Foto Credit © Pooneh Ghana
Zoom Interview – die neue Interviewform, wenn man schon zu viel telefoniert und keinen Bock mehr hat die Fragen einfach abzuschicken. Mit jemanden zu zoomen, den man schon mal gesehen hat, man jedoch nicht kennt und gar nicht einschätzen kann, wie die Person so drauf ist, ist aufregend. Kann ein Gespräch genauso locker sein, wie wenn man sich gegenüber sitzt?
Es ist Montag Nachmittag, ich muss mich noch entscheiden, welcher Ort meiner Wohnung sich als Hintergrund für mein Zoom Date mit Wavey Davey aka Dave von den Glass Animals eignet. Ich entscheide mich für die Küche. 20 Minuten hab ich Zeit, eigentlich viel zu kurz, zu viele Fragen schwirren mir schon im Kopf herum. Der Anruf kommt, man sagt hallo und wer hat vergessen seine Kamera anzumachen? Moi. Das Eis ist damit gebrochen und sofort merke ich, das könnte jetzt Stunden so weiter gehen. Ich erzähle, dass wir uns 2015 mal kurz gesehen haben, als die Band im Club Stereo in Nürnberg spielten und versuche so schon eine Überleitung zur ersten Frage zu spannen.
The first thing I realised while listening to your music, that something is happening for example in your life, which then leads to a thinking process for you and then for a lot of other people, because you wrote a song about this. And all of this happens with music…
Which song are you talking about?
Well, I didn’t have a specific song in mind.
I think, I find it quite strange but also a lot of my favorite songs by other people do that for me, I guess, like they make me make me feel less alone.
So do you think about that, while you’re writing a song or can’t you think about it, because otherwise it’s too strange to write about it?
Yeah, you can’t think about it. It’s too much. I’m a bit shy. Especially about a lot of the things on this record. It’s gonna be weird a lot of people hearing them. But when I wrote that song Agnes, for the last album and seeing how that song made people feel and a lot of people said it made them feel less alone. So I get scared about people like reading the lyrics and stuff. I just remember that and those things people have said about that song like it’s going to be okay.
It is difficult to write very personal and maybe it’s not the same thing, because I remember when I started blogging, I always wrote very personal, because I like to share my emotions and stories with the songs and about the band with so many other people I didn’t know. So for me it was kind of hard to write personal articles. I don’t know how it must be to write so personal songs…
It’s weird. I didn’t do it on purpose. I kind of started writing the songs and then didn’t have anything else to put on the album. No, maybe that’s not fair to say. It’s just really weird. I feel really self conscious about it. I feel really selfish. My mom always taught me to never talk about myself. So it does feel really strange. But as I said, the people’s reaction to Agnes really makes me see it in a slightly different light. And then I was writing songs with other people to further projects for other people to sing and they really liked the personal stuff and then I just kept doing it. So it happened on accident really. It spilled over from writing for other people.
I think that’s nice, because music is like a therapy session for someone and on the other hand, you don’t know what happens if someone’s listening to that song. You can write very personal, but you don’t know what is happening with that or if the song is going to be released. So I really like the idea just to have songwriting as an output and see if someone is connecting with it.
Yeah, of course. That’s the idea. But also, you feel like, why does your life matter like why should I talk about myself? I’m not that interesting. Other people are much more interesting. That was sort of my philosophy on the last record, but then again, the Agnes song happened.
That’s the thing with musicians – everyone loves them, because people think that your life is very special. But actually it’s not that special. Music is kind of a job for you as it’s my job going to the office every day. I think this thinking comes from, because they’re doing something different than compared to the „normal jobs“. I’ve met a couple of musicians and I realized, well, they’re just like normal people. Sometimes they are not as cool as I thought.
I’m like, very uncool.
Yeah – so your new album is called Dreamland. I liked the name and maybe you heard this question, a couple of times, but I really want to know what’s your personal dreamland? Is it the album or a special place?
I had a teacher when I was in third grade and she was called Mrs. Brooks. She used to shout at me because I’d always drift off and go into my own head and start daydreaming, a lot. I don’t know, I was bored and wanted to like escape real life for a bit. So I just dreamed about stuff. And she’d always be like, hey, Dave. Come on. Pay attention. Pay attention. Your dream land began. So I took it from there. I guess that’s my dreamland. Dreamland is just like being stuck in your own head. When Joe had his accident and I was spending a lot of time in the hospital waiting for news and taking care of him. I was dreaming a lot. I was daydreaming, a huge amount because the real life was so scary and awful and weird and there was no future to dream about. So you kind of just go into your own head. And I just made a parallel between those two things. So that’s my dream land. In my own head somewhere.
It’s very nice. Is that sort of the idea behind your open source website? Because the way you communicate the album is very good. Especially the world you’ve created around it.
It kind of just made sense to have the open source website. Well, maybe I should say first, the music is the most important bit, but it’s also everything around it that extends into like the artwork, the stage show, the website as well, everything is all kind of part of the album. It’s one universe. Everything can add context to all the elements. I’ve had the idea for it a long time, because I think it, it’s important to help people find places to start creating things. Technology in the modern age is so amazing that you can do anything like there’s a program on my computer that you can make anything and animate it and it looks like real. It’s called Cinema 4D and I used it to make the artwork. But basically the the canvas is so blank. It’s like a black hole. There’s no starting point. So I wanted to do this kind of open source thing for ages, where it’s like bunch of starting points for people to start experimenting and making things. When the corona virus hit and everyone was locked in, it made real sense, because me creating things at home was what was keeping me sane as keeping me from going totally mad and I’m really lucky to have music to do that. But some people don’t or maybe they don’t know where to start. Where do you start when you make music? It’s really hard to know. That’s the idea of the open source website to solve that issue. It seemed like the right time to do it.
