Ms. John Soda is Stefanie Böhm and Micha Acher. They released their third album “Loom” in 2015 on Morr Music after a long break (their previous LP “Notes and the Like” was out in 2006). Loom is a warm, genuinely beautiful piece of electronica and probably my favourite record of last year. I was delighted when Stefanie agreed to do an interview with us. If you haven’t heard them before I really can’t recommend them enough, have a listen – you won’t be disappointed.
You release music only rarely – why is that?
Well, “No P. or D.” and “Notes and The Like” were released in 2003 and 2006. And it took us so long to release our third album “Loom”, because I had two children in the meantime and some other projects and so there wasn’t a lot of time to work on our songs. But whenever Micha and I found time in between, we exchanged new songs and went on working. The way of making music together did not change, it just went much slower.
You don’t have much of an imprint on the internet or social media – is that deliberate?
No, we personally are just not that ambitious in relation to internet and social media activity. But we are happy about anything that appears concerning Ms. John Soda.
You pulled together a lot of creative people for Loom – are you always the driving force?
Micha and I enjoy it a lot to work together with other musicians, and that is why we worked that way for Loom, as well. Whenever we have the idea that some other instrument or musician would be good for one song, we try to collaborate.
What influenced Loom? What decided for you that it was time for a new record?
We always had the plan to make a third album with Ms. John Soda, that was not an actual decision. It just took a bit longer, than we thought it would, to finally produce these new songs. Our music is always influenced by many many different things, persons, impressions, situations we have in everyday life. We try to put our thoughts and moods and experiences in our songs and try to create a special mood or atmosphere with every single song.
Your music is layered and complex, yet comes together beautifully and has a lot of warmth, maybe something that’s missing from some other music that’s predominantly electronic. How do you create a new song? Where do you start?
When we write our songs we exchange our sketches for several times and the other one goes on working with it. In the end we also work together on the songs in a studio. And we do this as long as we both agree that that song now sounds the way we want Ms. John Soda to sound like. And we always focus mostly on the atmosphere and on our special Ms. John Soda mood, or warmth, like you call it. How we create this and with what kind of instruments is then just of minor importance. When I start working on a new song, I actually start working without any plan or concept in mind. I use different instruments and try to find a starting theme or rhythm or melody and then I go on creating many other layers and try to describe and create that special mood and atmosphere I talked about above. To me, making music is not at all something where technique and theory and plans are that important. For me it is mostly an emotional, intuitive process.
What’s your earliest musical memory?
I guess lullabies.
What artists/bands have influenced you the most?
Oh, that’s hard to say. For sure I am influenced by all the music I listen to and I have ever listened to, but also by all other things and experiences I made in my life so far (and that is too much to name here, I can’t pick out any single band or tack, but listening to music and making music has been very important to me over all the years).
Name a song that makes you smile
Lisa Germano: If I Think of Love, Kama Aina: Wedding Song.
What are the best new music/bands/artists that you’ve heard lately?
PJ Harvey, The Hope Six Demolition Project.
What music would you have played at your funeral?
That is something I don’t want to talk about in an interview…
What question would you like to be asked that you never are? And what would be your answer?
Hmm, to be honest, I don’t miss any question!
What next for Ms. John Soda – I read somewhere that Loom may be your final release – is that correct?
Oh, we actually started working on new songs! Loom was never meant to be our final release. And we try to work a bit faster this time…