We are delighted to premiere the new single/video by B.Fleischmann today. “There is a head”, is directed by Frank Kalero and is taken from Bernhard’s sparkling new LP “Stop Making Fans” coming on Morr Music next month (Feb 2018).
Bernhard discussed the new record and much else in our interview. About the new track he says – the first working title of the album was between the chairs, there´s place for stairs– which is a part of the lyrics. I often have the feeling, that my music is located between the chairs “club “and “art“. So the song means to me: look where you are – and maybe you are happy with it – where do you want to go and where would that finally lead to.
“Stop Making Fans” – is that a reference there to Talking Heads and/or to the pursuit of followers at the expense of artistic integrity? (Perhaps it’s about electrical fans and global warming!?!?)
Yes, it´s a “Talking Heads” reference AND it demonstrates my desire that integrity fills all different parts of my life. From my point of view it´s irresponsible to gain profit without any consideration of its effects. To me this is irresponsible and therefore convictable and senseless. Concerning the ecological view, it the title should rather be “Stop making vans“.
What did you set out to achieve with the new record?
Probably the same that I tried with all my other records – to share my musical view and the hope that this/my euphoria reaches others as well. And maybe it reflects better two of my emotional states: being exhilarated and relaxed.
I love the video for “There is a head” – it brings me back to a misspent youth in video arcades (do they even exist these days?) – What’s the concept?
Actually the first working title of the album was “between the chairs, there´s a place for stairs“- which is a part of the lyrics. I often have the feeling, that my music is located between the chairs “club “and “art“. So the song means to me: look where you are – and maybe you are happy with it – where do you want to go and where would that finally lead to. So you´re right as misspent time can be seen as a part of it. What I see in the video is what happens, if we lose control over our thoughts and get crazy in games or thinking.
You said previously “I never see the finished house when I start…the music, then, only becomes apparent once it’s actually done.” Does that still apply to the new record?
Yes, that hasn´t changed much. Maybe a little more with this record, as I wrote the music first and than invited the others to add their musical ideas. Some tracks changed a lot when the other instruments came in as I noticed then, that the songs had an overload of tracks. Actually I had way too many layouts – almost 2 more records were dropped until we focused on a coherent amount of songs.
How did you get the group together for this one?
With Markus Schneider, who already played the guitar on my last record I work together since many years – and we played almost all shows together in the last years. So after some concerts, we talked about the benefit, that a “whole band “could bring. Gloria and Valentin were participants of a Jazz Workshop where I took care of the electronic music class for some years – and I heard Valentin play the drums there and thought – “his way of drumming could fit perfectly and will add something refreshing and important“ – and Gloria has a project called lionoir. I produced their first LP which was out a few months ago and during our work, I thought as well, that her voice would add an interesting colour to my music. She will play bass as well in our live shows.
I am very impressed with the new LP, with all the twists and turns, it sounds carefree and like it was fun to make – did you enjoy doing it? Do you have a favourite piece?
Thanks – yes it was! But I had times or months where I wasn´t sure if that music is any good and during this time I couldn´t and didn´t listen to it, but after a while, some six or seven months later, I listened again and it made me happy and content again. So this break that I never took during the recording process of any other album it helped a lot to focus and sort out. Finally, I am very happy with it. And no – I don´t have a favourite piece . . . that changes from day to day.
Have the rapid advances in tech changed the way you work?
Definitely. When I think about my first steps using a computer and in which terms I could use a sample or the development of all the plug-ins – a lot has changed very fast, but the more options you have the more seductions you have to do. I would say, that I am faster in composition and writing now, but it takes much more time to convince myself, that the music sounds “my way“.
What was the first piece of music you remember falling in love with?
Pheew . . . hard to answer as I was a child that waited every Saturday in front of the radio ready to record the charts on tape and those tapes accompanied me during the week. The kind of Pop Music that was in the charts was very important for me. But at the same time, I had much fun playing the piano. My first piano lesson was a great experience. But on the instrument, I always rather played than practiced. My very first vinyls were: NENA, David Bowie´s “Let´s Dance“ and the very first EP that I ordered in a record store was New Orders “Blue Monday“. As a kid I used to listen a lot to Prokofiev’s “Peter und der Wolf“ – and I remember as well playing “let´s build a city“ from Paul Hindemith often in our living room. Later friends from school brought me to The Pixies and after that, I started visiting record shops regularly.
How did your relationship with Morr Music begin?
Actually via FM4 – an Austrian radio station. People from the so-called “Weilheim Scene“ were invited to a radio show called “Im Sumpf“. A few weeks before, I gave a demo CD of “pop loops for breakfast“ (my very first electronic release) to Fritz Ostermayer, who is one of the hosts of this still existing and great radio show. He played one track to the guests and Markus Acher said: I know someone who just starts running a label, this could be interesting for him . . . So he took the CD and gave it to Thomas Morr, who was on my answering machine a few days later . . . so it all began . . . .
What artist(s) has been your biggest influence?
In no special order:
and so many more . . .
What’s the best new band/artist you’ve heard recently?
Just to name 2 at the Alien Disko Festival in December 2017 at Kammerspiele München the performances of NAH and 1115 impressed me.
How are you feeling about the political situation there at the moment?
To me, it´s totally unsatisfying that the current political policies of “Angst Empowerment“ gains more and more votes. Austria is not any better in this case. It´s bitter, that using false phrases seem to work so brilliant for narrow-minded, self-opinionated and power-hungry careerists. With discomfort, I notice the increase of disgusting statements and behaviours, which makes it so difficult to have a serious conversation. So step by step a new way of communication becomes common and its result is a brutal world of black and white, where every shading is already an enemy. I don´t know, why it is so hard to appreciate the diverse skills of people? It seems that those skills are classified as dangers and not as strokes of luck. I don´t need a conductor who tells me – 1-2-3-4 we all play the drums and play the march now.
What’s your idea of success?
It´s probably more a privilege what I see as success . . . to make a living out of creative work and to have the chance to lay back satisfied from time to time. In daily life, it´s probably a smile that has an idea of a fair humour in mind.
What question would you like to be asked that you never are and what would your answer be?
I prefer to be surprised with interesting questions . . .
Photos by Walter Mussil
Bernhard also included a photo for our gallery, more of that next week.