Right, it kind of exploded.
There’s a lot that’s amazing stuff that’s come out of it. We didn’t really know what to expect but there’s so much that we’re going to try to find things to do with it. A lot of people have been producing and we’re going to start with a little remix competition. We’ll choose our favorites and I’ll work on it with them a bit. We’ll get it up to a really like nice level and maybe I’ll polish it up here and then we’ll put it on the vinyl. People have been doing graphic designs and have been making videos with the stuff from the website. So we have a lot of things we’re going to do. I can’t tell you too much…
Exciting! I recognized you’re in the studio where you did the quarantine covers, right?
Yes, yeah. I haven’t got the lights quite as moody today.
True, now I can see it as well… Which other tracks would you have covered?
There’s a bunch. I’ve actually started messing around with a few more tracks. I did a really weird like vocoder version of one of our songs „Your love“. You know that Imogen Heap song? It’s like that. There’s a Beach Boys song, I really want to do. I’ve been playing around with. I love the Beach Boys.
Oh which is it? Kokomo?
(laughs) No it’s not, I don’t know if I want to tell you. It’s a secret.
Ok, keep it as a secret. I was wondering why a lot of artists covered Heart-Shaped Box. The German artist LUI HILL did a cover, Amber Mark as well. Is there any anniversary of that song that I missed?
Have they covered it recently?
LUI HILL released his cover beginning of January and the Amber Mark cover was in March, I guess. Because my Instagram feed was full with these covers and then yours came as well. That’s why I thought I missed something…
Oh, weird. I think it’s just becoming quite really fresh again and everyone’s had a period when they listened to Nirvana a lot and for some reason I’ve come back to it and just realized how fresh those songs still sound. I guess that’s it. I covered it because I was feeling particularly like nostalgic, as I was saying at the beginning of lockdown. Just because I was listening to songs that made me feel comfortable and Nirvana is that that for me. So that’s why I did it. I’m not sure about the others.
What I like about the fact that everyone covers Nirvana is that it helps you discover the band. I think I am too young for Nirvana and discover the band’s songs through the covers. To be honest I fancy the covers more than the original song. I think it’s funny, that the young people out there discover Nirvana through the covers…
Yeah, that’s crazy to me. The Nirvana version is the best! I didn’t want to try to copy it, because they’ve done it with guitars better than anyone else can do it like this. I can’t believe you don’t know Nirvana.
Well, I mean, of course, I know Nirvana. But when I was younger, I wasn’t very into like rock music. I was more the Indie girl listening to The Kooks and all the UK Indie bands. And then I started blogging and then it happened that everyone thought using synthesizer would be a cool thing, so my music taste changed a little bit. That’s why I’ve never had this Nirvana phase.
When Nirvana started I wasn’t even born… But I still love it.
I can kind of understand why they are loved. But if I opened Spotify, it’s not the first band I would love to listen to and not the second..
Okay, fair enough. I understand it’s definitely like a certain sound isn’t it? Now, I do appreciate that. But I do go through phases same as anyone else. But for some reason that phase just came around the beginning of quarantine I was listening to a lot of stuff that I grew up with like The Strokes and listening to a lot of stuff my mom played me, Bill Withers and Nina Simone as well.
My mother played me The Police. That’s her favorite band and actually Sting was my first concert.
Really? Do you like The Police?
When I was younger, I didn’t like them just because she made me listen to it. Now becoming older and wiser I get it why she loves this band. To say Sting was my first concert is kind of cool.
I don’t think my mom never played me The Police. A lot of my friends really love them but I’ve just never listened to The Police, and maybe I should give it a chance.
Hah so my Nirvana thing is your The Police thing.
So yeah, we just swapped. All right, I’ll listen to more of The Police, you have to listen to more Nirvana tracks.
That’s a challenge I can accept. And the next time we see each other we just tell each other how much we love or hate the bands. Ok so back to your music. You have a release today, right? Your single Heatwave is coming out today?
Yeah, yes, really sick. Oh my god, like two hours.
What’s the story behind your Instagram post with the TV shows?
It’ll make sense because in the video I’m carrying televisions through the streets of London, and the first line of the song is „usually I put something on TV…“
We made it to my last question and that’s my favorite one. What is your favorite song or album at the moment?
Wow, good question.
I know the hardest.
I can look very quickly at what I’ve been listening to the last week. Today I was listening to Tyler the Creator. I’ve been listening to the Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats record. But that’s because he’s asked me to do a remix. So I have to choose a song. And I’ve been listening to the Run The Jewels album. I think that’s really good. I’ve been listening to the new Khruangbin record.
I haven’t listened to them…
Yeah, it’s cool. I think you’d like it. Let me see, I’ve got this playlist called „shit that I like“. And it’s just everything I like I put on it.
I’ll have a listen and check them out, because that’s my way of finding new artists and new tracks. Thanks a lot for the tipps and your time!
Yeah, those are my favorites at the moment, I really liked them all. And I think that’s about that’s about it. Thank you for your time!
Mal abgesehen davon, dass ihr Album Dreamland am kommenden Freitag erscheinen wird und den Test schon mehr als bestanden hat, nehme ich die Challenge an und gebe Nirvana erneut eine Chance. Beim nächsten Treffen bin ich Dave ja noch eine Antwort schuldig und er mir. Wird er The Police mögen?