgium and is charted number 8 in the Belgian album charts.

Arno tours a great deal from May 1993 to July 1994 with 82 concerts in France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Italy and Hungary. He appears in many big European festivals: Francofolies in La Rochelle, Printemps de Bourges, Paleo Festival in Nyon, Arezzo Wave in Italy, Marktrock in Louvain, Art Rock in St-Brieux and the Latin Festival in Budapest.

Arno writes the music for a number of films:

  • "Personne ne m'aime" (Nobody loves me) by Marion Vernoux (starring Bernadette Lafont, Lio, Bulle Ogier, Jean-Pierre Leaud, ...)
  • "Abracadabra" by Harry Cleven (starring Clementine Célarié, Thierry Fremont, Philippe Volter, ...)
  • "Faut-il aimer Mathilde?" (Should Mathilde be loved?) by Edwin Baily (starring Dominique Blanc, André Marcon, Jacques Bonnafé, Paul Crauchet, Anne-Marie Cappelier, ...)
  • "Moeder waarom leven wij?" (Mother Why Do We Live?) by Guido Henderickx. A Flemish six-episode series broadcast by the Beglian TV-channel VTM.
  • "La nage indienne" (Heads Above Water) by Xavier Durringer (starring Karin Viard, Gérard Laroche, Eric Savin, ...)
  • "Suite 16" by Dominique Deruddere (starring Pete Postlethwaite, Antonie Kamerling, Geraldine Pailhas, ...). Music by Walter Hus, Ashbury Faith, Dani Klein (Vaya Con Dios) and Arno.
July 1994:Arno starts to record two albums with a mobile studio in a sheepfold near Nîmes in the South of France. The albums are produced with Mike Butcher (Marving Gaye, Black Sabbath, ...).
October 1994:Arno records his own version in French of the legendary Dutch star Boudewijn de Groot's song "Beneden alle peil" for a compilation album released by Phonogram Holland (also featured Dutch rock bands like The Nits, DeUS, Burma Shave, ...).
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Arno & the Subrovnicks

November 1994:The first of the two albums for which recording started in July 1994 is released under the name of Arno & the Subrovnicks. It's called "Water"; the Subrovnicks are Ad Cominotto (keyboards), Rudy Cloet (drums), François Garny (bass) and Geoffrey Burton (guitar).
January-June 1995:Arno & the Subrovnicks tour in Belgium, France, Holland, Germany and Switzerland.
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Arno 1995

March 1995:During the award ceremony of Humo's Pop Polls in Brussels, Arno receives the price for Best Singer of the Year and Best Interview, for the fourth time. He perfoms "L'amour n'est pas avec moi", one of his old songs, with DeUS. DeUS cover "L'amour n'est pas avec moi" during their concerts.
May 1995:Release of the single "Les yeux de ma mère".
June 1995:Release of the album "Arno à la Française", produced by Arno and Mike Butcher. All songs are in French. French star Charlélie Couture writes an original song for Arno, "Elle pense à lui". Arno keeps on covering classic standards of the French Chanson; he adapts them to his own original style. After covers of Jacques Brel and Adamo, he now covers a Léo Ferré song, "Comme à Ostende".
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------------ These pages copyright © 1995 by Michel Vuijlsteke