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Cleemann: Parallels between Monthy Python & Kafka

img  Tobias

You just had a strategy meeting with the folks at Artiscope. How did things go?
The stategy meeting with the folks at Artiscope went very well. It is an energetic and idealistic bunch of people, and I feel very fortunate to be represented by Nicolaj Hyltén-Cavallius who is deeply rooted within the danish music industry. There is a lot of optimism right now. People from all over the world shows interest in my project. It seems that the time is right for music that focuses on content rather than just sound. It's kind of ironic that the world economic crises might be an advantage for me, since it seems to make people think more about moral and existential issues, which are also themes that I try to address in my music.

Is there any news on the official release date for "45 Minutes Mostly About Caring"? You must be eager to finally get it out!
The official release date for "45 Minutes Mostly About Caring" will in the USA be late may - early june and in Denmark primo september. I look forward to get it out there and right now I am ready with ten more songs to take to Bavaria!

A lot of different musicians from the scene around The Notwist and Lali Puna among others have co-produced the album. How would you characterise their involvement?
Mario Thaler did a great job in producing the album together with me. I am always overflowing with ideas, and sometimes have a hard time knowing when to stop. Before Mario came into the project, I tried to produce the record by myself in Copenhagen. But before I was able to decide on finishing anything completely, new ideas on how to play and arrange the songs popped up, or a new song passed by, that I felt was far more important to record! Mario told me when to stop and focus on decisions how to finish the songs, to tighten up the sound-scapes and to get on with the next song. You can say that if I was the one who came up with all the places we could go, then Mario was the one who made sure we got there, and not only arriving but in a nice BMW! Cristoph Brandner did the drumming, which was a great part of moving the expression away from too much of a retro feel. Both of them are also very nice people, who's encouragement meant a lot to my confidence in the production state of the album.

Despite the carefully designed arrangements, your voice is very much exposed in your songs. How comfortable were you with being this naked in front of your audience?
It took all the courage I have! But I strongly believe that it is important that more people have the strength to show their weaknesses. This might sound like a paradox, but the thought is, that when people experience others that show their weaknesses and vulnerable sides without fear, they themselves are less inclined to fear. Fear being the root of many of the conflicts of both our day-to-day living and the major political conflicts of our world. So basicly it is me saying: look I'm human; With human faults and soft-spots; But I will not fear or feel shame about it; I will acknowledge these vulnerable sides; And transform as much as it is possible for me; Not comparing to what progress others may do; But letting myself be inspired by their progress.

Your MySpace page mentions Kafka and Monty Python as influences. Which of the two was more important on the sound of "45 Minutes Mostly About Caring"?
Both Kafka and Monty Python deals with 'the absurd' in their art. Their way of doing so may differ but not the subject. I've contemplated the absurd trying to communicate the idea. Amongst others you'll find several references to their work in my lyrics. Therefore I find them equally influential for my work. I also believe that Kafka has a deep dry humour in which you find our existential issues illustrated. Both of them are for me the masters of their medium. I think that you can find humour in my work (but no irony) though it deals with serious matters. To quote a famous Monty Python sketch: "Now, nobody likes a good laugh more than I do. Except perhaps my wife. And some of her friends. Oh yes, and Captain Johnson ... Come to think of it, most people like a good laugh more than I do, but that's beside the point!“

Image by P. Wessel

Homepage: Cleemann

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