Interview with Me and My Drummer (eng/ita)


Here we are, back again, with another bilingual interview. Me and My Drummer is a German duo that makes some electro-pop and mixes it with darker atmospheres a là Florence + The Machine and Bat For Lashes. The duo is set to make its impression on the UK music scene as they get ready to release their single You’re A Runner on May 14th 2012, via Berlin label Sinnbus.“The Hawk, The Beak, The Prey” is released on 21st September in the UK. Could you tell us something more about it?

“The Hawk, The Beak, The Prey” is about development. It shows snapshots of the time, when Me And My Drummer were busy making their way from a small not-known band up to the next level. Being together, working together, suffering together, fighting together, dreaming together, playing together, separating together… Everything was so close and so emotional, it was almost like a second puberty, getting professional with this project. Many of the lyrics are about fighting a depression, some songs are still the jams that came out in the rehearsal room with only a few little changes, some of them were made by Charlotte in her little flat in Berlin – very different approaches as you can see.

“The Hawk, The Beak, The Prey” parla dell’evoluzione. È fatto di una serie di istantanee del periodo in cui Me and My Drummer, una piccola band sconosciuta, stavano cercando di raggiungere il livello successivo. Essere insieme, lavorare, soffrire, combattere, sognare, suonare e separarsi insieme…tutto era così vicino ed emotivo, quasi come una seconda pubertà, un diventare professionali con questo progetto. Molte canzoni parlano di combattere la despressione, altre nascono da una jam session in sala prove con solo pochi cambiamenti, altre sono state nate da Charlotte nel suo piccolo appartamento a Berlino. Approcci molto diversi, com si può vedere.

Your first single, “You’re a Runner”, came out earlier this year in Germany and it’s now going to be out also in the UK. The video is really simple in its approach, but also quite evocative. Did you take part on the realisation of it?

Yes, we came up with the original idea of an old couple, having tea-time, de-civilizing more and more while eating and ending it with a  fulminant cake-battle. Stephane Leonard, the director, dropped many, many pictures as well, so that the main topic “aggression” is still a leitmotif but you don´t get bored by watching the same two people trading that topic over and over alone 😉

Si, ci è venuta questa idea di una vecchia coppia nell’ora del tè decivilizzandosi sempre di più mentre mangiano, fino ad arrivare ad una epica battaglia di torte. Stephane Leonard, il regista, ha introdotto anche molte foto, così che il filo conduttore dell'”aggressività” fosse sempre il leitmotif ma senza annoiare, guardando le solite due persone nella stessa situazione.

Which are the bands you grew up with? How much did they influence your music?

Matze listened a lot to singer / songwriter like Elliott Smith, to jazz players like Bill Evans and his first band covered The Blues Brothers, so you could say, for a drummer, he is influenced by melodies and intelligent song structures a lot and enjoys being part of such music.  Charlotte grew up with much folklore stuff and her parents each played in rock bands when she was little, so she pretty much listened to much Blues, Rock, Folk and Worldmusic. And her mother gave her two tapes for children about the history of Mozart, Händel, Vivaldi and Beethoven, including sound examples which she heard on heavy rotation. Both of you were composers and wrote music for theatrical plays.

Matze ascoltava molti cantanti come Elliott Smith, musicisti jazz a là Bill Evans e la sua prima band faceva cover dei  Blues Brothers quindi, come batterista, è influenzato da melodie e canzoni intelligenti e apprezza questo tipo di musica e farne parte. Charlotte è cresciuta con la musica folk, ed entrambi i suoi genitori suonano in gruppi rock quindi ha ascoltato molto Blues, Rock, Folk e Worldmusic. Sua madre le ha dato due cassette per bambini sulla storia di  Mozart, Händel, Vivaldi e Beethoven, includendo samples che ha ascoltato a ripetizione.

Both of you were worked in theatrical plays. How did working in theatres influence your approach to songwriting?

Misunderstanding. We didn´t write the music that we played in the theatre. We played songs, the composer wrote for the pieces. Our songwriting developed more during the breaks and off days in the theatre when we used to pick up our instruments and jammed as long as we could. This was the basis for the little pinch of anarchy we love about writing songs – sometimes, they just happen. Unfortunately not always 🙂

Incomprensione. Non scrivevamo la musica per le rappresentazioni teatrali. Noi suonavamo le canzoni, i compositori le scrivevamo. Il nostro scrivere canzoni si è sviluppato durante i giorni di pausa a teatro, quando prendevamo gli strumenti e suonavamo in ogni occasione. Questa è la base per quel pizzico di ararchia che amiamo nel scrivere le canzoni. Ogni tanto accadono e basta. Sfortunatamente non sempre.

How much do your personal influences inspire you while writing and composing your own songs? How much do other bands influence you instead? Could you name some of them?

The people we work with and the things we experience are of course a big influence. Lyrics-wise, Charlotte puts a lot of private stuff out there, real things that she experienced, only a few songs are pure fictional. At the moment, we pretty much both fell in love with HipHop and Electro-Pop like The Roots and Gorillaz and we used to listen a lot to bands like M.I.A., Micachu And The Shapes, Fiona Apple, etc.

