„Endstation Sixties, bitte alle aussteigen“!26.02.2007
The Blue Van sind eine unheimliche charmante Band aus Dänemark, die musizieren, als hätte Grunge, Hardrock oder Punk nie die Musikszene revolutioniert und viele bunte musikalische Mosaikstücke den folgenden Generationen hinterlassen. Während viele versuchen, sich aus den funkelnden Stücken ein neues Werk zu basteln, kehren die Musiker direkt in die Zeit der 60er Jahre, der Blütezeit von Bands wie The Kinks oder The Small Faces.
Auf dem neuen Album „Dear Independence“ finden sich musikalische Perlen, die mit luftigen Klängen und verspielten Melodien das Lebenssgefühl der Sixties auf ganz und gar unpeinliche Weise auferstehen lassen. Dass die räumliche Isolation der Jugend in Skandinavien, zumindest der musikalisch begabten, sich nicht immer zum Nachtteil auswirkt, ist hinlänglich bekannt. Auch sie wuchsen in einem dänischen Dörfchen auf und fanden die erste Inspiration durch die Platten ihrer Eltern.
„Why should we waste our time to listen to some music, if we can have the original“ so Soren Christensen. Jedoch, so betont der Drummer Per Jorgensen im Interview, haben sie durchaus unterschiedliche Musikgeschmäcker, deren größter gemeinsamer Nenner sich aber in ihrer Musik widerspiegelt.
Als vor einigen Jahren der Stempel „Retro“ jede oft noch so schlechte und krampfhafte Produktion von „Retro“-Bands verkaufte, waren The Blue Van mit der prägenden Hammondorgel schon einige Jahre am Start. Nun, da der durschlagende Erfolg von manchen Bands auch das grelle Neonlicht der Musikindustrie und der immer suchenden Trendscouts auf sie lenkte, war ihnen auch eine breitere Öffentlichkeit sicher. The Blue Van spielen aber ihren Sounds als Überzeugung und Liebe zur Musik und versuchen, ihren markanten Stil beizubehalten, auch wenn es nach eigenen Aussagen schwer ist, kompromisslos zu bleiben. Da aber Trends kurzlebig sind und das Musikbusiness kein Wohlfahrtsverein ist, wird es Künstlern nicht immer leicht gemacht, die Kreativität und den ökonomischen Faktor auf einen gemeinsamen Nenner zu bringen.
In ihrer Rolle als Vorband auf der Europatour der Australier JET, ließen sie in Wien das Publikum zumindest für kurze Zeit vergessen, dass sie 'nur' als Vorband agieren und das Ganze eigentlich noch getoppt werden soll. Die unglaublichen Luftsprünge von Bassist „Jumpin Jack Flash“ Allan Villadsen ließen in mir kurze Unfaßbarkeit aufkommen und ich fragte mich, ob er nun wirklich von diesem riesigen Verstärker in der Arena runterspringen will. Kaum den Gedanken zu Ende gebracht, steht er schon wieder auf der Hammondorgel und macht sich für den nächsten Sprung mit dem Bass bereit. Es ist eine unglaubliche Freude dieser Band auf der Bühne zuzusehen, wie einprägsame Melodien geformt werden und diese dem Publikum regelrecht abzwingen, sich zu bewegen und sie als Zuhörer für deren Musik gewinnen können.
Mögen sie vielleicht nicht die nächsten Retter des Rock'n'Roll sein, der noch immer auf der Fahndungsliste von manchen Medien steht, kann ich euch nur empfehlen, laßt euch bis dahin in eine musikalische Zeitreise von The Blue Van mit der Endstation in den swingin' Sixties chauffieren.
How is touring so far with the JET from Melbourne? They are indeed some quite impresisve big band.
Soren: Yeah they are and we are some really impressing small band (laughs).
I talked with friends about your band and most of them knew you, so I think you got some fanbase here. At least, after the gig at the Frequency Festival in 2005. What happened during the gig?
Soren: It was a fun time there. My chair cracked and I think the bassplayer Allan threw it towards the crowd. I went down, cause I wanted to keep it. I got it back and I tried to glue it but the chair still lays in pieces in some corner of my home.
Are in Denmark clubs or mediums who can give the musicscene a platform there ?
Soren: If you wanna make a living of music then you have to get outside of Denmark, cause it is a very small country of 5 million inhabitants. You could tour it in least than one week and you would have to wait another half year, before you could start a next tour.
Per: But beside that there are some small clubs and mediums who try the best to support you.
After 10 years of being together as „The Blue Van“ you just released your second album named „Dear Independence“ in February. Do you already have some fixed ideas of the sound of an album, when you enter the studio for recording?
Soren: We just know what we like. It just kinda starts and you never know what you are gonna end up with. I think that's the way it should be and you let it live and develope itself. It shows also our different moods, taste of music and the point we stood as we record it as a band.
