Metronomy – Interview

Das zweite mal treffen wir Metronomy Mastermind Joseph Mount in einer Hotellobby in Berlin. Ausgerechnet, nachdem er seine Mittagspause mit dem Warten auf ein Risotto, jedoch nicht mit dem Essen dieses verbracht hat. Gut gelaunt ist er trotzdem. Inwiefern ‘Summer 08‘ das Folgealbum zu seinem Debüt ‘Nights Out‘ ist und wie sich sein Musikerdasein mit seinen zwei Kindern verträgt haben wir für euch geklärt.

What is the one question I don’t need to ask anymore cause you have answered it in evmetronomy-summer-08-2016-2480x2480ery

Normally it is pretty varied but people are asking a lot about what happened in summer 2008 and the truth is: not much. Nothing crazy happened so you don’t have to ask me that (lacht).

I won’t then! Promise! Last time that we saw each other you had just had your first child and now you have two! How has your relationship with sleep changed so far?
It’s much better than it was. The weird thing about touring is that it strangely sets you up for being a parent. You are used to functioning without much sleep and also when I don’t have to work I have lots of time at home. Even if you don’t sleep much it doesn’t matter because all you do is look after a child. It’s not that hard.

OK you make it sound really easy...
Mostly with the first kid I was away when it was screaming so it’s the luck of the draw what kind of child you’re gonna have.

True. For your last album you went to an analogue studio and recorded everything analog, what did you do this time?
The last album was a very thoughtful process, the whole idea was mentally challenging for someone who is used to the endless possibilities of modern recording. The last time was very focused in a thoughtful way and this album is just the opposite. It’s kind of thoughtless. It was made in a very you-do-what-you-need-to-do, you-use-what-you-need-to-use way. Don’t give yourself any kind of boundaries. That is the thing: nowadays when you make a record and you record there is no limit to what you can day. It always helps to kind of give yourself these limits and boundaries to focus you creativity. With this album I thought: “Fuck it! Just do it!” It doesn’t really matter and that in itself has a quite big effect off the back of a really controlled record so even though it is very thoughtless and open and laid back doing that having just done a very small focused record has you strangely aware of the limitlessness. More than if you did that all the time.

Sounds plausible, the way I understand it this album was in the making over 8 years, how does that work?
The idea of an album called ‘2008’ was something I thought of immediately after I did ‘Nights Out’ but I didn’t start making the album then, I made the album that I thought would be ‘2008’ but it ended up being ‘The English Riviera’. This record took six months to make, it’s not a kind of labor of love in that way but conceptionally it is the follow-up to ‘Nights Out’ or is the record that could have happened after it. I tried to make this record with the same attitude that the younger me had. That’s not a nostalgic thing but– what I got preoccupied with was using studios and recording in a different way. I’d wanted to make this another kind of simple
Metronomy album and when you do that, having done ‘The English Riviera’ and ‘Love Letters’ it’s very obviously seem like this kind of trip back. Why not make that obvious and turn it into that thing where I literally try to ignore the last eight years. So that’s me trying to write with the same spirit as me 8 years ago but everything on the album is bullshit. It’s not me remembering anything particularly real, it’s just a nice way of regenerating something.

You said this album wasn’t a nostalgic one but could it still be a way to say goodbye to times with less responsibility?
I just don’t like the term nostalgia, that is my biggest problem. If I was to say it is a nostalgic record, to me that has a negative connotation, like I was not forward thinking or whimsical or weary about the past. Music itself is always working its sick little way, it’s always picking up things from the past, taking one step forward and two steps back that’s how it works. Si I think it is also stating the obvious when you say something is nostalgic in a way because you can’t help having influences or love of music. And I think this album kind of is like saying goodbye in a way. And I think that is the other thing: I’m consciously like trying to make some more upbeat music before I’m too old to exist in that world.

Because “Pop music is for teenagers“? That’s a quote by…you!
Dance music is for, I guess twenty-year-olds and then if you see -which I guess you see a lot in Berlin- 40 years old in clubs listening to dance music you are like: maybe you should be home.

Yeah, at the same time: why not?
Yes of course, but I guess it’s ment for young people. Pop music is for teenagers, dance music in the moment is for twenty-year-olds. It’s kind of a way to say goodbye or being aware of my connection with the younger me getting more and more stretched.

Would you say that is mainly because you have kids now? A new generation in your life?
I don’t think so. They are really good at helping you draw this line in the middle of your life I guess, if you have them. But then I think even if I didn’t have kids I’d probably feel like I don’t understand young people anymore.

But you do have an Instagram account, do you run that yourself?
Yeah I do that and I like that! The problem is I understand all of this stuff. I understand Snapchat and I Instagram and I understand how when you are young it can be real senseless fun. But the problem is when you are approaching that kind of thing with age, you start to analyze how you have written something, the kind of image… You think about it too much. I really enjoy Instagram but if I was a teenager I’d be doing all kinds of crazy stuff and having loads more fun.

You decided not to tour this album, how did your band react?
It was a mixture of it kind of being their livelihood, mine as well your income. So it was mixed like, “Shit we’re not gonna make any money this year.” But the way I explained it to them and the reason you do it is to give yourself some time off, enjoy your children. Ben has got a baby as well and Oskar just got married. So I was like: “Enjoy your lives for a year, because after that year we go touring again and it will be really intense.” And having that time off and giving people that break means that when you come back, they will be very happy to see them. I think now we’ve begun to get offers for festivals next year, they understand that it’s gonna happen, we’re not stopping.

Foto: st.weicken


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