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Emmerhoff And The Melancholy Babies

Interview von: arne mit Gunnar & Iver, am: 26.10.2004 ]

"Misty Trails" markiert einen repräsentativen Querschnitt der bisherigen drei Longplayer von Emmerhoff & The Melancholy Babies aus Norwegen. Zwischen düster gefärbtem Elektro-Pop und melancholischen Indie-Rock-Strukturen bewegen sich die Songs der Band, die immer wieder auch zwanglos gewisse Country-Elemente integrieren und ab und an auch ein wenig verschroben klingen. Doch es darf auch schon einmal aufgewühlter, rockiger werden zwischendurch, jedoch niemals offen ausbrechend.


Musicscan: Give our readers a short briefing about Emmerhoff at first, please. What did you want to achieve musically when you build up this band? Does Emmerhoff and the Melancholy Babies have a certain vision of the band?

Emmerhoff And The Melancholy Babies: The band formed in `96, but didn’t really start working regularly before `99, when the Viva Revenge album was released in Norway. The present-day line-up was also established just before recording of that album. 2 albums and 1 ep was released on our own label before we signed a deal with Oslo-based Bauta Recordings in 2002. This led to a re-release of the second album, Loosebox, and 2003 saw the release of If this darkness lingers. These releases are now the foundation for the Misty Trails album, due out October `04. We wanted to be able to record and perform music that was a combination of the different references and tastes of the five individuals in the band and turn it into one coherent, complex vision. This is still our main objective. I think people in general think of us as very dynamic and moody rock’n’roll band, a complex, but still very including band, both on record and as a live-act.

Musicscan: At what point in your life did you decide to become musicians?

Emmerhoff And The Melancholy Babies: I can’t remember exactly the day I decided to be a musician, but I know all the members of the band have ALWAYS been very interested in music. Some of us grew up with musicians in the family, while others found their salvation through Elvis and Beatles. That’s the time the seeds were sown, and of course the teenage years were very important. That was first time we started playing in band and started writing and performing own material

Musicscan: How would you evaluate the progression you have gone through, and in what direction are you currently progressing?

Emmerhoff And The Melancholy Babies: I’m still very pleased with our first album, but I remember we were a little afraid to step outside the genre-borders we thought existed. Especially when we were playing live we found it very important to sound exactly the same as we did on the album. We were too stiff and afraid…..and not good enough as a band to loosen up. But now, a couple of years later, with lots of live playing we are much more comfortable and loose on stage. This have rubbed off onto the composing as well. We’re experimenting with different styles and genres and breaking many of the rules we had before.

Musicscan: How long did it take for you to pick up those 13 songs and how long did you work out the track list to create the particular mood of your best-of?

Emmerhoff And The Melancholy Babies: The song selection process for Misty Trails was a real tough one! We view each of our albums as one complete artistic statement with meticulously crafted song sequences and modal transitions, and although every Emmerhoff album will have a big variation in intensity and mood between album tracks, each album also differ from the others in general feel and sound. Therefore, creating new song-sequences and sonically fitting the different tracks together was real headache… But we decided from the start that this was not going to be a roughly put-together "greatest hits" album, but rather a new independent statement. So, as much energy was put into piecing this album together as any of the other ones. In the end, all five members created their own list of tracks they wanted on the album, and Devil Duck also had their wishes. As mentioned above, we then set out to create an album were the songs would complement each other, not just a collection of the presumed most "catchy" songs.

Musicscan: Has it been the decision of the band to release this kind of best of record and have you been able to choose the songs by yourself?

Emmerhoff And The Melancholy Babies: It was Devil Ducks idea to pick songs from our three previous albums and create a new album. It’s understandable… It’s much easier for such a fresh and small label to work with just one new album compared to three, according to for example promotion.

Musicscan: When you are writing your songs do you have certain issues you specifically want to address and did those issues change with the years?

Emmerhoff And The Melancholy Babies: I have always written about human relations and conditions. The pain of love lost and the joy of love found, the search for peace of mind, fears and angst, depression and bliss…. Everything about being a human-being.

Musicscan: How did you go about writing your songs in generell?

Emmerhoff And The Melancholy Babies: All members contribute in the songwriting and arranging process. A song idea can start with somebody having a theme, a riff or some chord changes. We then jam in the rehearsal space and see where that leads us. Some songs come from free-form jamming, which we often record to use as ideas later. Gunnar writes all the lyrics.

Musicscan: Your songs cover a lot of bases - there's something for everyone from alternative-rock, goth to even indie and mainstream rock i guess. Were you going for a more inclusive approach or is it a result of your own diverse musical interests?

Emmerhoff And The Melancholy Babies: As mentioned earlier, we are five individuals with different references and tastes. Variety, depth and honesty are important in our expression. We as a band try to show a multifaceted image of our thoughts, feelings and musical preferences

Musicscan: I'm interested in how you came up with the record title, cause I think it really sums up what the listener gets!? What's YOUR idea behind it?

Emmerhoff And The Melancholy Babies: Misty Trails just seemed like the title that best described the general mood of the album. Also, it further enhances our concept that this was not just another “best of” album, but a new sequence of songs, including a title track.

Musicscan: Why didn’t you include the lyrics to the booklet? Isn’t it important for the listeners that get in touch with you for the first time?

Emmerhoff And The Melancholy Babies: The words are not meant to be read as ordinary poetry. The music, the melody and the words are ONE. The words emphasize the atmosphere and mood in the music and vice versa

Musicscan: I was surprised finding "Misty Trails” released by DevilDuck. How did you get in contact with this german-based label, that just started?

Emmerhoff And The Melancholy Babies: The good people from Devil Duck were introduced to us at a gig at the Molotov Club in Hamburg in 2003, and they came to see us again when we toured Germany this spring, which was when they decided to sign a licensing deal with us. So their confidence in the band is based on both the recorded material and the live-performance….which is the way we like it .

Musicscan: Your biggest wish to happen for bands future?

Emmerhoff And The Melancholy Babies: Being able to go on composing, recording and releasing good music. Keep on touring and get our music out to as much people as possible. Keep on rocking, in general!

Musicscan: anything left you want to say?

Emmerhoff And The Melancholy Babies: Support creative artist by buying the albums – don’t burn them… Come see us live, and then listen to the albums some more! Keep music real!

  Emmerhoff Bandsite
  Devil Duck Labelsite
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