And you already started to write new material for a third album, hats off that is really quick.
Soren: Yeah we know we had some time off and we already started it cause we can't simply write songs on tour.And all of a sudden the label says „ You gonna have to record a new album“ and then you should better have written good songs and you can't write them on command you always have to work on them.
So the economical aspect of the fast working musicindustry, in which the time between of a releasing date of new albums tends to get very small, also influences you in a certain way. In the romantic idea it is always said that artists need inspiration and time, but on the other hand you also have to conclude the economical aspect.
Soren: I think it's interesting when a band releases an album due a short period of time, cause it is more focused. If you write an album within one month it shows exactly which kinda person you where during this time.
Per: It's also pushes you in every way, especially your creativity otherwise you just would get lazy.
Creativity is a good point, let's talk a little bit of the hilarious video you did for Refused TV, I watched it 10 times in a row and still laughed tears. Who had the idea for it?
Per and Soren: Nooooo you did see it? We already forgot about that.
Yes, and added it to myspace.
Soren: We were on tour with Hot Hot Heat two years ago and we made a stop in L.A. The TV station I think was located in Beverly Hills. They encouraged us to do a lot of crazy stuff but the shooting itself felt very weird and was not funny at all. But they put it together very good so it is quite funny. We talked about the concept how it should look like and we remembered that we watched a lot of Beverly Hills as we were little kids so we thought we should do a little Beverly Hills skit.
Could you at least enjoy your gig in L.A in the Avalon?
Soren: We had a very hard night there, even Hot Hot Heat, we were all so terribly nervous, cause of simply playing in L.A. The people were really difficult to get them to move, cause they are soooo cool.
Per: And they were even a little bit arrogant.
Soren: Hot Hot Heat had an ever worse night, they were really depressed after the gig.
So do you understand from your point, why young bands all want to move to L.A and start a career, when most of the crowd there is too cool for everything?
Soren: New York has kind the same attractions for young folks and of course it offers more opportunitys. We also did quite a compareable step, we also moved from our small village where we all grew up with about 200 inhabitants to Copenhagen to get contacts with the right people. Usually the bands who move to L.A or New York are better than the bands who come straight from the town itself, cause most of the time they think too much about how they look.
Some young bands give up a lot to push their careers and then there are shows like American Idol in which the 'chief executor' says that poets like Bob Dylan are boring and not enough entertaining.
When we go back to your music, I have the feeling you put a lot of work and time in your music and the whole art. Do you think it's too little space for music like you create?
Soren: Yes, there is to little space, you are right. It's just all about the quick money and making compromisses. Some Labels screaming for big hooklines and cheesy lyrics. Everything has to be so easy to disgest for the listener, cause you just get one chance as an artist, you get your 15 seconds of fame, if you screw it up, they are looking for some other band. It is very hard to stand by your beliefs when you are making an album and to stand strong and make no compromisses.
On the otherside, there is also the cry for not being indie and not selling your soul, it's a misery.
Do you react on bad quotes about your band, is it even important for you?
Per: I always get angry when I read bad things, cause I take it very personal.
Soren: We spent so much time during recording and thought it is really great and then somebody write about, who doesn't get it at all and just writes “Oh this is one of another retro band“. So I think that there is a lot more in this band, than getting reduced to this attitude. It feels now to being an underdog again, which is very good. As we came out with the first one, it was almost to easy everybody just loved the music which was titled „Retro“.
Nowadays it is all about New Rave or New Wave, however you wanna call it anyways. If it has a certain structure how a song is built up and if they are singin' in heavy stupid british accent than everybody will dig it. It's all turning in circles and is ridicilous.
Per: Soren stop it, don't take him to serious about that, we all have different taste in music.
Soren: Yeah sorry for that, but sometimes it's just has to be said.
But on your homepage there is that article about the 'NME' which is the synonym for the press and trends you just told me. It is just linked everywhere you go on this site and I have the feeling that you are proud on it.
Soren: Exactly, but the reason is why we putted it up so big is that we are probably gonna be in there for the first and last time ever. (both laugh)
Per: I like the NME and they are changing very quick with bands the put on the cover. At least it is also an independent magazine, cause they don't care what other people say about it, they just do it. On the otherhand, in one month the kick you out, if they don't like you anymore and look for another Savior of Rock'n'Roll.
Soren: But do you know what I hate more than NME? Pitchfork, it's a big thing in America, the biggest Indie blog, where the old fat guys who used to have a band and now own a record store and sit in there with sweaters and write really bad reviews and everybody reads it and take it serious.
You have my permission to write that and I hope that people wake up one day and stop reading it.
THE BLUE VAN, 25.02.2007 (Wien, Arena)
26.02.2007, 15:22 von K. Schneck