Le persone con cui lavoriamo e le esperienze che viviamo lo sono sicuramente. Per quanto riguarda i testi, ci sono molte influenze private, Charlotte inserisce molte cose che ha vissuto in prima persona, poche canzoni sono inventate. Al momento siamo entrambi innamorati dell HipHop e l’Electro-Pop dei The Roots e Gorillaz, poi ascoltavamo molto M.I.A., Micachu And The Shapes, Fiona Apple, etc.

You released a split with  Einar Stray, and you also went on tour together. How was the experience? Which was the genesis of this meeting up? 

Einar gave a beautiful concert in Berlin at the Michelberger Hotel and that was the time, Sinnbus fell in love with him and signed him. Our booking agent Sybille booked a wonderful and very successful tour for both bands where we had a pretty good time together and fell in love with those sweet people!

Einar ha suonato in un meraviglioso concerto  al Michelberger Hotel a Berlino e quel giorno Sinnbus si è innamorato di lui ed ha firmato con loro. Il nostro agente Sybille ha organizzato un tour con le due band insieme: ci siamo trovati molto bene, ci siamo innamorati di queste persone dolcissime!

Your name, Me and my drummer, emphasises the fact of being a really simple formation, with voice, synth and drums. How is being just the two of you in studio and on a stage? There has to be lots of complicity between you.

Well, it´s not THAT much complicity. But maybe for some people it sounds better if we say, that we´re fighting a lot, maybe that´s what they expect 🙂  We happen to be two persons, who are exploring this confusing world by making music and confronting ourselves with every challenge that comes along. Being so limited wasn´t the biggest challenge in the beginning, we practically felt the fire immediately the first time we played on a snare-drum and a piano at the theatre. For this record, our ideas grew vast and huge, so that we´re almost having a hard time putting them on stage more or less in the same way. This is definitely a very bombastic episode for the band. But there popped up some exciting ideas for very different musical approaches already, but it´s too early to pick those fruits yet.

Beh, non è proprio tutta quella complicità. Ma forse per alcune persone è meglio pensare che litighiamo spesso, forse loro si aspettano quello. Siamo due persone che esplorano questo mondo confuso assieme, confrontandoci con tutte le sfide che incontriamo. Essere così limitati non era la più grande sfida all’inizio, abbiamo sentito la scintilla non appena abbiamo suonato a teatro la prima volta.  Per questo disco le idee erano tante ed è stato difficile metterle sul palco allo stesso modo. Una grande sfida, ma ci sono già delle nuove idee per diversi approcci musicali, anche se è un po’ presto per raccogliere i frutti.

You’re going to play a bunch of album release shows in Germany, but you just played in Vienna as a warm-up before your tour? How was it?  

Vienna was great. What a city. We didn´t know in which way Austrian people would react differently on us than Germans but they were very sweet and I think, they loved the stuff – what more can you ask for?

Vienna è stata grande, che città! Non sapevamo se gli austriaci avrebbero reagito in maniera diversa dai tedeschi. Sono stati molto dolci, hanno amato la musica…cosa si può volere di più?

This summer you are playing at a bunch of festivals too (Tagtraum Festival, Fair Trade Festival). You are going to play with Apparat, Slut, Douglas Greed. Do you enjoy playing as a part of a big line up?  Are you looking forward to any of the other bands performing?

Of course we are excited about those shows! Especially when it´s big but “tasty”, if you know what I mean 🙂 Meeting those artists and taking the challenge of playing in front of many people – sweet candies!

Ovviamente siamo eccitati pensando a quelli show. Specialmente quando è grande ma anche “succulento”, se capisci cosa intendo 🙂  Incontrare quegli artisti e suonare davanti a tantissime persone – caramelle!

Are there in your iPods albums you should be ashamed of? 

None of us owns an iPod. Albums we´re ashamed of… Charlotte: No, I actually even defend my Warsaw Village Band (polish “bio techno”) records and my Die Aerzte (famous german punkband) collection!  Matze: Well, yes I’m a bit ashamed of some albums I bought when I was 15… I only name one of them: Dream Theatre. Outch.

Nessuno di noi ha un iPod. Album di cui ci vergognamo…Charlotte: vado molto fiera dei Warsaw Village Band (bio techno polacco) e  la collezione dei Die Aertze (famosa punkband tedesca)! Matze: bene, si sono un po’ imbarazzato se penso agli album che ho comprato quando avevo 15 anni…ne nominerò solo uno: Dream Theatre. Ouch.

What does the future look like for Me and my Drummer?

We cannot really know that, who else could foresee his future? But these are the plans: Working with choirs, recording in churches, playing shows all over Europe, experiencing life, writing more songs about it…

Non possiamo davvero saperlo, chi può conoscere il proprio futuro? I piani sono questi: lavorare con cori, registrare in chiese, suonare in tutta Europa, fare nuove esperienze, scriverne nuove canzoni al riguardo…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s