Florian “Flo” Tobias Kreier is a genius, he is everything and nothing, – poet, author, musician and journalist. He’s up all night to get lucky, he’s everywhere and nowhere, he is the son and daughter of Schrödinger, he is the box the box the box. He is Angela Aux and Aloa Input, a son of the silent age, a renaissance man, if you will. You will? He has made this beautiful thing, it’s the new Angela Aux album, it’s called Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams. It’s there at the end of the interview – you simply must listen to it because, really, you’d be stoopid not to. Hey stoopid! Oh. The interview – I love it – I love this guy, he’s funny too. He loves why? He wants to get connected to the toothpaste of your mind. He is the toothbrush to your teeth. Open up your mouth and let him in.
Who is Angela Aux?
He’s someone who hides under his desk at night and writes folk songs to calm down. He’s also dressing up like a woman and shouting weird seditious poems in between the songs. He’s angry most of the day but in a very polite way. But of course this will kill him some day. Before that he will write shitloads of songs about dying and not having died yet and having sexual feelings on drugs and druggy feelings on sex. Let’s be honest: he’s a weird pussy with a voice like Orpheus after somebody kicked him in the nuts. Ladies love him.
To some extent the personae reminds me of Ziggy Stardust, does assuming another personality open another door for your creativity? Is it “method song-writing”?
I never thought it that way. But there was no decided plan to transform my personality into another fictitious personality. Honestly one thing led into another: I had this shooting for a friend and she asked me to wear some dresses. Then I had another shooting for the pics of my record and the photographer had this wig. We played around with it and these were the best pictures in the end. A few weeks later I crushed into a second hand shop in Montevideo and the lady offered me a skirt out of the blue. It’s the skirt I’m wearing at the shows now. Since I have this costume, things are happening and it has influence on the way I move on stage. I feel that maybe I’m at the beginning of something. Perhaps the “method-song-writing” is next to come.
You said a few years back that if you had to focus on one project you would stick with Aloa Input- is that still the case?
I think it’s cool to have both projects. As soon as I really have to decide for one of the two projects I will think about it again.
“Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams” – is the title a reference to the old standard of the same name?
I didn’t know this old standard existed until the lady who created the artwork asked me the same question. It refers to the first song The Velvet Underground ever recorded on their first session. They never released it but it was part of some collection I got as a present when I was much younger.
What is your earliest musical memory or what is the first song you remember from childhood that you loved?
When I was a kid I had a hard time because I was stuttering. So when I was 6 or 7 I wanted to spend as much time as possible alone in the basement listening to old records of my parents. The song I liked best was “Out On A Weekend” by Neil Young.
I think the new album is really a thing of beauty – I’ve had the title track on repeat today – are you happy with the way it has turned out?
Yes. It was quite a challenge for me to keep it that narrowed and pure. It was good what I did yesterday and I’ll do it once again. But if I would do it today, I think I would do it differently.
You posted the following comment on Facebook “Label wants us to play shows because nobody gives a fuck about our record” – is that what the label said to you or is that how you feel about it?
No that was just a joke. Actually we’re selling millions of copies. But I’m really happy with the reaction we got so far: most of the people who ever listened to the record were touched and happy with it.
Do you think the record labels you deal with give you the creative freedom you desire?
Mostly. I think they try to do their best from their point of view.
You always appear to have multiple projects on the go simultaneously – music, writing, arts festivals –where do you find the time for everything? Are you ever worried that creative spark will burn out?
I just do what I’m interested in the most. I don’t think that’s so special. But I use every situation or setting to work on drafts or ideas. And sometimes I don’t sleep so much, so there’s more time to work on ideas or projects. I’m not worried that my creativity could burn out because in the end it’s all just keeping up juggling ideas forth and back.
What is your biggest fear?
Loosing the ability to do what I love to do: music, writing, having ideas and doing projects.
What artist(s) has been your biggest influence? Why?
Maybe Leonard Cohen because I was listening to him over and over again when I was younger.I admire his way of dealing with words and humor and stories. But Lou Reed and Beck and Erich Kästner and Astrid Lindgren and The Beatles and Friedrich Nietzsche and Why? have also been very important.
What song (if any) by another artist do you wish you had written and why?
Actually there are lots of songs. Like thousands literally. Mostly I really love songs because they manage to express outstanding experiences or very important feelings, like my favorite feeling “it’s all useless so fuck it and let’s be cool”. “Loser” has that and “I’m Writing A Novel” by Father John Misty. I also would love to have written nearly every song of The Velvet Underground, Bonobo, A Tribe Called Quest, Leonard Cohen, Steve Reich, Animal Collective, Caribou, Hymie’s Basement, Bill Withers and The Green Arrows (google it and play it as often as possible for the rest of your life).
Did you make a conscious decision to sing in English?
Most of the music I was ever listening to was in English. So perhaps that’s why it’s very obvious for me to write in English. I know it’s strange in some way, but I think it’s all good in another way. I write poems and short stories in German in exchange.
Do you feel bands and artists outside of the UK/USA get the coverage they deserve in those countries?
Actually I never thought of this. I guess it’s really hard to answer that question.
What frustrates you?
Lots of things! When I think about how stupid people are treating each other and their environment then i get really frustrated because everything seems to be so useless then. But mostly I come back to the conviction that doing art is my only possibility to react on this mess in a proper way.
What do you think of music streaming services like Spotify?
I think it is a good thing that people have access to as much music as possible. But Spotify is a bad deal for musicians. I hope somebody comes up with a better idea soon.
Do you collect anything?
Records and books.
Name a song that makes you happy and why?
Harry Belafonte – Mangwene Mpulele. It was one of my favorite songs as a child. When somebody put it on I would start dancing and screaming. It still makes me feel that way.
What current music do you rate?
Andy Shauf – The Bearer Of Bad News.
Mac De Marco – Some Other Ones.
What, outside of music, influences your art?
People, books, movies, ideas, bullshit and the weather.
What songs would you like to have played at your funeral?
Leonard Cohen – Bird On A Wire.
What question would you like to be asked that you never are? And what would be your answer?