Saturday, 27 June 2009

THE BLUE ANGEL LOUNGE : Interview

Interview by Lady Godiva, with Dennis Melster aka Mel, one of the two founding members of The Blue Angel Lounge.


L.G: Your band pays tribute to Nico. You even named one of your songs after an album of hers and dedicated your own album to her.
Can you tell us about her as an inspiration on your work and what she means to you as a muse or icon?

Mel : Nico is not really an icon or muse for us. She is a powerful but silent artist and we got more and more in touch with her music after we found our own sound. So it was clear that we pay tribute to her in someway even though we did not really talk about it. We are also planning to record a cover of one of her songs and maybe we will do it on our next gig.

LG : What other major influences do you have musicwise, besides the "obvious" Velvets or Spacemen 3?

Mel : I would say that The Velvet Undergound was one of our first loves which inspired us to do music and The Brian Jonestown Massacre gave us the confidence to do whatever we like. I remember that I had - and still have - the same overwhelming feeling with both bands. There are so many bands and artists more like Galaxy 500, Joy Division, Mazzy Star, Radiohead, Spacemen 3 (Spectrum, Spiritulized) Yo La Tengo, Bedhead, Elliott Smith (newer), Psychic Ills, The Black Angels, Carbonic, Sparkling Fountains Of Magic Reality, Woven Bones, TheLightShines etc....

LG : The band started with just Nils O. and Dennis Melster and now you are a four piece. Do you agree on a certain dynamic to compose and write songs? Is it random or do does everyone contribute "equally"?

Mel : Nils and I wrote and recorded almost everything on the album ourselves. A few exceptions, like a drum, vocal or guitar part have been recorded with other friends. Now, with our new bassist, we have more than just a new live - member, he contributes with many good ideas so there is a certain dynamic. Mostly Nils comes up with a chord idea or something and then we start to "jam" with all our instruments. Or we decide to record a new song to have a more spontaneous creation process.

LG : Your lyrics are very dark, tormented and romantic. What kind of poets/ authors do you like? Is fiction / poetry as big an influence as music?

Mel : I don't think that Nils - who is writing the lyrics - is influenced by any specific poet/author. He reflects almost everything that surrounds him like love, conflicts, weather, trees, movies, love, history, madness, death, love, memories and maybe there are some books in between

LG : In most psychedelic bands, one can feel the sun musicwise but your sounds are much colder and more "northern". Is it on purpose?
Your music somehow reminded me of german expressionism inasmuch as it alludes to madness, pessimistic and anguished visions? Do you agree with that?

Mel : No, it's coincidence. We are not trying to be dark and cold although we are attracted to it. I always was interested in mysterious and cryptical characters and their art like Ian Curtis, Edward Munch, Nietzsche and some german expressionists. I can see the connection that you meant but I think we have another motivation.

LG : Hence, your music could make a good soundtrack to "underground" directors like Jim Jarmush or Gus Van Sant? Would you be interested in doing that? If so, what directors would you like to work with?

Mel : We always wanted to make a movie with our music but we never found the time. A few days ago we edited some scenes for a screening while we are playing and maybe we put a scene from Gus Van Sant's "Paranoid Park" in it. We love a lot of directors like David Lynch, Phillipe Garrell, R.W. Fassbinder and Kubrick for example. In fact that many of the mentioned directors are unfortunately already dead, we would like to work with David Lynch.

LG : What do you think of the current german music scene? Do you recommend any bands?
Mel : No scene, no bands.

LG : Being self-produced, how do you manage to get tour dates? Did you get a fan base by word of mouth?

Mel : We are a bit lazy in that regard because and due to the fact that members of the band are changing regularly it is hard to plan gigs a long time in advance. If someone is interested in our music he is contacting us via e-mail and we decide if we can do it. We are not a tour band, we try to sort out to have every gig a special one.

LG : . Are you gonna tour in germany and abroad? What bands would you like to perform with/open for?
I would love to see you support The Black Angels, you'd be the perfect opening act!


Mel : Indeed, supporting The Black Angels would be great also for us. We had contact with Christian already a while ago discussing about playing the next europe tour together. But i think we will have to wait till they release their third record.

LG : The artwork of your abum is very nice. Who did it? Do any of you major in art or graphic design?

Mel :A good friend of us did it. He also plays and sings in a band (Otisoptic) i think that the band is not existing anymore but he is doing his own stuff at the moment. I'm really looking foward to it. Robin (bass) and I were on the same school for graphic design. It's great to have people around who have a good sense for art.

LG : I heard a couple of new songs which are brilliant. Do you have a whole bunch of new tunes on the side? If so, are they similar in tone to the album?

Mel : Yeah, we already recorded a couple of new songs and we have bunch of ideas in the back of our head. The tone is slightly different but with the same mood. We hope to release the album around fall this year.

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