Æ: Aglet Eaters

Interactions in Installments: DIN Martin Part 3

Posted in Discover by R on April 28, 2012

That’s a nice line from the Go-Betweens’ song – it’s one I like to think I’ve lived by for most of my life. Yet I’m still a bit confused as to my take on it. On one hand I agree you shouldn’t confine yourself to a boring job just to put bread on the table, but on the other hand, in a weird way it’s not a bad idea to have a dull, boring, absolutely unrelated job on the side so your own music becomes the focus. It’s like – the more I write for other people, the less I write for myself. I don’t know if THAT makes sense since it’s barely formed in my own head, but it’s one of those thoughts that makes me think there isn’t a right answer to the way of life question. Not to forget the obligations and ambitions change across generations and cultures – we can’t equate our paths to our parents’ and in my time in Australia I noticed the expectations were very different to what I was used to in India. That must be why I’m so confused I guess.

I can only imagine what it’s like hearing non-music-makers speak so decisively about what YOU should do with YOUR music. I like to imagine I am a Good Guy but I guess I slip up as well. I find music piracy especially a difficult topic to comment on because, you know, it’s not for me to say since it’s not my product. So all I can do is equate it to my own work. But the problem – for lack of a better word – with music is that it ends up belonging to everyone. I’m no musician but I think I might be more possessive of some songs and albums than the people who made them. Sounds like crazy talk, but I think that, apart from ease of replication and distribution, the personal aspect of music – the ‘it’s mine!’ feeling might compound the problem. My ‘it’s mine!’ feeling is so intense I refuse to share music at all – as in not even play the songs I like to someone in the same room (unless they ask very very nicely and promise to pay close attention). Lars Ulrich would be pleased 😉

I guess the problem with that mentality might be that it limits the number of people who know you exist, so you’re back to the original problem again i.e. how do you get people to know you exist AND have them pay for your music. Maybe the choose your price technique?

I agree with you that there isn’t a right answer to the way of life questions. It’s really difficult and blatantly you’re not the only one who finds this confusing. I don’t know I think making the most of it is important, what ever that may be for one. That’s what makes me happy anyway and I’m thankful in a way and really appreciate that the general set up allows me to do what I want. I’m aware that this isn’t a given and situations are very different in other countries, some of them not far from Germany.

I like the Lars Ulrich mention! 🙂 I mean he’s a bit of pain to be honest and I’m sure he’s earned and spent more money than any of us are ever gonna see… don’t know whether you have seen the documentary ‘Some Kind Of Monster’ which is about Metallica, you have to! But he’s got a point in the end.

But I totally get you with the ‘it’s mine’ situation as well. I get that with music too. And it is the most exciting thing and this is what music is for. Totally! It’s tricky but I mean I don’t see many of our politicians getting this feeling and being so passionate about music as you are. But I don’t want to be prejudgmental. 

I always think it is great if you go see a band, you haven’t seen before and they totally blow your mind and you know it is something special. I couldn’t then go home on the computer and start downloading their music for free, knowing that they won’t see a penny of it. It wouldn’t make me feel right, you know. 

By the way, I should have asked this earlier – and it’s a cliché question, I’m afraid – but how did you think up the name of your album – The Second Before You Faint? Is it meant to serve as a description of the music as well? As in, how the listener should feel? (‘cos, you know, it can be pretty surreal)

Another naive question – what made you choose to sing in English? I know you’re not the only ones to do so, but it is something I wonder because I think German is a more expressive language (most are) – I would guess the primary reason is to be more accessible?

And a final one for now -tell me about the title video… how did you meet Alison of the Fauns? Any stories about it, any stories it’s meant to convey, etc.?

 The album title “The second before you faint” comes from the chorus line of “Before you faint” which is: ‘the second before you faint/no one listens anyway’. I really like that line, it’s pretty strong and dark and bad really. It is like someone trying to explain their inner self, trying to express their inner feelings and emotions to someone and trying so hard that finally they run out of energy and faint because the person was bored and not touched at all. This whole line works with the meaning of the song and the video but not really with the album. I wouldn’t want this person to be us trying harder and harder to express our music while the listener stops listening and goes off doing something else. 

But just taking the first bit gives it kind of a new meaning. What happens in that very second before you faint? … with your body, your soul, consciousness? Where does it all go and how does it come back? And why? I thinks it’s pretty exciting that our body has a reset button and uses it without us telling him to. My personal thought wasn’t really about giving the music a description with the title. It was more like if I was about to faint, for whatever reason, and this album would play (or not even just this one, any album I like) and make this second last really long, i wouldn’t worry, it would be fine and I’d feel comfortable. 

But I don’t know, I mean everyone can find a different interpretation and I’m alright with that. That was just what was in my head. 

There was never really a question about what language we are going to sing in. It was clear from the start that it is going to be English. One reason, of course, is to make it more accessible. Clearly. That’s why we are trying to keep communication on things like Facebook in both, English and German. But also for me, who writes a fair amount of the lyrics, it feels more natural to do so in English. I spent three years in Bristol, UK which helps a lot and I find English, speaking wise, so much more comfortable than German. German is really hard, long and expressive if you want but it doesn’t have such an easy flow as English. And I would imagine it being really difficult to work into our music. I think English works really well and to be honest I love speaking the language. There’s a word for everything in English whereas in German you need to describe and paraphrase, which some people probably like working with, but I don’t really. 

Lovely Alison I met when I used to live in Bristol. I also know the rest of the Fauns quite well. I used to play with them. I was their very first bass player when they started. Well, they started as a 3 piece (with a different singer, two guitars and without live drums) and then Ali, me, a keyboarder and the drummer joined. I played with them for a year or so until I decided that at some point I’m going to move back to Germany. So me and Michael Savage, who started the band who is kind of the head of it all, decided to go different ways, musically. Still we are all good friends, I always see them when I’m over and we are in touch. Choosing Ali to star the video wasn’t my idea, it came from the other DIN Martins but once it was said and once I had thought about it, it made perfect sense for me too. 

The whole input I have given into the band so far was pretty much connected to Bristol and my life over there. Working on this record and with that band helped me reflect and work through everything that had happened in that 3 years. It was quite a lot and really intense in most ways. I always think of that life I had there as a bubble and everyone who became a close friend during this time was in that bubble with me. All of us we came from so many different backgrounds, ages and stories and we spent the craziest time together, not having any responsibility at all, just living, laughing, loving every day and really feeling it. It was great! And so important. And then suddenly everyone was at a point where they had plans for their lifes. And some wandered off to live somewhere else, some started a family, some started doing a completely different job and so on. We all stayed in touch and it’s great to talk to them and see how they are doing. 

So yeah that’s why Ali is perfect for it and why we shot the video in Bristol together with a filmmaker from there, called Richard Edkins, who is a good friend of mine too. And it worked out great. I didn’t know Ali could act that great, it totally blew my mind and Richards camera work and knowledge is amazing and another friend of mine, André Mueller, who is German and who has been living in Bristol for 10 years now, did the catering and drove us around to the different spots we wanted to shoot at, just perfect really!

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