torsdag den 28. februar 2008

Interview with Sixteens

Introduce yourself. Who's in the band and what instruments do you play?
VEUVE: Hi my name is Veuve and I play bass, guitar, keyboards, 4-track, vox, and clarinet. Kristo plays bass, guitar, keys, samples, vox.
KRISTO: My name is Kristo Louise and i play exactly what Veuve said i play.

What inspired you to form a band? To make music at all?
VEUVE: I started when I was 16 in a punk band. I was the singer. After that I didn't play music for a few years but I knew I wanted to do it again. I started putting sounds together on a four track in my room. I found that I really liked experimenting with sound. I formed a band with two friends called The Vulvettes. I think we were a bit no-wave garage sounding, influenced by The Screamers, DNA, Crucifucks, Tuxedo Moon, Brian Eno, Swell Maps, The Fall, Nico, Pere Ubu, Chrome... It was pretty exciting. Kristo was doing Houses at that time and we had not met each other. I met Kristo, the Vulvettes played their last show and we liked each others music, so, we started working on sounds together, coming up with the first 16s songs. We dragged all kinds of crazy junk up into Kristo's room and started recording on her four-track. Nick lived there also and I had a crappy drum set, so he began playing drums. The band is just Kristo and I now, but we made three records with Nick. Sixteens, Casio, and Fendi. By the way Casio told us not to print anymore records with that name. I guess they don't know free advertising when they see it. (i.e. When the ticket says your seat number is A4 then you better bloody sit in A4 even if half the theatre is empty and someones' afro is making it impossible to see the film.) They are just doing everything by the book, and the book says, Thou shalt not use the name CASIO without permission. My inspiration to make music comes from a need to take the sounds from my environment and transform them into something pleasing to my ears, mind, body.
KRISTO: Why music? No matter what happens to anyone these days, EVERYone is oppressed. Every single human that breathes, is oppressed. People that are looking for love, are having a hard time, why? they are oppressed and visited by oppressed visitors. I've tried to hold a positive position recently, but i have re-understood the truth about us: Oppression (PERSONAL, SEXUAL, POLITICAL, WORLD). I stand for a life out side of that. A world with plusses and kisses, and wine and freedom. And I mostly drink wine so much more than i should because, I am oppressed. At least I am not tight.
Tell me about your latest album Into the Gold Wave of Future Non Rip-Off. What does it sound like?
VEUVE: It sounds like Post Alien-takeover colonization and Tourist trade in a holographically haunted electro-magnetic landscape. The songs themselves would be the alien species created through human genetic experi-mentation with DNA discovered on micrometeorites. The songs would then take on a life of their own and be sent spinning out of control into the opening atmosphere.
KRISTO: I think, if you give it a whirl, it will be a good album that with-stands time.

In what way does the album differ from your earlier work?
KRISTO: The difference in this album for us, IS Dance. Don't Dance. Think. Cry. Die. Smile. HOld onto what you see is right and what you know is right and be left handed and relinquish all forms of hell.
VEUVE: Well for one thing Nick is not on this album. He played some of the keyboards on Casio and Fendi. Gold Wave has an energy that reflects a freedom Kristo and I felt as soon as Nick was no longer in the band. Kristo and I were on a similar wave length.

How's the process when you make music?
KRISTO: My process of creating music is about making it. I don't really care THAT much about other bands, altho i listen to plenty other shit. I like to record some 16s and then listen to it on my mini-disc player and make up lyrics and go to bed with the head-set on and wake up wondering what the fuck just went through my head. I have to then jump up and get started on some kind of "day" but really, i am thinking about our music all of the time. I guess if you want to talk "gear" I don't really like that kind of conversation, but I would have to say i use many keyboards, synth rack, guitar, bass, oh, yah and weird vocal machines.
VEUVE: Listen to records, radio, sometimes talk-shows, documentaries, walks in the park, go to the library, drink wine, mix cocktails, vodka, limes, blood oranges, Cointreau. Did you know that the CIA would experiment with LSD on each other unsuspectingly as a joke in the 60s, by lacing the coffee. Reportedly one incident where after dinner Cointreau was laced resulted in a CIA officer jumping out the 15th floor of a high rise hotel in New York. They said he committed suicide. This imagery will maybe be part of a song. I also take ferry rides on the bay, travel to foreign places. read books, go to work. Then I start to have inspiring images in my mind. My imagination starts working on it. I might record a bit of sound from something somewhere or play a few notes and loop them. I might make a simple drumbeat first, sometimes with the drum machine or real drums sampled. Record it onto reel to reel tape and play part of it backwards, put that on the computer then add sound from other tapes. One of us might make music and show it to the other and then the other person adds instrumentation to it. Sometimes we just start playing our instruments together and we come up with a song immediately. Lyrics usually come from writing I am doing all the time. Sometimes my lyrics will exist as short phrases stolen from books. Kristo also writes a lot and is always coming up with lyrics. Music for me is usually accompanied by imagery.

You lived in Berlin for a while and I guess you toured a lot in Europe at that time. What does you think of the European culture and music scene. Is it any different from the American?
VEUVE: Europe definitely treats underground bands better. The band always has a place to sleep and food paid for. It is not like that when you tour America. In Berlin there wasn't a very big live music scene happening. In San Francisco you can see three shows a night if you want. There are too many bands here, and not enough places to play. It starts to seem like when you play a show that you are involved in a machine that chews you up and spits you out. Move them in and move them out. Everyone is just moving so fast like they can't wait for the night to end.
KRISTO: If I could ever get a house, it won't be here. (Oakland/S.F.)

You have toured together with Blixa Bargeld (Red: fra Einstürzende Neubauten). What was that like? How did you get the job?
VEUVE: We had some good shows. I probably said two sentences to Blixa the whole time. Some people you just naturally hit it off with and others you don't really need to talk to. It is all about context, intersection and timing. I believe he had recently arrived from Shanghai or Bejing. So that says alot right there. The show in Seattle was interesting. Our instruments looked like a collection of used rubbish on the enormous stage, with the zimmer frames holding up the keyboards which were attempting as usual to disable themselves.The place usually housed jazz and blues nights. The sound person had a computerized clip-board that could actually check the sound of each instrument while he stood there talking to the band on stage. Seating was arranged like an amphitheatre but with tables and people were ordering extravagant deserts while watching the band play. It was like a Jaques Tati film.
KRISTO: See? Funny! it is looked at as a job, isn't it? will someone realize this so that we can actually put food on the table via music? ha! This is a gigantic tribe we are dealing with and we are the witch-doctor-musicians-holistic GIANTS!

Are there any other bands or artists you would like to tour with in the future?
VEUVE: Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, Yma Sumac, perhaps the music industry would learn how to loosen the screws a bit, turn the compression units down for a moment and let sound be heard...Hard question to answer.
KRISTO: OMD. Ha! We would like to tour with ourselves and someone else should join. ALL OPPRESSED INDIVIDUALS WELCOME.

Any plans to tour Europe again soon?
VEUVE: Yes we will but I don't know when. How about Denmark? We haven't played there yet.

The 16's Website

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