Let’s start with a blunt statement that I wrote about Timeless Reality: The future of music is — if she wants or not — wild, sloppy and psychedelic garage rock. New Rock Radicalism will be it’s name. How do you feel about this?
Yeah, I read the promo text, and at first I was surprised. But I think it’s a good description, as you mentioned the Bay Area, and off course that’s a important inspiration.
Yeah, I guess so.
You touched upon something with that text, because we want to leave the cemented path that the scene here are following. Family Underground were always a sort of satellite, not really fitting in. Audiences are hard to convince around here, unless you have somebody who tells them that this or that is the good thing.
The reason why I wrote this, is because you made an interesting evolution from a drone/noise outfit to a band who writes songs — also Wolf Eyes did this. Can you tell me why there is suddenly a common interest in more song based music in the experimental scene? Is that the future for experimental music?
For me it’s not new. The first Family Underground cd was song based. And then we started to find new solutions to the same questions, and those answers were to head into drones or experimental structures and methods of working. A good quote concerning this idea, is by Robbie Basho: “You’d have to ask the same questions as the masters did”, whatever that is, because that’s up to you. It’s about finding something that makes me and the band happy. I think even that we are now ready for something more abstract, maybe for live performances as well. Anyhow, it feels like playing the same song over and over again.
Is there just one person writing the songs, or are you writing them together?
Nicolas is writing most of the songs, and actually we don’t rehearse the songs — we record them right away. It then takes some sort of shape. When we done for that evening, Nico takes the reels home and distills the best parts out of it, from which we work further.
The secret modus operandi for this record is to do ten takes of a track, and I always believe that if a track is for instance 5 minutes, you’d have to play it for at least 15 minutes to get something out of it. Remember the 10 percent rule? We try to do it long enough, so that we are sure to have 10 percent of good stuff.
Within this 15 minutes we start to realise what we have to do, and where we are save.
Are you still recording and playing the little rehearsal space at Mayhem?
Yeah, it’s all been done there, on a reel-to-reel four track recorder. It’s surprisingly easy to record that way. The bleeds of the sound in the room are perfect — if that makes sense?
Yeah, completely… The rehearsal space is a located at the Head Quarters of the Mayhem collective. At the same time Timeless Reality seems to be outsiders as you don’t make post-2010 industrial, such as Posh Isolation releases. From my point of view, you seem to be equally insiders as well being one of the strong-holders in the Danish underground scene. How do you feel this?
It’s interesting because Sara and me have been through so many ways of doing shows, and those generated a lot of peers, which have been becoming another circuit, spread over the world. But, my point of view is maybe distorted, because we’ve been in this center, and watching it. Timeless Reality started out in February 2015, when we met Alexander. I think maybe Alexander can see this more clear. We have our rehearsal space, but it’s actually pretty fragmented.
I don’t think Family Underground has much to do with the bands that are part of Mayhem.
It makes that things happen, though. There are shitloads of bands, and many of them are really good. It has kind of exploded, and it’s also some sort of big media thing over here, which I don’t give too much attention. It’s bit hyped, which makes that people are continously in and out. For me it’s funny, if I go to the show, I know the people who are playing, but at the same time I’m asking myself ‘where the hell am I?’. It’s a different scene now.
The only real connection is the practice space that is for ourselves. That’s the way we like it.
It doesn’t matter, we got guys like you who like us.
A loose network of individuals with strong ties.
That’s the key to the kind of music we make. We’ve alway been mixed up, you have the Double Leopards, you have your Ignatz. I like that, but here it’s sometimes too much choosing for one genre or style, and that’s what you do. It’s not so mixed up anymore.
Is the karaoke/pubrock vibe, but then with a loose improvisational approach close to Sun City Girls’s method, consciously?
Well, especially the Back to Paradise song, which is some sort of memorial for Jesper (long time part of Family Underground, who killed himself last year, nvdr). The melody needed that groove where the voice is too late for the beat.
It’s a very simple song, and this is maybe our way to, I don’t know…
… get attention to the track, maybe?
That’s the way we sound and work, yeah.
It’s funny that you mentioned the Sun City Girls. I know their song based records best, but I see what you mean. But our music is maybe closer to J.J. Cale, where the vocals are also always behind the beat. That’s how it’s feel for me in that track, it doesn’t need to be heavy, it just needs to be tense. Me and Sara aren’t so well trained in the classics, so we’d have to cling onto the drums, which sounds really good. Tight drums and our loose, maybe too loose, feel.
Then the crackly Skype connection fell away… Welcome to 2016’s ways of communication. Back to Paradise then.