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Blonde Redhead

Interview von: Matthias Rauch mit Kazu Makino & Amedeo Pace, am: 27.04.2007 ]

Kaum eine Band versteht es auf so faszinierende Art und Weise, Abseitiges mit wunderbar Trivialem zusammenzubringen und dabei scheinbar mühelos das bisher beste Popalbum des Jahres abzuliefern. Ein orchestraler, breitflächiger, hallgeschwängerter Klang empfängt einen, wenn man die neue Platte mit dem sagenumwobenen Namen 23 des New Yorker Trios auflegt. Konturen werden lediglich angerissen, werden nur schemenhaft skizziert und verschwimmen in diesem wallenden Meer aus kleinen Details und großen Gesten. Über beziehungsweise zwischen diesen schillernden Gitarrenfiguren erhebt sich die markante und unverkennbare Stimme Kazu Makinos. Wir sprachen mit ihr und Kollege Amedeo in unserer Reihe "Zehn Fragen an..." über Unterhaltung, Kunst und 23.


Musicscan: First of all, congratulations to the new album. I can honestly say that is has been in my player ever since I received it a few days ago. I was wondering where this new tranquility and harmony in your sound originates from? Is that a reflection of how you feel as human beings and musicians as of lately?

Blonde Redhead: Amedeo: I don’t know how music reflects us as people. That is a hard concept to think about and understand especially if you are very involved in it as we are. We just make music and accept it as it unfolds.

Musicscan: How do you choose where to record and with whom?  What impact did Chris Coady have on the album?

Blonde Redhead: Amedeo: We think about where we would be most comfortable and what sound we want to try and achieve. Chris was an important part of the process as he made us feel comfortable and free to do what we needed to do.

Musicscan: Even though “Misery Is A Butterfly” has already been a move towards a more elaborate approach, “23” seems to be even a step further to some extent. Would you agree? Was that a conscious decision?

Blonde Redhead: Amedeo: I think 23 is simpler in a way. The songs are a bit more distilled and to the point. Musically to me it does not seem so elaborate. We were conscious of many of the decisions that made the album what it is. One of these decisions was to use our instruments to the fullest and to our advantage as well as our voices.

Musicscan: What makes Blonde Redhead special to you? How would you describe the essence of the band?

Blonde Redhead: Amedeo: I can’t say. I think asking someone who is not in the band might get you further with it.

Musicscan: In how far does NYC influence your music? Do you feel connected to any bands there, particularly the whole Williamsburg community?

Blonde Redhead: Amedeo: We have always made music in New York so I don’t know what it would be like to do it anywhere else. We have lots of friends in Brooklyn who are in bands but as far as Blonde Redhead I think we have always felt quite detached from everyone when it came to making music and being part of a scene.

Musicscan: Do you think you would sound different if you lived in a different city?

Blonde Redhead: Amedeo: I think so.

Musicscan: Unfortunately, I didn’t receive any lyrics with the advance album. Could you elaborate a little on what issues you prefer to deal with in your lyrics on this album?

Blonde Redhead: Kazu: I tried to elaborate on your question but I come to realize that one shouldn't have to explain in writing what you have already written. I feel my job is done and I shouldn’t have to describe it on top of it. I am ok with the idea that no one would know exactly what I meant to say.

Musicscan: How would you describe the relationship between words and music in your case? Does the music always come first and the lyrics are then added or does it also work the other way around?

Blonde Redhead: Amedeo: Mostly music comes first. On this album Kazu had some ideas for lyrics and words she wanted to use in her songs before any music was written but it had never happened before.

Musicscan: What makes for the perfect song in your opinion? Have you ever achieved something like a perfect song in your opinion? How would you define a perfect song?

Blonde Redhead: Amedeo: I think it is nice when a song is timeless because of its originality and simplicity. I don’t think we have actually done it yet, which is one of the reasons why I think we are so obsessed with music.

Musicscan: Do you think there are still genuinely new sounds to be discovered or can modern music basically be said to be a recombination of already existing forms and elements?

Blonde Redhead: Amedeo: I think there are bands which have come so close at making new music and new sounds. I guess it comes from having individuals with different backgrounds and ideas come together to create. More than actually with sounds I think people are able to create new things with their attitudes, weaknesses, awkwardness and limitations which they are able to use to their advantage.

Musicscan: Does music have a social impact or is it another entity that does not really have any direct effects on social life?

Blonde Redhead: Amedeo: I suppose it does, but to think that it does and act like it would be a great mistake. Of course, it does.

Musicscan: Would you agree that there is a predominance of the visual over the auditory in Western cultures? What could an emphasis on hearing and the auditory entail socially and aesthetically?

Blonde Redhead: Kazu: Visual is more immediate and easily justified but it doesn’t stop people from making music. We use it - the visual - as a helping tool to get to a mass. This is just a one point of view, though.

Musicscan: What is the difference between art and entertainment in your opinion?

Blonde Redhead: Amedeo: Art is paid and owned by a single entity but entertainment lots of people can pay for it and own it.
Kazu: This is also one point of view.

Musicscan: What can we expect from you guys in the near future?

Blonde Redhead: Amedeo: I don’t know...I hope the best is yet to come.

  Blonde Redhead
  4AD Records
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